Ottawa Senators’ Bobby Ryan sees move to third line as an opportunity

Some might call it a demotion, but Bobby Ryan prefers to see it as an opportunity.Ryan, the Senators highest paid forward, was moved to Ottawa’s third line Saturday afternoon alongside Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Tom Pyatt as they took on the New York Islanders.The experiment proved successful as the trio shut down the Islanders’ top line and it appears they will remain together Tuesday night as the Senators host the Buffalo Sabres. I need a player like that against other teams’ best lines.”Obviously Ryan would like to contribute more offensively, but he’s not going to force things. “Now he’s got a new coach who’s asking something new from him.“Me putting him against the best players isn’t about a lack of confidence, it’s the opposite. Most assumed Ryan would be disappointed with the new assignment, but the 29-year-old prefers to look at it as a new challenge.“Truthfully they play the most minutes so I’m excited for the opportunity,” said Ryan. “It’s all you can do. You can be negative and you can come in and pout, but I’m not going to do that. After 47 games this season, Ryan has 11 goals and 21 points and will need a solid finish to have a chance to hit the 20-goal mark.“I think people need to get over that season in Anaheim and start looking at him here in Ottawa,” Boucher said. I really don’t mind, I don’t. He’s having a tough stretch finishing or maybe not choosing to shoot sometimes… I know there’s people who have their opinions on it, but if that’s what he wants me to do I’m going to do it. I found that he’s been playing so well defensively and up front he’s one of the few who can offer us physical strength and can still make plays along the boards while under pressure. I’ve been around long enough and that doesn’t get you anywhere as a team, as an individual, so I come in and whatever he tells me is going on that day that’s what I do. Call it the third or defensive line or whatever you will, but those guys are playing well.“I think (Senators coach Guy Boucher) saw an opportunity to slide me into a role and see if I could handle it. I don’t care, we’re winning.”Craig Anderson will get his second consecutive start Tuesday against the Sabres.The Senators are 1-3-0 against the Sabres this season and were shut out 4-0 in their last meeting. “Last game was (John) Tavares, next game coming in will probably be (Jack) Eichel, so I don’t mind those match-ups one bit. He admits that everywhere he goes — restaurants, grocery stores, movies — people are telling him he needs to shoot more, but he’s more concerned with making the right play than getting a shot on goal.With just 77 shots this season Ryan could easily afford to be a little selfish and shoot the puck more often, but he just wants to see the team do well.“You’d like to score more than 11 at this point of the year, but I’m just making the most of the minutes and the time that I get,” Ryan said. but the rest for me has been good.”As a member of the Anaheim Ducks, Ryan had four consecutive seasons with 30 or more goals, but since being acquired by the Senators in 2013 he’s never surpassed 23 goals. “If he wasn’t playing well, if he was lazy, if he was unreliable then it would be a different story. He came to me before the game and asked and I said absolutely. I can’t control those things.”Boucher says people need to stop evaluating Ryan’s season on stats alone and look at his overall performance.“If you’re not scoring, but you’re playing great, you’re helping the team and that’s what Bobby has done, he’s helping our team,” Boucher said. I’m just going to come in and go to work. Then I would be unhappy and I would tell you he has had a tough stretch, but right now he’s not having a tough stretch in how he’s playing.

