O’Neal stirs things up in China visit
After Shaquille O’Neal visited earthquake survivors in China this week, he autographed basketballs, causing quite a stir. The recipients of the memorabilia, mostly young children, had the basketballs taken away by school staff, inciting a flurry of internet protests. Word eventually got back to O’Neal, who signed more basketballs and dispatched them to the children. (Vancouver Sun)
CP3 thinks he’s getting traded?
In regards to a possible departure from the New Orleans squad this offseason, Hornets’ guard Chris Paul told pro-basketball news that anything is possible. Because the Hornets have the league’s highest payroll coupled with a failing economy, Paul believed he could be dealt, to which Hornets' president Hugh Weber said: “No chance.” (Dime Magazine)
B.J. Ryan awaits AAA stint for Cubs
After signing former Blue Jays closer B.J. Ryan, the Cubs have reportedly assigned him to pitch in Triple-A Iowa. The left-hander will head to the Cubs’ spring training facility in Mesa, Ariz., and will move up to Iowa when he’s ready. The extra boost in the bullpen could propel the ailing Cubs to the playoff run its fans so eagerly desire ... or not. (Chicago Tribune)
Yankees cancel fraudulent signing
After signing someone they believed to be 16-year-old Damian Arredono – a shortstop prospect from the Dominican Republic – two weeks ago, the Yankees reportedly had to cancel the deal. Apparently, Arredono isn’t who he says he is and is older than 16. That nullifies his contract and prevents him from making any deals with major league teams for another calendar year. Oops. (Sports Illustrated)
Is Matt Jones back on his feet?
After completing a drug court program, former Jaguars wide receiver Matt Jones seems to be getting his life back together. In a recent interview, Jones says his agent is in talks with several teams for next season and that he’s not worried about the prospects of never playing again. (Florida Times-Union)
Tebow talks downsides of not going pro
Florida Gators’ super-human quarterback Tim Tebow talked about the downside to his choice to remain in college for his senior season. When staring at the gift bags handed out to athletes at the ESPY awards, Tebow – who cannot accept gifts as part of an NCAA regulation – said: “Two years in a row, I get to look at all the cool stuff in there but I can't take any of it ... When I was deciding whether to stay [at Florida] or go [to the NFL], the ESPYS gift bag was on the list for going pro -- at about No. 112.” (ESPN)
Steve McNair (1973-2009)
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.