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He already is central to the clubs global
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ldh2013

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FIVE QUICK HOOPS THOUGHTS 1. TIM HARDAWAY, JR (Knicks): Picked 24th by New Yorks former GM, Glen Grunwald (honestly, what is owner James Dolan thinking firing him?) is a gem. Saw him on Friday night vs. the Raptors. I was very impressed with him. Hes got nice shooting mechanics and plays with great energy and awareness. Played for a terrific college coach at Michigan (John Beilein) who is one of the best in the business at teaching offensive fundamentals and obviously his dad, Tim, Sr. was a wonderful player. He really jumped out at me. Hell be playing for a winning team and will have to earn every minute he gets which is a good thing - it will make him a better pro in the long run. If first impressions matter he made a positive one, thats for sure. 2. GREG ODEN (Heat): Practiced for the first time 5-on-5 on Sunday and got through it okay. Fingers crossed hes able to practice/play consistently. Frustrating start to his NBA career with a rash of injuries. The positive is that the Heat need him in a secondary capacity and hell be brought along slowly and eased in. In addition, hell be held accountable by coach Erik Spoelstra, president Pat Riley and a team with good internal leadership - you had better be in shape, do your work and be professional or else. Its an environment that is conducive to a gradual step in the right direction for him if he can stay healthy. 3. NIKOLA PEKOVIC (Timberwolves): Man this guy is a beast. What a load to move in the lane. Felt bad for the Raptors big men watching them try to battle with him last week. When he gets to his spot on the floor - good luck moving him. Hes developed into a nice player and when you look around the league there will be nights that hell have his way in the lane with smaller/weaker bigs in the paint. He has no back down and is a relentless rebounder and improving offensive feature for coach Rick Adelman. 4. DEMAR DEROZAN (Raptors): I have been impressed with him and his approach from the start of Training Camp. Definitely stronger and seems to know what works for him and playing the game at an efficient pace. Ive always respected his mature approach. He loves the game and works at his craft diligently. Hes playing with a greater degree of toughness in the lane and attacking his opponent and working harder to draw fouls and get to the free throw line. Obviously, the Raptors have played only four preseason games so the sample size is very small but he is on the right track. Stay on it and keep improving. People talk a lot about his three-point shooting needing to improve. I totally agree. Lets be real though. Hell never be confused even at his best with Ray Allen. Hes a slasher with great explosiveness and increased strength whose biggest positive is getting to the rim. Play to your strengths - be who you are. 5. ANDREW WIGGINS (University of Kansas): Got my Sports Illustrated in the mailbox and see him on the cover. The hype is ratcheting up even further. What expectations and pressure on this young man. Happy that hes getting the PR and its an exciting time for the growth of Canadian basketball yet I always worry when too much is thrown at a young player. Thrilled for him yet the attention unnerves me. Most times it creates distractions that they cant live up to. Im hopeful that he has the emotional maturity/makeup to handle all of this. I wish he could ease into this a bit more. With the accelerated pace of development of players these days its hard for a player to experience the much needed growing pains that shape your character and improve you as a player. Easy does it is not the mode anymore and it can crush a guy. Based upon what Ive seen he looks like a guy that will get through it all just fine.
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.J. -- A couple of comeback kids helped the New York Giants continue their winning streak.
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.Y. -- The NFL says the number of concussions in practices and games in the preseason and regular season dropped 13 per cent from 2012 to 2013.
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.Y. -- Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel wont start in Buffalos season finale at New England because of a small tear in a left knee ligament that will not require surgery.
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. The Raptors said it was a "minor surgical procedure" to address the ulnar nerve release in his hand. Fields underwent ulnar nerve transposition surgery in November of 2012 to alleviate nerve compression in his right elbow.
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. Whether starting or coming off the bench, Johnson has always accepted his role in stride, part of whats made him the Raptors unsung hero for the better part of the last three seasons. LONDON -- Less than a year after pushing to leave Manchester United, Wayne Rooney committed his long-term future to the struggling Premier League champion on Friday by signing a lucrative contract through June 2019. The 28-year-old forwards future at United has been uncertain since Chelsea tried to sign him last year, and he had only 18 months remaining on his current deal. But Rooney now looks set to end his playing career at the club he has been at since 2004 after signing a contract reportedly worth around 300,000 pounds ($500,000) a week. The deal makes Rooney the leagues top earner, and softens the blow of potentially not playing against Europes elite clubs next season. In the first season since David Moyes replaced Alex Ferguson, United is seventh in the league with 12 matches remaining, 11 points from Englands fourth Champions League berth. "Its not a massive concern for me," Rooney said on his personal website. "This is because I know the direction that this club is going in, and if we dont make it this season then we will come back stronger and claim a Champions League spot next season. "Lets not forget we still have a chance this year. Some of the other teams are playing well, but we have a strong squad here and if we have a positive end to the season then who knows what can happen." The England national team star has been at United almost a decade, since leaving an Everton team then managed by Moyes. In 403 United appearances, Rooney has scored 208 goals, putting him fourth on the clubs career list, 41 behind record-holder Bobby Charlton. "Wayne has been the best player in England since I put him into the Everton first team in 2003," Moyes said.dddddddddddd. "Since becoming United manager in July last year, I have enjoyed working with him and seeing just how he has developed his incredible talent. As part of the new contract, Rooney will become a club ambassador when his playing career ends. He already is central to the clubs global marketing operation as one of the teams most high-profile players. "Ive been here since I was 18 and this contract will take me through to my 30s, which is almost my entire professional career," Rooney said. "Ive played most of my best football here and am looking forward to hopefully playing even better football in the next few years." Moyes is delighted to have prevented Rooney from joining a rival. "Everyone would want him in their team," Moyes said. "There were clubs who did want him. There were clubs who would have wanted him, but there was never going to be a chance he was going to leave Manchester United, certainly not on my watch." Convincing Rooney to stay, having already broken the clubs transfer record to sign midfielder Juan Mata last month, should help Moyes persuade other players to join as he looks to strengthen the squad. "Part of the rebuilding is making sure that you keep the players you really want to keep," Moyes said. "We are looking to bring the best players in the world to the club. I think Wayne Rooney is one of them. I will be looking to make more signings in the summer and hopefully add to the quality we already have got." ' ' '
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He already is central to the clubs global
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