Athletes shrug off severe pollution issues at Rio Olympic test

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RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Athletes, coaches and organizers at a major test event for next year’s Olympic Games shrugged off a simmering dispute over safety at watersports venues by diving into the controversial waters off Copacabana Beach on Saturday.The first day of the triathlon world championship event saw para-athletes swim in the Atlantic waters and bike and run in the streets nearby.”I’m not concerned about the water,” said Alison Patrick, a blind British athlete who won the P-5 women’s’ triathlon in partnership with her sighted guide Grace France.”The thing I noticed most was that the water was warm. I’m from Scotland and I’m used to much colder water.”The waters will be used for triathlon, ocean swimming and sailing events during next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the first to be held in South America.Elite men’s and women’s triathlon events, scheduled for Sunday, offer qualifying spots for next year’s Games.

The San Diego Padres went all-in on the 2015 season and it has been a complete disaster

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The San Diego Padres shocked the baseball world this past off-season with a series of trades and free agent signings that shook up the roster, leading to what many at the time called the most improved team in the National League and a legitimate World Series contender.Five months later, the Padres are 44-52, 10.5 games back in the NL West as on July 24, and it looks like they are going to try to trade away some of the very players they went all-in on, including pitcher James Shields whom they signed this past winter as a free agent, as well as outfielder Justin Upton and closer Craig Kimbrel who both came via trades.

FIFA hasn’t signed any new 2018 World Cup sponsors since the corruption scandal exploded

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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — The FIFA corruption crisis is hurting its search for new World Cup sponsors.Targeting almost $6 billion in revenue from the 2018 tournament, FIFA has not signed any new sponsors since last year’s World Cup in Brazil.”Definitely the current situation does not help to finalize any new agreement. That is a fact,” FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said Friday ahead of this weekend’s qualifying draw.The first big event for host Russia has brought hundreds of international media to St. Petersburg, offering a natural stage for a sponsorship launch. However, Valcke said no major deals would be completed until FIFA’s future is clearer — after Sepp Blatter is replaced as president next year.

Mavericks player Chandler Parsons torches ‘scared,’ ‘unprofessional’ DeAndre Jordan for backing out of $80 million deal

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chandler parsons

DeAndre Jordan’s decision to back out of an $80 million deal with the Dallas Mavericks at the last minute and re-sign with the Clippers shocked the NBA world, but it might not have affected anyone more than Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons.Parsons, who shares the same agent as Jordan, became the lead recruiter early in free agency, at one point spending six-straight days with Jordan.In a tell-all interview with ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Parsons trashed Jordan’s decision to back out on the Mavericks, saying he was “shocked, very disappointed, frustrated, disrespected.””He wasn’t ready for being a franchise player. He was scared,” he told ESPN. “He was scared to take the next step in his career.”The whole thing is worth a read, but here are some of the stand-out quotes.On Jordan’s decision to spurn the Mavericks:“When a man gives you his word and an organization his word, especially when that organization put in so much effort and I walked him through this process and was very, very open and willing to work with him, it’s just very unethical and disrespectful.”

LeBron James reportedly won’t talk to the Cavs until a teammate who has the same agent gets a contract

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LeBron James

Contract negotiations between the Cleveland Cavaliers and free agent LeBron James haven’t begun, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.While everyone considers LeBron re-signing with the Cavs a mere formality, negotiations are on hold for now.Windhorst reports that LeBron’s agent, Rich Paul, has “made it known” that no talks will take place until free agent Tristan Thompson gets a new deal. Paul represents both Thompson and the four-time NBA MVP.ESPN originally reported that Thompson and the Cavs had “essentially come to terms” on a five-year, $80 million contract on the first day of free agency. However, talks have reportedly broken down since then. Windhorst reports that the two sides are now no longer currently talking, and, until they do so, neither is LeBron.

LeBron James is expected to re-sign with the Cavs, but not until they pay his teammates

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LeBron James

LeBron James has opted out of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers and has become a free agent. While all signs point to James re-signing with the Cavs, there is work to be done and it sounds like LeBron is going to make the Cavs sweat until it happens.James is expected to re-sign with the Cavs and does not plan to meet with other teams, according to sources for Brian Windhorst and Chris Broussard of ESPN, which has almost certainly been the plan all along.James would have made $21.6 million next season under the old contract. By opting out, James can now sign a contract worth about $22.0 million for the 2015-16 season, according to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. More importantly, James will almost certainly sign a one-year contract which will allow him to become a free agent again next summer when the salary cap is set to explode thanks to an infusion of new national TV revenue. In 2016, James can sign a contract that will start with a salary close to $30 million with annual increases.But there is more to James’ free agency than just a $400,000 raise. If it was only about the money, he would just sign the contract as soon as it is offered on Wednesday. But that won’t happen, according to Brian Windhorst on ESPN Radio, who described the situation as “a chance [for LeBron] to squeeze the Cavs a little bit.”

