National Sports News

Cavs’ Kevin Love: We’re defending champs, not Finals underdogs

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — Everywhere from the Las Vegas sportsbooks to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index to even LeBron James’ framing of the 2017 NBA Finals has the Cleveland Cavaliers as heavy underdogs against the Golden State Warriors. But Kevin Love isn’t buying it.? “The whole underdog thing is funny to me, because, yeah, at the end of the day we are defending our title,” Love said Saturday after the Cavs’ first practice in preparation for the Warriors since clinching a spot in the Finals. “We’re trying to repeat, which is so hard to do. I think we will use it as fuel, we will use it as motivation, but the idea of playing into it? It’s tough for me to say that is the case. I don’t feel like we’re underdogs. We match up well with them, and I think they’d say the same about us.” The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook?has Golden State as a minus-260 favorite compared with Cleveland at plus-220. ESPN’s BPI says the Warriors have a 93…

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Michael Vick: No talks with Falcons on 1-day retirement deal

ATLANTA — Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick clarified recent statements regarding his retirement, saying he has not spoken with anyone from the organization about signing a one-day contract to retire a Falcon. Vick, hosting his V7 Elite Playmakers Showcase Series football event Sunday, said he’s hopeful such will happen. “Well, I haven’t talked to anybody about it specifically,” Vick told ESPN. “It’s something that I’ve really been thinking about trying to get done. I was asked the question the other day is that what I want, and I said, ‘Yeah.’ “So, yeah, I think in due time, it’s something that can potentially happen.” Vick has maintained a close relationship with Falcons owner Arthur Blank, who invited him back for the final regular-season game at the Georgia Dome. “When I spoke to Arthur, we talked about various other things,” Vick said. “Like I said, [retiring as a Falcon] is something that can happen down the road,…

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Woodley willing to face Maia for title, but still prefers St-Pierre, Diaz

Several weeks ago, UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley proudly announced he’d commenced ” Champ Camp” — his preparations for a July title defense against a mystery opponent. Details have been sparse since, although the opponent may have come into focus last weekend. Demian Maia (25-6) recorded his seventh win in a row, defeating Jorge Masvidal at UFC 211 in Dallas. UFC president Dana White has said Maia is next, and Woodley (17-3-1) is willing to fight him. He added, however, that Georges St-Pierre and Nick Diaz remain possible options for his next defense. “I think those fights are way more real than you guys realize,” Woodley told ESPN.com. “I was teasing everyone for several weeks, but that wasn’t for giggles. Those are realistic options that could make Demian Maia take a backseat for a little bit.” St-Pierre (25-2) was expected to face Michael Bisping for the middleweight championship…

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