<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - Sports]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.com en-us Sat, 28 Feb 2015 00:28:17 -0500 Sat, 28 Feb 2015 00:28:17 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Former Marlins Outfielder Juan Pierre Retires]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 22:44:16 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages_182310115.jpg

Juan Pierre who was part of the 2003 World Series champion Florida Marlins retired from Major League Baseball on Friday.

Pierre or "JP" as he is known around the game was known for his work ethic as much as his athletic ability. Pierre was often the first man at the ballpark and the last man to leave. Whether it was sprints around the field or bunting practice, the outfielder was always looking to stay busy and improve.

Accolades poured in from all around baseball on Friday after Pierre's announcement. Former teammates, coaches and even opposing players had only kind things to say about the outfielder.

Prior to the 2003 season, Pierre came to the Marlins in a blockbuster deal that sent the likes of Charles Johnson and Preston Wilson to Colorado. At the time, it was a move that was seen as a payroll-slashing one. Both Johnson and Wilson were earning more than Pierre at the time. It ended up being one of the most important moves in Marlins history.

Pierre sat atop the Marlins lineup and was a big reason for the championship run in 2003. The speedster swiped 65 bases and his over .300 while keeping the dugout energized on a daily basis. Pierre did not slow down when the regular season ended and remained a catalyst during October as well.

The next two years, Pierre remained in Florida and posted solid numbers as well on teams that missed the playoffs. After the 2005 campaign, the Marlins elected to move Pierre in a trade that brought back Ricky Nolasco in a package of arms.

Pierre would go on to remain the energetic force he was known to be for seven seasons outside of Florida. Despite never being named an All-Star, Pierre was consistently a player that opposing pitchers hated to see at the plate or on the bases.

At age 35, Pierre returned to the Marlins for a one-year stint in 2013 which made him one of the rare players to don both a Florida and Miami jersey. Pierre had a tough year and it ended up being his final season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fourth Quarter Dooms Heat in New Orleans]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 23:10:56 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages_170716359.jpg

The Miami Heat led by nine points going into the fourth quarter before the New Orleans Pelicans stormed back for a 104-102 win on Friday.

The game was tied at the half and after three quarters of play, it appeared that Miami could have a third win in a row on the way. Things changed in the final quarter however and the winning basket was made with 25 seconds left.

The loss drops the Heat to 25-32 on the season and it kept them from going over .500 on the road. Playing away from Miami, the Heat are now 15-16 which is still far better than their 10-16 mark at American Airlines Arena.

Dwyane Wade had a rough time shooting the ball in this one. The All-Star was only 4-16 on his attempts and also turned the ball over four times. Wade did move the ball around though with his eight assists.

Goran Dragic had a strong game with 20 points and five assists. Thus far Dragic has improved Miami's offense which had seen struggles from multiple point guards this year. Dragic also was efficient making nine of his 13 tries from the field.

Henry Walker who is still on a 10-day contract contributed a lot of minutes off the bench once again. Walker played 31 minutes and tallied 16 points and three rebounds along the way. It is likely that Walker will remain with the team going forward.

Making his return to the Heat, Michael Beasley came off the bench for seven points in ten minutes. Beasley could see a bump in those minutes if his play warrants it. The veteran is also on a 10-day deal himself.

Miami will look to get back into the win column on Saturday back home against the Atlanta Hawks at 7:30 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Late Magical Three Forces OT in Heat Victory]]> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 22:46:16 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages_464282606.jpg

Henry Walker was a hero for the Miami Heat on Wednesday in their 93-90 overtime win over the Orlando Magic.

Walker, who is currently on a ten-day contract, sank a game-tying three-pointer with only two seconds left in regulation. Overall, Walker had ten points and six boards in his 33 minutes of play off the bench.

The win was Miami's second in a row and gave it a bit of breathing room in the Eastern Conference standings. The Heat are now 1.5 games ahead of eighth place Brooklyn and they also remain 6.5 back of Milwaukee for the sixth slot.

The Heat trailed by four points at the half but tied the game up heading into the fourth quarter. The three from Walker was a rare make from downtown on the day. As a team, Miami was a paltry 6-31 on trey attempts.

Luol Deng contributed 21 points, seven rebounds, two assists and a steal in 40 minutes. The Heat were +9 with Deng on the court and needed every minute from the veteran. Deng has not played 40 minutes much this season but showed no signs of fatigue down the stretch.

