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Warriors’ Iguodala ruled out; Thompson to play

8:03 PM ET Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said guard Klay Thompson will play Thursday night in Game 5 against the Houston Rockets, but forward Andre Iguodala has been ruled out. Both participated in shootaround Thursday morning. Thompson strained his left knee in the second quarter of Game 4 on Tuesday, but he played through it after receiving treatment in the locker room. Team officials told ESPN there was little doubt that Thompson would be able to play Thursday. Iguodala missed Game 4 after suffering a left lateral leg contusion when he banged knees with Rockets guard James Harden in the fourth quarter of Game 3 on Sunday. He was listed as questionable Wednesday after participating in parts of practice at the University of Houston. “He’s dying to play, but he...

NFL didn’t hold formal vote on anthem policy

4:44 PM ET The NFL did not take a roll call vote when it passed the new anthem resolution taking effect this season, league spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed Thursday. Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall has a strong reaction to President Donald Trump’s comments to Fox News “maybe … shouldn’t be in the country.” Marshall said Thursday he found Trump’s comments “disgusting.” President Donald Trump says the NFL is “doing the right thing” with a policy banning kneeling during the national anthem. The policy forbids players from sitting or taking a knee on the field during the anthem but allows them to stay in the locker room. Warriors coach Steve Kerr blasted the NFL’s new national anthem policy Thursday, calling it “idi...

NFL says formal vote on anthem policy not held

8:15 PM ET The NFL did not take a formal roll-call vote when it passed its new national anthem resolution that will take effect this season, league spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed Thursday. Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall had a strong reaction to Donald Trump’s interview with Fox News about the NFL’s new anthem policy, calling the president’s comments “disgusting.” President Donald Trump says the NFL is “doing the right thing” with a policy banning kneeling during the national anthem. The policy forbids players from sitting or taking a knee on the field during the anthem but allows them to stay in the locker room. Warriors coach Steve Kerr blasted the NFL’s new national anthem policy Thursday, calling it “idiotic” and ̶...

Sources: NFL didn’t hold formal anthem vote

2:36 PM ET The NFL did not hold an official vote when it passed the new anthem resolution taking effect this season, sources told ESPN’s Seth Wickersham. Warriors coach Steve Kerr blasted the NFL’s new national anthem policy Thursday, calling it “idiotic” and “typical of the NFL.” President Donald Trump says the NFL is “doing the right thing” with a policy banning kneeling during the national anthem. The policy forbids players from sitting or taking a knee on the field during the anthem but allows them to stay in the locker room. 1 Related Sources said league executives polled owners and knew how they would vote but didn’t hold an official tally, which is atypical for a major resolution. The new national anthem policy requires players t...

Permission for optimism: The Caps take on D.C.’s pain

9:14 AM ET Greg WyshynskiESPN TAMPA, Fla. — Wes Johnson is a Washington, D.C., sports fanatic. He went to a Redskins Super Bowl, but then witnessed 27 years of middling results. He has watched the Bullets become the Wizards and then fail to play for a championship. He has watched the Expos become the Nationals and also fail to play for a championship. When it came to the particular brand of anguish the Washington Capitals had perfected through the decades, Johnson had the best seat in the house to experience the heartbreak: Since 2000, he’s been the team’s PA announcer at home games, the bellowing voice asking fans to “Unleash the fury!” But every Capitals postseason would end with a different kind of fury, the kind that can come only from witnessing the const...

Steph Curry, Steve Nash and the NBA’s fun factor

8:30 AM ET Kevin Arnovitz Close ESPN Staff Writer NBA writer for ESPN.com since 2008 Former contributor and editor at NPR Kevin Pelton Close ESPN Staff Writer Co-author, Pro Basketball Prospectus series Formerly a consultant with the Indiana Pacers Developed WARP rating and SCHOENE system Early in the 2009-10 season, Phoenix Suns big man Amar’e Stoudemire, goggles atop his forehead, ambled his way to the timeout huddle. The Suns, two years removed from Mike D’Antoni’s tenure as head coach, were still burning up the floor at their usual breakneck pace. On this night, in this moment, Stoudemire caught his breath after a particularly frenetic sequence of possessions. “Coach, am I a decoy or what?” he said to Alvin Gentry. “Because if all I’m going to ...

