Adam Silver Slams the Ban Hammer


By: Jeff Yoder

Good Morning!

The middle of April is an underrated part of the sports calendar. Everyone goes crazy over March because of March Madness, but April? This month has the beginning of baseball season as well as the NBA and Stanley Cup Playoffs. We are just a few days away from constant, intense, win-or-go-home action! But right now we still have the Play-In Tournament and Champions League.

Letter Rip!



Heat Try to Repeat Last Year’s Script

 Photo:  Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images

Miami is Facing Elimination After Dropping Play-In Game to 76ers

Heat Culture is going to be tested once again, and so will Playoff Jimmy Butler. Miami lost to the 76ers 105-104 on Wednesday night, which means just like last year, Erik Spoelstra’s team is faced with a do-or-die Play-In game. Heat fans are probably expecting this to play out like it did before with Miami upsetting the top seed in the Eastern Conference on the way to a miraculous NBA Finals run. The problem is that even if the Heat plays its way into the bracket on Friday night, the juggernaut Boston Celtics will be waiting in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. They won 64 games, which is 14 more than anyone else in the East and seven more than anyone else in the league.

That massive separation between Boston and everyone else is what made the game between Philadelphia and Miami so crucial. Instead of having to win to play Boston, the 76ers get a much more favorable matchup vs. the Knicks, who finished just three games ahead of Philly even though Joel Embiid missed 43 games. The big man made his presence felt against Miami with a team-high 23 points and a game-high 15 rebounds to go with five assists. Embiid showed off his range with a three-point shot that put the 76ers ahead 93-91 with two and a half minutes to play, and he followed that up with a offensive rebound and putback that resulted in a three-point play to cancel out Tyler Herro’s clutch three-point shot for Miami.

Miami tied the score with a Haywood Highsmith floater with 90 seconds left, but then Embiid beat a double team and found Kelly Oubre Jr. wide open under the bucket for a layup plus the foul. Herro tried to answer with an equalizing three, but Nicolas Batum blocked the attempt, which allowed the 76ers to close out the game with free throws.

Highlights: 76ers def. Heat 105-104

Read More: 76ers overcome sluggish 1st half, rally past Heat (Yahoo)

The team trying to keep the Heat out of the NBA Playoffs will be the Chicago Bulls. They ran past Atlanta 131-116 in the night cap thanks to a career-high 42 points from Coby White. Chicago shot a scintillating 57 percent from the floor, including a 15-for-21 performance from White.

Dejounte Murray had 30 points and six assists for Atlanta, but it wasn’t enough to keep up with the Bulls, who jumped out to a 40-22 lead after one quarter. The Hawks battled back with a 45-point second quarter and drew within three points, but Chicago pulled away late in the third with a 22-7 run to end the period.

Highlights: Bulls def. Hawks 131-116

Read More: Coby White leads Bulls’ offensive explosion (Yahoo)

Battle for the Eight Seeds

Friday, April 19

Bulls at Heat, 7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN

Kings at Pelicans, 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT and truTV



Jontay Porter Banned by NBA for Betting on Basketball

 Photo:  Alika Jenner / Getty Images

Porter is the First Person to be Banned by the NBA Since Donald Sterling in 2014

Quick question: Which man has been worse for the NBA’s public relations? Porter or Sterling? Never mind, please don’t answer that. The main takeaway is that it’s bad to be in the same category as the disgraced former governor (owner) of the Clippers.

There’s a good reason for that, though. Porter is the nightmare that the NBA and other major sports leagues have been hoping would never come up ever since legalized sports betting began sweeping the nation. The leagues knew that making deals with sportsbooks would lead to increased revenue and fan engagement, but the cost was an increased risk that the integrity of the games would come into question.

After reading about what Porter did, it’s hard not to be skeptical about the relationship between sports and gambling. On March 20, Porter told an NBA bettor information about his health status that was confidential. After the bettor placed an $80,000 wager on some of Porter’s under props, Porter left the game due to illness with just three minutes played. Not only did he give insider information away to a bettor, but he also “limited his own participation to influence the outcome of one or more bets,” according to an NBA press release.

Additionally, the NBA found Porter guilty of making at least 13 bets on NBA games for a total of $54,094. Three of the 13 wagers were parlays in which Porter bet that the Raptors would lose. That’s right, Porter couldn’t even be like Pete Rose and bet on his team to win. Although, it’s not like the Raptors were very good this season.

