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Clarke: Odemwingie will not go cheap

first_imgWest Brom head coach Steve Clarke insists troublesome wantaway striker Peter Odemwingie will not be sold on the cheap this summer, warning any potential suitors: “We are not a charity”. Press Association He added: “I think his goal record for West Brom is something like one in three. Whoever wants him has to pay the market value. Is that the same as it was in January? Yes. We are not a charity.” Clarke prefers to focus instead on Sunday’s season finale against champions Manchester United – and he has urged his side to spoil Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement party. Albion have already achieved their best Barclays Premier League finish and are aiming to break the 50-point barrier and finish in the top eight. However, after a superb first half of the season, their form dipped drastically over the winter period and has slumped again in recent weeks with three consecutive defeats culminating in a 4-0 loss by Norwich last weekend. Clarke’s men have the chance to end the season in style on Sunday by beating the champions in Ferguson’s final match before retirement at the Hawthorns and the Scot is insistent they give a good showing. “We’re not there for a party on Sunday,” warned Clarke, who will share a special bottle of red wine with his counterpart after the match. “Our party will be with our supporters at the end of the game when the players get the chance to thank the fans and the fans get the chance to thank the players for the season. “That’s the only party we’re interested in and we’ll do what we can to finish on a high. We started the season on a high by beating Liverpool and we want to finish on a high against the champions. “I’d be surprised if Sir Alex was just there to celebrate his last match as a manager. It’s about competition and that’s what he’ll be there for.” center_img Odemwingie looks set to leave the Hawthorns in the close season after a series of ill-advised Tweets and misdemeanours in the second half of the campaign. The Nigerian was linked with a move to QPR in January but no deal was struck with the player bizarrely turning up at Rangers’ training ground to complete the deal before the clubs had agreed a fee. His value will have surely diminished due to his behaviour then and since but Clarke is insistent his £4million market value remains the same despite him having six months less remaining on his current deal now. And the Albion chief said: “He has signed a contract.” last_img read more

Holding: Give Ireland Test status

first_img They nonetheless began their World Cup campaign with a four-wicket win over the Windies in Nelson on Sunday, a performance former pace-bowling great Holding believes is stronger evidence than ever that Ireland should be fast-tracked. Holding, part of the Windies’ much-feared seam attack in their glory days during the 1970s and 80s, told Wisden India: “Ireland need to be recognised now. “It’s about time … if they continue to linger around the lower regions of world cricket they’ll continue to lose good cricketers. “(Eoin) Morgan left Ireland to play for England because he saw brighter prospects.” Ireland’s World Cup victory over West Indies has convinced Michael Holding they deserve to be granted immediate Test status. International Cricket Council constitution, updated last year, provides a pathway for Ireland and other aspiring nations to play Tests in the foreseeable future. Even so, there remain those who fear a ‘glass ceiling’, not least for a country like Ireland who – without Test status – continue to run the risk of losing their best players to neighbouring England. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Gauhati University Inter-College Badminton Tournament concludes

first_imgOur Sports ReporterGUWAHATI: The Gauhati University Inter-College Badminton Tournament (Men & Women) Tournament 2018-19 concluded successfully on Monday at Gauhati University Indoor Stadium which was organized by Gauhati University Sports Board in association with PGSU, GU. Altogether 13 teams participated in the tournament with around 70 shuttlers from affiliated colleges under Gauhati University. B. Barooah College emerged as winner in the Men’s section whereas Gauhati University PG Classes became runners up. In the Women’s section Abhiruchi Institute of Physical Education were declared winners and Handique Girls’ College as runners up.The prizes were distributed by Dr. Mridul Hazarika, Vice-Chancellor, GU, Dr. Ranjan Kumar Kakati, Director, Students’ Welfare, GU, Dinesh Chandra Kalita, Deputy Director, Students’ Welfare, GU.In his speech GU Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Mridul Hazarika congratulated all the participants and team managers in general and all the winners in particular for making the tournament a grand success. Dr. Ranjan Kumar Kakati thanked all the people behind this tournament for making it a grand success. He hoped that the winners and participants will carry forward from here and succeed in other events in the national and international arena. This is stated in a release. Also read: Local Sportslast_img read more

