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Michael Jordan speaks out on racial unrest, donates $2 million to help address police relations 07.26.16 at 10:30 am ET
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Michael Jordan (Sam Sharpe/USA Today Sports)

Michael Jordan is doing his part to address racial unrest in America. (Sam Sharpe/USA Today Sports)

NBA legend and Hornets majority owner Michael Jordan spoke out about the continuing social and racial unrest in the United States on Monday, saying he can “no longer stay silent” about the issue.

In a brief statement released exclusively to The Undefeated, the six-time NBA Finals champion and lone African-American majority owner of an NBA team sounded off on “the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement.” He also announced grants of $1 million each to the Institute for Community-Police Relations, launched by International Association of Chiefs of Police in May, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, two organizations working on bettering relations with law enforcement and their communities.

“I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background, so I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late,” Jordan wrote. “I know this country is better than that. … We need to find solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment AND that police officers — who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all — are respected and supported.”

The two groups were informed of Jordan’s donations on Sunday. Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, said the group is “surprised and shocked, but obviously thrilled,” while IACP president Terrence Cunningham applauded Jordan in his efforts to “help raise the discussion between police and the members of the communities they serve.”

“Although I know these contributions alone are not enough to solve the problem,” Jordan wrote, “I hope the resources will help both organizations make a positive difference.”

Jordan’s statement comes after several professional athletes have spoken out on the political and social issues of today. Most noticeably, NBA stars Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade and LeBron James began the ESPYs award show by asking their peers to use their platforms to address important topics.

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Read More: Adam Silver, Carmelo Anthony, Michael Jordan,
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Sports world pays tribute to Prince after singer’s death 04.22.16 at 8:17 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Astros, 8:10 p.m. (NESN, MLB Network; WEEI-FM)
NBA playoffs: Hawks at Celtics, 8 p.m. (CSNNE, ESPN2)
NBA playoffs: Cavaliers at Pistons, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA playoffs: Spurs at Grizzlies, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL playoffs: Flyers at Capitals, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Islanders at Panthers, 8 p.m. (CNBC)
NHL playoffs: Wild at Stars, 9:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Sharks at Kings, 10:30 p.m. (CNBC)


— The sports community paid tribute to Prince on Thursday night following the singer’s death at the age of 57.

Warriors players played Prince music on a stereo during the team’s shootaround before their game against the Rockets in Houston. Prince attended a Warriors game last month, the day before playing a concert in Oakland.

Tweeted Warriors forward Draymond Green: RIP Prince! Had the pleasure of seeing him in concert last month in Oakland. Once of the best shows I’ve ever seen!!! Rest up legend!! WOW!!

During the Red Sox’ afternoon game against the Rays, organist Josh Kantor played a different Prince song each inning, starting with “Little Red Corvette” in the first and “Purple Rain” in the second.

A native of Minnesota — said to be a pretty good basketball player in high school — Prince was known as a support of the local teams. The Twins turned all their electronic scoreboards purple in tribute Thursday afternoon, and all of the state’s major professional teams tweeted out tributes.

Prince performed at halftime of Super Bowl XLI in 2007, and it was recognized by Billboard as the best halftime show in the game’s history.

Tweeted Cardinals receiver (and Minnesota native) Larry Fitzgerald: There will never be another Prince. He was a cultural icon & a musical genius. Minneapolis & the world lost a legend today. #RIP #Prince

Wrote Clippers guard (and former Celtics star) Paul Pierce: To the man I named my son after RIP to the great Prince.

— NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been trying to be diplomatic regarding the political controversy in North Carolina, but on Thursday he said the league has made it clear that the 2017 All-Star Game won’t be played in Charlotte unless there is a change to the state law that excludes transgender individuals from anti-discrimination protections.

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Read More: Adam Silver, Prince,
Heading into union meeting, NBA players question Adam Silver’s claim that teams are losing money 07.20.15 at 9:12 am ET
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According to NBA commissioner Adam Silver, “a significant number” of teams are losing money. However, players were hard-pressed to agree with Silver at Sunday’s NBA Players Awards show in Las Vegas, citing a need for proof before they believe him.

