Melo tweets cryptic ‘walk through hell’ quote before Knicks matchup

Move over Sacramento, a new challenger for basketball hell has emerged.

Ahead of Thursday's season opener against his former team, Carmelo Anthony shared a photo of himself in his new Oklahoma City Thunder threads captioned with a not-so-subtle dig at the New York Knicks.

Related: 5 low moments from Carmelo's tenure with the Knicks

The 10-time All-Star will look to close the chapter on his time with the Knicks by beating them in his new barn.

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NBA | theScore

Dodgers clinch home field through postseason

The Los Angeles Dodgers clinched home-field advantage through the World Series, and they didn’t even need a win to do it.

While the Dodgers faced off against the Colorado Rockies on Saturday, the Cleveland Indians fell to the Chicago White Sox by a score of 2-1. The loss ensured the Indians would not be able to catch the Dodgers in the overall MLB standings.

The boys in Dodger blue made it all a moot point, however, scraping together an eventual 5-3 victory against the Rockies thanks, in part, to a game-tying two-run home run from Yasiel Puig in the fifth inning.

It wasn’t all good news for L.A. on Saturday. Starter Clayton Kershaw struggled through four innings against the Rockies, allowing three earned runs on seven hits including a home run to outfielder Carlos Gonzalez. It was only Gonzalez’s second long ball off a left-handed pitcher this season.

The Dodgers clinched home field up until the World Series earlier in the week, and will now have it as long as they stay alive. They will face the winner of Wednesday’s wild-card game between the Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Division Series starting Friday, Oct. 6 at Dodger Stadium. Kershaw will take the hill in Game 1.

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MLB | theScore

Athletics extend Melvin through 2019

The Oakland Athletics have inked longtime manager Bob Melvin to a one-year contract extension that will keep him in the East Bay through the 2019 season.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Melvin had been working on a two-year deal that would have expired at the end of the 2018 season.

The 55-year-old native of nearby Palo Alto, Calif., is completing his sixth full season as the Athletics' skipper. Over his tenure in Oakland, which began in the middle of the 2011 season, he led the A's to three consecutive playoff appearances from 2012-14, a run that included two AL West division titles and a pair of 90-win campaigns.

Melvin was named American League Manager of the Year in 2012 after guiding the Athletics to a surprising 94-win season and playoff berth.

In each of the last three seasons the A’s haven’t finished above .500 despite Melvin’s managing, as they’re currently in the midst of a rebuild.

Melvin owns a career record of 1,028-1,040 (.497) over his 14 seasons as a big-league manager with the Athletics, Seattle Mariners, and Arizona Diamondbacks.

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MLB | theScore

Kings extend Divac, Joerger through 2019-20

The Sacramento Kings' brain trust hasn't been the most revered group in the NBA over the past few years, but they took a step Wednesday to at least provide some consistency going forward.

The Kings announced that general manager Vlade Divac's contract has been extended through 2019-20, while the team also picked up the fourth-year option on head coach Dave Joerger ahead of his second season with the franchise.

Joerger is a coach who's respected by his players, but he appeared to roll the dice last year by leaving the Memphis Grizzlies to take the reins in Sacramento. Divac and Co. promptly welcomed him by trading away franchise center DeMarcus Cousins for a package centered around Buddy Hield.

Still, Joerger appears comfortable with what the Kings are building.

"This (getting the fourth year picked up) helps look at the broad strokes, which we would have done anyways, but it really cements the stability and the partnership going forward for the long term," Joerger said, per NBC Sports' James Ham.

The Kings last made the postseason in 2006.

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NBA | theScore

Big 12 extends commissioner Bowlsby through 2025

The Big 12 made a significant announcement Friday, as Big 12 Board of Directors chairman E. Gordon Gee revealed a contract extension with acting commissioner Bob Bowlsby.

The extension will run through June 2025 and keep Bowlsby in the role he's held since 2012.

“On behalf of the presidents and chancellors of the Big 12 conference, I am absolutely delighted that Bob Bowlsby has accepted an extension on his contract,” Gee said. “This is an important time for college athletics, it’s an important time for the Big 12 and to have a valiant and committed leader in someone who understands athletics as well as anyone in this country leading our conference is something that is very important to the league and to the individual schools, and I believe, to college athletics.”

Bowlsby expressing his contentment that both sides were able to keep their working relationship.

"I've been with the Big 12 for a little more than five years and we've had our challenges but we've also had our successes," Bowlsby said. "I like the institutions that I work with, I like my colleagues here at the Big 12 office. The contract is coming to a close, so we had to either extend it or decide that we weren't going to extend it, and I am pleased that we have and I'm looking forward to the next eight years leading the conference and looking forward to the things that we'll achieve."

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NCAAF | theScore

Serena Williams Pens Beautiful Letter To Her Mother For Being Strong Through Her Daughter’s Criticism

Serena Williams Thanks Her Mother For Her Strength

Serena Williams has only been a Mommy for a few weeks, but it’s already given her a bigger appreciation for what her own mother went through.