Barcelona, Real Madrid Matches Live on DStv, GOtv

first_imgThe match will be broadcast on SuperSport 7 to DStv subscribers and SuperSport Select 4 for GOtv subscribers at 8.45pm.Valladolid, with just one win in their last 10 games across all competitions, are mired in the 15th position.Real, who are brimming with confidence arising from their derby victory over Atletico Madrid last week, have hauled themselves into second position and will hope to kick on from there when they host Girona, who are one point above the relegation places, having lost six of their last matches in all competitions and are without a win in their last 13 outings. The match will be beamed live at noon on Sunday on SuperSport 7 and 10 as well as SuperSport Select 2 and 4.Third-placed Atletico Madrid’s title hopes are fast fading after two consecutive losses to Real Betis and Real Madrid. They will hope to return to winning ways when they host relegation-threatened Rayo Vallecano. The match is live at 4.15pm on Saturday on SuperSport 7 and SuperSport Select 4.Another mouth-watering clash will see 19th placed Villareal take on fourth-placed Sevilla. It is live on Sunday at 6:30 pm on SuperSport 7 and SuperSport Select 4. Other games on Saturday are Celta de Vigo vs Levante (1 pm on SuperSport 7and SuperSport Select 2 and 4), Real Sociedad vs Leganes (at 6:30 pm on SuperSport 7 and SuperSport Select 4. On Sunday, Valencia will take on Espanyol (4:15 pm), Real Betis will confront Deportivo Alaves (8:45 pm). The matches will be live on SuperSport 7 and SuperSport Select 4.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Action resumes in the LaLiga this weekend with league leaders, Barcelona, and their eternal rivals, Real Madrid, both in action.The games involving the two big timers and other encounters in the LaLiga will be broadcast live exclusively to DStv Premium, DStv Compact Plus, DStv Compact and GOtv MAX subscribers.Barcelona, the defending champions, will, on Saturday, seek to recover from their disappointing goalless draw at Athletic Bilbao when they host struggling Real Valladolid.last_img read more

CBA/J-D, F-M hockey absorb road defeats

first_imgRFA broke out of the 2-2 tie, though, scoring twice in the final period. Jake Hall (two goals) and Kyle Lubey (three assists) paced the Black Knights as goalie Isaiah Nebush stopped 28 of the Brothers’ 30 shots.Fayetteville-Manlius had its own big test Tuesday, venturing to Shove Park to face West Genesee, the team that knocked the Hornets out in last February’s sectional Division I semifinals. Here, F-M got a lot closer to upending the powerhouse Wildcats, but took a 2-1 defeat.When Will Duncanson scored in the first period, the Hornets took a 1-0 lead, but from there WG’s defense shut F-M down, rarely surrendering sustained pressure as goaltender David Myers finished with 17 saves. Tags: F-Mice hockeyJ-D/CBA Having won three times in as many days from Dec. 5 to 7, the CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt ice hockey team did not get much of a chance to savor that feat.Instead, the Brothers found itself meeting Rome Free Academy for a fourth game in six days Tuesday at Kennedy Arena, and lost 4-2 to the Black Knights.This was a close contest most of the way. Trailing 1-0 after one period, CBA/J-D caught up as Kodi Dotterer and Brackton Bowler each got goals, with Lessor Simon assisting on both goals and Tanner Burns also getting an assist.center_img Helped by Jake Johnston, who recorded 21 saves, the Hornets blanked the Wildcats until James Schneid, off a feed from Billy Fisher, scored midway through the second period.They stayed 1-1 deep into the third period, too, but with 2:07 to play in regulation Fisher, getting a pass from James Schneid, put it past Johnston for the game-winner.F-M plays Mohawk Valley next Tuesday and goes east to face Saratoga Springs and Shenendehowa on Dec. 20 and 21 as CBA/J-D plays Cazenovia next Tuesday at the Morrisville State IcePlex and travels to Clinton on Dec. 20.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story last_img read more