In his third game with Miami, Goran Dragic did not light up the stat sheet but played a pivotal role. In fact, the Heat were +11 with Dragic on the court which was the best +/- on the roster. Dragic had eight points and five assists while running the offense for 41 minutes.

The Heat will travel to New Orleans on Friday for a game against the Pelicans at 8:00 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dolphins Release Hartline and Gibson]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:24:39 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages_154213670.jpg

The Miami Dolphins released wide receivers Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson on Friday.

Hartline who played for six years with Miami signed a five-year contract prior to the 2013 season worth $30 million. In 2015, Hartline was set to earn $5.9 million and the salary cap will take a hit of $4.2 million.

In recent days, there have been reports that the Dolphins would consider trading Mike Wallace. With Hartline and Gibson now out of the picture, it is possible this will pave the way for Wallace remaining with the team. If Miami was to move Wallace as well, there would be multiple holes to fill on offense.

Gibson was about to enter the final year of a three-year deal he signed in 2013. There wasn't much action for the  27-year old in 2014 as he tallied a total of 29 catches and one touchdown reception. Prior to his two-year run with the Dolphins, Gibson spent time with the St. Louis Rams and Philadelphia Eagles.

When Miami when made Hartline its fourth round pick in 2009, there was speculation of him possibly being a steal at that spot. After his rookie campaign, that thought only became stronger as Hartline led the team in receiving touchdowns.

The 2010 season continued the trend for Hartline. Despite only starting 12 of Miami's 16 games, Hartline put together fine numbers that were arguably better than even his rookie campaign.

In 2011, Hartline once again became a regular starter and did a fine job. 2012-2013 featured various illnesses and injuries for Hartline that put a dent in his playing time and by association, his production.

While his time in Miami is over, Hartline does leave behind one bit of legacy. The WR holds the franchise record for most receiving yards in a single game. Hartline accomplished that feat in 2012 against the Arizona Cardinals.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Earl Lloyd, First Black NBA Player, Dies at 86]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 09:14:52 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP861620179640.jpg

Earl Lloyd, the first black player in NBA history, died Thursday. He was 86.

Lloyd's alma mater, West Virginia State, confirmed the death. It did not provide details.

Lloyd made his NBA debut in 1950 for the Washington Capitals, just before fellow black players Sweetwater Clifton and Chuck Cooper played their first games.

"The State family mourns the loss of a fellow Yellow Jacket and trailblazer who was a true champion both on and off of the basketball court," West Virginia State President Brian Hemphill said in a statement. "When Earl stepped out on the court on that fateful date in 1950, this remarkable man rightfully earned his place in the historic civil rights movement and, more important, he opened the door to equality in America."

Lloyd helped the Syracuse Nationals win the 1955 NBA title, joining teammate Jim Tucker as the first black players to play on a championship team.

The 6-foot-5 forward averaged 8.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in 560 regular-season games in nine seasons with Washington, Syracuse and Detroit. He missed the 1951-52 season while serving in the U.S. Army.

Inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003 as a contributor, Lloyd was 22-55 as Detroit's coach in 1971-72 and the first nine games in the 1972-73 season.

Lloyd, a native of Alexandria, Virginia, lived in Crossville, Tennessee. 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Stanton Faces Live Pitching for First Time]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 16:48:53 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/494192351.jpg

Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton took batting practice against live pitching on Thursday for the first time since his 2014 season ended early.

The last time Stanton stepped up the plate against live pitching was in Milwaukee last September when a fastball hit him in the face. That pitch from Michael Fiers ended the year for Stanton and left a bloody scene at Miller Park. 

While there is no concern about Stanton's physical condition, there are questions remaining in terms of any mental hold-ups related to the scary incident.

Stanton did not swing on Thursday but stood in the box and tracked each pitch as it went by. Teammate Henderson Alvarez was on the mound for the first BP session. Later in the morning, Stanton also faced teammate Brad Hand but only tracked the pitches once again.

During the season, Stanton will wear a custom helmet that has an extra piece to protect his face when he turns into pitches. On Monday, Stanton flew out to try out the helmet and he should be using it in Jupiter soon. Until then, it is likely that Stanton will not take swings and will instead simply work on pitch recognition and timing.

The Marlins are confident that Stanton will be fine and comfortable at the plate. They showed that confidence with a 13-year, $325 million contract earlier this off-season. All of that money is guaranteed and would be paid to Stanton even if he was to not be the caliber of player he once was.