“I’ve got to see that for myself,” said Chris Paul, president of the players’ union. “This is probably one of the first years I didn’t really pay too much attention. … But we have a number of things we want to talk about, obviously some a little more important than others.”

For Paul and the rest of the union, they have specific issues they want to address during Monday’s meeting. They did not disclose their agenda at the Players Awards, but did voice their suspicion over Silver’s comments on teams’ worth.

“I can’t agree with that,” Nazr Mohammed said about Silver’s claim. “I think the league is as healthy as it’s ever been. Teams are worth more than they’ve ever been. The Clippers just went for $2 billion. I think it’s hard to say that especially when you networks willing to give us the type of money they are to watch our games.”

According to Paul and players’ union executive director Michelle Roberts, LeBron James will be directly involved in discussions with the commissioner, a huge boost for younger players coming up on their first collective bargaining decision.

“Obviously me and ‘Bron talk about it every day,” Paul said. “He’s the face of our league. His opinion matters. Our players listen when he talks. It’ll be great to have him in there. One thing about ‘Bron, too, is when he commits to something he’s always passionate about it, so I know his voice will be heard.”

NBA players and owners will have the chance to opt out of the current collective bargaining agreement in 2017, a decision that could result in another lockout like the one seen in 2011. While the players prepare for the discussions Monday, they hope for productive talks that don’t stall the process before more intense negotiations next offseason.

“I’ve been around long enough and I know there’s a lot of posturing that goes on during this process,” Mohammed said. “There’s going to be things said that can be supported by numbers, but sometimes the numbers don’t always give out the real facts. Hopefully they’re going to let us see their books and we’ll see exactly what they mean by that.”

Read More: Adam Silver, Chris Paul, LeBron James, Michelle Roberts
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: NBA commissioner Adam Silver says Donald Sterling might still be Clippers owner at start of next season 07.16.14 at 7:57 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLS: New England Revolution at Los Angeles Galaxy, 10:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
MLS: Philadelphia Union at New York Red Bulls, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)


— NBA commissioner Adam Silver, while saying it’s “highly, highly unlikely” that a court blocks the sale of the Clippers to Steve Ballmer, acknowledged Tuesday that Donald Sterling could still own the team when the 2014-15 season starts up in October.

The NBA had pushed to oust Sterling this offseason, but Sterling has made it clear he’s not going down without a fight.

“It’s difficult to say anything with certainty in a situation like this,” Silver said at a press conference in Las Vegas following the league’s board of governors meeting. “We are doing everything in our power to remove Donald Sterling as an owner in the NBA.”

Sterling currently is fighting his estranged wife, Shelly, who orchestrated the sale with Donald’s permission, in Los Angeles Superior Court. That trial, which is recessed until Monday, has featured mood swings and outburst from Donald Sterling.

“I think what’s transpired in probate court so far has made it even clearer that we are acting not only within our rights but doing what is right and appropriate in this situation,” Silver said.

MASHUP POLL: Should the MLB All-Star Game be used to determine home-field advantage for the World Series?

  • No, Tuesday night showed why this game can't be taken seriously (78%, 101 Votes)
  • Yes, it gives the game more importance (22%, 29 Votes)

Total Voters: 130

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— Former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe plans to file a lawsuit after the team refused to release the results of a six-month independent investigation regarding alleged homophobic comments made by special teams coach Mike Priefer.

The Vikings said Tuesday that they never promised to reveal their findings to Kluwe, who claims he has learned the report validates his allegations.

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Read More: Adam Silver, Chris Kluwe, Donald Sterling,
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Manny Ramirez calls return to baseball ‘blessing’ after going 0-for-4 in minor league debut for Cubs 06.27.14 at 7:37 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-AM)
MLB: Rays at Orioles, Game 1, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Nationals at Cubs, 4 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Rays at Orioles, Game 2, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL: Draft, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
Track and field: U.S. Outdoor Championships, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 7 a.m. (ESPN)


Manny Ramirez made his debut as player/coach for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs on Thursday, playing left field in the second game of a doubleheader on the road against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. Wearing No. 44 and batting sixth, the former Red Sox star went 0-for-4, reaching base on an error in his first at-bat before striking out twice and lining out in a 7-6 loss.