The tennis star took to social media and Reddit to marvel at how strong her daughter’s arms and legs already are — just like her Mom — and how ready she’d be to go off on any and everyone who would dare criticize her daughter’s strength the way they did to her since her teenage years.

Instagram Photo

Dear Mom,

You are one of the strongest women I know. I was looking at my daughter (OMG, yes, I have a daughter 😳) and she has my arms and legs! My exact same strong, muscular, powerful, sensational arms and body. I don’t know how I would react if she has to go through what I’ve gone through since I was a 15 year old and even to this day.

I’ve been called man because I appeared outwardly strong. It has been said that that I use drugs (No, I have always had far too much integrity to behave dishonestly in order to gain an advantage). It has been said I don’t belong in Women’s sports — that I belong in Men’s — because I look stronger than many other women do. (No, I just work hard and I was born with this badass body and proud of it).

But mom, I’m not sure how you did not go off on every single reporter, person, announcer and quite frankly, hater, who was too ignorant to understand the power of a black woman.

I am proud we were able to show them what some women look like. We don’t all look the same. We are curvy, strong, muscular, tall, small, just to name a few, and all the same: we are women and proud!
You are so classy, I only wish I could take your lead. I am trying, though, and God is not done with me yet. I have a LONG way to go, but thank you.

Thank you for being the role model I needed to endure all the hardships that I now regard as challenges–ones that I enjoy. I hope to teach my baby Alexis Olympia the same, and have the same fortitude you have had.

Promise me, Mom, that you will continue to help. I’m not sure if I am as meek and strong as you are yet. I hope to get there one day. I love you dearly.

Your youngest of five,

Serena

Awww. What a sweet thanks to her mom with just a dash of subtle shade that no one better DARE come for her daughter they way they’ve tried to come for her.

Serena’s already a protective Mama Bear.

Getty Images


Bossip

Evaluating this year’s rookie running backs through 2 games

Matt Williamson is a former scout for the Cleveland Browns and spent 10 years at ESPN as a scout and co-host of “The Football Today Podcast.” Find him on Twitter @WilliamsonNFL.

Heading into the 2017 draft, we had a good idea of how outstanding this group of rookie running backs would be.

Teams were selecting possible starters in the middle rounds, and, unlike in some recent years, running backs were going off the board early, too. They came in all shapes and sizes, but, for the most part, distinguished themselves from other classes with a key factor: The ability to make major contributions to the passing game.

After two weeks, the top rookie rushers have exceeded expectations. Let's take a look at how each one has done in the order they were drafted in:

Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars
(1st round, 4th overall)

Fournette has many talents, but first and foremost he's big, fast, and strong. That's exactly how Jacksonville is using him in its offense, and, with Allen Robinson out of the lineup, Fournette is the Jaguars' offense.

For this team to be successful, it needs to mimic its Week 1 blueprint and play exceptional defense while feeding Fournette without relent. It's asking a ton, but the entire unit is on his shoulders. More than just about any team in the NFL, Jacksonville is running right up the middle through the A gaps, and Fournette comes right at a defense with authority.

The youngster is the man for the job, but this is the toughest of challenges for any running back.

Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
(1st round, 8th overall)

While Carolina's defense has been superb, allowing just six points over its two games, let's just say the Panthers' offense is a work in progress. The blocking hasn't been great, and Cam Newton is clearly still knocking some rust off after a preseason with very little work.

Carolina could also be going through somewhat of a facelift on offense, which may have been signaled by their selection of McCaffrey with the eighth pick. McCaffrey has seen plenty of action, but the results haven't been great. The presence of a big back in Jonathan Stewart is going to remain a major piece of this offense, even with the rookie on the field at the same time.

Clearly, the organization wants to lessen the load and abuse on Cam Newton, but that transformation might take some time, as the quarterback needs to change how he plays the game. The loss of Greg Olsen won't help matters.

McCaffrey is very impressive, nonetheless, and his breakout just might be coming against the Saints.

Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
(2nd round, 41st overall)

Cook burst onto the scene in front of a national audience by racking up 127 rushing yards. But that was at home against the Saints with a legitimate starting quarterback leading Minnesota's offense.

On Sunday, with Sam Bradford out of the lineup, Cook wasn't featured as much and found the sledding much tougher in Pittsburgh. Still, he broke off a 25-yard run in Week 2 and has averaged 5.6 yards per carry. He has a lot of ability in the passing game, and we should see him more and more in that capacity as the season goes on, but drops have been a problem so far.

While Minnesota's offensive line has improved from last year (there was nowhere to go but up), it still could be a problem area, as was shown against the Steelers. But for Cook to fulfill his immense potential, he needs Bradford back in the lineup ASAP.

Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals
(2nd round, 48th overall)

Clearly, the Bengals' coaching staff doesn't yet agree, but Mixon needs to be the main man in Cincinnati's backfield right now.

Gio Bernard is a quality player, Jeremy Hill is a backup early-down runner, and Mixon is a potential star in all aspects of the position.

