Wakeup Call: Nice try, Lance, but the contrition's not taking

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Wakeup Call: Nice try, Lance, but the contrition's not taking

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Friday, January 18.

BASEBALL
Five days after Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria told him he was "never going to trade" him, Jose Reyes was dealt to the Blue Jays. Not that he minds . . . (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Michigan bounced back from its first loss by beating No. 9 Minnesota on the road. (AP)

Hope No. 23 Illinois enjoys its next three days in the Top 25 because, after losing their third straight last night, the Illini don't figure to rank when the next poll is released. (AP)

Maybe Kansas was right. Maybe Ben McLemore's ankle injury is nothing serious. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Now begins the Manti Te'o spin, with the first surrogate being his great uncle. (CSN Chicago)

It's going to get tougher since the Associated Press discovered that Te'o -- who claimed he learned on Dec. 6 that his supposedly dead girlfriend didn't exist -- mentioned her in a Web interview on Dec. 8 and a newspaper interview on Dec. 10. (AP)

Can't tell the players without a scorecard. (CSN Chicago)

Johnny Football says his "mind was blown" when he heard of the hoax . . . but he was probably a little relieved, too, since it knocked his little controversy, about his Tweeting out a picture of him holding cash in a casino, right out of the public consciousness. (CSN Houston)

From Michael Corleone and Tony Montana to JoePa . . . now that's acting range! (AP)

Paterno's successor, Bill O'Brien, wins the Bear Bryant Award as college coach of the year. (AP)

CYCLING
Lance Armstrong said all the right things in his confession to Oprah . . . (nbcsports.com)

. . . but the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency isn't impressed. At all. (AP via nbcsports.com)

Nor is tennis star Novak Djokovic. (AP)

Oprah was hardly her usual warm-and-fuzzy self in grilling Armstong. (Reuters via nbcsports.com)

GOLF
Those Abu Dhabians must be surprised that, in a field with Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, Justin Rose and Jamie Donaldson are the first-round leaders. (AP)

As surprised as those La Quintans are that Phil Mickelson is nine strokes behind Jason Kokrak, Roberto Castro and James Hahn. (AP)

Lanny Wadkins is back in the broadcast booth, this time for the Champions Tour. (AP)

HOCKEY
I guess it never hurts to say you're sorry. (AP)

Old friend Mike Knuble is in Detroit as a tryout player with the Red Wings, attempting to extend his career at 40, but he has a lot of supporters back in D.C. (CSN Washington)

New York pressure? What New York pressure? Right, Rick Nash? (AP)

The Rangers part ways with Wade Redden. (AP)

PRO BASKETBALL
The Heat finish off their nine-game road trip, and the Lakers, in style. (AP)

Kobe Bryant, though, can take consolation in his NBA-record 15th consecutive All-Star start. (AP)

On the other side of the world, 'Melo was having some Olympic flashbacks as the Knicks beat the Pistons in London. (AP)

Whoa. Big brother really is watching. (AP)

An eight-month review of NBAPA president Billy Hunter uncovered no criminal wrongdoing but plenty of irregularities, and the players were urged to consider whether or not they want to keep him as the union chief. Hunter, naturally, views the report as vindication. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo admits his anti-Patriots Tweets Sunday night "bit me in the butt" -- being called in on the carpet immediately by coach John Harbaugh may have been his first clue -- and that he learned "I can't Tweet like a fan". (CSN Baltimore)

Now it's Bed Bath & Beyond dissing the Ravens. (CSN Baltimore)

Chip Kelly's yes-I-willno-I-won'tyes-I-will-after-all dance with the Eagles was prompted, he says, by his love of Oregon and his reluctance to leave. (CSN Philly)

During the "no-I-won't" phase, his fan base was screaming for him to interview Jon Gruden. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie explains why he didn't. (CSN Philly)

The coaching dominoes have all fallen at last. It's Bruce Arians to Arizona . . . (AP)

. . . and Gus Bradley to Jacksonville. (AP)

At the ex-head coach level, it's Ken Whisenhunt to San Diego as offensive coordinator and Norv Turner to Cleveland in the same job. (AP)

The Jets may soon have a new GM, as well. (AP)

Is this the end of Bountygate? If there's a God in heaven . . . (AP)

Hard to believe that John Abraham will play in Sunday's NFC Championship Game. (AP)

Turns out Falcons kicker Matt Bryant can talk to the alligators. Make of that what you will. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

TENNIS
That Maria SharapovaVenus Williams match didn't turn out to be much. (AP)

Did Suns ask Josh Jackson to cancel his Celtics workout to keep him from Boston?

Did Suns ask Josh Jackson to cancel his Celtics workout to keep him from Boston?

BOSTON – It appears there may be an answer to the mystery surrounding Josh Jackson’s decision to not work out for the Boston Celtics leading up to Thursday’s NBA draft.