Lebron James is now a free agent, after opting out of his contract

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Lebron James

For the third time in six seasons, LeBron James is an unrestricted free agent.The difference this time is he has no plans to move again.The Cleveland star will not exercise a $21.6 million option on his contract for next season, a person with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press on Sunday. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because neither the Cavaliers nor James were publicly discussing the process.James’ decision has been widely expected for months. The approach allows him to sign a new maximum contract — likely another two-year deal with a player option for 2017-18 —that will pay him more than he would have made under his previous contract. His max number for next season, which is tied to how high the salary cap rises, is expected to be more than $22 million.The last time James became a free agent from Cleveland in 2010, he famously left his home state team to play for the Miami Heat. James won two championships and played in four NBA Finals in his four years in Miami before making the celebrated decision to return home last summer.

Michael Jordan and the Hornets reportedly turned down an absurd trade offer for the No. 9 pick so they could draft Frank Kaminsky

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frank kaminsky hornets

The Boston Celtics, noted hoarders of future assets, reportedly offered an eye-popping trade package to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for the No. 9 pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft.According to ESPN’s Chris Forsberg, the Celtics coveted Duke’s Justise Winslow so badly they made an offer to the Hornets that included up to six future draft picks, including four potential first-rounders — some of which came in this year’s draft.Forsberg writes, “Boston had opened wide its war chest of picks to the point where many in the room were slightly uncomfortable with the amount the team would potentially part with.”Still, the Hornets couldn’t be swayed and instead drafted Frank Kaminsky, a 7-footer from Wisconsin, who many experts felt would land somewhere in the teens.If the offer was that straightforward — six picks, four potential future first-rounders — the Hornets are borderline insane for turning it down. It’s possible that there were catches that turned off the Hornets, like heavy protections on the picks or the right to swap picks, but that sort of compensation for a mid-lottery pick is almost unprecedented.There are rarely trades in the NBA where teams offer multiple picks for one asset in return. A recent example may be the Cleveland Cavaliers trading two first-round picks to the Denver Nuggets for Timofey Mozgov. This was thought to be a fair side for all teams — the Cavs had an extra draft pick and a desperate need for a center and the Nuggets got good compensation.

Ex-NFL player explains how he ended up blowing a chunk of his $20 million

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phillip buchanon

Former NFL player Phillip Buchanon has been using his experience to help teach young NFL players how to handle their money.Buchanon released his book, “New Money: Staying Rich,” earlier this year, and he has been active in promoting the book and helping future players avoid financial strains and bankruptcy.Buchanon, who made over $20 million in his career, has stressed the importance of managing money when it comes to family members. He has often told the story of his mother, who he says demanded $1 million from him after he was drafted as a price for raising him.On his personal blog, Buchanon explained that he felt “obligated” to just give his money away:”When I talk about this, people sometimes ask what kind of bad financial decisions I made. I’d say blowing $1.5 million in one business deal was pretty bad. I would say giving a lot of money away — $50,000 here, $20,000 there — was not a smart move. When you are a young player with new money, you feel obligated to just give your money away because of the pressure that you feel, especially from your own family.”In the same blog, he wrote about the three tips he tells young players:

Jordan Spieth’s caddie worked at the US Open course for $100 a bag when he was a 6th-grade teacher — this week he made $180,000

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michael greller us open

All week long Michael Greller insisted that he had no inside information on Chambers Bay, despite working there in the summer of 07, caddying for Justin Thomas there at the US Amateur in 2010, and getting married there in 2013.But after Jordan Spieth won the US Open at Chambers Bay, he admitted that Greller played a key role.”That was the best week he ever caddied.” he said.Eight years ago Greller was a sixth-grade teacher at Narrows View Intermediate School. During the summer he signed up to be a caddie at the newly opened Chambers Bay, which is a seven-minute drive from the school. According to Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press, hemade between $60 and $100 per round. Greller mostly caddied for “out-of-town businessmen, retired doctors or construction-company managers” at the public-access course, the News Tribune reports. After winning the US Open, he said he couldn’t take much from his time as a caddie in 2007 because the guys he caddied for could never break 90.