Miami will begin its exhibition season on March 2nd, and in all likelihood Stanton will be swinging by that point.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Eagles Acho Taking Va. Teen to Prom]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 16:45:32 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/228*120/2015-02-26_1345.png

A Loudoun County, Virginia, teen got the surprise of a lifetime Friday when Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Emmanuel Acho agreed to take her to prom.

Back in January, Hannah Delmonte reached out to Acho on Instagram and asked if he would take her to prom if she got 2,000 retweets on Twitter, Comcast SportsNet Philly reports. But Acho upped the ante -- Delmonte had to reach 10,000 retweets.

And she did.

Delmonte's post received over 17,000 retweets, far surpassing her goal.

Acho dropped by Woodgrove High School in Purcellville on Friday and surprised Delmonte with a customized Eagles jersey with the number 15 and the word "prom" written across the back.

Acho also plans to play piano and sing Delmonte a song on the night of the prom, according to Comcast SportsNet Philly. Prom is scheduled for May 9, according to the school's calendar.

Check out her priceless reaction in the video above.

Photo Credit: Comcast SportsNet Philly
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<![CDATA[Panthers Send Bergenheim to Wild]]> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 22:28:54 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages_462773756.jpg

The Florida Panthers dealt disgruntled winger Sean Bergenheim to the Minnesota Wild along with a seventh round pick on Tuesday.

In return, the Panthers received Minnesota's third round pick. Both picks will be part of the 2016 NHL draft. With Bergenheim requesting a trade, the Panthers held very little leverage and the Wild took advantage of that with the unbalanced trade.

Bergenheim had not played since February 12th and had been a scratch for Florida as of late despite being healthy. The lack of playing time led to Bergenheim's agent to asking Florida to move his client elsewhere.

Before landing on the bench, Bergenheim compiled 18 points on the year. The 31-year old had eight goals and ten assists. The last of those goals came back on January 29th against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

This was Bergenheim's third season with Florida where he put together a total of 41 goals. His production in 2014-15 had taken a step back however. Due to this, Bergenheim had less ice-time this season than he did in his first two years with Florida.

Prior to signing a four-year deal with Florida in 2011, Bergenheim spent time with the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning.

In terms of the playoffs, the Panthers are currently on the outside looking in but remain in contention. Florida entered play on Tuesday only three points back of the eighth and final slot in the Eastern Conference.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[2-Year-Old Son of NFL Long Snapper Sings National Anthem]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 05:48:08 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/AP828165311104.jpg

Forget football! The 2-year-old son of Cincinnati Bengals' long snapper showed he is ready for the stage when he belted out the National Anthem at a high school basketball game.

The NFL player, Clark Harris, held son Trent's hand as he led him to the court for the tot's performance.

Decked out in a blazer and with hair reminiscent of his father's mane, Trent sang in front of a packed gym ahead of a matchup between the Southern Regional High School and Pinelands Regional High School boys' basketball teams.

Clark's wife and proud mom, Jessica, posted Trent's rendition to YouTube, captioning the video: "My sons first performance!! ... I'm so proud!!!" 

Watch the full video below.

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<![CDATA[NFL Stadium Proposals ]]> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 14:41:02 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/carson-stadium.gif

Ever since the Rams and the Raiders left Los Angeles in the mid-1990s, there have been attempts to bring an NFL team back to the city.

The football league approved an expansion franchise for Los Angeles as early as 1999, but no agreement was reached and a team went to Houston. The NFL requires a three-quarters vote of the 32 teams for any team to move.

There are now four proposals on the table. Here they are:

Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers to Share a Stadium

The Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers have announced that they will together pursue a new home at a $1.7 billion stadium in Carson, in Los Angeles County,  but only if both teams cannot find alternatives in their home markets. The stadium, which would require voter approval, would have more than 72,000 seats and with 18,000 parking spots, room for tailgating. It would be built on the site of an old municipal landfill at the intersection of the 405 Freeway and Del Amo Boulevard. Right now, the Jets and the Giants are the only NFL teams to share a stadium.

Meanwhile negotiations over a new stadium for the Raiders in the Bay area could be facing a 30-day deadline, according to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle. Oakland Mayor Libby Scaaf has said she would be wiling to spend taxpayer money to help pay for a new stadium, which could total up to $300 million, according to columnists Phil Matier and Andy Ross. But issues over using public money could be insurmountable, they report.