U.S. lawsuit seeking $100 million from Lance Armstrong heads to trial

A federal judge on Monday cleared the way for a U.S. Justice Department alleges that Armstrong defrauded the government by accepting millions of dollars in sponsorship money from the U.S. Attorneys for Landis did not immediately respond to request for comment. government lawsuit seeking nearly $100 million in damages from disgraced former professional cyclist Lance Armstrong to go to trial, according to court papers.The U.S. Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour titles and banned for life from bicycle racing in 2012 by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia wrote in a 37-page ruling on Monday.The USPS paid around $32.3 million to Armstrong’s cycling team, the now-defunct Tailwind Sports Corp, from 2000 to 2004, looking to capitalize on Armstrong’s Tour de France victories in 1999 and 1998, as well as his “compelling personal story,” Cooper said in his ruling. Postal Service (USPS) as he led the team to a string of Tour de France victories while doping. The government has calculated damages at three times this amount.Landis stands to gain up to 25 percent of whatever sum the government recovers. Armstrong, who contends that the USPS benefits outweighed the sponsorship costs, sought to have the case decided by summary judgment in April 2016.“Because the government has offered evidence that Armstrong withheld information about the team’s doping and use of PEDs and that the anti-doping provisions of the sponsorship agreements were material to USPS’s decision to continue the sponsorship and make payments under the agreements, the Court must deny Armstrong’s motion for summary judgment on this issue,” Judge Christopher Cooper of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency after it accused him in a report of engineering one of the most sophisticated doping schemes in sports.Nicole Navas, a spokeswoman from the Department of Justice, declined to comment on the case.Eliot Peters, an attorney for Armstrong, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Armstrong, who had long denied using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), admitted to doping in January 2013 during a much publicized interview with talk show host Oprah Winfrey.Armstrong’s former teammate, Floyd Landis, originally brought the lawsuit in 2010 under a federal law, the False Claims Act, that lets whistle-blowers pursue fraud cases on behalf of the government, and obtain rewards if successful.The Justice Department joined the case in February 2013.

For Westminster dogs, there is no business like show business

Readying for a play takes about two weeks of nightly rehearsals, and Avila watches and signals from the wings throughout every performance.“You can’t just show up and think your dog is going to be the next Lassie,” Avila, an elevator company compliance officer who lives in Lynbrook, N.Y., says. The entertainment-industry-sanctioned organization acknowledged the handling should have been gentler in one scene, however, and suspended the safety representative who was on set.People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which called the findings incomplete, urges filmmakers to computer-generate animals (PETA also has protested Westminster because of its emphasis on purebred dogs). The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals opposes using animals in entertainment involving “any distressing or inhumane practices.”Owners of Westminster’s show-biz dogs, who often train and handle their own pets for entertainment work, emphasize that they make sure the animals are safe and comfortable with what’s asked of them.Shoots have been a breeze for Ten, a Border Collie that competed Monday in Westminster’s obedience championship, owner Lara Avery says.As soon as Ten sees a set, he’s “under the lamps, ready to go – because he knows he’s going to get cookies,” Avery, a professional dog trainer in Somers, Conn., says. They’re show dogs with star power.Sprinkled through the more than 2,800 dogs competing at this year’s Westminster Kennel Club show are furry faces that viewers might have glimpsed in movies and TV shows, stage productions, magazine pages and ads for everything from phone services to pharmaceuticals. Nor are credits on the screen or plaudits in the show ring.Rhonda-Lynn DiMatteo’s Puli Ethan has plenty of both. Ten has been in an episode of the TV Land comedy Younger and on the cover of Scientific American Mind magazine, among other things.The Westminster best in show competition began Monday, with the winner to be chosen Tuesday night.Avila starts getting her puppies used to theatrical sights and sounds by putting capes on them, donning costumes herself and taking them to a local church’s stage to experience the lights. Two of them, including former Westminster competitor Mr. America, appeared alongside Denzel Washington and Bill Pullman in the 2014 action movie The Equalizer.As canine performers, “sometimes, they blow me away,” owner Morgan Avila says.Equally at home in show business and the show ring, some Westminster dogs have racked up résumés many a human actor might covet. He’s a grand champion in the show world, has appeared in theatrical productions including Annie and Peter Pan and has strutted in a fashion show.His Leonberger housemates also have stage and screen credits. Magneto, for instance, is a strapping, 180-pound looker billed to play opposite his fellow Leonbergers at Westminster on Tuesday. He won best of his corded-coat breed at Westminster in 2015, and he’s done a fashion-magazine shoot, local theatrical productions and even a children’s birthday party near their home in Easton, Penn.“But that’s all secondary,” she says, “to the companionship he’s given me.” And when the dogs perform like stars, “you feel proud of them.”Dogs have long played a part in the entertainment industry, though it’s been scrutinized recently after video leaked of a frightened German Shepherd being forced into churning water during the filming of the movie A Dog’s Purpose.American Humane, the group responsible for animal safety on the set, says an animal-cruelty expert found the video was misleadingly edited and the dog suffered no lasting stress or harm. Chester, a Berger Picard, has lent his shaggy brio to commercials for MasterCard, Verizon, Conair and QVC.“We thought it would be something just fun to do, and then it turned into a second job,” Christina Potter laughs.But it’s worth it: “Any training you do with your dog is bonding,” Potter, a federal court interpreter who lives in North Bergen, N.J., says; her husband is an airline pilot. Just a sampling from the reels of Christina and Taylor Potter’s four dogs, which competed Saturday in agility:Hudson the golden retriever barked along with “Live from New York, it’s … !” as then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s dog on Saturday Night Live in 2012 and added to the comic relief in the 2011 Paul Rudd film Our Idiot Brother.Morgan, a Chinese crested, served as a design inspiration on a 2006 Project Runway episode. “The training is really intense, and when it all falls into place, it’s really exciting, and it’s really fun.”Not that there are never bloopers: a dog grabbing and snacking on an accidentally dropped apple on stage, for instance, or plunging into water after a casually tossed rock during a beach shoot.A dog can make $800 (U.S.) to $1,200 for a day of filming, owners say, but the work tends to be sporadic.Owners say the money isn’t the point.

