Wakeup Call: Agent and family are calling LeBron home

Wakeup Call: Agent and family are calling LeBron home
July 8, 2014, 8:00 am
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(AP Photo)

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy and/or interesting tidbits -- for Tuesday, July 8:

AUTO RACING

It may look like a union and smell like a union, but members of the Race Team Alliance -- a single entity comprised of the top nine teams in NASCAR to collaborate on initiatives and issues facing their sport -- insist they're not a union. (AP)

The rain-shortened Coke Zero 400 was the last race that Barney Hall, the voice of NASCAR as the lead announcer for Motor Racing Network, will ever call. Hall, 82, who has been announcing races for more than 50 years, will now do features about race tracks, races and drivers for MRN. (AP)

Take it from Brad Keselowski: Drink beer, not champagne. (AP)

BASEBALL

I guess falling asleep at a Red Sox-Yankee game -- especially if you're overweight -- is your ticket to a $10 million windfall. At least this guy thinks so. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

A's fans know an ace is an ace, no matter the name. (Yahoo! Sports)

It wasn't Plan B as much as co-Plan A, but the Athletics turned to Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammell only after determining they couldn't get David Price from the Rays. (Yahoo! Sports)

Justin Verlander thinks the A's had the Tigers -- who've ousted them from the last two postseasons -- in mind when they acquired Samardzija and Jason Hammel. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Best of luck to old friend Bronson Arroyo, facing Tommy John surgery at age 37 but who vows to pitch again in the major leagues. (AP)

Poor Edwin Encarnacion. He finally makes the All-Star team, but he's going to miss the game because of a strained right quadriceps. (AP)

Jose Bautista says he doesn't "really understand the purpose of [MLB's replay system], but getting the right call on the field is not the purpose. That’s pretty obvious and evident." Ooh, Bud's not going to like that . . . (Hardball Talk)

Attention, John Lackey: Nelson Cruz hit his MLB-leading 28th home run last night. (Hardball Talk)

Michael Bourne's hamstring strain is more serious than first believed, which is why the Indians picked up Chris Dickerson from the Pirates. (Hardball Talk)

And that means old friend George Kottaras is out of a job. (Hardball Talk)

Now you can pour your own beer at Target Field. If it works, it's just a matter of time before it's everywhere. (AP)

Of course you think that, Pete. (Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Brandon Austin -- who left Providence College under the cloud of a sexual-assault investigation and was expelled from Oregon after being part of a group accused of sexually assaulting a female student -- is headed to Hutchinson, Kan., Community College. (NBC's College Basketbal Talk)

Tennessee says Pat Summitt can remain women's head coach emeritus "in perpetuity, or until she chooses to relinquish it." (AP)

Amber Battle, the member of the Texas Tech women's team who was involved in the altercation with football player Nigel Bethel II that resulted in Bethel's dismissal from school and the filing of felony charges against him, has been suspended from the team for the first month of the season. In a statement released late last week, Battle -- the Lady Raiders' leading scorer last year with a 16.4 points-per-game average -- said she "initiated first contact" with Bethel during a pickup basketball game. She apologized to Bethel, her teammates, her coaches and the school for her actions. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

The NCAA is suggesting that teams hold no more than two contact practices per week during the season in guidelines that grew out of a safety and concussion summit early this year. (AP)

USC's letting bygones be bygones: They're inducting Pete Carroll, who left town just before the NCAA sheriff threw the book at the Trojans for rule-breaking during his time as coach, into their Hall of Fame. (NBC's College Football Talk)

Best college football stadium in the country? LSU's Tiger Stadium, according to this poll. (College Football Talk)

Hey, all you Les Miles fans out there: This look familiar? (College Football Talk)

Ohio State defensive lineman Tracy Sprinkle is dismissed from the team after being arrested and charged with possession of cocaine . . . but for how long? (College Football Talk)

HOCKEY

Bryan Murray, the Senators' general manager and director of hockey operations, has been diagnosed with cancer and will begin treatment immediately. No word on what type of cancer, or the prognosis. (AP)

The Predators will be without forward Mike Fisher, who ruptured his Achilles tendon during a recent training session, for at least the start of the season. (AP)

I'm sure Islanders Nation is just thrilled that Dan Boyle refused to sign with the Isles after being traded there by San Jose, and instead took less money to join the arch-rival Rangers. (AP)

