Sports Morning Headlines-Wednesday, 6/22/11

News from around the Texas Sports Scene for Wednesday, June 22, 2011.

Is Tony Parker being shopped for a high lottery pick? - Tony Parker’s days running the Spurs’ offense could be numbered.  Yahoo Sports.com reported Wednesday night that the Spurs are fielding trade offers to secure a high draft pick in Thursday’s draft.  Yahoo reports that the Spurs have talked to Toronto, which is picking fifth, and Sacramento, which is picking seventh, about their first-round draft picks.  Parker, who turned 29 last month, is considered to be the most marketable of the Spurs’ “Big Three” because of his age and potential replacements at the position in George Hill and Gary Neal.  But still, it’s a shocker the Spurs would want to trade into the upper part of what most observers believe is a shallow, weak pool of talent.   READ MORE

Manu wins another E-N readers’ choice poll - If it’s June, it must be about time for Manu Ginobili to claim another prize from Express-News readers as the most popular Spurs player.  Ginobili earned his fifth gold medal in the last six seasons as the most popular Spurs player award in balloting for the Express-News’ annual readers’  poll.  Tim Duncan earned silver and TonyParker earned the bronze from Express-News readers. Parker earned the critic’s choice honors.  It’s not a surprise that “The Big Three” again dominated the annual balloting. Ginobili has won every season in the last six except for 2009, where he was hampered by injuries and earned the bronze. Parker won the gold that season.   READ MORE

NBA Draft Rumors: Rockets, Bucks Reportedly Discussing Trade - Our first big-time trade rumor has arrived with just two days remaining until the draft. According to Draft Express, the Houston Rockets will agree trade the 14th and 23rd picks to the Milwaukee Bucks for their 10th overall pick, should a particular scenario unfold.  Take it away, Mr. Jonathan Givony:  "I'm told that if the prospect Milwaukee covets (I suspect Valanciunas) isn't available at 10, they will trade the pick to Houston for 14+23."  On the surface, this is a head-scratcher.   READ MORE

PSA from The Dream Shake*: STOP TRYING TO TRADE KEVIN MARTIN - Kevin Martin is 28, plays hard, scores lights out and is effectively a superstar level scorer that simply isn't considered a star (not superstar, but still) for some dumb reason.  And not playing good defense is not a reason for that.  He was the number nine scorer in the league this year, number 4 among shooting guards.  He's also clutch and shot almost 89% from the line.  He's also in the top 20 for rebounds, assists, steals and assist to to ratio for SGs, which puts him above the half way mark comfortably.  You cannot replace him, that's pretty much all there is to it.  You know who else was like that?  Reggie Miller, they are statistically similar in almost every way.  I don't think anyone would be wanting Miller gone off this team in his prime.   READ MORE

Cleveland woman naming son after Dirk - In case you weren't aware, Cleveland residents aren't fans of LeBron James. When the basketball superstar chose to leave the Cleveland Cavilers and join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, he instantly became a villain in Northeastern Ohio.  But one radio personality in Cleveland has taken her disdain for all things King James a bit further.  Pregnant radio host Cherise Navidad agreed to name her son after a player on the team that beat the Miami Heat for the NBA championship. And that player is Dirk Nowitzki.  Navidad, who hosts two weekend shows on Cleveland's Q104, tweeted on June 12, "Dear Mavs: win tonight and we will name our lil' boy Dirk. He'll be here June 22nd."   READ MORE

Draft is waiting game for Dallas Mavericks - Drafts are meant to build excitement and, at the very least, blind hope. Teams have a chance at getting the next great player or developing an unheralded player.  When it comes to building an NBA championship-caliber team, the draft plays a critical role. Some years, teams truly hit the lottery, such as Cleveland with LeBron James in 2003 and Chicago with Derrick Rose in 2008. And other years, such as this one, there are no surefire stars.  For teams that have reached the ultimate goal, the draft is viewed in a different light. For instance, the San Antonio Spurs took a flyer on a project player from France few had heard of, Ian Mahinmi, after winning the 2005 title. The Boston Celtics thought they were in position to take a talented, yet troubled, guard in J.R. Giddens after winning it all in 2008.   READ MORE

 

 

 

Houston wastes Lyles' good outing in loss to Texas - Jordan Lyles made it through the first inning unscathed, just like he wanted.  He finished strong, too, getting a strikeout with runners on the corners to protect a one-run lead.  But then the Houston Astros' prized prospect turned the ball over to the bullpen. And what looked like what might be his first career victory turned into another disappointing loss in a season full of them, this time going down 5-4 to the Texas Rangers in 11 innings.   READ MORE

It Took Extras For Texas To Beat Houston 5-4 - That game had a little bit of everything, didn't it?  Jordan Lyles had another solid start, lasting seven innings and getting just to 100 pitches while leaving the Astros in a position to win the game.  If you're looking to bash Brad Mills, you had some opportunity with the way he used the bullpen. Four relievers were used in the eighth, when Houston still had a lead. However, none of those pitchers were ostensible closer Mark Melancon, who didn't pitch in the game at all.   READ MORE

Rangers fans help set sunglasses world record - The Texas Rangers' future is so bright, they've got to wear shades.  Well, at least many of the 33,533 fans in attendance Tuesday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington chose to – and they did so at night in an attempt to set a world record.  At the end of the sixth inning of the game against the Houston Astros, all of the fans in attendance were asked to put on sunglasses, provided by Reliant Energy, that were handed out as they entered the ballpark.  After the required 10 minutes to qualify, a world record was set for the most people wearing sunglasses in the dark.   READ MORE