Shattenkirk likely to draw the most buzz ahead of NHL trade deadline

Louis is still a viable threat to compete for the Stanley Cup after reaching the Western Conference final last year.Shattenkirk garners only the fourth-most minutes on their defence (about 20 minutes a game), but the club has no comparable threat for the offence he provides.Stay tuned.TrendsPerhaps to some alarm for the Montreal Canadiens, Carey Price continues to trend downward this season.Save percentage by month for the 29-year-old:October: .954November: .944December: .899January: .906February: .879Price is tied for ninth among NHL goaltenders with a .917save percentage (min. His 31 power-play goals in that same stretch trail only Shea Weber and Oliver Ekman-Larsson.Prior to Monday, he was tied for first at the position with 18 power-play points this season and second with seven power-play goals.“It’s something I wish I could do, but there’s only a few guys in the league that have that kind of ability,” Gunnarsson said of Shattenkirk’s power-play prowess.However appealing he may be as a trade chip before the deadline – just over two weeks away – the Blues might be better served keeping Shattenkirk themselves. Louis is in question. 30 starts) and third with a .934 clip at even strength. The 28-year-old from New Rochelle, N.Y., is likely to draw the most buzz ahead of the March 1 trade deadline, a right-shooting defenceman on an expiring contract who offers almost unrivalled production from the back end. He’s struggled most with his team short-handed, yielding a league-leading 32 power-play goals against.The Sullivan bumpPittsburgh went 33-16-5 with a plus-41 goal differential after replacing head coach Mike Johnston with Mike Sullivan in mid-December last season, eventually capturing their fourth Stanley Cup the following spring. Louis BluesChange: Replaced Ken Hitchcock with Mike YeoRecord at firing (goal differential): 24-21-5 (minus-16)Since: 5-1-0 (plus-12) Boston BruinsChange: Replaced Claude Julien with Bruce CassidyRecord at firing (goal differential): 26-23-6 (minus-6)Since: 3-0-0 (plus-8) Dallas goaltendingThe much-maligned Stars goalie tandem of Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen has been shockingly effective at five-on-five, Dallas sitting seventh over all with a .929 save percentage. It’s dreadful netminding on the league’s worst penalty kill that’s really doomed the Stars, the club sitting last by a wide margin with an ugly .819 save percentage.Down year?Corey Perry finally had his first multigoal game of the season last week, scoring his 10th and 11th goals of the year in a win over Buffalo. “He’s got a good shot, he’s a good passer, he’s got vision – pretty much everything you look for in an offensive defenceman.”In fact, heading into Monday’s play, Shattenkirk was tied for 10th among all NHL defencemen with 238 points since the start of the 2011-12 season, 10th with 181 assists and 11th with 57 goals.It’s on the power play where he’s most potent though, making him especially attractive to potential suitors ahead of the deadline. The 31-year-old, who trails only Alex Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos with 311 goals since the 2007-08 season, is headed for his slimmest goal output since becoming a full-time NHL player.Perry is on pace for a mere 16 goals or less than half of last year’s total (34).The Peterborough, Ont., native appears to be suffering from some undue misfortune, currently shooting just 7.1 per cent – which would be a career low – on about the same number of shots a game (2.7) as last year.Prior to Monday’s games, Perry’s 11 goals were tied with Arizona’s Radim Vrbata and Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for the fewest among forwards with at least 150 shots this season.10 with 10Prior to Monday, only two teams had at least 10 players with 10 goals or more already this season: the Washington Capitals and Minnesota Wild. For all their struggles this season (though not of late), St. Results have been positive for clubs making a move so far this season:Florida PanthersChange: Replaced Gerrard Gallant with Tom RoweRecord at firing (goal differential): 11-10-1 (minus-2)Since: 13-10-9 (minus-15) New York IslandersChange: Replaced Jack Capuano with Doug WeightRecord at firing (goal differential): 17-17-8 (minus-6)Since: 8-2-2 (plus-11) St. Teams opting to dismiss a coach mid-season can only hope for such a bump. Shattenkirk boasts 122 power-play points over the past five-plus seasons, second only to Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson among NHL defenders. “His offensive skills are top-notch,” teammate and frequent defensive partner Carl Gunnarsson said of Shattenkirk, who’s on pace for a career-best 16 goals and 57 points.“He always seems like he’s finding the open guy and he’s always getting to the open spots,” added Colton Parayko, another member of the Blues defence. Louis Blues acquired Kevin Shattenkirk from the Colorado Avalanche.Now, Shattenkirk’s future in St. It was six years ago this month that the St.

