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Bears great Brian Urlacher has announced his retirement after 13 years in the league. Urlacher recorded 1,353 tackles, 41.5 sacks, and 22 interceptions in his illustrious career, and though he never won a Super Bowl, he'll likely be an early entry into the Hall of Fame. The Bears have had their share of great linebackers, but where does Urlacher rank on the all-time list? Submit your rankings now!
NFL's greatest linebackers
Angels' Mike Trout hits for cycle
At 21 years, 288 days old, Mike Trout became the youngest player in AL history to hit for the cycle on Tuesday, nearly making it a natural cycle, by going single, triple, double, home run. After winning the 2012 AL Rookie of the Year and finishing second in the AL MVP voting, Trout is proving in 2013 that he is no one-year wonder.
The draft lottery has been great to the Cleveland Cavaliers -- they got LeBron James out of it one year, Kyrie Irving in another, and now they've got the No. 1 pick in this year's draft. There's no true standout star from this class (although a healthy Nerlens Noel might qualify), leading to speculation that the Cavs might end up trading the pick -- a move that hasn't been made in 20 years. The Cavs have three other picks in this draft and a lot of cap space, but the lure of picking first might be too strong for them to resist, given how well it's worked for them in the past.
There's no LeBron James in this draft, but the available players all seem solid and professional -- not lightning in a bottle, exactly, but better than some No. 1 picks we could name.
Nerlens Noel is currently rehabbing, but if he ends up recovering fully, he and Kyrie Irving could form the core of a pretty good team.
A reasonable system?
The Magic didn't get the first pick despite having the worst record in the league. The top pick hasn't gone to the worst team since 2004 -- which, oddly enough, just happened to be the Magic.
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Ford covers the NBA and NBA Draft for ESPN Insider and also makes appearances on ESPN Radio and ESPNEWS.
Send your questions now and join Ford Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. ET!
Leading a team to 56 wins and a Pacific Division title is usually enough to keep a coach's job secure, but that clearly wasn't the case with Vinny Del Negro and the Clippers. A first-round playoff loss to the Memphis Grizzlies likely didn't help matters, although Del Negro did have to deal with a slew of injuries to some of his best players. Assuming they keep Chris Paul, the Clippers will find out next season whether Del Negro was the reason why they couldn't get over the hump.
What do you think? Leave your comments below.
When you pay a baseball team $214.8 million, you expect certain things in return for your investment. Wins would be nice. Scoring some runs would be great, too. Both have been scarce for the Dodgers, 18-25 entering Tuesday's games and 29th in the majors in runs scored. Consider this: Only the Marlins have scored fewer runs. And Miami's payroll is substantially less than the Dodgers' $214.8 million.
So should we interpret general manager Ned Colletti's endorsement of manager Don Mattingly as the dreaded vote of confidence -- the kind often followed by a firing? Mattingly isn't to blame for the Dodgers' near-comic rash of early season injuries. And Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier haven't exactly hit the cover off the ball. But fairly or unfairly, it's the manager who pays with his job when things go wrong. Will Mattingly survive the season?
What do you think? Leave your comments below.
It seems that every time the modern Lakers try to assemble a collection of superstars, it doesn't quite work out as planned -- just ask Karl Malone and Gary Payton. Dwight Howard is just the latest representation of this -- he didn't have a bad season, but it wasn't up to his usual standards, and the Lakers as a whole limped to a swift playoff exit. Now, details are emerging from Howard's exit interview with the team -- namely, that he wasn't happy with the way coach Mike D'Antoni utilized him during the season. Howard is a free agent this season, and it sounds as if D'Antoni's continued employment by the team might be a sticking point in any attempt to re-sign the star center.
Will Howard return?
Mitch Kupchak said he was optimistic about re-signing Howard, but the normally verbose center has been noticeably silent regarding his future in the past few weeks.
Howard on your team?
Howard, at his best, is a dominating defensive force who can occasionally take over games on offense, but has he worn out his welcome?
Who would you keep?
Mike D'Antoni was able to just barely turn the Lakers' season around, but it might not be worth keeping him around if it means losing out on a few more years of Howard.
At 4:02 p.m. ET (3:02 CT) Monday, the National Weather Service in Norman, Okla., warned the residents of Moore, a suburb just south of Oklahoma City, that their lives were in peril.
