J.E. Skeets joins the show to discuss the rollercoaster Raptors season so far and to draft some Toronto edition NBA Top Shots.
J.E. Skeets joins the show to discuss the rollercoaster Raptors season so far and to draft some Toronto edition NBA Top Shots.
Sizzling slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. finished a triple shy of the cycle for the Blue Jays, but it still wasn't enough.
Taylor Hall scored his first goal for Boston as the Bruins dominated the New York Islanders en route to 4-1 win.
AD has been out since mid-February.
Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier buried a pair of absurd shootout markers as the struggling Flyers edged the Penguins on Thursday.
Things got heated at a youth basketball game after a disagreement over a call.
Did OG Anunoby put Gary Trent Jr. on silk?
LaMarcus Aldridge said his irregular heartbeat was "one of the scariest things I've ever experienced."
Lisa MacLeod says the province was days away from approving the OHL's plan to return to play in hub cities in late March before the third wave of the pandemic began in earnest.
The Bulls will reportedly lose their best player as they fight for a playoff spot after he entered the NBA's health and safety protocols.
DeMar DeRozan heaped praise on his former teammate following Toronto's win over San Antonio on Wednesday.
The 19-year-old had nine goals and four assists in 39 games with Ufa Salavat Yulayev of Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League this past season.
Get news, analysis, memes and more delivered to your inbox the morning after every Raptors game.
A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Friday: ENGLAND Everton and Tottenham are on the fringes of the race for Champions League qualification ahead of their meeting at Goodison Park in the Premier League. Tottenham is in seventh place, six points behind fourth-place Chelsea. Everton is a point and a place further back, but has a game in hand. When the two teams met at Goodison in an FA Cup fifth-round match in February, it proved to be a wild shootout that finished with Everton going through as a 5-4 winner after extra time. That match marked a shift to a more attacking approach by Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho, which in turn is helping striker Harry Kane put up some great numbers. Kane is tied with Mohamed Salah as the league's top scorer on 19 goals and also has 13 assists, two more than anyone else. GERMANY It's the perfect time for Julian Nagelsmann and second-place Leipzig to play Hoffenheimin in the Bundesliga. Winless in four games, Hoffenheim is lacking any creative spark and didn't record a single shot on target in Monday's 0-0 draw with Bayer Leverkusen. Leipzig’s faint hopes of dethroning Bayern Munich rest on winning as many of its remaining six games as possible and hoping Bayern continues to slip up. The defending champion did just that in last week’s 1-1 draw with Union Berlin. A win for Leipzig over Hoffenheim would cut the gap to Bayern to two points before Bayern visits third-place Wolfsburg on Saturday. Hoffenheim is 12th, five points clear of the relegation battle. FRANCE In a hard-fought French title race that has six games to go, Lille can keep the pressure on defending champion Paris Saint-Germain with a home win against Montpellier to move six points ahead. Christophe Galtier is astutely coaching Lille this season, combining a rock-solid defence with two solid midfield anchors and fleet-footed forwards down the flanks to support the powerful Burak Yilmaz through the middle. But Montpellier strikers Andy Delort and Gaetan Laborde form one of the best partnerships in the league with 23 goals. Their combination of physique, aerial prowess and technique, allied to midfielder Teji Savanier's shrewd passing, could make it a difficult night for Lille's defence. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
It was a thought so crazy that, even in a pandemic, it just might work. The "moonshot" idea to purchase and ship the Toronto Raptors' title-clinching court to Victoria for the upcoming Olympic qualifier arrived over lunch at Real Sports, a restaurant just outside of Scotiabank Arena. Project point guards Scott Lake and Nick Blasko were joined by Canada Basketball president Glen Grunwald, University of Victoria athletics director Clint Hamilton, MLSE chief operating officer Michael Bartlett, Canada Basketball executive Sean Dennis and a Raptors representative. At the time, in December 2019, the idea was to ship a Raptors Finals home court from earlier that year from Toronto to Victoria. "And then all of the sudden it was like why are we thinking so f---ing small? Let's think big. Let's think the biggest court ever. And it wasn't just my light bulb, I think everyone's light bulb went off as soon as it turned to that," Lake