Was the juice worth the squeeze for Porter? He is on a two-way contract that allows him to split time between the Raptors and the G League, but he is still making over $400,000 this year and is only 24 years old. Porter could have made over $2 million next season if Toronto signed him to a standard NBA contract. How much could have been offered to Porter to make him throw away an NBA career? Are there other players at the bottom of NBA rosters sneakily manipulating NBA games to serve gamblers? Many questions remain.

Read More

NBA: Press Release

AP: NBA bans Jontay Porter after gambling probe shows he bet on games



Bayern and Real Madrid Eliminate Premier Competition

 Photo:  Alex Livesey-Danehouse / Getty Images

Man City’s Repeat Campaign is Over as No English Clubs Make the Semis

The Champions League semifinals are set with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich advancing on Wednesday to join Tuesday’s winners Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain in the final four of international soccer. Unlike with Tuesday’s matches, Wednesday featured two pairs of squads who came in tied in aggregate scoring.

In a clash of soccer titans, Real Madrid squeezed by Manchester City in a penalty shootout after both teams scored a goal in the first 90 minutes. City dominated in possession, shots, and corner kicks, but it played from behind for most of the match following Rodrygo’s 12th-minute goal for Real Madrid. City finally broke through with Kevin De Bruyne scoring in the 76th minute, but it wasn’t enough to avoid the dreaded shootout, where Real Madrid keeper Andriy Lunin stopped a pair of penalties to push his side through.

Highlights: Real Madrid def. Manchester City

Read More: Real Madrid teach Man City a lesson (ESPN)

In Wednesday’s other quarterfinal, Joshua Kimmich of Bayern scored the match’s only goal on a header in the 63rd minute while keeper Manuel Neuer stopped three Arsenal shots to keep the Gunners off the board. Bayern has disappointed this year with its failure to win the Bundesliga, but a Champions League title would make a lot of people forget all of that.

Highlights: Bayern Munich def. Arsenal

Read More: Kimmich heads Bayern Munich past Arsenal (AP)

Champions League Semifinals

Tuesday, April 30: Bayern vs. Real Madrid First Leg, 3:00 p.m. ET

Wednesday, May 1: Dortmund vs. PSG First Leg, 3:00 p.m. ET




Orioles def. Twins 4-2

Cedric Mullins walk-off home run

Yankees def. Blue Jays 6-4

Juan Soto 3-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB

Phillies def. Rockies 7-6

Kyle Schwarber 2 HR, 250th career HR

Red Sox def. Guardians 2-0

Tanner Houck complete game shutout


Lightning def. Maple Leafs 6-4

Nikita Kucherov becomes 5th player to reach 100 assists in an NHL season



Lakers coach Darvin Ham rips ‘insane asylum’ idea that team should have thrown first play-in game

Despite plenty of people in the sports world calling for it in recent days, Darvin Ham never considered throwing the Los Angeles Lakers’ first play-in tournament game. (Yahoo)

‘Voted off the island’: Inside Bill Belichick’s failed job hunt

On the morning of Jan. 25, a few hours before the Atlanta Falcons named Raheem Morris to be their next head coach, Bill Belichick believed the job was his. (ESPN)

Following Play-In defeat, is the Golden State Warriors dynasty over?

It’s the first season that the Warriors have missed the playoffs when they had their star trio of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green healthy and available. (CNN)



WNBA’s Caitlin Clark, Nike Nearing 8-Figure Contract with Signature Shoe (Bleacher Report)

Houck tosses MLB’s fastest game in nearly 14 years (

Fleury signs 1-year contract with Wild, will play final season in 2024-25 (

Iowa reloading after Caitlin Clark departure: Hawkeyes add Lucy Olsen (CBS Sports)

RB J.K. Dobbins plans to sign 1-year deal with Chargers (ESPN)

Zion Williamson to miss Play-In showdown with Kings due to hamstring strain (The Athletic)

Leafs’ Auston Matthews blanked as quest for 70 goals denied (ESPN)

Albany edge rusher AJ Simon, a draft prospect, has died at 25 (NBC Sports)



Tonight’s Must-Watch List


Rangers at Tigers (1:10 p.m. ET, MLBTV)

Diamondbacks at Giants (9:45 p.m. ET, FS1)