Starting Monday, the Los Feliz native will host Daily Wager, a daily program on ESPNews airing at 3 p.m. and available for streaming on the ESPN app.Its the first regularly scheduled program from the Walt Disney Co.s sports media behemoth solely dedicated to gaming-related information and data on upcoming contests, and it likely wont be the last as legal sports betting spreads throughout the country.The Supreme Court ruling in May that legalized sports betting is expected to be a boost for sports talk shows, which are the low-cost moneymakers for outlets that need programming to supplement their live play-by-play telecasts.,Open discussion of odds, point spreads and other analytical data related to wagering on pro and college games each night could potentially energize the format for an audience that has a financial stake in the outcomes.The changes in the law open up an entirely new genre of entertainment, said Patrick Rishe, director of the sports business program at Washington University in St. Louis.Other sports networks are already on the bandwagon.,WarnerMedias digital sports website Bleacher Report announced last month that it is building a studio inside Caesars Palace in Las Vegas where it will produce gaming-related content.But as the countrys leading source of sports programming, ESPN, with its entry into gaming-themed shows, is marking the strongest indication yet of an attitudinal shift toward a once-verboten subject on which sports TV coverage has traditionally tread lightly.A daily ESPN show is an important milestone, said Lee Berke, president of the consulting firm LHB Sports, Entertainment Media.,ESPNs SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt has a popular segment called Bad Beats, which humorously focuses on heartbreaking, last-minute plays that result in teams failing to cover the spread.Van Pelt sidekick Steve Coughlin will be one of the contributors to Daily Wager along with ESPN radio host Chris The Bear Fallica, ESPN.com gambling industry reporter David Purdum, Las Vegas-based handicapper Preston Johnson, fantasy football analyst Anita Marks and sports betting expert Joe Fortenbaugh.Rishe believes programs that provide usable data for bettors have the potential to draw younger viewers who have drifted away from traditional TV for sports news.,After graduating with a degree in economics from Brown University, he immersed himself in the analytics and data related to gaming and became an expert as a sports journalist in Las Vegas, where the home team is betting, he said.While wager-related data crunched by ESPNs statistic and information group will line the screen during Daily Wager, Kezirian said the programs content will still be accessible to the non-betting fan.Were still in Year 1 of legalization and I think there is a new audience that is open-minded to the space, so we want to be inclusive, he said.
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'Mamba mentality': Stolen Kobe Bryant jersey returned after two years A signed Kobe Bryant jersey that was stolen from a display case at his alma mater has been returned after more than two years, according to ESPN.,'Mamba mentality': Stolen Kobe Bryant jersey returned after two years A signed Kobe Bryant jersey that was stolen from a display case at his alma mater — Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pennsylvania — has been returned after more than two years, according to a story from ESPN detailing the jersey's unique journey.,The jersey was purchased online by Liu Zhe, a diehard Bryant fan from China, last October for around $2,000 as another piece for his collection commemorating the Los Angeles Lakers legend, according to ESPN.,After buying it, though, Liu said he noticed that the jersey looked awfully similar to the one that was stolen from the high school's display case in 2017, along with other Bryant items.,YOUR DAILY DOSE: Top sports headlines, delivered daily Kobe Bryant photographed on court at Lower Merion High School (Photo: Eileen Blass, USA TODAY)
A high-profile incident involving Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook and a heckling fan highlights the sometimes overly-close physical proximity between NBA fans and the targets of their derision.,On Monday night, Westbrook and 45-year-old Shane Kiesel exchanged insults during the second quarter of the Thunder’s game with the Jazz in Vivint Smart Home Arena.,Westbrook explained after the game that Kiesel’s insult is the latest in a series of disdainful remarks by fans aimed at him and other NBA players when playing in road arenas.,First, Kiesel and several other fans in Vivint Smart Home Arena were issued co-called “warning cards” pursuant to the NBA’s Fan Code of Conduct.,In addition to the Fan Code of Conduct, the uniform player contract signed by every NBA player contains provisions that empower commissioner Adam Silver to punish Westbrook.
James and his closest friends idolized Michael Jordan while they grew up together on Akron’s competitive playgrounds and tough streets.,As James grew into a tantalizing basketball prospect capable of jumping from high school to the NBA as the No. 1 draft pick, he studied, imitated and drew profound inspiration from Jordan’s tongue-wagging dunks, that fadeaway jumper, his competitive fire — even the little details of the way Jordan wore his sneakers and shorts.,Jordan has also admired James’ game for years.,When James surpassed Jordan’s career points total Wednesday night, he did it in a pair of Nikes with “Thank You M.J.” written neatly on the side.,James moved past Jordan into fourth place on the NBA’s career scoring list with a driving three-point play in the second quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 115-99 loss to the Denver Nuggets.