MVP Gano sets tone for ‘Noles

first_imgORLANDO, Fla. – When a team puts 42 points on the board, its punter rarely receives much praise, let alone the game’s MVP honors. Consider Saturday’s Champs Sports Bowl a rarity.While the Wisconsin defense was shutting down quarterback Christian Ponder and the Florida State offense in the first quarter Saturday night, Seminole senior punter Graham Gano was doing his best to keep the Badgers off the scoreboard, a goal he almost single-handedly achieved.Gano’s first punt bounced at the UW 3-yard line and took a right turn out of bounds. Two first downs later, the Badgers were forced to punt.Gano’s next punt sailed over David Gilreath’s head, hit at the 1-yard line and stuck on the Citrus Bowl turf. Again, the Badgers only managed a pair of first downs before being forced to surrender the ball back to the ‘Noles.Gano’s third punt of the first quarter was angled very similarly to his first, toward the front right corner of the Wisconsin end zone. The ball hit near the 1-yard line and again took a right turn out of bounds. All three of the Badgers’ first-quarter possessions started inside their 3-yard line, the last two of which were spotted at the one.“The whole first half we were battling to get past the 50-yard line,” UW center John Moffitt said. “That’s not anybody’s fault, that’s just the punter. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a punter that good.“Has anybody ever kicked three inside the five before?”Interestingly enough, Gano’s feat came one game after Cal Poly kicker Andrew Gardner missed three extra points at Camp Randall Stadium in Wisconsin‘s overtime victory over the Mustangs.The Badgers didn’t make it past midfield until the second quarter and failed to reach the end zone until T.J. Theus’ 20-yard grab from quarterback Dustin Sherer with only 4:06 left in the game, much of which can be attributed to Gano and his ability to shift the field position game in FSU’s favor.“It’s frustrating, but we kind of did it to ourselves,” Sherer said. “We never could get the ball moving, we gave them a short field, they could punt us and pin us deep. We got out of there a couple times, but we would shoot ourselves in the foot on third down. That’s just how it went.”It put a lot of pressure on the UW defense as well, a unit that held its own in the first half, but couldn’t stay with the speed demons of the ACC after the intermission.“[Gano] was definitely a factor,” senior cornerback Allen Langford said. “It affected time of possession and field position and they definitely owned both of those and that’s why they got the ‘W.’”The Badgers stood helplessly against Gano’s (48.2 yards per punt) first-half dominance, but they beat themselves in the second half. Running back P.J. Hill and Sherer each had fumbles that led to Seminole touchdowns after halftime. Wisconsin‘s three total fumbles set a Champs Sports Bowl record and all three were converted into touchdowns, two of which were scored directly by the defense. Derek Nicholson (first quarter) and Dekoda Watson (fourth quarter) each scooped up Sherer fumbles and ran them back for scores.“They’re fast,” Sherer said. “Their defensive line did a great job of getting pressure on me; their [defensive backs] did a great job of covering down field. There were parts where I probably should have got the ball out and didn’t, but they played well so hats off to them.“I knew going into it I had to play well because they were going to put nine guys in the box to stop our run. And I didn’t play well and we lost.”last_img read more