BC's Johnny Gaudreau is a little small as NHL forwards go, so he's reached out to other undersized wingers for tips on how to succeed with the Flames. (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL

The NBA offseason -- or the movement of upper-crust talent, anyway -- is on hold until LeBron James decides what he's going to do. That logjam may break today, as James reportedly will meet with Pat Riley in Las Vegas. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

If James' agent has his way, LeBron will be heading not to Miami but back home to Cleveland. (Yahoo! Sports)

Sounds like his family is pushing him towards Ohio, too. (Pro Basketball Talk)

All that being the case, it doesn't sound like the signings of Danny Granger and Josh McRoberts will be enough to convince James to go back to the Heat. (AP)

Riley has other problems, as well: Chris Bosh is being pursued hard by the Rockets and he's said to be "considering" their max offer. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Meanwhile, 'Melo can't decide whether to return to the Knicks or sign with either the Lakers or the Bulls. (Pro Basketball Talk)

You can call them Lakers East: After hiring one of his former players, Derek Fisher, as coach, the Zen Master -- an ex-Laker himself, obviously -- brings 1980s L.A. star Kurt Rambis to the Knicks as associate head coach. (AP)

Boris Diaw's return to San Antonio heads today's free-agent roundup. (Yahoo! Sports)

Channing Frye is leaving the Suns to join the Magic. (Yahoo! Sports)

Didn't take long for P.J. Hairston to get in trouble with the Hornets. (AP)

Russell Westbrook's skipping this year's World Cup, though he still hopes to play in the 2016 Olympics. (Yahoo! Sports)

The Sterling trial begins without Donald. (Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL

A federal judge grants preliminary approval to a landmark deal that will compensate thousands of former NFL players for concussion-related claims. (AP)

The settlement, however, has a CTE loophole. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Jim Brown's 1964 NFL championship ring is being auctioned off on www.lelands.com, but Brown says the ring was stolen from him more than 40 years ago and he wants it back. (AP)

The Browns are "disappointed" to hear of Josh Gordon's latest brush with the law, a DWI arrest arrest. (Pro Football Talk)

Former teammate D'Qwell Jackson, now with the Colts, is more than disappointed. He's pleading for "anyone close to Josh Gordon" to "please help this kid" because "it’s not about football anymore it’s about picking up the pieces of his life." (Pro Football Talk)

Cris Carter, who's been down this path, thinks the only thing that will help Gordon is tough love . . . and that means Cleveland should release him. (Pro Football Talk)

Yet another member of the Saints -- Drew Brees -- says Jimmy Graham is, indeed, a tight end . . . much to Graham's and the NFLPA's consternation. But Brees also says Graham "has revolutionized the position" and hopes Graham and the team come to a contract agreement soon. (Pro Football Talk)

Johnny Football had so much fun in Las Vegas on Memorial Day weekend that he went back there for the Fourth of July. Hey, he figures to be busy on Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas, you know? (Pro Football Talk)

Bryant McKinnie's financial woes continue: His car's been repossessed. (Pro Football Talk)

Just when you think you've seen the ultimate in stupidity, something comes along to top it. (Pro Football Talk)

SOCCER

Tim Howard's not big on bro-hugs, apparently. (Yahoo! Sports)

Neymar denies reports that he's going to try some extraordinary medical procedures to play in the World Cup final if Brazil qualifies. (AP via Yahoo! Sports)

Besides, if he played he'd take away one of Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari's biggest motivational tools. (soccerly.com)

The Brazilians will play Germany today without Thiago Silva; FIFA denied their appeal to set aside the yellow card he received in the quarterfinals against Colombia, and he'll be forced to sit out the match. (NBC's Pro Soccer Talk) 

Nigeria may be kicked out of international competition if its football federation -- fired by a regional high court for "having botched the country’s World Cup campaign" -- isn't restored. FIFA rules permit for the suspension of countries from international play when governments interfere in the running of the country’s federation, and that's what its threatening to do. (Pro Soccer Talk)

TENNIS

When they were players, Boris Becker usually beat Stefan Edberg. Now that they're coaches, he's doing it again: Novak Djokovic, who works with Becker, beat Roger Federer, who's coached by Edberg, in the Wimbledon men's final. (AP)

Federer's four-hour, five-set loss to Djokovic prevented him from winning from what would have a record eighth Wimbledon title. (AP)