While conventional wisdom tells us that such decisions are often made by the agent who in this case is former NBA player B.J. Armstrong.

Boston instead selected Jayson Tatum at No. 3 with the Phoenix Suns scooping up Jackson with the No. 4 pick.

MORE: Danny Ainge on Josh Jackson: 'He didn’t want to play for the Celtics'

During Jackson’s introductory press conference, there was a sense that it wasn’t necessarily Armstrong who strong-armed Jackson into not working out for the Celtics. But apparently, he got an assist from Suns General Manager (and ex-Celtics assistant GM) Ryan McDonough.

A reporter asked McDonough if Phoenix may have encouraged Jackson to cancel his workout with the Celtics who were flying into Sacramento, Calif. to watch Jackson workout only for it to be canceled after they had departed which as you can imagine, did not go over well with Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations.

“I’d like to consult my attorney B.J. Armstrong (Jackson’s agent),” McDonough said, smiling.

The more McDonough talked, the clearer it became that he and Armstrong were in cahoots to do all they could to get Boston to pass on Jackson at No. 3 which as McDonough mentioned, doesn’t break any rules.

“You guys all know my history with the Celtics and the respect I have for Danny Ainge and the organization,” McDonough told reporters on Friday. “But I think you guys who know me well know how competitive I am. Look, it is a competition. The Celtics were ahead of us at No. 3 and they could have selected whoever they wanted to. I think they got a very good player in Jayson Tatum, but that doesn’t mean B.J. and I and … other members of my staff couldn’t talk and try to formulate the best plan to get a player we were really high on to a place we felt he really wanted to go and would be a great fit for him.”

McDonough is right in that no rules were broken if he and Armstrong did decide to work together in an effort to get Jackson to Phoenix.

But to cancel the workout after the Celtics executives and head coach Brad Stevens had left, forcing them to spend a night on the road for a workout that Jackson’s camp probably knew wasn’t going to happen well before the Celtics contingent boarded for Sacramento … not cool.

Here are words I thought I would never say … the Ball clan got it right.

They told Boston from the jump that Lonzo Ball wasn’t going to work out for them, so the Celtics knew he didn’t want to be a Celtic from the very beginning.

Jackson’s actions said the same, but his words kept hope alive that he would work out or at the very least, talk to the Celtics organization – neither of which happened.

He kept referring to the fact that he didn’t think Boston was interested in him when they had the number one pick (that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense if they asked him to work out for them; otherwise, what’s the point from the Celtics'  perspective of asking to work out a guy they had no interest in drafting?)

After they traded down to the number 3 pick, a deal that was cemented last weekend, Jackson said there wasn’t time to do a workout for Boston.

The draft was nearly a week away and he didn’t have time to work out for a team that had the third pick overall knowing that the top two picks (Markelle Fultz at No. 1 and Lonzo Ball at No. 2) were essentially accounted for?

“If I could have, I probably would have worked out for them,” Jackson said (with a straight face). “But I think everything worked out for the best.”

Yup.

Boston will once again be among the better teams in the East and will contend for the best record like they achieved this past season before their season ended in the Conference finals to Cleveland. 

Jackson will spend his rookie season playing a lot of minutes with a Suns team that probably won’t win as many games as he did a year ago at Kansas (33).

Enjoy.

Bruins take a flier on skilled Victor Berglund in 7th round

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Bruins take a flier on skilled Victor Berglund in 7th round

CHICAGO – While the Bruins went strong two-way defenseman early in the 2017 NHL Draft, they took a shot at a more offensive-minded Swedish defenseman late with seventh-round pick of Victor Berglund.

The six-foot, 165-pound Berglund clearly has a way to go in physical development and will need to get much bigger and stronger before he’s potentially ready for the North American pro ranks, but B’s assistant GM Scott Bradley raved about the Swedish defenseman’s skill set and potential. He also noted that Boston’s entire European scouting contingent, including former B’s forward PJ Axelsson, were fully on board with taking a flier on a talented player that simply needs to develop in the Swedish hockey system.

“Our Swedish guys were on top of Berglund. They think he’s a mobile D, he’s ultra-skilled and he skates well. He’s a six-footer, but [PJ Axelsson, Svenake Svensson and Victor Nybladh] were all pounding the table for him,” said Bradley. “We went along with it and I think we might have something there. Talking to his strength coach after the fact he’s working on putting some muscle and weight on, so we look forward to seeing him at development camp.”

In 62 games at three different levels, Berglund posted five goals and 18 points last season and displayed the kind of speed, creativity and play-making that one needs from their defensemen in today’s NHL.

"I'm an offensive defenseman, who likes to play with the puck, with a great short pass," said Berglund. "I like to follow the rush up ice and want the puck."

It will be a matter of building size and strength and for Berglund to continue developing his game in Sweden for the time being, but the Bruins are certainly happy with him at the 195th pick in Saturday’s second day of the draft.