Badger backs run into defensive wall

first_imgDefensive tackle Ethan Hemer has helped anchor a Wisconsin defensive line surrendering just 114 rushing yards per game, but the bruising Le’Veon Bell presents a fresh challenge.[/media-credit]The Wisconsin defense’s swagger is back; Montee Ball and James White are running with renewed fury. Both are about to run into their biggest challenge of the season: Michigan State.As the Badgers’ offense continues to build a consistent identity behind a rushing attack that has pounded its way to at least 300 yards in each of its last two games, it will face the brick wall that is a Michigan State defense, allowing an average of just 100.2 rushing yards per game.Anchored by physical powers along both edges of the defensive line in William Gholston and Marcus Rush, a talented front-seven awaits at Camp Randall Saturday. “This is the best defense in the Big Ten, and they’re coming in with a full head of steam – obviously their defense is playing well,” offensive line coach Bart Miller said. “It’s a great challenge, and we’re looking forward to it, to see really how we compare to the rest of the conference.”The game will serve as a kind of litmus test for the Badgers, as the offensive line must get an early push along the scrimmage for any success on the ground against a Michigan State defense that relies on a combination of raw power and intricate blitzes to befuddle opposing offenses.With a linebacking corps stacked with talent providing extra support for the D-line, the Spartans’ defense sits at fifth nationally in total defense.“A lot more aggressive,” Ball said of what separates the Spartans from other defenses UW has faced. “They really fly fast toward the football, and once the momentum’s on their side, it’s hard to get it back. So we [need] to make sure we don’t give them any momentum.”But a resurgent Ball, who has now crossed the century mark in three straight games, backed up by White averaging an explosive 6.9 yards per touch, may be the recipe to wear down Michigan State’s defense.And while no Leaders Division title implications are on the line against the Spartans, there’s no shortage of history between Wisconsin and Michigan State. After picking up their first loss of the year on a last-second MSU Hail Mary into the end zone in East Lansing, Mich., a year ago, the Badgers earned some sense of vindication with a victory in the Big Ten Championship Game.A year later, the teams sit in vastly different roles. The Badgers play a redshirt freshman in Joel Stave under center, their offense riding its talented tailbacks to scoring drives. The Spartans, finally without the venerable Kirk Cousins – a three-year starter – at quarterback, have their own set out challenges.Michigan State has lost four of its first eight games, three of them coming by a combined six points. A first-year starter of its own in junior Andrew Maxwell has taken the reigns at quarterback for the Spartans and showed the typical signs of a developing quarterback with eight interceptions this season.“He’s got tremendous poise,” UW secondary coach Ben Strickland said of Maxell. “A couple of the picks he’s thrown is tipped balls, and that’s kind of a chance deal. For us, if the opportunities come we have to just take advantage of that, and that’s what good defenses and great defenses do.”In addition to running back Le’Veon Bell appearing out of the backfield, Strickland said a young group of MSU receivers – led by sophomore receiver Keith Mumphery with 349 yards – continues to develop and makes Maxwell all the more dangerous in the pocket.Though Maxwell, much like Stave, feeds off the play-action for a defense that stills builds its drives along the ground. Bell, a physical specimen at 6-foot-2, 244 pounds, will attempt to plow through a Wisconsin defense that has not surrendered more than 14 points in each of its last three games.Plowing his way to an average of 146 yards per game and eight touchdowns this year, Bell, the workhorse of the Michigan State offense, faces a UW defense surrendering only 114 rushing yards per game.“I think everybody knows what kind of game this is going to be – whoever wins that line of scrimmage is going to win the game,” Miller said.As a pair of physical, classic Big Ten offenses clash in Madison for the first time since 2009, the clock-eating run drives could mean a game where points are few and yards are sparse. It’s a role defensive tackle Ethan Hemer and the rest of the Badgers’ defense are embracing. The Big Ten title may not be on the line, but for a Wisconsin team searching for a marquee win, pride most certainly is.“I think we [have] a lot more confidence,” Hemer said. “I think we’re a defense that is ready to play every game because of the way we prepare, and also we have a little bit more confidence and swagger about us now. We like to have fun – when you’re a defense that likes to have fun, you make plays.”Follow Ian on Twitterlast_img read more

