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 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.
Group: 1 in 5 US adults will bet on this year’s Super Bowl
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 million. 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.
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.
NBA approves sale of Phoenix Suns, Mercury to Mat Ishbia
PHOENIX (AP) — Mortgage executive and former Michigan State guard Mat Ishbia is approved to become the new majority owner of the Phoenix Suns and WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury. The NBA’s board of governors approved his plan to purchase the controlling stake of those franchises from Robert Sarver. The vote was 29-0, with the Cleveland Cavaliers abstaining, according to a person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the vote had not yet been announced publicly. Ishbia agreed on Dec. 20 to the deal, one that put the total value of the Suns and Mercury at $4 billion.
French skier Pinturault wins gold in combined at home worlds
COURCHEVEL, France (AP) — First-run leader Alexis Pinturault held on to win the gold medal in the men’s combined at his home world championships. The Frenchman retained his lead from the super-G portion to edge defending champion Marco Schwarz by 0.10 seconds. The Austrian seemed headed for the victory when leading Pinturault by 0.30 seconds at the final split but had a costly mistake at the fourth-to-last gate. Pinturault is a Courchevel native. He previously won the world title in 2019 but was beaten to gold by Schwarz two years later. Raphael Haaser finished 0.44 behind to win bronze. American skier River Radamus finished fourth.