For Blue Jays’ Travis, early spring gives chance to put past injuries behind him

And any time you can say Russell Martin and Troy Tulowitzki and Josh Donaldson in the same sentence, that’s a pretty special club.” While Gose is still struggling to launch his MLB career, Travis made an immediate hit with the Blue Jays, leaving camp in 2015 as the starting second baseman.His rookie season got off to a rousing start as he showed good life with the bat and soon worked his way into the batting leadoff position. “Either way, I’m good for it.”Although pitchers and catchers are not required to be here until Tuesday, when physicals will be conducted, many of the cast and a good number of position players – who don’t have to be here until Friday – have already shown up.Twenty-game winner J.A. “To have him and Steve Pearce, who can freakin’ hit, man. He tried to play through the pain but couldn’t and eventually had season-ending surgery that kept him out of the lineup until late May last season.He reclaimed his spot at second base and helped Toronto make its successful run into the playoffs, where a recurring knee injury once again curtailed his season.He is convinced his bad luck is behind him and is excited to see a Blue Jays roster he believes will be bolstered by a couple of free-agent additions in designated hitter Kendrys Morales and utility infielder Steve Pearce.Morales hit 12 of his 30 home runs last season at spacious Kauffman Stadium while playing for the Kansas City Royals, which yielded the second-fewest home runs in the A.L. A hazy Florida sun was just starting to bake off the early-morning dew, and Travis grunted as he was instructed to get into push-up position, with his weight on his forearms, and perform a series of planks designed to strengthen his core.After that, he went for a little walk, clasping a big, black, heavy kettlebell in each hand. rookie of the month.But things quickly turned sour after he took a batted ball off his left shoulder blade in late April. Devon Travis was one of the early risers here Monday, two days before the official opening of spring training camp for the pitchers and catchers of the Toronto Blue Jays – and he was paying for the privilege.It was a little bit before 9 a.m., and Travis had already broken a sweat.Under the stern control of a trainer, the second baseman was being twisted this way and that on the artificial turf of an area outside the players’ weight room at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, Toronto’s Grapefruit League home for the next seven weeks or so. It’s been definitely a lot of work this off-season. We still got the same core guys. Happ was here and threw a bullpen, as did Aaron Sanchez, who appears beefed up, ready to head into a season without an innings-pitched count hanging over his head.Even Gibbons was on hand Monday, casual and content in his blue jeans and scuffed cowboy boots, looking as if he had just parked his Harley in the back lot.The regular season doesn’t start until April 3 for Toronto. He can flat-out hit.“We’ve got a real good team. in 2016.To Travis, that is impressive.“Now playing in A.L. It’s seriously gotten better every day, every week. Just going to see what the plan is going forward with the team.”But is the knee at 100 per cent?“It’s getting there,” he said. East ballparks, that could be really friendly for him,” Travis said. By that time, Travis hopes his surgically repaired right knee, which he injured in the first game of the American League Championship Series against the Indians in mid-October, will be good as new.