Lakers veterans have ’emotionally charged exchange’ with Luke Walton, report says

Michael Beasley

Michael Beasley, JaVale McGee and Lance Stephenson were reportedly involved in the incident.

Tensions are running high in Los Angeles.

Several veteran players, including Michael Beasley, got into an “emotionally charged verbal exchange” with head coach Luke Walton after the Lakers’ loss to the Warriors on Saturday, according to a report from The Athletic which cites unidentified league sources.

According to the report, Walton was preaching to players about playing unselfishly when “several veteran players snapped back.” The sources called it a “heated scene.”

Los Angeles has been involved in trade talks with the Pelicans this week as it pursues All-Star center Anthony Davis.

Davis’ agent Rich Paul told ESPN on Monday he would not sign an extension with the Pelicans and would prefer to be traded.

Reports then came out Saturday the Lakers had offered New Orleans Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Rajon Rondo, Beasley and a first-round pick to New Orleans for Davis.

Another came out Sunday that Lance Stephenson, Brandon Ingram and Ivica Zubac were also included in discussions.

The Pelicans are reportedly considering a counter-offer for the Lakers and talks are expected to resume next week, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.

NBA trade rumors: Lakers’ Brandon Ingram discusses being involved in talks

Brandon Ingram has been mentioned as a possible trade chip for Anthony Davis.

The Lakers have basically offered everyone but LeBron James in a trade proposal for Pelicans center Anthony Davis, according to multiple reports.

Brandon Ingram has been mentioned in those rumors and he addressed his mindset when it comes to dealing with trade talks during the season.

“Everybody has different situations of opportunity and doing what they can do on the basketball floor,” he told reporters after the Lakers’ loss to the Warriors on Saturday, via the Los Angeles Times. “This is up to the players.

“It’s up to the players whether they can handle it mentally and come in mentally and physically and just handle whatever organization they can be at.”

 

Davis’ agent Rich Paul told ESPN on Monday he was not going to sign an extension with the Pelicans and would prefer to be traded.

After this report came out, another surfaced that the rumors were “weighing heavily” on the Lakers’ young players.

Since Davis asked for a trade, Ingram has played in three games. He has averaged 25 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists in those games.

The Los Angeles Times reported the Pelicans are planning to make a counter-offer to the Lakers after LA’s first offer reportedly included Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Michael Beasley, Rajon Rondo and a first-round pick.

New Orleans is expected to ask for two first-round picks and for the Lakers to take on a Pelicans’ player beyond Davis. It reportedly thought LA’s first proposal was a “lowball offer.”

Kovalev dominates Alvarez to regain WBO crown

Russian Sergey Kovalev

In a rematch of their fight from August, Sergey Kovalev dominated Eleider Alvarez to win the WBO light-heavyweight title.

Sergey Kovalev regained his WBO light-heavyweight title with a dominant win over Eleider Alvarez in Texas on Saturday.

Kovalev (33-3-1) was too good for Alvarez in a rematch of their fight from August, when the Colombian claimed the title.

The Russian was in top from the outset and secured a unanimous decision win, the judges scoring it 120-108, 116-112 and 116-112 in Kovalev’s favour.

It marked the third time Kovalev has won the title as he ended the unbeaten record of Alvarez (24-1).

Kovalev landed the cleaner shots in the opening two rounds before Alvarez started to slowly work his way back into the fight.

A couple of good body shots had Kovalev on top in the fourth round before an action-packed sixth, which saw Alvarez land a big right hand before Kovalev finished strongly, hitting his opponent with an uppercut.

Alvarez lifted his intensity in the seventh round but it was Kovalev dominating, seeing out what was a comprehensive victory.

Earlier, Oscar Valdez retained his WBO featherweight title with a seventh-round knockout of Italian Carmine Tommasone.

Valdez (25-0) has now defended his title five times and may next face IBF champion Josh Warrington (28-0).

Tommasone (19-1) did have something to smile about in the ring afterwards, proposing to his girlfriend, who said yes.

Champions League dangerous for PSG without Neymar – Buffon

Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar

With Neymar sidelined, Gianluigi Buffon knows how tough the Champions League will be for Paris Saint-Germain.

Gianluigi Buffon believes the Champions League will be “dangerous” for Paris Saint-Germain without injured star Neymar.

Neymar will miss PSG’s last-16 tie against Manchester United due to a foot injury suffered last month.