told CBC Sports. "But then it was like, how do you do that? How do you buy an NBA team's basketball court?" Lake, co-founder of Shopify and board member of Canada Basketball, and Blasko, an events and artist manager commissioned by Lake to help in negotiations, were now set on their mission to bring home the hardwood. "There was no reason not to take that moonshot and see where we could go with it. And as we got into it we just became more determined, like we gotta make this happen," Blasko said. Lake is a long-time basketball nut and former high-school player. Blasko was a more fairweather fan of the sport — until the fight to get the floor. Now both acknowledge how meaningful the floor could become in Canadian lore, especially if it helps boost Canada to the Tokyo Games. Canada must win the tournament, which begins June 29, to reach the Olympics for the first time since 2000. "I think it could only happen this year under these circumstances. Obviously we're superstitious, because why would we buy a floor if we weren't?" Lake said. The New York Times first reported that Canada Basketball had secured the court, detailing how Lake and Blasko spent nearly $280,000 US to bring it home. There was even a misstep when they thought the entire 250-panel, 50,000 pound floor had been purchased, but it arrived missing 16 panels that make up the Golden State Warriors' 'The Town' logo in the centre. "[Warriors arena executives] say to [Blasko] like, 'Hey, you guys have the Warriors floor, what's the big deal [if] you're missing 16 panels? Show me the harm.' And Nick pauses — there's a long silence — and Nick says, 'The 16 panels in question are not just important to me. They are important to the entire country of Canada," Lake recalled. The final pieces of the floor puzzle.(Submitted by Nick Blasko) "It went from 'what's the big deal' to 'we'll call you back.'" In all, it took about six months for the plan to come to fruition. That's when the question became how to hide the large — both in size and meaning — acquisition. Lake and Blasko settled on storing the floor at the Ian Stewart Complex, a decommissioned sports facility in the heart of Victoria. They made sure to bring it through the side door, heads on a swivel to make sure the operation remained stealthy. "We landed on the moon and we can't tell anyone about it. It's like a handful of us know about it and we're waiting for the right moment to talk about it and obviously the clock is running on this Olympic tournament, and we're like, 'Hey let's celebrate this fact,'" Blasko said. NORTH COURTS | The top young Canadians in the NBA: That was in June 2020. By December, too many people had caught wind — including one electrician working in the facility, who told his son, who happens to be Lake's friend — that it needed to be moved. The court now sits in the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, where the qualifier will be played. Its original intent was to be part of the puzzle of creating an "absolutely, completely unfair advantage for every other team," per Lake. The We The West Festival, in part organized by Blasko, would be held in the lead-up to the tournament, building excitement for basketball and including "the biggest outdoor concert in Victoria's history" on Canada Day. "Let's just do every possible thing to propel these guys on to what I think we both agree would be a nation-changing moment. A moment that would change the course of the country when it comes to sport," Lake said. Toronto's Fred VanVleet defends against Golden State's Quinn Cook during Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals.(Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) In all, the home-court advantage, in a country Lake says is now as much a basketball nation as hockey, would be deafening. Nearly half the country watched the Raptors win the 2019 championship. A meeting with Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia also made clear to Lake and Blasko the idea that basketball is a reflection of the diverse country Canada aspires to be. "It's available in all sorts of different forms. It promotes anti-racism which is just huge in today's society. It's multi-cultural — people from all over the world who live in Canada love basketball. It promotes national unity and the Raptors game was a total example of that," Lake said. Once the floor serves its purpose hosting the Olympic qualifier, the plan is for it to remain in Victoria and potentially host more major events in the future. That hardwood has already played host to one seminal moment in Canadian basketball history. By the summer, it could add another. "The Raptors championship floor is part one. The Olympic Qualifying Tournament win is part two. The Olympic gold win is part three. And it all will be integrally connected to that floor," Lake said.