“They just made good pitches,” Ramirez told “But it’s been such a long time since I faced a pitcher, so it felt great.”

Said Ramirez: “It feels great just to be here … and to help the young guys [by] just telling them my experiences and the things that I’ve went through. It’s a blessing just to be here.”

It was Ramirez’s first professional game since playing in Triple-A for the Rangers last summer. He’s expected to play 1-2 times per week and possibly make additional appearances as a pinch-hitter.

“He’s a coach first and a player second,” Iowa manager Marty Pevey said. “He’s here to help our young players make the transition from the minor leagues to the big leagues and to show them how hard he works, how well he works, which he does an unbelievable job.”

Ramirez has 555 home runs in 19 major league seasons, but he also has a legacy of odd and offensive behavior. However, he claims he’s learned from his mistakes after finding religion, and apparently Cubs president Theo Epstein believes him. Epstein made it clear that Ramirez’s job is to mentor the organization’s top prospects, and the 42-year-old will not be called up to the majors, although Ramirez doesn’t sound convinced of that.

“As long as I’m here and I keep working, you never know what could happen,” Ramirez said. “I think God has a reason for me to be here. … He opened the door and I’m just here.”

— NBA commissioner Adam Silver already won over many players and fans when he banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling, and on Thursday night he made another positive statement by honoring Baylor center Isaiah Austin at the NBA draft.

Austin, the 20-year-old who had to give up basketball after recently being diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, was “drafted” by the NBA and had the chance to walk up on the stage like the other selections. It was an emotional moment for Austin and those watching.

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Read More: Adam Silver, Isaiah Austin, Manny Ramirez, Tony Gwynn
Trial set to determine Donald Sterling’s role in Clippers ownership trust 06.12.14 at 9:15 am ET
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The drama surrounding Donald and Shelly Sterling is set to spill out in the courtroom.

A trial, which is set to last from July 7-10, will be held to determine if Donald Sterling, the embattled owner of the Clippers, was correctly ousted as an administrator from the family trust that owns the NBA franchise.

A probate judge countered Clippers co-owner Shelly Sterling’€™s request to accept her authority as head administrator of The Sterling Family Trust. Shelly Sterling, who is Donald Sterling’€™s estranged wife, agreed to a deal in which the Clippers would be sold to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. Instead of confirming Shelly Sterling’€™s role within the trust, the judge approved an expedited trial due to fast approaching sales deadlines.

The deadline for the sale is July 15, which is also the date that the NBA owners hope to vote on the approval of the sale.

Court filings released Wednesday revealed a hard deadline of Sept. 15. If the team is not sold by that date, the NBA will motion to take hold and sell the team on its own.

The focus of the trial will be whether the 80-year-old Sterling is mentally capable to serve as co-trustee of the trust, which gives him the authority to determine the future of the franchise. According to Pierce O’€™Donnell, Shelly Sterling’€™s attorney, two doctors have ruled that Donald Sterling should be ruled as “mentally incapacitated” after undergoing a series of tests.

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Read More: Adam Silver, Clippers, Donald Sterling, Shelly Sterling
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Donald Sterling promises to ‘fight these despicable monsters’ in NBA 06.11.14 at 8:15 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Twins at Blue Jays, 12:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
Stanley Cup finals: Kings at Rangers, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLS: FC Dallas at Portland Timbers, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)


— Outgoing Clippers owner Donald Sterling ramped up his battle against the NBA, filing his $1 billion lawsuit and calling commissioner Adam Silver and the league’s leadership “despicable monsters” for taking away his team following his racist comments.

Meanwhile, Shelly Sterling is headed to court Wednesday to ask a judge to approve her takeover of the family trust so that she can complete the sale of the team to Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. Her husband initially OK’d the transaction but then changed his mind after discovering that the league would not lift its lifetime ban and $2.5 million fine imposed on him by Silver.