Buffon, 41, is yet to win the top European club competition in his illustrious career and the PSG goalkeeper said Neymar’s absence hurt his side’s chances.

‘PSG in danger without Neymar’ – Buffon

“Every year, I always thought it could be the right year. But it is now 24 years since I am trying to win the Champions League,” he said on Saturday.

“But it’s very hard to do so. You have to be a bit lucky. Right now for us, it’s a special time because Ney got injured.

“For us, Ney is a very important player because he did unbelievable stuff for the team during the last three months.

“For us, it’s dangerous to not have him.”

Neymar scored 20 goals in 23 games in all competitions prior to his injury setback.

PSG head to Old Trafford for the first leg of their tie against United on February 12.

NBA trade rumors: Pelicans considering counter-offer to Lakers for Anthony Davis

The Lakers reportedly made five separate offers to the Pelicans for Anthony Davis, according to a report from the LA Times.

The Pelicans are considering a counter-offer to the Lakers’ trade proposal for All-Star big man Anthony Davis.

New Orleans could propose the Lakers to include two first-round picks in the deal for Davis as well as include another Pelicans player, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times which cites unidentified league sources.

The Lakers reportedly made five separate offers to the Pelicans for Davis, one of which included Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Michael Beasley, Rajon Rondo and a first-round pick, according to a report from ESPN.

Los Angeles also made Lance Stephenson, Brandon Ingram and Ivica Zubac available in other proposals.

The Pelicans reportedly considered these “lowball offers” and were not interested in making any of the deals happen.

The trade deadline is Feb. 7 at 3 p.m. ET. New Orleans could also wait to agree to a deal for Davis after the year is over.

 

NBA wrap: Warriors overcome bizarre night from Stephen Curry to top Lakers

Although Stephen Curry didn’t make a field goal until the fourth quarter, the Warriors claimed a 115-101 victory.

Golden State got a little revenge for its Christmas Day loss to the Lakers earlier this season.

LeBron James injured his groin in the last contest between these teams, but Los Angeles pulled out a win. He sat out this time for load management, as he just returned to the court from his injury.

Although Stephen Curry didn’t make a field goal until the fourth quarter, the Warriors claimed a 115-101 victory. Klay Thompson led all scorers with 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting.

Brandon Ingram led the Lakers with 20 points while Rajon Rondo totaled 12 points and 11 assists on the night.

The Warriors’ 11-game winning streak was snapped against the 76ers on Thursday, but they could be poised to begin another hot streak.

Studs of the Night

Lou Williams totaled 39 points and nine assists as the Clippers took down the Pistons 111-101.

Kemba Walker had 37 points, six rebounds and 10 assists in the Hornets’ 125-118 win against Chicago.

Luka Doncic tied a career high with 35 points in a 111-98 Mavericks victory against the Cavaliers.

James Harden had 43 points, 12 rebounds, six steals, five assists and four blocks in the Rockets’ 125-98 blowout win over the Jazz.

Duds of the Night

Joe Harris scored six points on 3-of-12 shooting as the Nets fell short to the Magic 102-89.

DeMar DeRozan scored 13 points on 3-of-10 shooting in the Spurs’ 113-108 win against the Pelicans.

Highlights

DeMarcus Cousins got a technical for staring down Kyle Kuzma after this poster.

 

Ben Simmons took off and slammed one home over Nemanja Bjelica.

 

What’s Next?

Thunder (33-18) at Celtics (33-19) 2 p.m. ET — Boston has won three games straight while Oklahoma City is riding a seven-game winning streak. Kyrie Irving and crew should have a challenging matchup against Russell Westbrook and Paul George.

 

Tuchel: I hug Neymar or I write to him

Thomas Tuchel wants to make sure Paris Saint-Germain maintain their connection with the injured Neymar.

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel spoke about his close relationship with Neymar, saying he was in regular contact with the injured superstar.

Neymar, 26, is set to be out until April after suffering a broken foot in a Coupe de France win over Strasbourg last month.

Tuchel said he was regularly in touch with the Brazil star, wanting to maintain their connection despite the forward being sidelined.

“When he is at Ooredoo [Training Centre] I hug him, when he is not at Ooredoo I write to him,” he told a news conference.

“So I keep in contact, I show him that I still believe, that I still wait, I show him that I am sad when he’s not in the dressing room. I write to him that it’s sad when we start to prepare a match without him. And we are joking and we are writing and we are keeping in touch.