“My knee feels better every single day,” he said. “I wouldn’t say it’s 100 per cent yet, for sure. “I’m feeling great. I’ve been down here since the first week of January getting after it.”Travis came over to the Blue Jays in a trade two years ago with the Detroit Tigers, with centrefielder Anthony Gose going the other way. I’m swinging, I’m throwing – basically doing everything. “The trick is to try to keep your face looking like you’re not working hard,” he said, obviously failing in this regard.One of the most congenial baseball players – quick with a smile and a good-to-see-you greeting to a member of the media that actually feels genuine – Travis has been at this routine since the start of the year.This season marks a huge step for Travis, who is eager to show the Blue Jays that his brittle nature of the past two years, when injuries robbed him of significant playing time, is behind him.And if he can manage to avoid the trainer’s table, one of Toronto’s concerns – the lack of a bona fide leadoff hitter – may also be a thing of the past.“That would be ideal,” Travis said about the prospect of hitting first in the order for a club that still packs plenty of offensive punch – even in the absence of Edwin Encarnacion, their home run leader last season, who left for the Cleveland Indians as a free agent.Travis said he could also see himself batting ninth as a setup man for whomever manager John Gibbons deems worthy of leading things off.“Or I could be hitting first in front of the best hitter in baseball,” Travis enthused, a reference to Josh Donaldson, who has made hitting out of the two-hole his home since his arrival in Toronto in 2015. Over the first month of the season, Travis batted a hefty .325 with six home runs and 19 runs batted in, and was selected as the A.L.

Man City beats Bournemouth, jumps to second place in Premier League table

City still has to play Chelsea away in early April.“It’s so, so difficult to win all the games,” Guardiola said. “The gap is too big.”Bournemouth hasn’t won in 2017 and is in free fall, just six points from the relegation zone. Aguero – City’s chief striker since 2011 – has lost his starting place to Gabriel Jesus but played most of the match after coming on for the Brazil striker, who hobbled off in the 15th minute with an apparent twisted right ankle. We go into a break in the Premier League calendar and have to come back refreshed and ready to fight for our league survival.” The Associated Press “Except for 10 minutes in the second half, we controlled.”City leapfrogged Liverpool,Arsenal and Tottenham to be the latest, nearest challenger to Chelsea, which is the favourite for the league title. The England international has scored five goals against Bournemouth, more than any other opponent.Sterling and Sane also struck the goal frame as Pep Guardiola’s team dominated on the south coast.“We play a good game in one of the toughest games away,” Guardiola said. The hosts weren’t helped by captain Simon Francis (hamstring) and midfielder Jack Wilshere (ankle) going off injured in the first half.“We reorganized and had a go,” Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe said, “but ultimately they were too good.“We have to be positive. “I will pray tonight.”Aguero thought he scored when he slid in to glance a cross from Sterling toward the goal. Manchester City overcame Gabriel Jesus’ early departure because of injury to beat Bournemouth 2-0 and climb to second place in the English Premier League, eight points behind Chelsea on Monday.Raheem Sterling’s 29th-minute strike and an own-goal in the 69th from Tyrone Mings, who deflected the ball in on an effort from substitute Sergio Aguero, earned City a third straight league win. Gabriel Jesus initially tried to play on after injuring himself when landing awkwardly stretching for a cross, but slumped to the ground within minutes and signalled to the bench.“Tomorrow morning, we’ll know [the nature of the injury] exactly,” City manager Pep Guardiola said. The ball struck the foot of Mings and deflected in, with the officials awarding it as an own goal.Sterling opened the scoring by tapping home at the far post after Leroy Sane’s cross from the left ricocheted into his fellow winger’s path.

