Celtics excited for an NBA team in Seattle


Celtics excited for an NBA team in Seattle

BOSTON Avery Bradley was just a teenager when Seattle lost its NBA team, the Seattle Supersonics.
The Tacoma, Wash. native, like many in the Sea-Tac region, was devastated by the news. 
So it's no surprise that he is among those giddy to see that Seattle will once again be home to an NBA team now that the Sacramento Kings are reportedly close to being sold to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
"It's going to be great for the city," Bradley said. "It's going to be nice going back there, have the Celtics beat up on the Sonics."
Celtics guard Jason Terry, who is from Seattle, was also excited about the idea of his hometown once again being host to an NBA team. 
"It's a great day for basketball," Terry said. "Obviously being from Seattle. My heart is in Seattle. I always dreamed that one day they'd get a team back there. Not only for everyone from Seattle; but for the NBA. It's a great city, a great sports town."
Terry remembers all too well how tough the community took seeing the Sonics leave town. 
"There was all kind of save-the-Sonics shirts and signs and blogs," Terry said. "Again, this is definitely a good day."
Although Sacramento is the capital of California, it has long been seen as one of the less desirable stops along the NBA circuit by players. 
"Nothing against Sacramento, but Seattle is definitely a nicer city," Terry said. 
Boston forward Jeff Green spent his rookie season in Seattle prior to the then-Sonics moving to Oklahoma City for the 2008-2009 season. 
"Seattle is a great city," Green said. "I'm happy for the city of Seattle and wish the best for them."
Rajon Rondo has played two games in Seattle. 
"It was raining a lot," Rondo said when asked about his memories of playing in Seattle. 
And as far as the Seattle-area having an NBA team and no more trips to Sacramento if the deal goes through as expected, Rondo would not have a problem with that.
"I think Seattle's a better city than Sacramento," Rondo said. "But that's just my opinion."

Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss


Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

NEW YORK -- It had the potential to be the most awkward celebration ever.

In the top of the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium, before their game was complete, the Red Sox became American League East champions, by virtue of one other division rival -- Baltimore -- coming back to beat another -- Toronto -- in the ninth inning.

That eliminated the Blue Jays from the division race, and made the Sox division champs.

But that ninth inning reversal of fortune was about to visit the Red Sox, too.

Craig Kimbrel faced four hitters and allowed a single and three straight walks, leading to a run. When, after 28 pitches, he couldn't get an out, he was lifted for Joe Kelly, who recorded one out, then yielded a walk-off grand slam to Mark Teixeira.

The Yankees celebrated wildly on the field, while the Red Sox trudged into the dugout, beset with mixed emotions.

Yes, they had just lost a game that seemed theirs. But they also had accomplished something that had taken 158 games.

What to do?

The Sox decided to drown their temporary sorrows in champagne.

"As soon as we got in here,'' said Jackie Bradley Jr., "we quickly got over it.''

From the top of the eighth until the start of the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox seemed headed in a conventional celebration.

A two-run, bases-loaded double by Mookie Betts and a wild pitch -- the latter enabling David Ortiz to slide into home and dislodge the ball from former teammate Tommy Layne's glove --- had given the Sox a 3-0 lead.

Koji Uehara worked around a walk to post a scoreless walk and after the top of the ninth, the Sox called on Craig Kimbrel, who had successfully closed out all but two save opportunities all season.

But Kimbrel quickly allowed a leadoff single to Brett Gardner and then began pitching as though he forgot how to throw strikes. Three straight walks resulted in a run in and the bases loaded.

Joe Kelly got an out, but then Teixeira, for the second time this week, produced a game-winning homer in the ninth. On Monday, he had homered in Toronto to turn a Blue Jays win into a loss, and now, here he was again.

It may have been a rather meaningless victory for the Yankees -- who remain barely alive for the wild card -- but it did prevent them the indignity of watching the Red Sox celebrate on their lawn.

Instead, the Sox wore the shame of the walk-off -- at least until they reached their clubhouse, where the partying began in earnest.

It had taken clubhouse attendants less than five minutes to cover the floor and lockers with plastic protective sheets. In a matter of a few more minutes, the air was filled with a mix of beer and bubbly.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski wore a goggles and only socks on his feet.

As the spray reached every inch of the clubhouse, David Ortiz exclaimed: "I'm going to drown in this man.''

Defeat? What defeat?