“Two things happened,” Donald Sterling attorney Max Blecher told ESPN. “She decided to go for the mental incompetency to get rid of him. I think that ticked him off. And the frosting on the cupcake was Silver saying he was never going to repudiate the ban or the fines. I think Sterling [is] looking at this like, ‘There’s no dignity for me. I might as well fight.’

“If the league had reached out to him and said, ‘Let’s work something out, we can restore your dignity,’ I think it’s possible he would have changed his mind. But they didn’t … so he decided it wasn’t worth doing the sale. He doesn’t need the money. He wanted to fight for his dignity.”

Said Sterling in a statement: “The NBA is a band of hypocrites and bullies. They will not stop until someone stands up. They have taken the liberty to desecrate my private rights and my right to own property. I have no doubt that they will continue to find new ways to violate my rights and the rights of any other person in order to draw attention away from their own discriminatory and repulsive conduct.

“We have to fight for the rights of all Americans. We have to fight these despicable monsters.”

Sterling claimed the league is hiding its own issues, and he pointed the finger at Silver, who has worked in the league offices since 1992.

“The reason Adam Silver is focused on the sale, instead [of] the larger social issue, is because doing so would require him to examine the NBA’s own discriminatory practices, including those that occurred under his many years of leadership,” Sterling said. “If the NBA is sincere about their approach, Adam Silver needs to publicly examine the NBA’s own conduct and the conduct of each and every owner.”

Bob Welch, who won the 1990 American League Cy Young Award as a member of the Athletics and most recently was a special instructor for the team, died late Monday night at the age of 57.

Police officers responding to a call for medical assistance discovered Welch dead in the bathroom area of his Southern California home. No information about the cause of death was given.

“This is a sad day for the entire A’s organization,” general manager Billy Beane said. “Those of us who knew Bob as a teammate and a friend will miss him greatly.”

Welch, who struggled with alcoholism during his baseball career, compiled a 211-146 record with a 3.47 ERA in 17 major league seasons with the Dodgers and Athletics. He appeared in five World Series — two with the Dodgers (1978, ’81) and three straight with the A’s (1988-90). He was the pitching coach for the Diamondbacks when they won the 2001 World Series.

“Welchie was a special guy. We lost a really good friend,” said Angels manager Mike Scoscia, who played with Welch on the Dodgers.

— Former NESN Red Sox in-game reporter Jenny Dell accepted a job as part of CBS’ NFL sideline crew, ending her two-year stay in Boston.

Dell, who was removed from her role on the Fenway Park field following the revelation that she was in a relationship with Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks, had been working as a studio host and reporter since January.

Dell tweeted her excitement about the move Tuesday, calling it a “dream come true.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On June 11, 1987, the Celtics tied an NBA finals record by having five players score 20 or more points in a 123-108 victory over the Lakers in Game 5. Which player led the way with 25 points?

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Read More: Adam Silver, Bob Welch, Donald Sterling, Jenny Dell
NBA commissioner Adam Silver on Donald Sterling saga: ‘I think it’s over’ 06.09.14 at 2:02 pm ET
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Donald Sterling isn’€™t going down without a fight.

While it was reported that the embattled Clippers owner agreed last Wednesday to sell his team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion, NBA commissioner Adam Silver stated on Sunday that Sterling still has not signed off on the sale and has also not dropped his lawsuit against the league.

Despite this setback, Silver added that he thinks the embarrassing saga is finally coming to an end.

“While I understand his frustration, I think it’s over,” Silver said, adding: “I think it’s just a matter of time now, and then we will move on to better topics and back to the finals.”

Silver acknowledged that the current agreement between the NBA and Clippers co-owner and Sterling’€™s wife, Shelly Sterling, covers the league’€™s legal authority in case of  a suit, meaning that Donald Sterling would have little to no leverage in case he intends on dragging on his lawsuit any further.

“So in essence, Donald is suing himself and he knows that,” Silver noted.

Sources close to the sale negotiations told The Associated Press specific details of the deal, which includes a $200 million sum that would be given to a charitable foundation that will be run by Shelly Sterling, who negotiated most of the agreement.