Notebook: The past, present and future of Syracuse women’s lacrosse

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Emily Hawryschuk has never spent as much time on the phone with head coach Gary Gait as she did last week. They probably talked more than the last four years combined, she said.Friday, both Hawryschuk and goalie Asa Goldstock, who sits second in school history for overall saves, officially announced their commitment to return next spring in pursuit of Syracuse’s first national title. When Hawryschuk finalized her return, Gait called the All-American and Tewaaraton finalist one more time. “Hi, is this Emily Hawryschuk, member of the 2021 National Championship team?” Hawryschuk remembers Gait saying.Heartbreaks and what-ifsThe morning of March 12, Hawryschuk and the Orange went through their usual walkthrough, preparing to play Virginia that night. Thoughts loomed in the back of players’ minds — what the media was saying about the coronavirus and the future of the sports world — but they set it all aside and focused on the task at hand. Gait pulled Goldstock and Hawryschuk aside to tell them that it would likely be their last game in a Syracuse shirt. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn the afternoon, after the pregame preparations had concluded, the seniors and fifth-year players gathered in a hotel lobby in Virginia and talked about the future. They talked about the shock from two days prior when the Ivy League was canceled, the possibility of their season ending. It was special to have everyone together helping each other during the stressful time even if the moment itself wasn’t so special, Hawryschuk said.Three and a half hours before the opening draw, the ACC postponed all competitions. Days later, that postponement turned into cancellation. Goldstock remembers sitting next to Hawryshuk and crying because of the unknown. They wondered if they would ever put on their uniforms again. In the coming weeks, they were comforted to learn that it was possible for them to return to Syracuse, but that didn’t erase the unsettling feeling of what could have been. That feeling of uncertainty is not something Goldstock and Hawryschuk are going to forget anytime soon. The two know the Orange’s schedule by heart — Team Impact Day for Maddy Hertweck was supposed to be last weekend, Boston College this weekend, and so on.“I still think about it every day,” Goldstock said. “As excited that I am for next season, I’m still deeply saddened that we lost this opportunity.”For so long, Goldstock and Hawryschuk have been saying that 2020 would be the year of the program’s first national championship. Now, they’re saying 2021 instead.  The returnIt wasn’t a coincidence that Goldstock and Hawryschuk announced their return on the same day. The two have known each other since middle school, and because they’ve “been doing (everything) together for the past four years,” Goldstock says, it only made sense to come back together as well. In the weeks leading up to the decision, Hawryschuk would call Goldstock, “freaking out” about the uncertainty, and Goldstock would calm her down. Gait and his staff helped expedite the stressful situation by working as a liaison between the school or the NCAA and the players. It wasn’t until this week that Goldstock and Hawryschuk knew Syracuse would be allowing spring athletes to return. The NCAA granted graduating spring athletes the option to return but allowed individual schools to decide how to implement relief. “For me, right away, it’s a no-brainer,” Hawryschuk said of deciding to return. Goldstock joked that she’s only using the extra year of eligibility because next season is 2021, which matches her No. 21 jersey. The two hope the team’s other seniors will also return because then the Orange will be “picking up where they left off,” but they understand the decision isn’t straightforward for everyone. Some players may have had internships and jobs lined up for after graduation, and family is another factor, Hawryschuk said.Seniors Vanessa Costantino, Cara Quimby, Bella Recchion, Ella Simkins and Mary Rahal have yet to officially decide whether they will return, though Lila Nazarian expressed interest on social media.The futureFor Hawryschuk, the future is all building toward one thing — fulfilling the promise she made her team to win a national championship. Everyday, Hawryschuk and Goldstock talk on the phone about what the fall and next season will look like. 2020 saw the Orange meet huge milestones, including the “immeasurable buy-in” that the captains received from their teammates, Goldstock said. The culture that was developed this season is one they aim to carry into next.For now, Hawryschuk can only do her best to stick to her summer workout routine, which includes footwork, conditioning, stick-work and “a lot of time spent in her basement, which is the closest thing (she has) to a Planet Fitness,” she said. The captains’ conversations also include check-ins about their daily workouts as they already begin to prepare themselves for perhaps the most anticipated season of the sport ever.They look forward to returning to the Carrier Dome next year, a place that Goldstock called “sacred to athletes at Syracuse.” Hawryschuk remembers turning to Goldstock, her bus-buddy, the day after the Virginia game was canceled and remarking that they would at least have another chance to play in the “greatest place ever.” All year, Goldstock was jealous that the junior class would get the opportunity to be the last to play in the old Dome, and the first to play in the newly renovated one. Now, Hawrsychuk and Goldstock will return to the Dome and get another shot at the championship. “Just winning (the title) is going to be something special,” Hawryschuk said. “But putting five years toward something is going to make it that much more special.” Comments Published on April 19, 2020 at 1:22 am Contact Roshan: rferna04@syr.edu | @Roshan_f16last_img read more