Replacing Hollywood Park Racetrack

Stan Kroenke, the owner of the St. Louis Rams, wants to build a new $2 billion stadium on the site of the now closed Hollywood Park racetrack in Inglewood, California. The proposal is for an 80,000-seat stadium, 6,000-seat performance venue, 300-room hotel, and 1.5 million square feet of retail, office and residential space.

The developer, not the public, would pay for the cost of building the stadium, according to a consultants' report.

The Inglewood City Council unanimously approved the plan on Feb. 24.

Kroenke has partnered with Stockbridge Capital Group and is the first NFL team owner to control a site large enough for a new stadium. The Rams are playing at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, but are unhappy with the conditions. The Inglewood proposal will put pressure on St Louis to reach a deal for a new stadium or watch the team return to Southern California, where it played from 1946 to 1994.

Farmers Field

The Anschutz Entertainment Group or AEG agreed in 2012 to build a football stadium at the L.A. LIVE complex downtown and renovate the Los Angeles Convention Center. In October, the city granted AEG a six-month extension. AEG plans to commit $600,000 to development, but it is also offering alternatives to a stadium, meaning a large hotel might be built in its place.
Grand Crossing

Developer Ed Roski Jr., the president of Majestic Realty Co., in 2008 announced plans to build an $800 million stadium in the city of Industry near the interchange of the 60 and 57 freeways. The project is being called Grand Crossing.

<![CDATA[WATCH: Giancarlo Stanton Body-Painted for SI Cover]]> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 15:07:11 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/stantonSI.jpg

Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton has made national headlines this off-season and will now add the Sports Illustrated cover to his resume.

Stanton can be seen on this week's cover decked out in body paint. The hulking outfielder dons a painted version of Miami's home uniform for the photograph. The process took 15 hours to complete and was done by artist Joanne Gair.

Body painting has been popular in recent years but typically would be found in a swimsuit issue, more so than on an athlete. This new idea was a welcome one for Stanton who signed up fast for the venture.

Stanton is the first male athlete to ever be body-painted and the inaugural athlete overall to grace in the SI cover in nothing but body paint.

The off-season began for Stanton with a series of nominations and awards before he signed a record 13-year contract with Miami. That deal calls for a total payment of $325 million and all but assured that Stanton will play his entire career with the Marlins.

In addition to the record deal, Stanton was a judge for the Miss Universe Pageant that took place in South Florida. This allowed Stanton to be seen and heard by a national audience making him even more of a household name.

While the publicity tour has increased Stanton's marketability, his biggest contribution to the Marlins is still yet to come. The team has high hopes in 2015 and they will need their star to be at the top of his game. Should Stanto produce anywhere close to as much in 2015 as he did last season, Miami could find itself in the playoffs.

A video that shows the body-painting process can be found below and may also be viewed on SI's website.

Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated]]>
<![CDATA[Panthers Fight Back But Drop Third Straight]]> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 23:38:00 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages_462721254.jpg

The Florida Panthers lost a third straight game on Tuesday when the Chicago Blackhawks came away 3-2 winners in a shootout.

With the point gained, the Panthers are now only two points back of the Boston Bruins for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins also lost on Tuesday which means the Panthers wasted an opportunity to gain more ground with a win.

The Panthers who now have 65 points are only two points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers and are in danger of falling back quickly in a tight conference. Florida needs a sustained run of winning but has dropped five of its last seven games.

It took until the 12:23 mark of the third period for the Panthers to get on the board. Jussi Jokinen was player to get that done when he put his sixth goal of the year into the back of the net. Brad Boyes and Aleksander Barkov assisted on the goal that made it a 2-1 game at the time.

A little more than four minutes later, Vincent Trocheck tied the game up with an unassisted goal. That would prove to be the last score for the Panthers as the team was shutout in overtime and in the shootout as well.

Roberto Luongo stopped 36 of the 38 attempts sent his way but it wasn't enough. In the shootout, Chicago scored on both of its attempts while Florida missed both of its opportunities.

Chicago and Florida will wrap up the home-and-home series on Thursday when the Blackhawks travel to take on the Panthers at BB&T Center.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[K-Rod Remains An Option for Marlins: Report]]> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 23:20:05 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages_453232026.jpg

The Miami Marlins are discussing a contract with veteran reliever Francisco Rodriguez, according to a report from MLB.com.

Rodriguez who is better known as K-Rod most recently pitched with the Milwaukee Brewers and he could still return to Wisconsin. While Rodriguez may close in Milwaukee, he'd be nothing more than a setup man in Miami.