One source revealed that both Shelly Sterling and Ballmer would serve as co-chairs for the foundation, which would benefit underprivileged families, abused women, minorities and inner-city children.

The idea for Shelly Sterling to continue in some role was thought up by her attorney, Pierce O’€™Donnell, and was “€œenthusiastically agreed to by the NBA,” according to one of the sources.

Despite the agreement, the NBA reiterated that Shelly Sterling would not be involved with the basketball team.

“It is not accurate that Mrs. Sterling will have a role with the Clippers or stake in the team,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said.

Maxwell Blecher, Donald Sterling’€™s attorney, refused to comment on the sale.

Read More: Adam Silver, Clippers, Donald Sterling, Shelly Sterling
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: NBA teams were prepared to boycott playoffs if Donald Sterling wasn’t banned 04.30.14 at 8:00 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Rays at Red Sox, 7 p.m. (NESN, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Tigers at White Sox, 2 p.m. (WGN, MLB Network)
NHL playoffs: Flyers at Rangers, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Wild at Avalanche, 9:30 p.m. (CNBC)
NHL playoffs: Kings at Sharks, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA playoffs: Mavericks at Spurs, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Nets at Raptors, 7:30 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA playoffs: Trail Blazers at Rockets, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)


— Had Clippers owner Donald Sterling not received a ban from the NBA, the Clippers and Warriors were prepared to walk off the Staples Center court Tuesday night, and the rest of the teams in the playoffs would have boycotted as well, according to multiple reports.

Instead, the only sign of protest from the Clippers and Warriors consisted of the black socks all the players wore during Los Angeles’ 113-103 victory in Game 5.

“I think it put a lot of guys’ minds at ease,” Clippers guard Chris Paul said after the game. “It’s been tough the last few days, but we’ve been getting through it.”

TNT analyst David Aldridge said the teams had hatched their plans earlier in the day, before commissioner Adam Silver announced the harsh penalties for Sterling that included a $2.5 million fine and a lifetime suspension.

“They were not going to play this game,” Aldridge said. “In addition, they believe that they had commitments from the other four teams, they thought they had commitments from the likes of Kevin Durant and John Wall not to play tonight. This was a league-wide thing. This has cut every player who plays in this game. DeAndre Jordan got a text today saying, ‘This is bigger than you, this is bigger than me.’ ”

An emotional Aldridge, who is black, also said his 7-year-old son wondered if his father was going to be allowed to be in the arena for the game.

Meanwhile, a report in the San Jose Mercury News indicated the Warriors had a dramatic protest planned, as they were going to walk off the court just after the ball was tossed in the air to start the game.

“It would have been our only chance to make a statement in front of the biggest audience that we weren’t going to accept anything but the maximum punishment,” Stephen Curry told the paper. “We would deal with the consequences later, but we were not going to play.”

Robinson Cano‘s return to Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night went about as expected, with the small crowd booing the former Yankee in his first game in New York as a member of the Mariners.

Cano, who signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with the M’s in the offseason, smiled and winked at Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia before striking out in his first at-bat in the first inning. He was mocked by the fans as he returned to the dugout. When he took his position at second base in the bottom of the inning, the crowd chanted, “You sold out.”

“That’s something I can’t control,” said Cano, who claimed he didn’t hear the chant. “I’m not surprised. Just got to go out there and play my game.”

Said Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira: “Considering the place was half full, they brought out their best boos.”

Cano went 1-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored in Seattle’s 6-3 victory.

— Stars forward Rich Peverly said he will have to undergo testing before returning to action following his collapse during a game in March due to an irregular heartbeat.

“I’m not sure where that will be,” the former Bruin said Tuesday. “That will have to be the first thing.”

Speaking to the media in Dallas, where the Stars were gathering their belongings following their first-round playoff loss to the Ducks, Peverly said he was happy to help the team by providing tips after watching games from the press box.