No team in the NBA has lost more games over the past six seasons than the Lakers, but whatever infects basketball operations has graciously spared game operations, which are still the league's best.,The team plays in the most appealing market in the league; their local broadcast deal pays them in excess of $150 million per season; they employ LeBron James; and they have picked second overall in three of the past four drafts.,Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAYRather than assign blame to unfavorable news reports that embarrassed her franchise, Buss could have taken a page from Robert Sarver, the owner of a Suns team with the fifth-most losses over these six seasons.,At some point, the Lakers must recognize that running an NBA team is far more than an exercise in brand management and talent recruitment.,A front office is a managerial project like any other business -- NBA teams make widgets, only they're wins (or, more commonly for the Lakers, losses).
And at this stage in James' career, with three championships, eight consecutive NBA Finals appearances to his name and an equally burgeoning business and political profile off the court, James is a transcendent star.,Johnson said the Lakers didn't want to make the team like the Cleveland Cavaliers all over again for James.,James was just starting to find his footing with this new cast in Los Angeles.,Since his return from injury, the Lakers have a defensive rating of 109.6 when James is on the floor in four wins; the Lakers have a defensive rating of 113.1 when James is on the floor in the eight losses.,Most of the roster wasn't going to be back next year anyway, given the team's insistence on signing players to only one-year contracts to preserve salary-cap space for a second star this summer.
YOUNGSTOWN — Senior guard Melinda Trimmer scored in double figures for a seventh straight game in leading Youngstown State past Milwaukee, 64-58, in a Horizon League quarterfinal Wednesday night in front of 1,382 fans at the Beeghly Center.,LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James moved past Michael Jordan into fourth place on the NBA’s career scoring list Wednesday night.,James, who entered the NBA at 18 years old compared to 21 for Jordan, began the night averaging 27.1 points per game in 1,189 games over 16 seasons with Cleveland, Miami and the Lakers.,Just eight days ago, James moved into 10th place on the assists list, becoming the first player in league history to make the top 10 in points and assists.,James began the night averaging 27.0 points, 8.7 rebounds and 8.0 assists while hitting 51 percent of his shots and playing 35.7 minutes per game for the Lakers.
They cheered him, but only after booing him.They stood, but not all of them, and not immediately, and not for long.He surely heard them, but never acknowledged them.LeBron James passed Michael Jordan to move into fourth place on the NBAs all-time scoring list Wednesday night, leaping over the legend in a monumental accomplishment that felt like an enormous dud.Epitomizing this embarrassment of a season, the history-rich Lakers couldnt even enjoy making history.It wasnt the franchises fault.,The NBA wouldnt let them stop the game immediately, so at the first stoppage of play after James layup against the Denver Nuggets with 5 minutes 38 seconds to play in the second quarter gave him 32,294 points two more than Jordan an attempted celebration ensued.The scoreboard displayed a video.,The fans stood and cheered, but it was mostly politely, and somewhat uncertainly, as if they were applauding an impromptu speech given by a distant uncle at an acquaintances wedding.Lakers' LeBron James, left, is congratulated by Rajon Rondo after his basket against the Denver Nuggets passing Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list on Wednesday at Staples Center.James was never given the game ball.,From his initial decision to forgo an introductory news conference last summer to his Culver City prank pizza tweet to his pregame announcements of movie releases in the middle of playoff pushes, he has never really reached out to the fans, and now they are holding him accountable for the Lakers failure.On probably the most unusual milestone night in Lakers history, so much felt different, so much was lost.This passing of Jordan should have been another brick in the foundation of a local debate that James is the greatest player ever.,But even with this monumental history looming, Lakers fans are focused on a different, more uncomfortable milestone.At his current rate, James will easily pass Bryant next season for third place on the all-time list with 32,311 points, hes 1,332 points behind, and he has averaged 2,042 points in the previous three seasons.On the night he passes Bryant, if the Lakers are still struggling, can you imagine how conflicted fans will be?
What was the betting line on Mike North emerging from his sports-radio retirement for a regular Chicago broadcasting gig?,North left The Score in 2008 but continued in other media ventures across several platforms, including the scandalized internet radio outlet Webio and a morning news and talk show for CBS-2.,One of North’s ongoing activities has been handicapping sports.,“I started handicapping at age 14 and lost for 40 years but haven’t had a losing year in the last five,” North said in ESPN 1000’s announcement.,Phil Rosenthal: Controversial radio host Mike North says he's done with sports »
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In his first budget address Wednesday, the new Democratic governor acknowledged the issue’s history, calling on lawmakers to set aside the squabbles over new casinos and expanded betting options at horse tracks that have derailed previous gambling expansion measures, and pass a stand-alone bill to legalize wagering on sporting events.,If lawmakers act quickly, Illinois could be the first Midwestern state to do so after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year overturned a prohibition on state-sanctioned sports betting.,Pritzker’s proposal has yet to be put into bill form, but the governor’s budget plan calls for creating 20 licenses for in-person or online sports betting that the state would sell for $10 million apiece.,Since gambling terminals went live in bars and restaurants in late 2012, machines have been installed at nearly 7,000 locations, and increased revenues from video gambling have helped offset stagnant state revenues from casinos and horse racing.,Ivan Fernandez, executive director of the Illinois Gaming Machine Operators Association, said his organization’s members — which own and operate the gambling terminals in bars, restaurants and betting parlors — should be allowed to offer sports betting.