Odds against Renard for Third Title

first_img“When we came into the tournament with Ivory Coast we were not in sparkling form so that is what makes me think everything is possible in a competition like the African Cup.”Only two coaches have won the Cup of Nations three times, with Charles Gyamfi achieving the feat in charge of Ghana in 1963, 1965 and 1982. Hassan Shehata also won it three times with Egypt between 2006 and 2010.Just getting out of their group would be an achievement for Renard and Morocco, however.They had already lost midfielders Younes Belhanda, Oussama Tannane and Watford’s Nordin Amrabat to injuries before twinkle-toed Southampton star Sofiane Boufal withdrew with a knee injury at the weekend.Any team would struggle to overcome such losses, even if Morocco still have quality at their disposal, not least in the shape of Juventus centre-back Mehdi Benatia, the captain.The Atlas Lions will come up against DR Congo, Togo and Renard’s former team the Ivory Coast in Group C in Oyem as they look to go beyond the group stage for the first time since reaching the final in Tunisia in 2004.“The hardest part will be this first round with Ivory Coast and DR Congo, two massive teams, as well as Togo,” Renard said.“I put pressure on myself because I am not afraid to say that not reaching the quarterfinals would be a failure. I didn’t take the job to not go beyond the group stage, even though we are in a very difficult section.”He added: “Morocco have not done anything in a major competition for 15 years now. That is a long time and there is a lot of expectation.”While Renard led the Ivorians to glory two years ago, Moroccans could only look on – their country, African champions once in 1976, had given up the hosting of the tournament to Equatorial Guinea over ebola fears and were thrown out as a result.“The fact that I have had a lot of success in recent years also makes people think that alone can make the difference. But that doesn’t matter, what matters is the spirit of the team and the way we go into our matches,” added Renard, who had a brief and disappointing stint in charge of Lille in his native France after leaving the Elephants.“The biggest problem for Morocco coming into this competition is to say to ourselves that we are capable of doing something and to go out and do it. We need to have confidence in ourselves, not fear anyone.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Herve Renard is looking to do something in Gabon that no coach has done before and win a third Africa Cup of Nations title with a third different country.The Frenchman leads Morocco into the tournament having won the title with the Cote d’ Ivoire years ago and with Zambia, the last time it was held in Gabon in 2012.However, Renard, 48, knows it will not be easy with his Morocco side shorn of several key players due to injury.“We would like to do it, but it is easier said than done,” Renard said during a press conference in Paris organised by beIN Sports.last_img read more