“We want to keep in touch with everybody, but we cannot lose the connection to Ney and this is how we try.

“But right now the big focus is on his rehabilitation and the big focus is on every physio and every doctor who’s with him and they deserve now the biggest credit to bring him hopefully back on the pitch very soon.”

PSG have won four straight games in all competitions heading into a trip to Lyon on Sunday.

 

NBA trade rumors: Lakers targeting Pistons G Reggie Bullock

Bullock is a free agent at the end of the season, but his 3-point shooting is attractive to the Lakers for this year.

The Lakers are looking at more than just acquiring Anthony Davis at the trade deadline.

Los Angeles has interest in picking up Reggie Bullock from the Pistons, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times which cites unidentified league sources.

Bullock would be appealing to the Lakers because he is an expiring contract as he is on the last year of a two-year, $5 million deal, but his 3-point shooting also appeals to them.

The 27-year-old is shooting 38.3 percent from beyond the arc while making 2.5 3-pointers a game.

Los Angeles came into Saturday’s matchup with the Warriors with the fourth-worst 3-point shooting percentage in the league (33.7 percent).

The Lakers make 10.2 3-pointers per game which is tied for 20th in the NBA.

 

Berhalter pleased with USA progress

Gregg Berhalter was pleased with the United States’ friendly victory over Costa Rica.

United States head coach Gregg Berhalter was satisfied with a “good job” after a 2-0 friendly win over Costa Rica in California on Saturday.

Late goals from Sebastian Lletget and Paul Arriola saw Berhalter become just the third USA coach to win his first two matches in charge.

While he said there was still work to do for USA, Berhalter was pleased with his side’s performance at Avaya Stadium.

“The three benchmarks we had were team building, style of play and competing,” he told Fox Sports.

“And from a team-building standpoint, when you see the camaraderie, and you see how these guys are pushing for each other, you can tell that we’ve been working on that. So that’s excellent.

 

“Style of play we need to keep going, we need to keep improving. There are some good elements, but we’re not there yet. And from a competing standpoint, these guys are animals and you saw today. It’s really nice to see in the second half the urging and the pushing.

“It was a good job.”

USA recorded wins over Panama and Costa Rica to begin 2019 and have challenging friendlies against Ecuador and Chile to come next month.

 

Klopp not nervous amid Premier League title fight

Liverpool may be aiming for a first league title since 1990, but manager Jurgen Klopp has no nerves.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted he was not a “nervous person” as his side continue their bid to win the Premier League title.

Klopp’s men visit West Ham on Monday, a day after Manchester City host Arsenal with the possibility of closing the gap at the top to two points.

A two-time Bundesliga winner with Borussia Dortmund, Klopp said he had no nerves as he called on his team to remain focused.

“I am not a nervous person and so I was never nervous before we won the first title at Dortmund. That’s how it is,” he told UK newspapers.

“Experience showed me that the way I did it in the past worked, so I didn’t change. The only thing I always knew is to do the right thing as often as possible, stay focused on your own way and don’t think about the other things around, and do it as much and as good as you can.

“Then, if you are good enough, it will happen. If not, it will not happen. That is pretty easy. Our tool to sort the situation is football. That is the only thing we can do.”

 

Klopp pointed to Liverpool’s run to last season’s Champions League final as proof they could deal with pressure.

But with Liverpool having last won a league title in 1990, Klopp understands how desperate fans are to achieve domestic success.

“Will there be nervous moments? Yes, for sure. But don’t make them bigger than they are because there were nervous situations last year, two years ago, three years ago,” he said.

“The people here really, really want it and that’s how it is. They want it with all they have. I get that and we will try with all we have, but there are no guarantees.”

 

NBA trade rumors: Bucks talking to ‘several teams’ about Thon Maker

Thon Maker reportedly requested the Bucks to trade him last week.

The Bucks are actively trying to trade Thon Maker.

Maker, 21, asked the Bucks to trade him last week and Milwaukee is talking to several teams about making a deal for him, according to a report from ESPN which cites unidentified league sources.

 

The 7-1 center has told Bucks management he would like a larger role with a new team,

The 2016 first-round pick has not played in a game since Jan. 25.

He is averaging 4.7 points and 2.7 rebounds for the Bucks this season.

Milwaukee has the best record in the NBA at 38-13.

