Report: Talks for Gray ‘heating up’ between Athletics, Astros

The Houston Astros may be on the verge of finally acquiring pitching help on the trade market.

Talks with the Oakland Athletics over right-hander Sonny Gray are “heating up,” according to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. No news is yet available on what the Astros are offering.

Gray has long been rumored to be on the trade block, and he’s raised his profile since the beginning of June with a string of strong showings, posting a 3.02 ERA over his last nine starts. Most recently, he allowed only two earned runs over 6 1/3 innings against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday.

Despite running away with the American League West division, the Astros have seen almost all their starting pitchers hit the disabled list this season, and ace Dallas Keuchel hasn’t pitched since June 2 because of neck discomfort.

By adding Gray – paired with Keuchel's upcoming return – the rotation would be deep. With a top three of Gray, Keuchel, and Lance McCullers, and with Collin McHugh and Mike Fiers behind them, the Astros would have the depth they've been missing in the postseason. And yet, they're still connected to other arms – like Justin Verlander – as well.

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MLB | theScore

Report: Carmelo expects Knicks to continue trade talks with Rockets

The New York Knicks' new-look front office may be hopeful it can convince Carmelo Anthony to remain with the franchise, but that's not what the 10-time All-Star appears to want.

Anthony expects president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry to resume trade talks in order to send him to the Houston Rockets, league sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Discussions were recently paused so management could speak to Anthony, with a meeting hoped to occur in the coming days.

The 33-year-old is willing to waive his no-trade clause to join either the Rockets or LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers, but is now reportedly leaning toward Houston, where he'd form a new Big Three with Chris Paul and James Harden.

The Knicks and Rockets were looking to build a four-team trade proposal, as a straight-up deal between the two organizations wouldn't work, since New York doesn't seem to be interested in any of the pieces Houston has to offer.

Related: Rockets face handful of risks in attempt to reunite Melo, D’Antoni

It would take either Ryan Anderson ($ 19.5 million in 2017-18) or a combination of Eric Gordon ($ 12.9 million) and Trevor Ariza ($ 7.4 million) to make the numbers work with the Rockets, who are reportedly motivated to complete that trade. They believe Anthony only wants to play for them, and are gung-ho on acquiring his services.

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NBA | theScore

Report: Knicks pause Melo trade talks in hopes of keeping him

The New York Knicks are putting trade talks involving Carmelo Anthony on hold in order to try to convince him to stay with the team, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne.

The news is the latest twist in the Gotham-Melo drama that has swirled around the Knicks and their estranged franchise player for most of this calendar year.

New York had been working with the Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers – two teams Anthony would reportedly waive his no-trade clause for – on potential trades for the better part of the last month, according to Wojnarowski and Shelburne.

The Knicks reportedly agreed to hire Sacramento Kings VP Scott Perry as their new general manager on Thursday evening, something that could be related to the organization's apparent change of heart regarding Anthony. Deposed Knicks president Phil Jackson openly spent his last six months on the job urging Anthony to consider a ticket out of town, adding to the toxic environment around the franchise this past season.

Reports as recently as Wednesday indicated that the Knicks and Rockets were working on an Anthony trade that could have involved up to two other teams in order to make salaries work.

Related: Rockets face handful of risks in attempt to reunite Melo, D’Antoni

The Rockets – by virtue of Anthony's friendship with Chris Paul, reported recruiting efforts by James Harden, and Houston's status as a large market – appeared to be a logical frontrunner over Cleveland. While Anthony is also close with LeBron James, the sheer logistics of the Cavs making a deal would be extremely difficult if they are not willing to part with players like Kevin Love or Tristan Thompson.

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NBA | theScore

Prodigy Talks Death, Sickle Cell And Religion In Candid Final Video Interview

The Hip-Hop community is still mourning the loss of Prodigy. In what seems to be his final interview, the Mobb Deep MC details his battle with sickle cell, seeing demons and why he didn’t believe in God.

Regardless of his small stature it was clear P had the heart of ten men. Shortly before his last day he appeared on VICELAND’s The Therapist, a show that pairs Dr. Siri Sat Nam Singh with musicians to discover their true lives away from the entertainer persona. If you were a real fan of Prodigy you knew he didn’t bite his tongue, thus making this sit down eerily compelling given his sudden passing.

In the 22 minute plus interview, the “Quiet Storm” rapper opens up about how his long battle with the red blood disorder made him doubt God. “Having conversations with God, begging God to make the pain go away and the pain wouldn’t go away – so, I’m like, ‘Who the hell am I talking to?’ God is not responding, so I don’t believe in that” he explained.

Even more interesting is his very detailed account of how he saw a black shadow in his room that he hints to be the grim reaper. “When I laid down to go to sleep, you know, all of the lights were off in my room, and I’m laying there and a black shadow walk across my room. And it looked like—the only way I can describe it [as looking] like is the Black Spider-Man.”

Naturally Dr. Singh asked him if he was of clear mind during the encounter to which he replied “So I just laid there, and I put the sheet over my head like a little kid, just like, forced myself to go to sleep. And I woke up the next morning—the pain woke me up. I [hadn’t] been sick in six years. And I was in so much pain I had to get carried to the hospital. I knew what happened automatically, I already knew what it was. I already knew what that black shadow was.”

Other highlights include Prodigy discussing the time he was visited by a U.F.O., but if you read his autobiography you already knew that story.

Instagram Photo

You can peep the entire interview by logging into VICELAND here.

Photo: Getty

The post Prodigy Talks Death, Sickle Cell And Religion In Candid Final Video Interview appeared first on Hip-Hop Wired.

Hip-Hop Wired

Report: Knicks, David Griffin nearing talks for GM vacancy

The New York Knicks appear to have identified their top personnel target amid an ongoing front-office shake-up.

Following a series of conversations and a dinner meeting with executive Steve Mills, the Knicks are progressing toward a point where they will open contract talks with David Griffin regarding their general manager vacancy, according Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

Mills, currently the acting general manager, is reportedly expected to take over as team president following the departure of Phil Jackson. If hired as GM, Griffin would have the lead role in basketball operations, Wojnarowski and Shelburne add.

Griffin became available this offseason when he and the Cleveland Cavaliers made the surprise announcement that the two sides would part ways. Cleveland enjoyed the most successful stretch in team history during Griffin’s three seasons at the helm, earning a trio of Eastern Conference titles and an NBA championship win over the Golden State Warriors in 2016.

Jackson's departure from New York on June 28 brought a merciful end to a disastrous front-office tenure. A series of questionable roster and management decisions resulted in the Knicks winning just 80 games in his three seasons, including a franchise-worst 17-65 mark in 2014-15.

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NBA | theScore