Elgin Baylor ‘humbled’ as Lakers unveil statue outside Staples Center

first_img Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers PreviousLakers greats pose after the unveiling of a statue of Minneapolis and Los Angeles Lakers player Elgin Baylor, second from left, outside Staples Center in Los Angeles Friday, April 6, 2018. From left are Jerry West, Baylor, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, musician Bill Withers, and Shaquille O’Neal. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)Los Angeles Lakers and NBA Hall of Fame player Elgin Baylor unveils his bronze statue in Star Plaza created by sculptors/artists Julie Rotblatt Amrany and Omri Amrany at Staples Center on Friday, April 6, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)The unveiling of a bronze statue of legendary Los Angeles Lakers and NBA Hall of Fame player Elgin Baylor in Star Plaza created by sculptors/artists Julie Rotblatt Amrany and Omri Amrany at Staples Center on Friday, April 6, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Lakers and NBA Hall of Fame player Elgin Baylor, left, with Magic Ervin Johnson prior to the unveiling of his bronze statue in Star Plaza created by sculptors/artists Julie Rotblatt Amrany and Omri Amrany at Staples Center on Friday, April 6, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Hall of fame and former Boston Celtic great Bill Russell during the unveiling of a bronze statue of legendary Los Angeles Lakers and NBA Hall of Fame player Elgin Baylor in Star Plaza created by sculptors/artists Julie Rotblatt Amrany and Omri Amrany at Staples Center on Friday, April 6, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Crowds gather during the unveiling of a bronze statue of legendary Los Angeles Lakers and NBA Hall of Fame player Elgin Baylor in Star Plaza created by sculptors/artists Julie Rotblatt Amrany and Omri Amrany at Staples Center on Friday, April 6, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Musician Bill Withers, left, speaks as Elgin Baylor, second from left, along with Magic Ervin Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O’ Neal laughs during the unveiling of a bronze statue of legendary Los Angeles Lakers and NBA Hall of Fame player Elgin Baylor in Star Plaza created by sculptors/artists Julie Rotblatt Amrany and Omri Amrany at Staples Center on Friday, April 6, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)The unveiling of a bronze statue of legendary Los Angeles Lakers and NBA Hall of Fame player Elgin Baylor in Star Plaza created by sculptors/artists Julie Rotblatt Amrany and Omri Amrany at Staples Center on Friday, April 6, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Lakers and NBA Hall of Fame player Elgin Baylor, left, poses with a family member during his bronze statue unveiling in Star Plaza created by sculptors/artists Julie Rotblatt Amrany and Omri Amranyv at Staples Center on Friday, April 6, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Former Los Angeles Lakers Shaquille O’ Neal, left, along with Jerry West during the unveiling of a bronze statue of legendary Los Angeles Lakers and NBA Hall of Fame player Elgin Baylor in Star Plaza created by sculptors/artists Julie Rotblatt Amrany and Omri Amrany at Staples Center on Friday, April 6, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Hall of Famer and former Los Angeles Lakers Jerry West speaks as Elgin Baylor, second from left, along with Magic Ervin Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Withers and Shaquille O’ Neal look on during the unveiling of a bronze statue of legendary Los Angeles Lakers and NBA Hall of Fame player Elgin Baylor in Star Plaza created by sculptors/artists Julie Rotblatt Amrany and Omri Amrany at Staples Center on Friday, April 6, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Hall of famers and former Los Angeles Lakers’ James Worthy, left, with Ervin Magic Johnson during the unveiling of a bronze statue of legendary Los Angeles Lakers and NBA Hall of Fame player Elgin Baylor in Star Plaza created by sculptors/artists Julie Rotblatt Amrany and Omri Amrany at Staples Center on Friday, April 6, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Lee Zeidman speaks during the unveiling of a bronze statue of legendary Los Angeles Lakers and NBA Hall of Fame player Elgin Baylor in Star Plaza created by sculptors/artists Julie Rotblatt Amrany and Omri Amrany at Staples Center on Friday, April 6, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)The unveiling of a bronze statue of legendary Los Angeles Lakers and NBA Hall of Fame player Elgin Baylor in Star Plaza created by sculptors/artists Julie Rotblatt Amrany and Omri Amrany at Staples Center on Friday, April 6, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)A statue honoring Minneapolis and Los Angeles Lakers great Elgin Baylor is unveiled outside Staples Center in Los Angeles on Friday, April 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)Musician Bill Withers, left, hugs Lakers legend Elgin Baylor as Lakers president Magic Johnson claps during the unveiling of a bronze statue of Baylor on Friday evening in Star Plaza outside Staples Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Earvin “Magic’ Johnson helps clear streamers from a statue honoring Minneapolis and Los Angeles Lakers great Elgin Baylor after its unveiling outside Staples Center in Los Angeles on Friday, April 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)Elgin Baylor stands next to a statue, just unveiled, honoring the Minneapolis and Los Angeles Lakers great, outside Staples Center in Los Angeles on Friday, April 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)Lakers greats pose after the unveiling of a statue of Minneapolis and Los Angeles Lakers player Elgin Baylor, second from left, outside Staples Center in Los Angeles Friday, April 6, 2018. From left are Jerry West, Baylor, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, musician Bill Withers, and Shaquille O’Neal. