Wakeup Call: HOW old are the Lakers, Kobe?

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Wakeup Call: HOW old are the Lakers, Kobe?

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Thursday, January 3.

BASEBALL
The Rangers' philosophy when it comes to their wooing of Lance Berkman: If at first you don't succeed . . . (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Delmon Young and the Yankees would be a match made in, well, somewhere. But it ain't gonna happen. (Hardball Talk)

My only question: Why'd it take her a week? (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Jim Boeheim passes Bobby Knight on the all-time victory list as Syracuse routs Rutgers. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Everyone figured the Sugar Bowl would be a blowout. Just not with Louisville winning, is all. (NBC's College Football Talk)

They were hardly back in the locker room, consoling themselves after their defeat, when Florida's Matt Elam and Sharrif Floyd declared for the NFL draft. (College Football Talk)

So did Utah's Joe Kruger, though not in a postgame scrum. (AP)

Notre Dame is reveling in its underdog status for the BCS Championship Game . . . but quietly. (CSN Chicago)

Come on. If you didn't like the Stanford band's Ode to Cheese in the Rose Bowl, then you don't know halftime shows. (NBC's Off The Bench)

GOLF
Carl Pettersson is the latest to blast the ban on belly putters. (AP)

HOCKEY
If you're looking for a sign that there might be hockey this year, how's this: The NHL reportedly is planing to open the shortened season with a Penguins-at-Flyers game on Jan. 19. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

And yet another: The NHLPA let pass the deadline to file a disclaimer of interest, which is perhaps an indication they see more hope in negotiating rather than litigating. (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
The ultimate Lakers scouting report, as delivered by Kobe Bryant: "We're old as s--t." (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Not the Heat; they had enough energy to take down the Mavs in overtime. (AP)

How can you tell you love basketball? You get ejected. At least that's Kevin Durant's theory, which he tested in the Thunder's loss to the Nets last night. (AP)

Ah, we knew it was too good to be true in Clipper Land. (AP)

Hmm. This Warriors-Clippers thing looks interesting. (CSN Bay Area)

Sad news: The son of Clippers owner Donald Sterling is found dead of an apparent drug overdose at age 32. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Out of nowhere, Ray Lewis announced his retirement yesterday. (CSN Baltimore)

And no one was more stunned than his teammates. (CSN Balltimore)

Now, however, they have their motivation for the playoffs. (CSN Baltimore)

On Tuesday, everyone had Andy Reid ticketed for Arizona. On Wednesday, he looked like he might be Kansas City-bound. Ah, the NFL coaching carousel. (CSN Philly)

The Godfather of the Spread Offense in Philadelphia? Maybe . . . (CSN Philly)

Not Coach Cowher, though. (CSN Philly)

You have to like a job candidate who enters the interview saying he's going to try to "knock your socks off". Buffalo, meet Ray Horton! (AP)

There's a lot of bad karma surrounding the 49ers as the playoffs begin. (CSN Bay Area)

There isn't anything Adrian Peterson can't do. Or thinks he can't do. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Can he play quarterback? The Vikings might need one Saturday. (AP)

How bad are things for Tony Romo? He's being consoled by a rookie. (Pro Football Talk)

Man, the Jets just can't win. First, they can't shut Rex Ryan up. Then they finally do, and they get in trouble with the NFL. (AP)

Bruins' skid continues in 6-3 loss to Lightning

Bruins' skid continues in 6-3 loss to Lightning

BOSTON – The Bruins are doing it again. 

With a team that was badly in need of a win, the Bruins couldn’t get any separation from the Tampa Bay Lightning before ultimately sagging in the third period on the way to a deflating 6-3 loss at TD Garden on Thursday night. 

It marks four losses in a row for the Black and Gold with Thursday night as the worst among them, and doesn’t extinguish any of the concerns that Boston is in another late-season tailspin. 

Jonathan Drouin beat Tuukka Rask with a shot from the face-off circle that dipped underneath his glove hand for the game-winner, and Nikita Kucherov added the final two goals to give him a hat trick for a Bolts team that snapped their own three-game losing streak. 

This game had all the warning signs after a nondescript first period with the Bruins giving up goals immediately after they scored three times in the second period. The first was a David Pastrnak power play strike for his 32ndof the season, and the Lightning struck 44 seconds later with a Brayden Point rebound score after a big breakdown by Boston’s best players on the ice. 

Zdeno Chara again gave the Bruins a short-lived lead on a shorthanded goal in the second period, but Tampa Bay responded with a blistering Nikita Kucherov one-timer just 24 seconds later with the Bolts still on the power play. Boston scored again on a Riley Nash wraparound bid that he threw off the diving Victor Hedman in the crease, and Boston had a brief one-goal lead once again. 

It was 1:35 later that Anton Stralman beat Rask high to the glove side on an odd-man rush and that set up a third period where Tampa Bay scored three unanswered goals and sent the Bruins to their fourth straight loss. 

Report: Steelers' offer for Dont'a Hightower was bigger than Patriots'

Report: Steelers' offer for Dont'a Hightower was bigger than Patriots'

Dont'a Hightower left money on the table in New York and in Pittsburgh, and instead took a smaller deal to return the New England Patriots, according to CBSSports' Jason La Canfora.

The Jets' offer was previously reported to be $12 million per year, including incentives. La Canfora reiterated that report. But he also detailed Pittsburgh's offer, as the Steelers also outbid the Patriots with over $9 million per year.

Instead, Hightower settled for $8.7 million per season with New England, and will play under Bill Belichick in a Patriots jersey for the sixth season in 2017.

Hightower traveled a great deal during free agency, and ended up garnering interest from the Steelers, Jets, Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins.

The 27-year-old linebacker finished the 2016 season with 65 tackles tackles, 2.5 sacks, two pass deflections and one forced fumble. He also had a game-changing strip sack on Matt Ryan in Super Bowl LI that shifted the momentum of game.