Mike Babcock looks to get the lagging Leafs back up to speed

So for Monday’s practice to get ready for Tuesday’s game against the New York Islanders, the old slogan was painted over in favour of “Play fast. The Leafs wrap up a four-game homestand Tuesday against the Islanders, and that game is the start of a string of six games in eight nights that includes two sets of back-to-back, home-and-away games.So far in February, with a 2-2-2 record, the Leafs only took six of a possible 12 points. Back in hockey’s Paleozoic era of the late 1990s and early 2000s, when Pat Quinn was a lonely holdout against the rule of the neutral-zone trap, he used to say it wasn’t sheer foot speed that made teams fast, it was puck movement: Move the puck efficiently and quickly and you become a fast team.That movement starts with the defencemen in their own end. Mike Babcock is so concerned about his team’s play of late that he changed the slogan on the wall of the dressing room.The old one at the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ official practice facility, read, “Heart and drive live here.” Nice enough, but the head coach obviously doesn’t think the drive part was happening fast enough – not with two wins in the Leafs’ past eight games. When we don’t play right, we look like snails out there.”The coach emphasized his new message in Monday’s practice with a lot of drills that involved getting the puck out of the Leafs’ end and moving through the neutral zone at top speed.Babcock’s other concern is the number of slow starts the Leafs have made recently. It’s the same message another Leafs head coach used to deliver all the time. The games in hand that the Leafs enjoyed on a few others in the playoff race have dwindled to four on the Boston Bruins, who hold third place in the Atlantic.“We’re not hitting the panic button by any means,” Rielly said.But Leafs historians can trace that favourite quote back from Rielly through Dion Phaneuf to Mats Sundin and beyond with varying degrees of success.So we’ll see. In two of their past three games – a win over the Dallas Stars and Saturday’s awful 3-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres – the Leafs dawdled out of the gate.Babcock delivered his message forcefully enough that the players were all singing from the same hymn book, even if it wasn’t Cole’s.“We know we have to play quick to get out of our zone. “You kind of pick a few topics you have to work on and we work on them, whether that’s breakouts, five-on-five neutral zone [play] or defensive play. And Jake Gardiner is playing his worst hockey of the season. The Gardiner fix is trickier because his mistakes are mostly mental ones. The trouble with Gardiner is that when he is bad, he can be spectacularly bad, as in what-was-he-thinking bad, when it comes to gifts for opposing forwards.Fixing Rielly is mostly a matter of time. You want to keep the legs moving, keep the brain turned on and work on what’s needed.”Funny thing, though. Play right.”Well, Babcock could have waxed a little more lyrical and delivered the same message by borrowing from the late, great Nat King Cole: Straighten up and fly right. Better to get up ahead and put the pressure on them first,” goaltender Frederik Andersen said.“We have to focus on our starts, make sure we’re giving ourselves a chance,” defenceman Morgan Rielly said. That saw them slide from third place in the Atlantic Division to the second and last wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, with a long list of teams within striking distance. The problem for Babcock and the Leafs right now is that two of his three best defencemen at getting the puck moving are having problems.Rielly is trying to play through a high ankle sprain – a lingering injury that turns high-fliers into plough horses. “I think when we play right, we can play real fast. But this is the same coaching staff that stopped Gardiner’s slide from prospect to suspect, so there is hope there as well.But the fixes have to come quick. Then again, given the average age of Babcock’s youthful charges, it would be a miracle if any of them have even heard of Cole, let alone have him on a playlist.“I’m always waiting each year for us to come up with a way of playing you can hang your hat on,” Babcock said of his inspiration for the new slogan. That way we start faster and get to their zone.