“Just being able to help out with the team somehow, it felt like I was accomplishing something,” he said.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 30, 1956, the Celtics traded Ed Macauley and Cliff Hagan to the St. Louis Hawks for the second overall pick in the draft. Who was that selection?

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Read More: Adam Silver, Donald Sterling, Rich Peverly, Robinson Cano
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Rockets owner suggests NBA make Clippers players free agents to punish Donald Sterling 04.29.14 at 8:06 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Rays at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Mariners at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA playoffs: Wizards at Bulls, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Grizzlies at Thunder, 9 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA playoffs: Warriors at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Rangers at Flyers, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Real Madrid at Bayern Munich, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)


— As the NBA prepares to make an announcement Tuesday afternoon regarding sanctions for Clippers owner Donald Sterling, one NBA owner has an idea that he says commissioner Adam Silver is considering: Make the players free agents in an effort to force Sterling to sell the team.

Sponsors have started to end or suspend their relationships with the team, but it might take more to push Sterling out the door following racist comments that he allegedly uttered in a conversation with his girlfriend. Rockets owner Leslie Alexander told the Houston Chronicle he recommended to Silver that he void the players’ contracts with Los Angeles.

“I told Adam I don’€™t think he can be removed because the constitution [of the NBA] only allows him to be removed except for gambling. I’€™m not sure that legally can be done,” Alexander said. “But if he loses his players, nobody is going to want to go there. He’€™ll only be able to get a player that is worth $2 million and will play for [$]12 [million]. And who is going to want to coach there?

“If you’€™re a player in the NBA you don’€™t want to play for somebody like that. If you worked for a company, you would walk away and say, ‘I’€™m gone.’ I think the players should have that right.”

The Clippers and Warriors resume their series Tuesday with Game 5 at Staples Center. Warriors coach Mark Jackson suggested that fans boycott the game.

“I believe if it was me, I wouldn’t come to the game,” Jackson said. “I believe the fans, the loudest statement that they can make as fans is to not show up to the game. ‘€¦ To me, it will make the noise of it not being tolerated. That this is a different time. It’s unfortunate, and we cannot allow someone with these feelings to profit.”

Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who indicated he declined an offer to speak with Sterling, said he hopes the arena is “packed and people are cheering for us.” He said he isn’t sure what the team will do before the game in terms of addressing the controversy, but he acknowledged it’s a consideration for him or a player to address the crowd “if we feel that’s something will help our fans.”

Rogers Clemens is due in court in Brooklyn on Tuesday morning as part of the defamation suit brought by his former trainer, Brian McNamee, after a federal appeals court on Monday denied Clemens’ bid for an emergency intervention.

Clemens’ request for a stay of proceedings also was denied, with U.S. District Court Judge Sterling Johnson expressing disgust with the former pitcher’s legal tactics.

“Clemens’ attempts in stalling this litigation are a threat to the administration of justice,” Sterling wrote, adding that Clemens “has chosen to file frivolous motions and appeals to perpetuate the delay of this five-year-old litigation.”

The ruling means Clemens will have to share about 900 emails that detail his strategy in dealing with accusations that he used performance-enhancing drugs following the release of the Mitchell Report in 2007, when he was described as a user of steroids and human growth hormone.

— Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper reportedly will have surgery Tuesday on his left thumb, which he injured on a headfirst slide into third base on a triple in Friday’s game against the Padres.

Harper, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday, is expected to be out until at least July.

“I slid into the bag and I caught it a little bit,” Harper said after Friday’s game. “Went into the dugout, swing a couple in the cage, felt fine. Went out to the outfield, it swelled up a little bit.”

Harper is hitting .289/.352/.422 with one home run and nine RBIs. He was yanked from a game a little over a week ago for a lack of hustle running out a ground ball.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 29, 1986, Roger Clemens set a major league record by striking out 20 Mariners. The Red Sox were in jeopardy of losing the game, however, as Gorman Thomas hit a home run in the top of the seventh inning. Which Red Sox player answered with a three-run home run in the bottom of the inning for a 3-1 Sox lead that would stand up as the final score?

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Read More: Adam Silver, Brian McNamee, Bryce Harper, doc rivers