July 24, 2014

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US ready to take on Belgium in World Cup
Written by Associated Press   
Friday, June 27, 2014 8:00 PM

BY RONALD BLUM

AP Sports Writer

RECIFE, Brazil (AP) — Now that the U.S. has survived the so-called “Group of Death,” it’s time for sudden death: the knockout phase of the World Cup.

The Americans play Belgium on Tuesday night in the round of 16, hoping to show they’re better than the U.S. team that lost in overtime to Ghana in the second round four years ago.

“By no means are we satisfied with just getting out of the group,” midfielder Graham Zusi said Sunday after the Americans advanced despite a 1-0 loss to Germany. “We want to keep going and make some history.”

Belgium eased past the Americans 4-2 in a May 2013 exhibition at Cleveland on two goals by Christian Benteke (currently sidelined with a torn Achilles tendon), and one each from Marouane Fellaini and Kevin Mirallas. Two years earlier, Belgium won 1-0 in Brussels on Nicolas Lombaerts’ half-volley in the 55th minute in Jurgen Klinsmann’s first road game with the U.S.

“They’re a top team. Everyone around Europe will tell you how good they are,” American goalkeeper Tim Howard said. “They’ve got so many good players, young players, strong, fast, good on the ball. I actually think because of that we match up well with them, but we’ll see.”

 
Manziel: ‘I don’t think I’m doing anything wrong’
Written by Associated Press   
Friday, June 27, 2014 8:00 PM

BY TOM WITHERS

AP Sports Writer

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Johnny’s gonna play and Johnny’s gonna party.

Tired of scrutiny about how he spends his weekends away from football and drained by the spotlight that follows him, Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel said he has no plans to tone down his lifestyle.

“I don’t think I’m doing anything wrong,” he said.

Speaking at a PLAY 60 event with other AFC rookies, Manziel said he’s been bothered by recent criticism about his behavior.

Since being drafted by the Browns in the first round in May, Manziel’s weekend adventures — hanging out poolside with Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski in Las Vegas, photographed on a swan raft while drinking champagne, shown in a video talking into a stack of money as if it were a phone — have added to the legend of Johnny Football.

Manziel understands it may not be a good look, but he’s not a party animal.

“I’m going out,” he said. “Everybody goes out on the weekends and enjoys their life and lives their life. And just for them, they don’t have people that when they walk into a place pull out their phones and all they want to do is follow me around and record everything. My situation is unique and different and now more than ever I’ve seen that it’s an every weekend thing wherever I’m at — whether it’s in Cleveland on a weekend, or in Dallas or anywhere on a weekend, people want to record what I’m doing because they think it’s a story.

 
Top pick Wiggins joins Cavs with lofty goals
Written by Associated Press   
Friday, June 27, 2014 8:00 PM

BY TOM WITHERS

AP Sports Writer

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) — As his talented son, Andrew, was presented with his new wine-and-gold Cavaliers jersey, Mitchell Wiggins finally let go of some painful memories.

This is it, he thought, his second chance, another shot at an NBA career broken in a haze of cocaine abuse.

His son is the No. 1 overall pick, and Mitchell Wiggins is now unburdened by guilt, embarrassment and disappointment. He’s whole again.

“It just gives me closure,” said Mitchell Wiggins, who was suspended for two full seasons with Houston in the 1980s for drugs. “I’m able to let go of maybe some of the things I was feeling when I left the league and I can sleep better now. This is a big moment.”

The Cavaliers introduced Andrew Wiggins on Friday, one day after the team ended weeks of public debate and internal discussion by selecting the slender small forward from Kansas first in the NBA draft. Wiggins, who probably would have also been chosen before anyone else a year ago, began his news conference by saying his personal expectations are as high as what the Cavaliers believe he can attain.

The 19-year-old with the 44-inch vertical jump plans to soar.

 
Cavaliers decide Andrew Wiggins is the 1
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, June 26, 2014 8:33 PM

By TOM WITHERS

Associated Press

 

INDEPENDENCE — The Cavaliers chose potential over power.

By selecting Kansas swingman Andrew Wiggins over Duke's Jabari Parker with the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night, the Cavs are getting a talented, perimeter player who could blossom into a superstar.

And, who knows, maybe play alongside LeBron James.

 
NBA Draft Day Trades/Early Entries
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, June 26, 2014 8:25 PM

Associated Press

Trades

Thursday

1) Denver Nuggets acquired G Arron Afflalo from Orlando for G Evan Fournier and Roy Devyn Marble, f, Iowa (No. 56).

2) Houston Rockets traded C Omer Asik and cash to New Orleans for a conditional 2015 first-round draft pick.

3) Denver traded Doug McDermott, f, Creighton (No. 11) and F Anthony Randolph for Jusuf Nurkic, c, Cedevita/Croatia (No. 16); Gary Harris, g, Michigan State (No. 19) and a 2015 second-round draft pick.

 
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