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)Los Angeles Lakers and NBA Hall of Fame player Elgin Baylor unveils his bronze statue in Star Plaza created by sculptors/artists Julie Rotblatt Amrany and Omri Amrany at Staples Center on Friday, April 6, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)NextShow Caption1 of 18Los Angeles Lakers and NBA Hall of Fame player Elgin Baylor unveils his bronze statue in Star Plaza created by sculptors/artists Julie Rotblatt Amrany and Omri Amrany at Staples Center on Friday, April 6, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)ExpandLOS ANGELES — Before the Lakers were Hollywood’s team, they were the No. 3 draw in a city whose sports scene was dominated by the Rams and the Dodgers.“We were the last page of the newspaper,” Jerry West recalled.Five championships won in a fledgling league and a Midwestern city didn’t exactly move the needle. Attendance that first season in 1960 was low. The people didn’t come to the Lakers, so the Lakers went to the people.That meant everyone, including Elgin Baylor. “I’m humbled,” the 83-year-old Baylor said, “thankful for this recognition, to be honored with other Laker greats.”The statue, designed by sculptors Omri Amrany and Gary Tillery, depicts Baylor in mid-air, lifting off with his right foot and dragging the ball through the air with his left hand, gliding toward an invisible basket.Baylor is a vestige of an era before every moment was filmed from multiple angles. He is considered the first player to master a jumper while most players relied on a flat-footed set shot. He was described Friday as the first high-flying guard and the forefather of the modern, acrobatic NBA.“I’ve stole so many of your moves it’s not even funny,” Kobe Bryant said, appearing in a pre-recorded video. He described the moves in detail, the hesitation moves, the subtle fakes, putting a shoulder into a big man and finishing with contact.“Hopefully,” Bryant said, “this generation of basketball players understand that doesn’t come from me, that doesn’t come from Jordan, it comes from players like yourself.”Johnson called Baylor the “man who put entertainment in the NBA.”A Washington, D.C., native who became a first team All-America at Seattle University, Baylor described his unlikely path to stardom.“The first time I ever played basketball was with a tennis ball,” Baylor said. “We couldn’t afford a basketball. I dribbled that tennis ball with my hand, jump shot it through the hoop. It was the beginning of a love and appreciation of the game that’s still with me today.”A recurring theme of Friday’s ceremony was Baylor’s 71-point game against the New York Knicks in 1960.“Seventy-one points?” said Withers, a longtime friend of Baylor and his wife, Elaine. “Come on, man. If I went out in the driveway by myself, I’d have to eat two meals, go to the bathroom six or seven times, before I got 71.”O’Neal also came with jokes.“Elgin, I’m a little young to know about you,” O’Neal said.But after hearing players like Julius Erving and Johnson and Michael Jordan talk about Baylor, O’Neal said, “Finally, I Googled you. And let me say, you were a bad man. … And you a good-looking dude.”The unveiling of Baylor’s statue was a fitting capstone to his association with the NBA in Los Angeles as long as it has been here. He spent 22 years as an executive with the Clippers before parting ways in 2008, although there was scant mention of the other team in town.Related Articles Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“Here we are,” West said, “one of the greatest players ever in the back of a damn truck in the neighborhood with a microphone saying, ‘Come out and watch the Lakers play.’”Baylor was honored with a statue outside of Staples Center on Friday, prior to the Lakers’ game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.The occasion came almost five decades after he last played for the Lakers and 60 years after making his Lakers debut. An 11-time All-Star and the 1958 Rookie of the Year, Baylor spent his entire career with the Lakers before retiring in 1971, at the beginning of the season when the Lakers won their first championship in L.A.“He was the (person) who started this franchise in Los Angeles,” West said. “He really was.”West choked up when he said Baylor was “like a brother.” After speeches by the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lakers president Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal and singer Bill Withers, Baylor, 83, tugged on a thick gold rope to unveil the 10th statue at Staples Center’s Star Plaza. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Perhaps the honor was overdue. Johnson said he was “happy we did it now and not after (Baylor) couldn’t see it.”As the moment of the reveal approached, Withers said everyone in attendance should feel an “unburdening.”“You will no longer have to bear the burden of being asked over and over, year after year, why doesn’t Elgin Baylor have a statue in front of the Staples Center?” Withers said. “Score one for the universe in the department of fair play.”West was flowery with his speech, but his words carried just as much weight.“Thank god this day is here,” he said. “It is richly deserved.” Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs last_img read more

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