Ronaldo laments Juventus mistakes

Cristiano Ronaldo was pleased with his brace but not Juventus’ Serie A draw with Parma.

Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo was unhappy after his side’s 3-3 draw with Parma in the Serie A on Saturday.

Ronaldo scored a brace as Juve took a 3-1 lead, only for a late double from Gervinho to secure a draw for Parma at Allianz Stadium.

While the Portuguese star was glad to get on the scoresheet, the 33-year-old rued the result for the league leaders.

“I’m happy about the goals but not the result. This is football,” Ronaldo told DAZN.

“We dropped back in the final few minutes and Parma capitalised on our mistakes.

 

“I don’t think the last few results are because of our heavy workload. We’re relaxed and not worried.

“We’re confident in the ability of this team and its technical quality, as well as the coach and the staff.”

Juve are now winless in two matches, having been knocked out of the Coppa Italia by Atalanta on Wednesday.

Despite the draw, Juve are nine points clear atop Serie A and unbeaten in 22 league matches this season.

 

LeBron James to miss Warriors game Saturday due to ‘load management’

Lakers superstar LeBron James

The Lakers star, who played his first game since Dec. 25 on Thursday, will sit out the Warriors game Saturday.

LeBron James will not play Saturday against the Warriors, according to Yahoo Sports.

A source told the site the reason is “load management.”

James played his first game Thursday since suffering a groin strain Dec. 25 against the Warriors. While he scored 24 points with 14 rebounds and nine assists in an overtime win against the Clippers, he said afterward he was not close to 100 percent after missing 17 games.

“The first quarter was just kind of a feel-out quarter to see how my groin would react,” James said. “I didn’t really run as hard as I’m accustomed to on breaks. I had a couple of drives, just trying to mentally get into it….

“I’m not there all the way, as far as physically. My timing … is 80 percent right now, but it felt good to be 80 and be back on the floor and put on a Lakers’ uniform again.”

The Lakers next play Tuesday at Indiana, their third of six straight road games. None of the remaining games after that, against Boston, Philadelphia and Atlanta, are back-to-back contests, which would be good if the Lakers are trying to ease James back in over the next week or so.

But Los Angeles (27-25) clearly needs its superstar on the floor. While James sat out, the team went 6-11 and is now ninth in the Western Conference.

Fowler in charge at Phoenix Open

Rickie Fowler

Rickie Fowler pulled clear at the Phoenix Open after firing a fine seven-under 64 in the third round.

Rickie Fowler charged into a four-stroke lead at the Phoenix Open after firing a seven-under 64 in the third round on Saturday.

Fowler finished with eight birdies, five of which came on the front nine in Scottsdale, Arizona.

By the time he made the turn, he put just enough distance between himself and the rest of the pack, finishing the day at 20 under.

“[I’m] just playing solid golf,” Fowler said. “I’m looking forward to tomorrow. There’s 18 holes left, a lot of work, but we’re in a good spot.”

Matt Kuchar is in sole possession of second place at 16 under after shooting a six-under 65. Justin Thomas rounded out the top three a shot further back after he carded a 68.

Kuchar climbed three spots on the leaderboard after a mistake-free round highlighted by six birdies.

Thomas, however, was not as fortunate. He had two bogeys on the front nine which sandwiched one of his five birdies. He was able to edge out An Byeong-hun and Branden Grace – who are at 13 under – for third place and a spot in the final group on Sunday.

“I hit a very nice back nine to at least keep myself in it,” Thomas said. “There’s a good chance it might take something special for me tomorrow but I like the fact at least that I got my way in that final group and I’m going to know what [Rickie] is doing.

“Hopefully I can get off to a hot start and maybe put a little bit of heat on him.”

An and Grace are tied for fourth place. An, who has yet to win on the PGA Tour, is in contention after shooting five-under 66. Grace had an eagle on the par-five 13th hole but three bogeys stained his scorecard. He finished with a 69.

Gary Woodland, last year’s Phoenix Open champion, is in a two-way tie with Bubba Watson for sixth place at 12 under. Watson had three consecutive birdies on the front nine, but after the turn had two bogeys to go along with two more birdies. He carded a three-under 68.

Woodland was able to improve on his two-day total and move into the top 10.

“It was a nice finish. I played really well today,” he said. “[I’m] just hoping Rickie wouldn’t run too far away from us because tomorrow, hopefully, the golf course is softened up a little bit and we’ll play aggressive. But I’m happy with where I’m at.”