When given the chance, he has flashed potential, but 21 touches over two games just won't cut it. He needs the ball.

The Bengals have one of the NFL's worst offensive lines, and Cincinnati has scored a measly nine points in their two games despite having some of the best skill position players in the league. Mixon has the kind of rare talent that could bring Cincinnati's offense out of the doldrums. Hopefully, new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor sees this.

Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
(3rd round, 67th overall)

With the possible exception of New England, no team uses a variety of running backs more than a Sean Payton-led Saints offense. Not only that, but New Orleans is always near the top of the league in running back receptions.

Even with Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson on the roster, the Saints traded up to draft Kamara. That seems like a luxury item this franchise can't afford considering the state of its defense. However, Kamara, with his all-around skill set, is the perfect back for what the Saints want to do. He's already their best receiving back and is just scratching the surface of how good he can be as a receiver and a rusher.

Kamara is proving to be very difficult to keep off the field. He'll be New Orleans’ top producing running back in 2018. Maybe even sooner.

Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs
(3rd round, 86th overall)

Well, how about this guy.

Of all the great rookie runners, it's Hunt that's stealing the show. After playing the Patriots and Eagles, he has 229 rushing yards and another 126 yards as a receiver. He's also scored five times in his two NFL games. Remember Hunt fumbling on his first career carry? Well, the guy who showed fantastic ball security at college has taken the league by storm since that inauspicious debut.

His case was certainly aided by Spencer Ware's injury, which opened the door wide for Kansas City's new lead back. Hunt has an excellent all-around skill set. He has power, shiftiness, and exceptional balance. He runs hard and finishes every run.

His numbers have been aided by a few very big plays, but he's the clear leader in the race for Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.

Tarik Cohen, Chicago Bears
(4th round, 119th overall)

Cohen burst onto the scene as the Bears almost pulled off a Week 1 upset over Atlanta. He was the talk of Chicago's preseason, as well.

While Jordan Howard (if healthy) should remain the foundation of this ailing offense, Cohen is probably the Bears' most dynamic offensive player. They have the league's worst group of pass-catchers, but found a keeper in this young man, and have targeted him a whopping 21 times over two games. The similarities to Darren Sproles are clear.

He can handle carries, but adds the most value in the passing game. Linebackers are already at a major disadvantage against this rookie from North Carolina A&T.

In the end, though, there's just so much wrong with the Bears' offense that more will probably be asked of him than he can deliver.

(Photos courtesy: Action Images)

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NFL | theScore

Tigers’ Boyd throwing no-hitter through 8 innings vs. White Sox

Matt Boyd is rolling against the Chicago White Sox, as the Detroit Tigers starter has yet to allow a hit in eight innings.

Boyd retired Matt Davidson, Tyler Saladino, and Willy Garcia in order on 14 pitches to head into the final frame with the no-no intact.

Boyd has thrown 105 pitches in the contest, 67 of them for strikes. He's also walked just one batter in the game and struck out five.

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MLB | theScore

Abreu wants to stay with White Sox through rebuild: ‘This is a family’

One of the most consistent performers in team history, Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu says he hopes to remain with the only organization he's ever known as it continues its rebuild.

“Definitely,” Abreu told Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun Times on Saturday. “That’s a huge factor. It also has to do with the organization. We’re on a better path. We already know what we’re doing. I’m just blessed to be here, living my dream and being around good people.”

“…Even though our (59-88) record (entering Saturday) is like it is right now, the wave of new players here makes it fun. We’re just trying to enjoy it and have fun.”

Only 30 years old and in the prime of his career, Abreu is currently the longest tenured and oldest active position player on the White Sox 40-man roster. The youth movement, led by top prospect Yoan Moncada, has quickly turned the White Sox minor-league system into one of baseball's most promising.

"This is my first team in the majors and I hope to be here for the rest of my career because of all the things this team has done for me, how they have treated me," Abreu said.

“I really have a deep appreciation for this team and front office. And I feel comfortable here, they are like my family even though I left my family in Cuba. This is a family I gained here when I came to the U.S. and I want to be a part of this family forever.”

Since signing with the White Sox as an International free-agent in 2014, Abreu has provided tremendous value in Chicago. He's hit .308/.360/.558, has combined to 3.9 WAR this season, and is on pace to finish with over 100 RBIs for the fourth consecutive year.

Abreu is arbitration eligible this offseason and will be under contract until 2020.

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MLB | theScore

Watch: Texans’ Watson runs through Bengals’ defense for 49-yard TD

Welcome to the NFL, Deshaun Watson!

In his debut as the starter against the Cincinnati Bengals, Watson showed why he was one of the most decorated collegiate players in recent memory, gliding through the opposition for a 49-yard touchdown run.

Watson emerged as the Houston Texans‘ starter after Tom Savage was benched for poor performance following a Week 1 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The rookie is already making history. Watson's 49-yard touchdown run is the longest by a quarterback since Marcus Mariota scampered for 87 yards in 2015.

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NFL | theScore