Part of the draw for Rodriguez to join the Marlins could lie in his playoff aspirations. The Marlins are widely considered to be a playoff contender after a busy off-season. The story is not as bright in Milwaukee where the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs may all be a step ahead.

Rodriguez could end up with a handful of save chances in Miami on days that Steve Cishek needs off but for the most part, he would pitch in the 7th and 8th innings. With a combination of Rodriguez, A.J. Ramos, and Cishek, the Marlins would have one of the more formidable bullpens in Major League Baseball.

In 13 years as a big leaguer, Rodriguez has compiled 348 saves and was once considered one of the best in the game. Rodriguez is a five-time All-Star and made it to the Midsummer Classic last season.

At only 33-years old, Rodriguez likely still has more in the tank. His 2014 season was solid with 44 saves and a 3.04 E.R.A. Rodriguez also posted a sparkling 0.985 WHIP which was the best of his career discounting his short cup of coffee in 2002.

The Marlins are currently training in Jupiter and will begin exhibition play on March 2nd.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[A Look Inside the Sun Life Stadium Renovations]]> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 20:10:56 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000017039031_1200x675_403841091813.jpg Miami Dolphins officials give an inside look at renovations at Sun Life Stadium.]]> <![CDATA[Full Squad Reports to Marlins Camp]]> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 18:34:46 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages_476066711.jpg

The Miami Marlins hit the field as a complete unit for the first time on Tuesday when the remaining position players reported for Spring Training.

Last Friday, pitchers and catchers reported to Jupiter along with a handful of position players. Tuesday marked the first required report day for the rest of the team. Roger Dean Stadium was the site of bullpen sessions and batting practice along with infield practice on Tuesday.

There are jobs to be battled for, albeit mostly on the bench and in the bullpen. There are question marks at the back of the starting rotation as well and these next few weeks could lead to several decisions for the Miami front office.

The rotation barring injuries will likely feature Henderson Alvarez, Mat Latos, Dan Haren, Jarred Cosart in the top four slots. The fifth spot would appear to be Tom Koehler's to lose but he faces some competition. Brad Hand is out of minor-league options which means he has to make Miami's roster or face exposure to waivers.

David Phelps and Aaron Crow could be given looks as well as starters though both still remain more likely to land in the pen. A name for the rotation to keep an eye on is Justin Nicolino. The prized prospect will be given a chance to win a job but odds are in favor of him beginning the year with AAA New Orleans.

As for the bench, Miami is looking to improve what was a weak spot in 2014. Justin Bour is an intriguing name for the bench but the big first baseman will need to show improvement in a pinch-hitting role. Perhaps new assistant hitting coach Lenny Harris can help him in that department. Bour struggled mightily when he did not start last year but would offer a powerful bat off the bench.

In the pen, Andrew McKirahan is a possibility to make the roster as a Rule 5 pick. This means that if McKirahan is unable to make the team, Miami would be forced to offer him back to the Chicago Cubs. McKirahan is a lefty reliever and that is something that the Marlins could use. Miami also has a number of non-roster invitees vying for bullpen roles.

There are also several veteran players trying to make the team in reserve roles such as Scott Sizemore, Reid Brignac, Don Kelly, Tyler Colvin and Reed Johnson. Some of these players could end up in AAA as depth if they fail to make the Opening Day roster.

Miami will play its first exhibition game of the year on March 2nd against Florida International University.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Boston Olympics Criticism OK: Mayor]]> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 17:02:07 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/Walsh+Olympics.jpg

It's now OK for city workers to criticize Boston's bid for the 2024 Olympics, thanks to a change to the city's deal with the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Mayor Marty Walsh announced the change Tuesday, saying that the agreement with the USOC had been revised to remove any language discouraging city employees from criticizing the Olympic bid. Walsh had earlier defended the stipulation, which civil liberties advocates had criticized.

The Boston Globe reported last month that the "joinder agreement" between the city and the USOC banned city employees from badmouthing the 2024 Olympic bid. The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts said the agreement was a violation of the First Amendment right to free speech.

"This revised agreement is the result of positive negotiations with the United States Olympic Committee to reach a consensus that accurately represents how Boston is moving forward with our Olympic bid," Walsh said in a statement.

"I want to thank those who have already offered their thoughts on Boston's bid and I continue to encourage all residents, including city employees, to share their opinions over the coming months. My top priority is to ensure an open and transparent process, and it is important that any proposal is shaped by the input and ideas of people from every neighborhood in order to offer the greatest benefit to our city," Walsh continued.

