Durant expected to make Suns debut on Wednesday vs. Hornets
PHOENIX (AP) — Kevin Durant is expected to make his Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday against the Charlotte Hornets. The Suns made the announcement on social media Tuesday. The 13-time All-Star came to the Suns on Feb. 9 in a blockbuster trade that sent Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder and four first-round picks to the Brooklyn Nets. Durant hasn’t played for the Suns while recovering from a sprained knee ligament. The 34-year-old is still one of the game’s elite scorers, averaging nearly 30 points per game this season.
Manny Machado, Padres finalize $350M, 11-year contract
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — All-Star slugger Manny Machado and the San Diego Padres finalized a $350 million, 11-year contract, the fourth-largest in baseball history. The deal will keep Machado with the Padres through 2033 and is the latest contract handed out by big-spending owner Peter Seidler. Machado, who has helped turn the Padres into a World Series contender, finished second in the NL MVP race last year. He’ll anchor a star-laden lineup that includes Xander Bogaerts, Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr., who can return on April 20 from an 80-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs.
Bills DC Frazier taking a year off, plans to return in 2024
The Buffalo Bills say defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier is taking a year off from coaching but plans to return for the 2024 season. The team didn’t provide any other details on Frazier’s decision, which comes a little over five weeks after the three-time AFC East champion Bills were eliminated with a 27-10 loss to Cincinnati in the divisional round of the playoffs. The Bills haven’t said who will fill in for Frazier this season. The team has hired Al Holcomb to serve as a senior defensive assistant. Holcomb finished last season as the Carolina Panthers’ defensive coordinator and previously worked under Bills head coach Sean McDermott.
Rangers’ K’Andre Miller suspended 3 games for spitting
NEW YORK (AP) — K’Andre Miller of the New York Rangers has been suspended three games for unsportsmanlike conduct for spitting at Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. Miller will miss upcoming games against Philadelphia, Ottawa and Boston and forfeit $15,000 in salary. The 23-year-old was given a match penalty and ejected from the Rangers’ game against the Kings on Sunday. Miller on social media said he did not intend to spit and thanked Doughty for the chance to explain that in person. Miller’s suspension complicates New York’s already murky roster situation with the trade deadline fast approaching.
Nate Oats apologizes for Brandon Miller’s pregame pat-down
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama coach Nate Oats apologized and took responsibility for allowing freshman forward Brandon Miller to continue going through a pat-down during pregame introductions. Oats reiterated that the teammate’s pat-down of Miller won’t continue. Miller had received the pat-down upon his introduction well before the Jan. 15 arrest of then-teammate Darius Miles and another man on capital murder charges in the shooting death of 23-year-old Jamea Harris. Then, police testimony in that case last week accused Miller of delivering Miles’ gun.
Former NFL star, CBS anchor Irv Cross had brain disease CTE
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Former Philadelphia Eagle and CBS NFL announcer Irv Cross has been diagnosed with the brain disease CTE. Cross was 81 when he died Feb. 28, 2021. Boston University researchers say Cross suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The researchers said he suffered from stage 4 CTE, which is the most advanced kind of the disease. Irv Cross was diagnosed with mild cognitive dementia in 2018. Liz Cross says her late husband often felt angry, depressed and embarrassed in his final years, He struggled physically with his balance, was paranoid and had delusions often.
Alaba abused, Croatia coach critical following FIFA awards
GENEVA (AP) — Real Madrid defender David Alaba has been racially abused on social media after voting for Lionel Messi and Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić has accused FIFA of disrespect in fallout from the soccer body’s annual awards ceremony. Messi was named the best men’s player on Monday and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema placed third. The awards were decided by a poll of national team captains and coaches, selected media and fans voting online. Alaba’s vote as Austria’s national team captain provoked anger from Real Madrid fans and others. Alaba is Black and Messi played for Madrid-rival Barcelona for 17 years. Dalić says he refused to vote in protest at a perceived lack of respect for himself and his team.
Rodgers, QBs become top attractions at NFL combine
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Green Bay Packers are still waiting for Aaron Rodgers to decide whether or where he’ll play next season. Other teams at the NFL’s annual scouting combine seem to be jockeying for other quarterbacks. As coaches and general managers kicked off one of the league’s biggest offseason events, the discussions took off. Marcus Mariota was cut, Derek Carr became a hot commodity, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were expected to discuss how they’ll replace the retired Tom Brady.
Bills GM: Hamlin’s return hinges on his medical progress
Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane says safety Damar Hamlin has a few more visits to doctors before determining whether he can pursue his goal of returning to play football after going into cardiac arrest and having to be resuscitated on field in January. Beane says all is well with the test results Hamlin’s had so far in providing the update from the NFL’s combine in Indianapolis. He says further testing is required before specialists and the Bills doctors can provide Hamlin clearance to return to the field.
AP source: Panthers to meet with QB Derek Carr at combine
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A person familiar with the situation says the Carolina Panthers will meet with free agent quarterback Derek Carr this week at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the team doesn’t announce its meetings with free agents. The NFL Network was first to report the planned meeting. The Las Vegas Raiders released Carr on Feb. 14 rather than pay him $40.4 million in guaranteed money. Carr also has met with the New York Jets and New Orleans Saints. Jets general manager Joe Douglas said while speaking at the combine the team will meet again with Carr sometime this week in Indianapolis.