Ticket demand, anticipation grows as LeBron nears Kareem
Ticket prices are predictably high for the Los Angeles Lakers’ next two home games, with LeBron James poised to break the NBA scoring record. James is 36 points from passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The Lakers play at home Tuesday against Oklahoma City. And if King James doesn’t set the mark that night, he’ll try again Thursday when the Lakers host Milwaukee. Some tickets for that game have been listed for as much as $100,000 apiece.
Mahomes, Hurts buoy Super Bowl teams amid QB injury spate
The Chiefs and Eagles are bringing MVP finalists Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts to the Super Bowl to cap a season in which the NFL had a glaring amount of instability at quarterback. A total of 68 QBs started at least one game, a record for a non-strike year. Nearly half of all changes during the regular season were because of injuries at the most important position, despite the league’s efforts to try to keep QBs healthy. A record 13 teams used at least three starters, including the San Francisco 49ers, whose season ended in the NFC title game when they had no healthy quarterbacks available.
Mahomes, Hurts aware of significance of this Super Bowl duel
PHOENIX (AP) — Philadelphia Eagles coach Nick Sirianni is thrilled young aspiring football players all over the world will get to watch two Black quarterbacks face each other for the first time in the Super Bowl. He’s also pleased they get to watch two really, really good quarterbacks. There are many storylines for this Super Bowl but the duel between Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts and Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes is right at the top of the list. Mahomes said he’s appreciative of the Black quarterbacks who came before him and who helped create the opportunities he has now.
Super Bowl opening night returns with energetic atmosphere
PHOENIX (AP) — Nick Sirianni answered questions about Rocky, Santa Claus and even which of his players on the Philadelphia Eagles he’d want to date his 5-year-old daughter when she grows up. Welcome to Super Bowl opening night where football talk gives way to the wacky. The circus atmosphere that kicks off the NFL’s biggest week has returned for the first time since 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic forced teams to meet the media on video conferences the past two seasons. Sirianni and the Eagles took the stage first at the home of the Phoenix Suns. “Fly, Eagles, Fly” chants greeted players and coaches before they spent an hour answering wide-ranging questions from more than 2,000 media members.
Nets’ Irving drama makes other East contenders look stable
The Brooklyn Nets broke up their All-Star duo of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving by trading Irving to Dallas. Compared to that, the other top teams in the Eastern Conference look pretty stable heading into Thursday’s trade deadline. Boston has the best record in the NBA and a team that reached the Finals a season ago. Milwaukee has the league’s longest current winning streak at eight games. The Philadelphia 76ers haven’t always been a picture of tranquility in recent years, but they’ve won nine of 11 and are third in the conference, just three games behind the Celtics.
Super Bowl betting projected to reach $16 billion this year
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The gambling industry’s national trade group predicts that 1 in 5 American adults will make a bet on Sunday’s Super Bowl between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs. The American Gaming Association says over 50 million U.S. adults plan to bet on the game, wagering a total of $16 billion. That’s more than twice the amount that was expected to be wagered on last year’s Super Bowl. Sports betting is legal in 33 states plus Washington, D.C., this year, up from 30 states last year. The group’s survey finds bettors evenly split, with 44% backing the Eagles and an identical 44% putting their money on the Chiefs.
Manchester City’s problems mount for manager Pep Guardiola
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Pep Guardiola had enough to worry about even before Manchester City became embroiled in probably the biggest Premier League scandal of all time. City is facing accusations that the club breached a host of financial regulations with its lavish spending. Guardiola faces his own battle to defend the league title and keep his team’s season on track. City’s position in the standings remains healthy enough at five points behind leader Arsenal in second place. But Sunday’s loss to Tottenham fed into a growing feeling that all is not right within the club. That was the case even before Monday’s bombshell action by the Premier League.
Column: Rose about majors over money heading into twilight
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Winning on the PGA Tour is big. Winning at historic sites like Pebble Beach or Riviera is even better. Justin Rose and Joaquin Niemann know the feeling. Their victories are a year apart. They also are at different stages of their careers. Both spoke passionately about the value of winning. Niemann wound up going to Saudi-backed LIV Golf. Rose would have seemed to have reason to go. But the 42-year-old stayed put. His objective was to target the majors. That meant qualifying for them. He was assured a spot only in the U.S. Open this year. And then he won at Pebble Beach, securing a spot in the Masters.
Thompson scores 42 points with 12 3s, Warriors beat Thunder
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Klay Thompson scored 42 points with a season-high 12 3-pointers, Jordan Poole added 21 points and 12 assists starting in Stephen Curry’s place, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 141-114. Thompson sat down for the night to a roaring ovation with 4:41 left to finish 15 for 22 from the floor and 12 of 16 on 3s. Thompson now has eight games with 10 or more 3-pointers, second in NBA history behind Curry’s 22. Andrew Wiggins scored 18 points in Golden State’s first game since reigning NBA Finals MVP Curry injured his left leg during Saturday’s win against Dallas.
Irving trade official as Mavs essentially start season over
DALLAS (AP) — Kyrie Irving is a member of the Dallas Mavericks with the trade from Brooklyn becoming official. The mercurial guard who now will be paired with fellow All-Star Luka Doncic could make his Dallas debut Wednesday at the Los Angeles Clippers. Doncic could be out against the Clippers with a heel injury. Whenever the All-Stars do get on the court together, Doncic and Irving instantly become one of the NBA’s top duos in a tightly packed Western Conference.