QUOTE OF THE DAY
“There’s no slander to the Utah Jazz, but you guys gotta understand… In video games growing up, we never played with Utah.”
Best record in the NBA.
Last two picks in the All-Star draft.
All-Star Draft: The Picks Are In
LeBron James & Kevin Durant Select Teams for 2021 NBA All-Star Game
The 2021 NBA All-Star Game is finally here. Due to COVID-19, the weekend’s events will be packed into a single show on Sunday night. All-Star voting took place over the last month with final rosters announced last week. This year, the “Elam Ending” returns, as well as the All-Star draft with teams selected not by conference, but by captains.
LeBron James and Kevin Durant were the top vote-getters this year — Durant won’t play due to an ongoing injury — and they made their selections last night. A few surprises caught our eye in the pick process, like both Utah Jazz players being selected dead last. Both LeBron (West) and Durant (East) picked a squad made up of 66% from their respective conferences (8 of 12). Here’s the pick-by-pick breakdown:
Pick 1: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks)
Pick 2: Stephen Curry (Warriors)
Pick 3: Luka Doncic (Mavericks)
Pick 4: Nikola Jokic (Nuggets)
Pick 5: Damian Lillard (Blazers)
Pick 6: Ben Simmons (76ers)
Pick 7: Chris Paul (Suns)
Pick 8: Jaylen Brown (Celtics)
Pick 9: Paul George (Clippers)
Pick 10: Domantas Sabonis (Pacers)
Pick 11: Rudy Gobert (Jazz)
Pick 1: Kyrie Irving (Nets)
Pick 2: Joel Embiid (76ers)
Pick 3: Kawhi Leonard (Clippers)
Pick 4: Bradley Beal (Wizards)
Pick 5: Jayson Tatum (Celtics)
Pick 6: James Harden (Nets)
Pick 7: Devin Booker (Suns)
Pick 8: Zion Williamson (Pelicans)
Pick 9: Zach LaVine (Bulls)
Pick 10: Julius Randle (Knicks)
Pick 11: Nikola Vucevic (Magic)
Pick 12: Donovan Mitchell (Jazz)
NBA All-Star Schedule (Sunday on TNT)
Coverage Begins (5:00 pm ET)
Skills Challenge (6:30 pm ET)
3-Point Contest (7:00 pm ET)
All-Star Game (8:00 pm ET)
Slam Dunk Contest (Halftime)
What used to be a full weekend’s worth of events is now a six-hour show. Efficient. We’re here for it, and we’ll have all the highlights from the game, skills challenge, 3-point and dunk contests on Monday morning.
Team Player: Big Ben Takes Paycut
Ben Roethlisberger Agrees to Rework Contract With Steelers, And Other NFL News
Another QB seat, filled. Ben Roethlisberger has been in Pittsburgh his entire 17-year career, but questions and uncertainty dragged into the offseason with salary cap concerns. Roethlisberger proved to be a true team player by reworking his contract with the Steelers in order to help the team navigate the cap. In essence, his $19 million annual paycheck drops to $14 million next season. That $5 million gets spread out across future years to save the team $15 million against the cap in 2021. Even more important? Big Ben, now 39, stays at Three Rivers for one more run.
Other NFL News
Rory Rips Up Round 1 at Bay Hill
McIlroy & Conners (-6) Tied for Lead at Arnold Palmer Invitational; DeChambeau 1 Back
The second event in the PGA Tour’s Florida Swing teed off Thursday morning from Bay Hill. The opening round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational saw a lot of low scores, but Rory McIlroy and Corey Conners are atop the leaderboard. McIlroy ripped off a stretch of five straight birdies on the front-nine before trailing off. A bogey on Hole 18 kept him from holding the outright lead.
Round 1 Leaderboard
R. McIlroy (-6)
C. Conners (-6)
B. DeChambeau (-5)
J. Kokrak (-4)
B. An (-4)
Other Notable Scorecards: V. Hovland (-3), J. Spieth (-2), J. Day (-2), P. Casey (-2)
Another night, another Damian Lillard shot-making showcase. The Blazers guard was the high-point man in the NBA on Thursday, pouring in 44 points (eight 3-pointers) and another lights-out performance in a win over the Kings (123-119).
Chelsea gave rival Liverpool its fifth straight loss at home (1-0) courtesy of Mason Mount (42’). The Reds fired just one shot on net as their miserable title defense continues.
NHL: Killorn at the Horn!
The Lightning and Blackhawks were tied 2-2 with the clock ticking down at the end of overtime. With a shootout almost certain, Victor Hedman ripped a last-second shot and Alex Killorn redirected it into the net with 0.1 seconds. A buzzer-beater!
The entire college basketball season points to March. Nothing is more exciting than the conference and NCAA tournaments, which are beloved for buzzer-beaters, upsets and matchups of top-ranked teams. But the Big Ten couldn’t wait to get started. (Bleacher Report)
The Paramount+ streaming service entered the game yesterday for its official launch. What is it? Well, it’s the new name for CBS All Access, but it holds a heavy lineup for sports fans, from The Masters and NCAA Tournament to NFL and UEFA Champions League. (CBS Sports)
Trevor Lawrence is the most sought-after QB prospect since Andrew Luck. For as much as he seems like a sure thing, though, history suggests he may not even be the best quarterback in the 2021 class. (The Ringer)
️ WEEKEND SCHEDULE
The Must-Watch List
Basketball in bunches this weekend… March is hoops central. The NBA All-Star festivities take the spotlight on Sunday night amid a flurry of men’s and women’s college basketball games. The women’s conference tourneys begin, and we’re just one week from selection shows. The Madness is coming.
NBA All-Star Game (Sunday)
Coverage Begins (5:00 pm)
Skills Challenge (6:30 pm)
3-Point Contest (7:00 pm)
All-Star Game (8:00 pm)
Slam Dunk Contest (Halftime)
NCAA Men’s Basketball
Indiana at #23 Purdue (Sat. 2:00 pm)
#17 Oklahoma State at #6 W. Virginia (Sat. 2:00 pm)
#4 Illinois at #7 Ohio State (Sat. 4:00 pm)
#25 Wisconsin at #5 Iowa (Sun. 12:30 pm)
#18 Texas Tech at #3 Baylor (Sun. 4:00 pm)
#2 Michigan at Michigan State (Sun. 4:30 pm)
NCAA Women’s Basketball
Lightning at Blackhawks (Fri. 8:00 pm)
Flyers at Penguins (Sat. 1:00 pm)
Panthers at Hurricanes (Sun. 5:00 pm)
English Premier League
Manchester Derby (Sun. 11:30 am)
J. Blachowicz vs. I. Adesanya (Sat. 10:00 pm)
Arnold Palmer Invitational (All Weekend)
*All Times Eastern