Knicks lift Charles Oakley’s ban from Madison Square Garden: source

They’ve been supportive. Sprewell hadn’t been back at MSG since 2004 following his falling out with the owner. I want them to apologize to the fans. He shoved a couple of security officials before he was pulled away and handcuffed.Dolan announced the ban during an interview with ESPN Radio on Friday, though he said he hoped to see Oakley return someday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions were to remain private. One of the things I told the commissioner, I want to have a press conference and I want him to apologize to me and the fans. “I love the fans in New York. It’s about the fans. Dolan said he believed Oakley had anger or alcohol issues he first needed to address.The Knicks are on the road this week for their only game before the All-Star break. ESPN.com first reported the decision.Oakley later told ESPN: “It’s not about being at the Garden. They’ve had my back and they’ve felt the pain. But the sides reconciled, helped by a meeting Monday at NBA headquarters with Commissioner Adam Silver, with Hall of Famer Michael Jordan participating in by phone. “I told him yesterday.”“I have never asked for nothing,” Oakley added. I really appreciate the people all around who’ve had my back.”The Knicks said they had nothing to add beyond a statement issued Monday by Silver, who said both sides were apologetic about the rift and thanked them for working toward a resolution.Oakley was a popular player in New York but his relationship with Dolan became strained after his criticisms of the team and its management. 25.Dolan welcomed back another estranged former Knick, Latrell Sprewell, on Sunday for the team’s most recent game. They don’t play at home again until Feb. Jordan and Oakley were teammates in Chicago before Oakley was traded to New York, where he became a fan favourite with the Knicks from 1988-98.Dolan then decided Oakley is welcome back at the arena, a person briefed on the discussions told The Associated Press on Tuesday. I told the commissioner I want them to apologize to the fans.”Oakley was asked on “The Dan Le Batard Show” if he would attend Madison Square Garden as Dolan’s quest.“Right now, no,” he said. The Knicks stopped providing him with complimentary tickets and inviting him to team functions.Oakley still attended a few games a year on his own, including last Wednesday’s, when he was seated a few rows behind Dolan and was surrounded by security in the first quarter. Charles Oakley is allowed back in Madison Square Garden, though the former New York Knicks star says he wants an apology before he would return.MSG chairman James Dolan banned Oakley last week, two days after the former power forward had an altercation with security guards while attending a game and was arrested.

Raptors reportedly acquire Serge Ibaka from Magic for Ross, draft pick

#toughbusiness,” Lowry said. All luv,” Ross said on Twitter.Lowry posted a photo of the two players on Instagram shortly after the trade news broke.“Watched you grow from a young ROOK, to a young vet!! The Raptors tried to fill that void with rookies Jacob Poeltl and Pascal Siakam, who are both long-term projects.Ibaka will be a free agent this summer, while Ross is in the first year of a three-year, US$31 million contract.The deal comes ahead of the Feb. A 102-101 loss to Detroit on Sunday prompted all-star guard Kyle Lowry to say “something has to change.”Ibaka, selected 24th overall by Seattle in the 2008 draft, is averaging 15.1 points and 6.8 rebounds a game this season. The Toronto Raptors have finally got the defensive big man they’ve been coveting.A source tells The Canadian Press that the Raptors have acquired Serge Ibaka from the Orlando Magic for Terrence Ross and a first-round pick in the 2017 NBA draft.The move comes with the Raptors mired in a slump and plummeting down the Eastern Conference standings. Couldn’t of been drafted to a better city. He had inconsistent stretches during his time in Toronto and struggled in the playoffs.“Toronto thank you for all the memories, thanks to the amazing fans. Thanks to to my team. It is the Raptors’ first trade in nearly 20 months.Ross, who was drafted eighth overall in 2012, averaged 10.4 points per game this season. Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but representing Spain in international basketball, Ibaka is the third youngest of 18 kids.The athletic Ibaka should be a big boost to Toronto’s front court after the Raptors lost Bismack Biyombo to Orlando in free agency last summer. Keep growing T! Love you man!! The Raptors, who were in Chicago on Tuesday to play the Bulls, have lost 10 of their last 14 games and dropped from second to fifth in the East. 23 NBA trade deadline.