Chris Young

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Chris Young is a writer and editor with more than 30 years of experience covering a wide range of sports and news for the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail, including seven World Cup finals and one glorious Euro 2004.

  • Raptors head coach Dwane Casey gets pawned by a fan – and his own players

    This was not Dwane Casey's finest day in the coaching box, or just about anyone in Raptors colours, actually. In the latest "biggest game in franchise history" Casey's Raptors instead laid the biggest first-half egg in NBA conference finals history.

    It couldn't really get any better from deep in that hole, and it didn't, on the way to a 38-point defeat that puts Toronto's season one loss away from extinction.

    But beyond getting pwned by a courtside fan (which merely evens the score for Drake's incessant hectoring at the ACC) and by the Cavs, Casey was left blindsided by a report from The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons that two of his players, Demarre Carroll and Corey Joseph, were spotted "just before 2 in the morning" at Cleveland's downtown casino the night before and morning of the biggest game.

    As Simmons notes, the Raptors were equal-opportunity offenders – it's not like Carroll and Joseph

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  • Odor to Bautista to suspensions, it's an MBFA triple play

    As the GIFs begin to slow down and we move into the commemorative T-shirt phase, the GoFundMe campaign, and ready for the 30 for 30 doc, it is time to pause, draw breath and say thanks to Rougned Odor - for Making Baseball Fun Again.

    Because who among us doesn’t love to watch highly-paid baseball hands engage in something they have no idea how to do? Sunday’s ‘melee’ in Arlington was pretty much a case of handbags, as the English would say, touched off by an Odor punch that was preceded by a buildup that went according to the usual conventions of sporting theatre (if a little long in the development, the Rangers leaving it to the very last Jose Bautista at-bat to deliver the plunk touching it off for real).  

    The baseball establishment won’t be quite so grateful whenever they get around to passing judgment in the form of suspensions, but so be it. Nobody said this Make Baseball Fun Again stuff was going to be all about, y’know, fun.

    “They’ve got a lot to deal with,” Blue Jays manager

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  • The Raptors' best shot has nothing to do with them

    The odds, the record, the principals look one-sided.

    The Cavaliers are prohibitive 1-to-9 favourites to beat Toronto in the NBA’s Eastern final and earn the right to get smoked by Golden State in the finals. After a fractious, seemingly disinterested regular season, the Cavs swept their two playoff series comfortably, while Toronto lurched and shuddered through the full seven-game distance each time in dispatching first Indiana, and then Miami. LeBron James is rested and over 13 years carries an all-time 36-9 W-L record against the Raptors, who come in minus starting centre Jonas Valanciunas until further notice and have a grand total of one day off to draw breath and prepare.

    True, the Raptors won two out of three games during the regular season, a 56-win march and with this now deepest-ever push into the playoffs the 21-year-old franchise’s finest hours. But there’s not much hope it’ll go any further - except for one thing. Cleveland. Where no visitor appears unwelcome, no home lead

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  • Canada's Zaruba makes outrageous rugby catch

     

    Canadian rugby international Adam Zaruba made like Odell Beckham in scoring one of the most memorable tries of the year Sunday at Stade Jean Bouin in Paris.

    Zaruba's outrageous take of a restart, one-handed and on the run, right after an Admir Cejvanovic try, gave Canada a halftime lead of 12-7 against Wales and had pundits swooning.

    Alas, Canada went on to lose the match 17-12, a Shield semifinal at the HSBC World Series. That leaves just London ahead for the team, which will try for one of the remaining Olympic spots at a last-chance tournament in Monaco in June. However it works out, Zaruba will always have Paris.

     

     

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  • Could Rio go down in Olympic history as the No-Show Games?

    To the long list of controversies and problems plaguing this summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, here's one more that's a case of addition by subtraction, and gathering steam as the Aug. 5 opening nears: No-shows from top athletes.

    Dominic Thiem, at 22 the youngest top-20 ranked player in men's tennis, announced Thursday he would pass on a trip to Rio this summer. "There are many reasons. Maybe I'm going to explain it another time," the Austrian told reporters after dispatching Roger Federer (who, coincidentally, met his wife Mirka when they were both playing in the 2000 Olympic tennis tournament in Sydney, Australia) in straight sets at the Italian Open.

    Another tennis possible in Spain's Feliciano Lopez has announced he won't go. Five golfers including Australia's Adam Scott, ranked seventh in the world, and compatriot Marc Leishman, who cited fears of the Zika virus, have declared themselves out. Same goes for a pair of top Kenyan marathoners in world record-holder Dennis

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  • Serena's dog food taste test goes terribly wrong

    Sure we've all been there: In a hotel room, chilling, ordering up room service ... dog food.

