March 17, 2014 |
PHOENIX -- Sometime in the relatively near future, perhaps even this year, Zach Lee could take the mound for the Dodgers in a regular-season game. Or Joc Pederson could step into the batter's box. If it happens, fans at Dodger Stadium might consider raising their plastic cups in a tribute to the man responsible: Frank McCourt. If not for the team's unpopular former owner, the Dodgers' two top prospects would be somewhere else. Lee might be counting down the days until the NFL draft.
March 16, 2014 |
Normally the NCAA tournament is a curiosity for Lakers fans. The team rarely drafts in the first round, making it difficult to guess whom it might take with the 48th pick (Ryan Kelly in 2013) or the 60th (Robert Sacre in 2012). But this year, with the Lakers at 22-44 and likely holding at least a top-10 (if not top-five) pick in June's NBA draft, the tournament suddenly becomes a lot more interesting. The NCAA unveiled its pool of teams Sunday, headlined by regional top seeds Florida, Arizona, Wichita State and Virginia.
March 15, 2014 |
CHASING LOTTERY BALLS The NBA's regular season ends April 16, and for the bottom-dwellers the draft lottery on May 20 looms large. Below are standings of the eight worst teams after Friday's games, their odds to land the No. 1 overall pick and mock draft picks from current position: TEAM/W-L/Pct./Odds/MOCK DRAFT SELECTION 1. Milwaukee/13-53/.197/25%/Jabari Parker, F, Duke 2. Philadelphia//15-50/.231/19.9%/Andrew Wiggins, F, Kansas...
March 13, 2014 |
The NFL draft will be held May 8-10, giving former USC receiver Marqise Lee about eight more weeks to prepare for the next stage of his career. Lee, projected as a possible first-round draft pick, participated in USC's pro day workout on Tuesday but did not run the 40-yard dash. The 2012 Biletnikoff Award winner was timed in 4.52 seconds at the NFL scouting combine last month in Indianapolis. After he completed his workout Tuesday, Lee said there was some “stage fright” at the combine.
March 12, 2014 |
JERUSALEM -- Israeli legislators approved a controversial law Wednesday to end the historic exemption of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men from mandatory military service, a decision some religious leaders decried as persecution. The Equal Service Law approved by the Knesset, or parliament, calls for a gradual increase in the conscription of ultra-Orthodox men over a three-year period, ultimately exempting only a quota of outstanding scholars. Finance Minister Yair Lapid, whose centrist Yesh Atid party pushed the legislation as a way to increase fairness for other groups whose members are drafted into the military as well as to aid the integration of ultra-Orthodox men into the workforce, welcomed the bill's passage as a “revolution.” Ultra-Orthodox men had been exempt from military service to allow them to pursue their religious studies, which supporters said allowed them to serve the nation through prayer and by preserving Jewish heritage.
March 11, 2014 |
The Lakers are destined to have a high pick in June's NBA draft, but the franchise won't know where it is picking until the draft lottery on May 20. One of the top prospects in the draft, Kansas center Joel Embiid, received some disappointing news on Monday. According to the Associated Press, Embiid has a stress fracture in his lower back, which will knock him out of the Big 12 tournament and could sideline him for the first week of the NCAA tournament. Assuming he suffers no setbacks, the Jayhawks may need to survive a couple of rounds without their starting center.
March 7, 2014 |
With time running short to sign up for Obamacare, California officials have recruited labor activist Dolores Huerta to urge Latinos to get health insurance. The state's move comes amid struggles at enrolling Latinos, who represent about 60% of the state's uninsured population. Open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act ends March 31. Huerta is co-founder of the United Farm Workers union and worked for years alongside the late Cesar Chavez. She is featured in new radio and online ads for Covered California airing statewide.
March 2, 2014 |
JERUSALEM -- Hundreds of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews rallied in Jerusalem on Sunday to protest emerging legislation that could end their sweeping exemption from military service. The country's capital was paralyzed as access to Jerusalem was blocked. Government offices, schools and courthouses closed early, and public transportation was halted to accommodate the mass prayer called by rabbinical leaders. Under heavy police protection, black hats bobbed as the crowd of demonstrators swayed in prayer or danced to express their opposition to a military draft that many decried as a “war against religion.” In an unusual move, religious women were encouraged to attend the protest, standing separately from the men. For decades, Israel's ultra-Orthodox have been effectively exempt from military service.
March 2, 2014 |
The NFL might be a quarterback league, but that wasn't reflected in last year's draft. Only one quarterback was selected in the first round - EJ Manuel, picked 16th by Buffalo - and one each in the next two rounds. This year should be a return to the familiar, as the draft is rich with quarterback prospects. This mock draft projects three quarterbacks will be taken in the first five picks May 8, and five in the entire first round. The wild card is Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, who could be the No. 1 overall pick of Houston, or conceivably could tumble all the way out of the first round.
March 1, 2014 |
Four, three, two … The Derrick Williams position countdown goes on, the No. 2 pick in the 2011 draft still trying to find his spot in the NBA before time runs out. The Minnesota Timberwolves tried him at power forward and small forward before deciding neither worked and trading him in November to the Sacramento Kings. Williams now plays both positions as well as occasional stints at shooting guard. Like a 300-pound man shopping for pants, the right fit has been elusive.