MLB celebrates Jackie Robinson Day, plus Max Kepler walks it off for the Twins on this edition of FastCast
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Growing up on a farm as a hockey-loving kid in Saskatchewan, the knowledge that players like Gordie Howe had made the journey from that remote province to the NHL gave Patrick Marleau belief that he could one day follow that same path. Marleau has done far more than just make it to the NHL. Now nearly a quarter-century after leaving Saskatchewan to sign with the San Jose Sharks as a fresh-faced teenager, Marleau is set to eclipse Mr. Hockey's all-time games played record in the NHL. Marleau has played in 1,765 career games and is poised to tie Howe's mark of 1,767 on Saturday night in Minnesota and break it two nights later in Las Vegas. “Just first and foremost is loving the game and I just love being out there and playing,” Marleau said Thursday about what has kept him gong all these years. “Obviously, every kid’s dream is to hoist that Stanley Cup, so I’ve been chasing it all this time and that goal hasn’t changed for me, since you know what the Stanley Cup’s about.” The Stanley Cup has eluded Marleau, who got to the Final once in 2016 in a career with many playoff disappointments. The 41-year-old Marleau has accomplished plenty in his career 566 goals, 1,196 points, three All-Star appearances and two Olympic gold medals for Canada in 2010 and '14. But it is his supreme skating skill and dependability that has allowed him to play 895 consecutive games since last missing a contest when he was 29 that will be his legacy. He has played through bouts with the flu, various other bumps and bruises and even chartered a plane to join his teammates in Nashville for a game in 2009 after the birth of one of his sons. “I want to be looked upon when I’m gone that I gave it my all,” he said. “Enjoyed the game, loved the game, loved being around the team, loved winning games. Those are the biggest things.” Marleau made his debut on Oct. 1, 1997, at age 18 years and 16 days, which is the youngest for any player in the NHL since Lee Wharton debuted at 17 years, 81 days in 1945 for the Rangers. He scored 13 goals as a rookie and then had his first of 15 20-goal seasons the following season as he quickly established himself as a top player. “He was an effortless skater from day one,” said Sharks executive Mike Ricci, who spent seven years as Marleau's teammate. “That might be a thing he was blessed with. Being a natural skater and being in tip-top condition and working hard off ice and on the ice these are the results you get. There are a lot of effortless players out there who can’t play this long. I remember we used to joke around and I would tell him he could play until he was 60. Obviously I was exaggerating a bit, but maybe I wasn’t exaggerating as much as I thought.” While Marleau won't play until he is 60, he isn't ready to hang it up after this season either. It's a similar mindset to Howe, who retired at 52 after posting 41 points in his final season for Hartford. Howe also played an additional 419 games in the WHA, which don't count to his NHL record. While players like Jaromir Jagr, Mark Messier and Chris Chelios approached Howe's mark, no one has been able to reach a record many thought was unbreakable when Howe retired. “Records are made to be broken,” said Howe's son Mark, a scout for Detroit who played 1,355 games combined in the NHL and WHA. “This one here, I thought would be a really, really tough one to break but Patrick is finally going to do it.” Mark Howe joked that the oatmeal from Saskatchewan might have been what fueled both his father and Marleau through all those games. But there is something else that Marleau and Gordie Howe have in common. “You can’t do it unless you love what you’re doing,” Mark Howe said. “If you love going to the rink every day and have fun at it, it’s a great job to have. Once it becomes work, then you’re done. It’s pretty clear he loves what he’s doing.” Howe said his father would have been proud of Marleau if he were still alive and the family would have someone on hand for the record-setting game if not for the pandemic. Marleau has generated that kind of respect throughout the league over his career, as evidenced by the well wishes he has gotten in recent days from stars like Anze Kopitar, Ryan Miller and Ryan Getzlaf, as well as former coaches and teammates like Todd McLellan and Marco Sturm after his final games of the season against their teams. “For those guys to do all that, it’s humbling,” Marleau said. “You’ve played against them a lot of games, a lot of hard-fought battles. There’s mutual respect there. For them to take the time to come over and shake my hand and congratulate me on what can possibly happen here in the next few days, I don’t take that lightly. That obviously means a lot to me.” ___ More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Josh Dubow, The Associated Press
Condensed Game: Max Muncy clubbed a go-ahead, three-run homer in the 7th to power the Dodgers to a 6-4 win over the Rockies
Max Muncy's go-ahead homer leads Dodgers to 7-5 win
Condensed Game: Matt Olson and Stephen Piscotty cranked home runs to back Sean Manaea's seven-strikeout start in the A's 8-4 win
Olson, Piscotty belt home runs in the A's 8-4 win