O.J. Simpson granted parole after serving nearly 9 years for armed robbery

After spending almost nine years in a Nevada state prison, O.J. Simpson was granted parole Thursday.

The 70-year-old former NFL star was serving a 33-year sentence for armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. He was expected to be given parole after keeping a clean record behind bars since being found guilty in October 2008.

Simpson’s official release won’t come until October, when he meets the mandatory minimum of nine years in prison.

The Hall of Fame running back was arrested in September 2007 after he and five men stole sports memorabilia from two dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room. Simpson claimed the memorabilia was originally stolen from him, but that argument didn’t hold up in court.

After infamously being found not guilty in the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, in 1995, Simpson found himself in legal trouble several times before being incarcerated. Following the criminal trial, he lost a civil suit that ordered him to pay a total of $ 33.5 million to the families of Brown Simpson and Goldman, forcing him to auction off much of his own memorabilia to contribute to the damages. He also picked up charges for battery, auto-burglary, and speeding between 2000 and 2002, had the FBI and DEA raid his house in 2001, and lost a civil suit to DirecTV in 2005.

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NFL | theScore

Report: George nearly given OK to call Cavs owner before Thunder trade

How close were the Indiana Pacers to trading former franchise star Paul George to the Cleveland Cavaliers? They reportedly nearly gave George permission to call Cavs owner Dan Gilbert directly.

“It was so close in fact that Indiana was about to give permission to Paul George to get on the phone with Dan Gilbert,” reported ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. “Indiana backed out of it and did the Oklahoma City deal.”

George was ultimately traded to the Thunder on July 6 in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.

A call between George and Gilbert would have likely been one of the final benchmarks needed before the Cavaliers could sign off on any blockbuster deal. Any team surrendering significant pieces would have sought some sort of clarification about the possibility of the four-time All-Star re-signing long term.

George has two years remaining on his current deal, including a player option for 2018-19 that is likely to be declined.

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NBA | theScore

Autographed LaVar Ball trading cards to sell for nearly $60 on eBay

LaVar Ball has discovered a new way to capitalize on his newfound popularity.

Two hundred cards autographed by the outspoken father of Lonzo Ball will be selling on eBay on Wednesday for $ 59.95 apiece, thanks to his new deal with Leaf Trading Cards, according to ESPN's Darren Rovell.

Each card features one of Ball's infamous quotes, such as "Stick to the donuts, Chuck" and "I am better than Jordan."

“This wasn’t all about the money,” Ball told Rovell. “I think it’s cool to have a card.”

Details of LaVar's agreement with Leaf Trading Cards were not disclosed.

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NBA | theScore

Dahntay Jones’ playoff fines nearly exceed salary

For a player who’s totaled just 33 minutes of playing time over the course of these playoffs, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dahntay Jones sure finds himself getting T’d up a lot.

Signing for the veteran’s minimum at the end of the regular season, Jones is making a measly $ 9,127 for the opportunity at winning another championship with the Cavaliers. And after being slapped with his third technical foul of the postseason Friday, he has nearly paid that entire sum to the league, accumulating $ 9,000 in fines ($ 3,000 each), according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

Thank goodness he plays for someone as kindhearted and wealthy as LeBron James, who offered to pay Jones' fines for the two technical calls he was hit with against the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of the second round.

It remains to be seen whether The King will do so again, as he playfully warned Jones to be on his best behavior.

The 36-year-old wasn’t even on the floor when he got reprimanded against the Golden State Warriors on Friday night for jawing at Kevin Durant from the bench.

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NBA | theScore

Davidson’s McKillop nearly benched Curry in 1st college game

Stephen Curry became a star at Davidson, but his collegiate career nearly started on the wrong foot.

Wildcats head coach Bob McKillop considered benching the current Golden State Warriors star because of turnovers in Curry's first game at the school. That came after McKillop had also seen Curry struggle with turnovers during a scouting trip to an AAU game in Las Vegas.

“Steph’s game was like the JV game, and I’m there watching, and he has nine turnovers. Nine! I’m ducking his passes,” McKillop told Jon Wilner of The Mercury News.

What really caught McKillop's eye on the scouting trip, though, was the way Curry responded to his struggles.

“But what I noticed was that he never stopped playing defense, he never complained to his teammates or the officials,” McKillop said. “He would run to the bench and look the coach (Dell) in the eye, and then he was on to the next play. He lived in the present. He never let a mistake intrude on his next step. He has an incredible capacity to do that.’”

When Curry debuted for Davidson, it was a similar scene to the one McKillop saw on his scouting trip. Curry turned the ball over eight times against Eastern Michigan, forcing the coaching staff to ponder whether the two-time NBA MVP was ready for the college game.

"The coaches met at halftime, and we talked about taking Stephen out of the lineup – he was killing us," McKillop said. "But I reflected back on that Las Vegas tournament and his capacity to live in the moment. We stuck with him."

McKillop's decision paid off, as Davidson came back to win after 13 second-half points from Curry. According to his former coach, it was an important moment in the 29-year-old's career.

“We won because he stayed in the lineup,” McKillop said. “That gave him confidence. It was the defining moment for him.”

– With h/t to FOX Sports

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NBA | theScore

Watch: Harper’s home run nearly flies out of PNC Park

Bryce Harper has now homered in every National League venue, and he completed the PNC Park stop of his Long Dong Tour in unbelievable fashion, hitting a line-drive no-doubter off of unwitting Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Wade LeBlanc.

There are many genres of no-doubter, such as the "majestic arcing fly ball" and the "bat flip and admire." But Harper opted for arguably the best kind: a line-drive screamer where the opposing outfielders never even move from their positions. Usually an outfielder at least humors the home crowd by making an effort to catch the ball. Not John Jaso, though – he's resigned to just staying put.

Harper’s bomb was the fourth-hardest hit homer of the Statcast era and came remarkably close to leaving the ballpark altogether.

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MLB | theScore