Walsh's statement characterized the original ban on employee criticism of the Olympic bid as "boilerplate language that all cities have historically signed regarding city employees and their participation in the Olympic process."

Rich Davey, Boston 2024's CEO, said the new agreement "will strengthen Boston's efforts to work with communities to build a stronger Olympic bid."

The next citywide Olympic discussion is scheduled for Tuesday night at 6:30 at the Condon School Cafeteria in South Boston. 

Additional citywide meetings are scheduled for March 31, April 28, May 19, June 30, July 28, Aug. 25 and Sept. 29.

Photo Credit: FILE - NECN]]>
<![CDATA[Top Sports Photos 2015]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:30:50 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/topSports-aRod-GettyImages_464511922.jpg Click to see dramatic sports photos from the NFL, to basketball, baseball and more.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wash. NFL Football Team: Canceling Trademark Violates Free-Speech]]> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 12:54:50 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/212*120/1104-redskins-generic.jpg

Lawyers for the Washington NFL football team are telling a judge that the team's free-speech rights will be infringed upon if a federal panel's decision to cancel the team's trademarks is allowed to stand.

A board of the U.S. Patent And Trademark Office ruled last year that the trademark of the "Redskins" should be canceled because the name is disparaging to Native Americans.

The team is suing in federal court in Alexandria to have the board's decision overturned. In court papers filed Monday, the team says the law barring registration of disparaging trademarks is unconstitutional under the First Amendment.

The government has intervened in the civil lawsuit to defend the law's constitutionality. Government lawyers say the law doesn't ban disparaging speech; it just denies the protection of a federal trademark.

<![CDATA[Dragic Comes Up Big in Heat Win]]> Mon, 23 Feb 2015 22:10:03 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/464282604.jpg

The Miami Heat beat the Philadelphia 76ers 119-108 on Monday thanks in part to a big game from newly acquired Goran Dragic.

With 23 points and ten assists, Dragic posted the first double-double of his Heat career. This effort came after a lackluster debut with the team on Saturday. Dragic also had a pair of steals and did a fantastic job of running the offense for Miami.

The win was the 24th of the year for the Heat and it keeps them in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Catching sixth seeded Milwaukee will be a tall task but there are plenty of games to go. Miami also needs to look out for teams behind it as the team holds a very slim advantage.

Hassan Whiteside contributed a double-double of his own with 12 points and 14 rebounds. The young center has three double-doubles in his last four games and continues to be a bright spot for the Heat.

Luol Deng had a big day as well with 29 points, two assists and three boards. Deng was extremely efficient as he sank 11 of his 14 attempts. The veteran was also exceptional from downtown as he nailed three of four trey attempts.

As a team, Miami shot 55.4% and did a good job of keeping the ball alive. The Heat had 11 offensive rebounds as part of a 45 rebound day overall.

Miami will head to Orlando on Wednesday for a tilt with the Magic at 7:00 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Social Reaction to Chargers-Raiders Stadium News]]> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 16:33:25 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/chargers+raiders+stadium+rendering+13.jpg

News that rival professional football teams the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders are joining forces on a proposal that could have them share a Southern California stadium surprised many when it broke late Thursday.

By Friday, some players and officials had taken to Twitter to share their thoughts on the plan to build a $1.7 billion stadium in Carson, California, if the teams' efforts to construct their own new venues in their respective hometowns fall through.

Here's a look at some of the reaction seen so far:  

Shareece Wright, starting cornerback for the Chargers tweeted: 

Kevin Faulconer, mayor of San Diego had a four part message to share: 

Shawne Merriman, former Chargers linebacker said: 

Corey Liuget, the defensive end of the Chargers said: 

Photo Credit: MANICA Architecture
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<![CDATA[SoCal City Wants Joint NFL Stadium]]> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 21:08:46 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/carson-stadium.gif

A $1.7 billion NFL stadium next to one of the busiest highways in America could draw two California football teams to Los Angeles, if their cities don't provide them better facilities at home.

The San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders support the proposal, revealed Thursday, to build a 72,000-seat arena next to the 405 Freeway in Carson that would host both teams. Each has been in protracted negotiations with their respective cities to build more modern accommodations than the 1960s-era stadiums they play in now.

On Friday, elected officials from Carson, a city between Los Angeles and Long Beach, announced wide community support to build the huge stadium complex on an empty, 168-acre lot in the city. A local coalition, Carson2gether, backs this latest proposal to bring a team to Los Angeles.