Hot-hitting Hamilton leads Rangers against Astros - Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton seems to get a real kick out of playing the Astros.  Hamilton sports a .389 batting average with seven home runs, four doubles, three triples and 23 RBIs in his career against Houston. He has been even better with the Rangers, collecting 30 hits in 62 at-bats (.484) in 16 games against the Astros, including a home run in Tuesday's 5-4 win in extra innings.  The Lone Star Series continues Wednesday with Colby Lewis on the mound for the Rangers and Brett Myers on the hill for the Astros.   READ MORE

 

 


Owners on verge of making new offer - Insider says players would get 48 percent of total revenues.  The next time NFL owners meet over labor, there is hope it will be to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement with the players.  Owners were briefed Tuesday on discussions for a new CBA that, according to one insider, would net the players 48 percent of total revenues. Next up: talks with the players in the Boston area.  Several people with knowledge of the negotiations told the Associated Press that commissioner Roger Goodell and his labor committee will meet with players association chief DeMaurice Smith today and Thursday. The owners spent five hours Tuesday getting updated on various CBA issues. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the negotiations are supposed to be confidential.  "We're going to meet with them soon, and we're eager to accelerate the pace of the negotiations," said Jeff Pash, the league's chief negotiator.   READ MORE

Roy E. Williams and the 9 Most Disappointing Dallas Cowboys of All Time - No matter how successful your favorite NFL team may be, that team has no doubt had its fair share of failures and disappointing players.  Sometimes without much pomp and circumstance, these players were ushered out as quickly as they were brought in.  For the Chargers, it's probably Ryan Leaf, and for the Browns, maybe it's Tim Couch.  The Dallas Cowboys play a grand part in this play as well. There have been more than a few players to pass through the halls of Valley Ranch who were expected to eventually have their names enshrined in the Cowboys Ring of Honor.   READ MORE

Murray Wants To Add Weight, Return Kicks in 2011 - Cowboys third-round running back DeMarco Murray is looking to add some weight and contribute in the kick return game as a rookie, the Dallas Morning News reports.  The 6-foot Murray weighed 213 pounds at the 2011 Scouting Combine, and missed part of his freshman and sophomore seasons at Oklahoma with a dislocated kneecap and hamstring injury.  “I’m trying to put on 5-8 more pounds to get into that 220 pound range,” Murray said on Sunday. “Early on in my career I did have two injuries, but at the same time I bounced back and it was my first injuries that occurred in my life. I have no problems with them, and I’m getting stronger than ever.”   READ MORE

Foundations keep Daniels, Norris busy - While some NFL players are using the time off due to the lockout to get in trouble, Texans tight end Owen Daniels and San Francisco fullback Moran Norris are among the many players building good will through their foundations.  Daniels, who has been working out regularly at Rice Stadium, will be at Texas Children's Hospital today on behalf of his Catch-A-Dream Foundation.  In conjunction with Wal-Mart, Daniels is unveiling his “Owen’s Locker” that's designed to improve the lives of critically and chronically ill children by giving them and their families things like computers, DVD players, gaming systems and other items while they’re undergoing treatment and recovery.  Meanwhile, Norris is back in his hometown for his annual charity event. The public is invited to his “Follow Me to the Stars” fundraiser at Hotel ZaZa on Sunday.   READ MORE

Butler and Jones getting closer to becoming Texans exes - Mike Florio of profootballtalk.com relayed a report today by ESPN's Adam Schefter that, as expected, the minimum number of years for unrestricted free agency will move back to four years when a new collective bargaining agreement is reached.  This isn't news of course.    Back on March 3, the guy who writes this column explained that several of the Texans restricted free agent tenders offered prior to the lockout would be rendered meaningless once a new CBA was signed.  READ MORE


 


NHL Head Shot Ban Gets Clearer - The NHL ban on hits to the head is getting much clearer.  The league’s board of governors approved the change in language Tuesday to a rule that already made some head contact illegal.  The ban, in existence for just over a year, will now apply to any hit that involves contact to the head and shots that target an opponent’s head and make it the principal point of contact.  The original wording to Rule 48 applied only to hits that came from the lateral or blindside. Those words have been eliminated. This ban, effective immediately, is in effect for hits anywhere on the ice and from any direction.   READ MORE

2011 NHL Draft: Are The Dallas Stars Targeting Joel Armia? - Every year leading up to the NHL draft, sometimes there are indicators of which way a team will be leaning as we approach the first round. While fans and writers can analyze the "needs" of the system all they want, the truth is the GM and the scouting director have a long term plan in mind and they're going to do their best to stick to it. At the same time, they'll focus on players that are the "best available", overlooking absolute and apparently pressing needs in preference of players that are absolutely impossible to pass up.  This happened last year with the Dallas Stars and Jack Campbell.   READ MORE

NHL Draft profile: Tomas Jurco - The latest in a series of a profiles of top prospects for the 2011 NHL Draft looks at forward Tomas Jurco, who is from Slovakia and plays for Saint John of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.  2010-11 Season-Registered 56 points (31 goals, 25 assists) in 60 games with Saint John of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Had 18 points (6 goals, 12 assists) in 19 playoff games as Saint John won the QMJHL championship. Tied for the tournament lead with 4 goals in 4 games as Saint John won the Memorial Cup. Scored 1 goal in 6 games for Slovakia at the 2011 World Junior Championship in Buffalo.   READ MORE

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