By Larry Fine
(Reuters) – The naming of Davis Love III as captain of the 2016 U.S. Ryder Cup team was well received by his peers but it may be a tougher sell to fans who still have nightmares over the epic collapse he oversaw at Medinah in 2012.
Despite other candidates without a blemish the size of Love’s on their resumes, the man who captained the worst U.S. finishing-day flop in Ryder Cup history was given a chance to atone for the devastating defeat.
By Larry Fine
(Reuters) – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar proved to be an ultimate winner during his Hall of Fame career but for the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, missing out on a chance to be a head coach may have been a blessing.
The shy, cerebral 7-foot-2 (2.18 m) Abdul-Jabbar, a prolific winner from New York’s Power Memorial High School to UCLA, from the Milwaukee Bucks to the Los Angeles Lakers, is now thriving as the kind of Renaissance Man he always thought he could be.
By Larry Fine
(Reuters) – Major League Baseball spring training camps heat up this week with position players joining the early reporting pitchers and catchers, warming the hearts of fans suffering in the arctic chill of a brutal winter.
The stirrings of baseball in sun-drenched Florida and Arizona provide light at the end of a frigid tunnel and an optimistic renewal that fosters hope of better days ahead.
NEW YORK, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Navigating the high-stress, white-knuckle test of the Daytona 500 will not be missed by Jeff Gordon, who nonetheless relishes the chance to launch his farewell NASCAR season with another Speedway triumph.
The four-time NASCAR series champion and three-time Daytona winner has said this will be his final full-time season on the premier stock car circuit and last Daytona 500.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – It has been a long climb for Stephen Curry from a frustrating rookie season with the Golden State Warriors to top-vote getter for the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday.
The sweet-shooting guard from Davidson College suffered through a 26-56 season with the Warriors after being the seventh pick of the 2009 NBA Draft, but comes to Madison Square Garden as the floor leader of the NBA’s top team at 42-9.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – LeBron James expects to be heavily involved in the next labor negotiations with NBA owners after his election as vice president of the Players Association.
“It’s going to be a very important negotiation and process and I think I’m a big part of the process,” James said after the Cleveland Cavaliers star practiced with his East team mates for Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Defensive wizard Dikembe Mutombo was named one of 12 finalists for the Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday, while Australian player and coach Lindsay Gaze was one of five elected to the Hall by select committees.
Mutombo, the shot-blocking Congolese center who was honored four times as NBA Defensive Player of the Year, was among six players, five coaches and a referee to make the short list for possible election in 2015.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Hundreds of quote-starved journalists packed into a Manhattan hotel ballroom, swarming around basketball royalty on Friday.
From starters like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and the Gasol brothers, Pau and Marc, to old timers such as Dominique Wilkins and Scottie Pippen, reporters and camera crews at NBA All-Star Game Media Day jockeyed for position in a crush that approached Super Bowl hysterics.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Pau Gasol and younger brother Marc have enjoyed many things together in life, but Sunday will provide them with an NBA first when they share the floor in the All-Star Game.
The Spaniards will become the first brothers to start the annual game and as centers for their conference teams will face off for the jump ball to open the contest in Madison Square Garden.
By Larry Fine
(Reuters) – While analysts debate the fiscal sense of Sky TV paying more than $4 billion to broadcast live English Premier League matches, former CBS Sports president Neal Pilson advises them not to fret.
The retired executive speaks from personal experience when he predicts a happy outcome despite the amount spent.