"If you can't work it out with your cities, we welcome you with open arms here in Carson," Congresswoman Janice Hahn said at what amounted to a pep rally to show community support.

"We will give you a beautiful new stadium, we will give you fans like you've never had before," Hahn continued.

Representatives from the Chargers and Raiders didn't appear at the rally in Carson. For the most part, the local politicians and community leaders who spoke focused on the Carson community, which must approve the stadium through a ballot measure.

The teams, which have both played full seasons in LA before, stressed in a joint statement released Thursday that they were working with their current cities to "find permanent stadium solutions that are publicly acceptable."

"If we cannot find a permanent solution in our home markets, we have no alternative but to preserve other options to guarantee the future economic viability of our franchises," the teams said.

Oakland reaction: "It would be a great blow"

San Diego reaction: "That’s not how you do business

After years without an NFL team, Los Angeles suddenly has an abundant set of options with a range of backers, from a major sports development group to a current NFL owner, making a Los Angeles NFL team a likelier prospect that it's been in decades -- though certainly not a guarantee.

The National Football League has long wanted a football team in Los Angeles, a huge market for television viewers, where it hasn't had one since 1994, when the Raiders returned to Oakland. The league set up a committe on Los Angeles, according to the Chargers-Raiders statement.

The Chargers and the Raiders have both been publicly courting moves because both play in outdated stadiums -- Qualcomm Stadium and O.co Coliseum, respectively. Meanwhile, the Oakland situation is even more complicated because there have been talks about the Raiders sharing a venue with the Oakland A's baseball team at new stadiums on the same site.

Any team that relocates to LA would need its proposal approved by three-fourths of the NFL's owners, according to the Chargers-Raiders statement.

NBC Bay Area's Lisa Fernandez contributed to this report.

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<![CDATA[Blackhawks Surprise Girl Scout]]> Thu, 19 Feb 2015 19:09:45 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/235*120/blackhawks9.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks have made it a habit of surprising fans in new and exciting ways, but they somehow managed to find a new one as teammates Andrew Shaw and Jonathan Toews brightened one little Girl Scout’s day.

Alexis got the thrill of her life when she met up with Shaw at the Palace Grill near the United Center, and from there she went to Toews’ condo with one mission in mind: to sell him boxes of Girl Scout cookies.

Watch the video to see her pitch to the Blackhawks' captain.

We’ll have to stay tuned on whether or not she gets to meet up with Patrick Sharp.

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<![CDATA[Curious Crow Videobombs Stadium Cam]]> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 10:51:37 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/2015-02-19_18-19-37.jpg

You might say one fan already has a bird’s eye view of Saturday’s stadium series NHL game at Levi’s in Santa Clara.

A timelapse video of the Levi's stadium being turned into a hockey arena for the upcoming San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings hockey game got a surprise cameo by one curious crow. 

The camera caught the black bird checking out the digs and crowing at the camera.

Face-off is set for Saturday night, but for this bird, face-time couldn't wait.

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<![CDATA[Chris Bosh Could Miss Rest of Season]]> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 09:56:52 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/463771858.jpg

Miami Heat star Chris Bosh underwent tests in a local hospital on Thursday and could miss the rest of the season, according to a report by the Miami Herald.

The area of concern is Bosh's lungs with the possibility of blood clots. Thus far, the Heat have said that the tests were inconclusive. The team is expected to address the issue further on Friday.

Bosh did not feel like himself at practice on Wednesday and was sent to a doctor for evaluation. Following that, Bosh did not attend the team's practice on Thursday and also did not travel with the team to New York.

On Sunday, Bosh took part in the All-Star Game and showed no signs of any injury. A day prior, Bosh also participated in All-Star Saturday Night where his team took home its third straight title in the Shooting Stars Competition. There were no signs of any ailment on that evening either.

Bosh first complained about the pain while in New York but continued on with a trip to Haiti on Monday.

In Bosh's absence, the Heat will likely turn to James Ennis and Chris Andersen for increased minutes. Dwyane Wade who will be making his return to the court will be the main offensive weapon with Bosh out.

Miami will also have the services of Goran Dragic after acquiring the guard from the Suns earlier on Thursday. 

The Heat will open up the second half on Friday night in New York at Madison Square Garden.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Acquire Goran Dragic from Suns]]> Thu, 19 Feb 2015 16:25:35 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/470524475.jpg

The Miami Heat have acquired Goran Dragic and his younger brother Zoran Dragic from the Phoenix Suns, according to a report from Yahoo.