    Serena, what were you thinking?

    That'd be Serena Williams, of course, fresh off twerking alongside Beyoncé and finding herself between matches at the Italian Open when travelling companion Chip, her three-year-old Yorkie, was feeling a bit peckish. Ordering the salmon and rice entree off the hotel's "Doggy Menu" (only 15 Euros!) she just couldn't resist - "what the heck, it looks good, I'm gonna try a piece", she Snapchatted - and what could go wrong with just a spoonful, right?

    The verdict: "It tasted a little like house cleaner ... I really don't feel so good."

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Biyombo does Bolt, and 20,000-plus at Toronto's ACC go nuts

    In a Raptors-Miami series where several leading characters have limped off the stage, Bismack Biyombo is the most athletic of the big men left standing. And Wednesday night he gave the sellout Air Canada Centre crowd a moment of delirium, with a putback dunk-block-transition dunk sequence punctuated by his best Usain Bolt impression.

    "I don't know where it came from," said Biyombo. "I was just excited with the action. Then after the dunk, it came out of nowhere. Even myself, I was a little surprised. It got my teammates excited. I guess they were asking me if it was a new celebration."

    With starting centre Jonas Valanciunas out of the series due to an ankle injury, Biyombo has stepped into a starting spot for the Raptors, now up 3-2 in their series with the Heat and headed to Miami with a chance to  close out Friday night. His contributions Wednesday went a little farther than what's suggested by his scorecard of 10 points, six rebounds and four blocks. His +15 in scoring during his

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  • A right proper send-off as Man United bus 'smashed up' by West Ham fans

    This isn't exactly the send-off that West Ham had in mind for its final match at Upton Park, their east London home field for over 110 years.

    The match's start was late getting underway Tuesday night after the bus carrying visiting Manchester United arrived late and, stuck among the throngs on Green Street outside the stadium, was showered by bottles and "smashed up," as Wayne Rooney described it.

    West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan blamed the visitors. "Manchester United know the score, they should have been here at four o'clock."

    [In photos: Police step in after West Ham supporters attack opponent's bus]

    West Ham will move to London's refurbished billion-dollar Olympic Stadium next season -- not soon enough for United, or any unfortunate fans also caught in the wrong place Tuesday.

    People run from smoke bombs before the match Reuters / Eddie Keogh Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  Please contact your account representative for further details.People run from smoke bombs before the match Reuters / Eddie Keogh Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

     

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  • Raptors reaching the night the all-stars went out

    The Raptors return home even with Miami 2-2, but the equilibrium ends there in an eastern semifinal series that requires a warning label.

    While Heat veteran star Dwyane Wade is taking over (and finally, apologizing), Toronto all-stars Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan are going clankety-clank in the playoff night, a combined 33 per cent from the field after Monday's fiendish 6-for-28 combined. Lowry's composure unravelled as he fouled out of Game 4 Monday, while one of DeRozan's least effective nights (4/17) earned him a spot on the bench for the final three minutes of the third quarter and most of the fourth.

    Charles Barkley says he has a hard time recalling a case of two all-stars shrinking so dramatically under the playoff spotlight. Kenny Smith, playing good cop on their nightly chucklefest, put it down to "taking tough shots" (implicit in that -- stop taking those tough shots, and get your teammates involved).

    Shaquille O'Neal: "They're tough - but it's the same shots they've been

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  • Rio Olympics: Let the warnings begin

    At this point, the Rio Games are in countdown mode -- but it seems more ticking time-bomb than a cue for a world party. As the Olympic torch goes around Brazil on the road to Rio, the calls and warnings are piling up like dead fish in the Games' rowing lagoon.

    University of Ottawa professor Amir Attaran argues in a Harvard Public Health Review column that the IOC and the World Health Organization are being irresponsible in continuing to plan for an Olympics in Rio:

    "Simply put, Zika invasion is more dangerous, and Brazil's outbreak more extensive, than scientists reckoned a short time ago. Which leads to a bitter truth: the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games must be postponed, moved, or both, as a precautionary concession."

    Major League Baseball did just that in moving a May 30-31 series planned for Puerto Rico to Miami, due to Zika concerns. Australian golfer Marc Leishman pullled out of the Olympics first golf tournament in over 100 years last week.

    But Zika is just one item on the

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