ChiSox C Castillo gets 80-game ban for PEDs

12:10 PM ET Chicago White Sox catcher Welington Castillo has been suspended 80 games for violating the league’s joint drug agreement, Major League Baseball announced Thursday. Castillo is being banned for using erythropoietin (EPO), a performance-enhancing substance. “I was recently notified by Major League Baseball that I had tested positive for EPO, a sub-stance that is prohibited under MLB’s Joint Drug Agreement” said Castillo via statement. “The positive test resulted from an extremely poor decision that I, and I alone, made. I take full responsibility for my conduct. I have let many people down, including my family, my teammates, the White Sox organization and its fans, and from my heart, I apologize. Following my suspension, I look forward to rejoining m...

Maye to return to Tar Heels for senior season

11:15 AM ET North Carolina forward Luke Maye announced Thursday he plans to withdraw his name from the NBA draft and return to the Tar Heels for his senior season. Maye had entered the draft without an agent, enabling him to reconsider before the May 30 deadline. Luke Maye, a breakout star during his junior season, has announced that he’ll withdraw his name from NBA draft consideration and will return to the Tar Heels. Rob Kinnan/USA TODAY Sports “I have had a great experience learning from the NBA process and growing as a basketball player during the past couple weeks,” Maye wrote on Instagram. “I would like to thank my family, friends, coaches and teammates for all of their support. Through this process, I have decided that I am going to comeback to school to impr...

Pistons hire Stefanski, eye Casey as coach

10:18 AM ET Adrian WojnarowskiESPN The Detroit Pistons have hired Grizzlies executive Ed Stefanski as a senior adviser responsible for overhauling the franchise’s basketball operations, he told ESPN on Thursday. Stefanski will assess the current front office and oversee the process of hiring a GM and coach. Stefanski, who will report to owner Tom Gores, has a three-year contract and will be tasked with overseeing the assemblage of a new Detroit front office and coordinating a head-coaching search in Detroit’s post-Stan Van Gundy era. “I’m going to Detroit to meet with all the employees, and I am going to listen to all their thoughts and visions,” Stefanski told ESPN. “And then I am going to give advice to our owner, Tom Gores, on how we are going to stru...

Facing elimination, LeBron finds comfort in a book

9:35 AM ET BOSTON — A 96-83 loss to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday puts the Cleveland Cavaliers one loss away from ending their season. One loss away from ending a streak of three trips to the NBA Finals. One loss away from snapping LeBron James’ personal string of seven straight appearances in the championship round. One loss away from James potentially walking out the door as a free agent this summer, saying goodbye to Cleveland a second time after spending 11 of his 15 seasons in the pros playing for the Wine & Gold. The drumbeat is getting louder around a league that is anticipating the end of Cleveland’s dominance in the East and suggesting a shift in power to whichever team James chooses next. Meanwhile, James sat calmly at his locker late Wednesday night and s...

Trump: NFL ‘doing the right thing’ with anthem

7:21 AM ET ESPN News Services WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says the NFL is “doing the right thing” with a policy banning kneeling during the national anthem. Under a policy unanimously approved by owners, NFL players and personnel have the option not to take the field for the national anthem, but those who do must stand. New York Jets CEO Chris Johnson says the team will not discourage its players from kneeling during the national anthem despite the NFL’s new policy. 1 Related Trump spoke to “Fox & Friends” in an interview airing Thursday. The policy forbids players from sitting or taking a knee on the field during the anthem but allows them to stay in the locker room. Any violations of the new rules would result in fines against teams. Trump ...

Justin Verlander is better than he’s ever been

1:48 AM ET Sometimes you just have to sit back, enjoy the performance and admire the gift that is Justin Verlander‘s right arm. He’s 35 years old, on the wrong end of the timeline for most professional baseball players, and yet here he is, 6-2 with a 1.08 ERA through 11 starts, spinning not just dominant results, but some of the best we’ve ever seen at the start of a season. Actually, Wednesday’s performance in a 4-1 win over the San Francisco Giants was somewhat pedestrian, if you can call nine strikeouts and one run over six innings “pedestrian.” Pitching on six days of rest, Verlander said, “I was probably a little rusty. But overall was able to execute pitches when I needed to against a really good lineup that makes you work hard.” Justin...