The Heat will send Danny Granger, Justin Hamilton and two first-round picks to Phoenix as part of the deal. In addition, Miami will ship Norris Cole and Shawne Williams to the New Orleans Pelicans. 

The elder Dragic will be the new starting point guard for Miami which has been a bit of a black hole for the team this season. The Heat have tried Norris Cole, Mario Chalmers and Shabazz Napier in the starting lineup at PG but have yielded few positive results. With a depleted roster, Tyler Johnson saw time at the spot as of late as well.

Goran Dragic did a solid job in his time with Phoenix. As of late, the guard had made it known he would prefer to play elsewhere. The Suns elected to honor that request as Dragic can become a free-agent after the year. Phoenix was in a position where it could have lost Dragic for nothing in what is potentially a lost season. Dragic holds a player option for the 2015-16 season and it is unclear at this time if he will pick that up.

Miami is clutching to its playoff hopes as it sits in a tie for the seventh and eighth spots in the conference. The Brooklyn Nets are only one game back in ninth. The Heat are looking to extend a playoff run and possibly even make a fifth straight trip to the NBA Finals.

While the 28-year old Dragic is not a superstar, he brings enough to the table to be a difference maker. With him on-board, Chalmers can go back to strictly a reserve role. Early in the year, Chalmers thrived in that role. Zoran Dragic will play off the bench as he did in Phoenix.

The Heat will open up the second half on Friday against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Reportedly Offer Cole and Andersen in Package for Dragic]]> Thu, 19 Feb 2015 15:31:01 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/450136332.jpg

The Miami Heat are trying to make a big move before the trade deadline and have dangled Norris Cole and Chris Andersen, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

The player being targeted by Miami is Goran Dragic of the Phoenix Suns. The 28-year old guard would be a big boost to Miami's lineup and playoff hopes. The cost is high however with Josh McRoberts and two first rounders also in the package that could head to the Suns.

Dragic had requested a trade from Phoenix and the team has thus far been trying to fulfill that request. With Dragic set to become a free-agent after the year, Phoenix would risk losing him with no return. A trade would allow them to stockpile talent and draft picks for years to come.

For Miami, it is a risky move but one that shows the team is committed to a run this season. The Heat currently sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference but are tied for the final spot as well. Ninth place Brooklyn only is one game back and the Heat could find themselves on the outside looking in shortly.

Miami would be a candidate to sign Dragic and keep him beyond this year. Trading McRoberts as part of the deal would open up some salary room as well for such a move. With such a large package headed to the Suns, it is a gamble on the chance Dragic heads elsewhere next year.

A resolution on this trade and any other deals should come soon as the NBA trade deadline is set for 3:00 p.m. on Thursday.

Miami will open the second half on Friday against the New York Knicks.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lenny Harris Returns to Marlins As Coach]]> Wed, 18 Feb 2015 21:02:38 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/53266986.jpg

The Miami Marlins brought a familiar face back on Wednesday when they hired Lenny Harris as assistant hitting coach.

Several teams have employed two hitting coaches in recent seasons but the Marlins had stuck with just one. That changes with Harris' hiring which could be a boost to the offense. Harris could be a key asset in improving the pinch-hitting production for Miami most of all.

Harris was on the Marlins from 2003-2005 to close out his career. During that run, which included a World Series title, Harris led by example and played a key role. In those three years, Harris had a slash line of 257 / .309  / .341 and brought home 31 runs. The veteran tried to make the Marlins in 2006 but was released in spring training.

Harris is the MLB all-time leader in pinch-hits with 212. It is a remarkable achievement considering the difficulty many players have in the pinch-hitting department. It requires staying focused on the game despite sitting on the bench for the majority of the time. Harris needed to make the most with limited at-bats and did just that.

The Marlins can certainly use the wisdom and experience that Harris brings to the table. One player in particular who could benefit from the move is Justin Bour. The young first baseman is vying for a reserve role but struggled in 2014 as a pinch-hitter. Bour did a terrific job as a rookie when he started but was only 1-17 as a PH.

Beyond his on-field knowledge and talent, Harris will bring a good attitude to the clubhouse. He was a hard worker in his playing days. Harris also has previous big league coaching experience as he was the hitting coach for the Washington Nationals from 2007-2008.

The Marlins will begin reporting to spring training on Friday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>