302pm - LARGE VIOLENT TORNADO moving toward Moore and SW OKC. Take cover right NOW!!! Do not wait!! #okwx— NWS Norman (@NWSNorman) May 20, 2013
The devastation that followed the next 45 minutes was felt throughout the sports world. Many simply offered the hashtag #PrayForOklahoma. Others offered instructions on how they could use their mobile devices to donate to relief efforts.
Those with personal connections to Oklahoma City and its surrounding communities were among the first to react on Twitter. Thunder star Kevin Durant, who on Tuesday pledged $1 million for relief efforts, was among them.
Praying for the victims of the Tornadoes in OKC these last few days..Everybody stay safe!— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) May 20, 2013
Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, a native of nearby Midwest City, said he would let his bat do the talking:
I'm giving $1000 for tonight's HR and every HR until the All-Star break for the victims of my hometown in OKC. #PrayforOklahoma— Matt Kemp (@TheRealMattKemp) May 21, 2013
The first tweet from Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, an Oklahoma City native, came at 5:09 ET, little more than an hour after the tornado touched down. He asked followers for prayers and assistance. (While McCoy called it an "F5" tornado, the storm has been classified an F4, at least for now.)
Please please please pray for my home!! Oklahoma!! Devastating twister ripping things apart. Classified as an F5. Kids stuck in a schools.— Gerald McCoy (@Geraldini93) May 20, 2013
This is real people not a game!! F5!! My goodness. God be with my home please!! twitter.com/Geraldini93/st&— Gerald McCoy (@Geraldini93) May 20, 2013
Whatever anybody can do to help my home state please do!! It is much needed. Devastating day in OK!! #pray4Oklahoma— Gerald McCoy (@Geraldini93) May 21, 2013
Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker is also a native of Oklahoma City. He used Twitter to offer a means for followers to donate to relief efforts.
Thoughts and prayers to my hometown OKC. Luckily my family is safe. I have lived in OK a long time. This one might be the worst!— Wes Welker (@WesWelker) May 20, 2013
Pro Football Hall of Famer Barry Sanders, who played college football at Oklahoma State, had been in the region until Sunday.
Please text STORM to 80888 to donate $10 to the recovery and relief efforts in #Moore, OK. I am spending the rest of my day texting this #!— Wes Welker (@WesWelker) May 20, 2013
I don't even know what to say. My thoughts, prayers, concerns, and heartache goes out to my family, friends, and everyone in Oklahoma.— Barry Sanders (@BarrySanders) May 20, 2013
To everyone reaching out to me, I am physically ok and flew back from OKC to Detroit yesterday.— Barry Sanders (@BarrySanders) May 20, 2013
For former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner, the news struck a personal chord of a different kind. Wife Brenda's parents were killed in 1996 when a tornado struck their Arkansas home.
My heart & prayers go out to all those impacted by the tornados in Midwest... A devastation our family knows all too well!— Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) May 20, 2013
My heart is breaking as I contemplate parents having to spend night wondering what has happened 2 their child or knowing they were killed!— Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) May 21, 2013
Other athletes offered prayers for the victims as they reflected on the devastation the storm caused.
No matter how mad you are at your loved ones, always tell them you love them. This world is unpredictable— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) May 21, 2013
watching this Oklahoma Tornado coverage&prayers for all affected today. IDK why these tragedies happen but all we can do is Pray!— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) May 21, 2013
Prayers go out to all my friends and family in Oklahoma! May god be with you in these horrible times! Love you all! Be safe! #PrayForOK— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) May 20, 2013
The faith that some of the folks have displayed who have been interviewed since the tornado in Oklahoma hit is unreal...prayers up— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) May 21, 2013
Golf isn't exactly a strenuous sport, it can be argued, so you'd think that an innovation that would allow players to somehow put in less effort would be welcomed. That hasn't been the case with the style of anchoring a putter to the body, however, which the sport's governing body has decided to ban beginning in 2016. Several golfers who use this style are upset, but a number of golf's big names have spoken in favor of the ban -- Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Arnold Palmer, just to name a few. Fortunately for golfers opposed to the ban, they'll have a few years to work out the yips as they go back to basics.
What do you think? Leave your comments below.
A ripple effect?
Four of the past six major championship winners have used belly putters, with Masters winner Adam Scott being perhaps the most visible beneficiary of anchoring.
NHL Playoffs: Disallowed goal
Two goals in a quick 31 seconds proved to be the difference in the Detroit Red Wings' 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of their second round series. However, a disallowed Blackhawks goal could have tied the game at 2, possibly changing the final outcome. Did the refs get the call right? And who wins Game 4?