76ers’ Justin Patton: ‘I bring an edge to the game, length, versatility'(VIDEO)

When the 76ers acquired Jimmy Butler from the Timberwolves, many people were unsure about the second player that came over in the deal. That second player was Justin Patton. The second-year center was the 16th pick out of Creighton by Chicago(pick traded to Minnesota in Jimmy Butler trade) in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Patton had a tough first year in the NBA. He broke his left foot and would spend most of the season in the G League playing for the Iowa Wolves. In September 2018, Patton had a another surgery, this time to repair a broken right foot, but now he is back on the court. The 7-foot Patton made his debut last week with the Delaware Blue Coats, who is the 76ers’ G League affiliate, and in five games with Delaware, Patton is averaging 10.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks. While playing most of his first season in Iowa was tough for Patton, he believes it made him a better person.

“It was really difficult. It was just me finding my way,” Patton told goforitradio.com about his first season in the NBA. “I didn’t really have a lot of guidance. I had a couple of guys: Jamal Crawford, Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson those guys helped me out a little bit, but I was stuck down in Iowa for so long, so I didn’t really have the correct guidance every step of the way. So, it was a little bit of trial and error, and I learned… I’m probably a way better man than I would be if I went through the path of least resistance.”

The 21-year-old Patton does have decent skills, which he feels can help the 76ers.

“I just bring an edge to the game, length, versatility. and just being able to guard different types of ball-screens, and also being long,” Patton said. “That’s what the Sixers like to do. Now, we probably got the most length in the league, and me being on the team is going to add another factor to that, and also just another 7-footer who can launch threes.”

Patton expects to be called up by the 76ers sometime after the All-Star break. However, due to the recent addition of center Boban Marjanovic, who came over from the Clippers in the deal for Tobias Harris, Patton probably won’t get much time this season for the 76ers. Before he was dealt to the 76ers, Minnesota declined Patton’s third-year option, so he will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Listen to our complete interview with Patton as he discussed his return from injury, his game, and how he will help the 76ers when he joins the team:

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Josh Lambo re-signs with Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars have re-signed K Josh Lambo to a contract extension, the club announced today. Lambo was set to become an unrestricted free agent on March 13 at 4 p.m. ET.

“I’m not quite sure it has set in yet. This whole NFL journey has been a little wild and very unexpected,” Lambo said. “Now that I’ve gotten to the point where I can sign an extension with this club, it’s really special, and it’s a great day for myself and [my wife] Megan and our dogs and our whole family.”

Lambo, 28, has appeared in 55 career games, including 23 games for the Jaguars, since being signed as an undrafted rookie by the then-San Diego Chargers on May 12, 2015. Following a 32-game stint with the Chargers, Lambo signed with Jacksonville on Oct. 17, 2017. Lambo set Jacksonville’s franchise record for consecutive made field goals, converting 24 straight from Nov. 19, 2017 to Nov. 11, 2018.

Since joining the Jaguars, Lambo has made 38 of 41 field goals, and his 92.7 pct. field goal conversion rate is the highest in franchise history among players with at least 10 field goal attempts. In 2018, Lambo made 19 of 21 field goals (90.5 pct.), becoming the first player in franchise history to post back-to-back seasons with a field goal rate of at least 90.0 pct.

Gvozdyk-Ngumbu set for March 30 in Philly

WBC and lineal light heavyweight champion Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk will make the first defense of his world title against Doudou Ngumbu on Saturday, March 30 at the 2300 Arena. In the 10-round co-feature, Gvozdyk’s stablemate, top welterweight contender Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas, will take on Philadelphia native Ray Robinson.

Gvozdyk-Ngumbu and Kavaliauskas-Robinson will air live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The undercard, including the IBF welterweight title eliminator between Kudratillo “The Punisher” Abdukakhorov and Keita Obara and an appearance by Philadelphia-born heavyweight prospect Sonny Conto (1-0, 1 KO), will stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Peltz Boxing, tickets priced at $125, $75, and $50 go on sale Thursday, Feb. 14 at 10 a.m. and can be purchased at 2300arena.com, the 2300 Arena box office at (267) 758-2173, or by calling Peltz Boxing at (215) 765-0922.

“It was a long journey for me to become a world champion, and I plan on showing everyone why I am the best light heavyweight in the world,” Gvozdyk said. “Ngumbu is a tough fighter who I cannot afford to overlook. My goal in 2019 is to unify with the other champions, but before I can do that, I have to take care of business on March 30.”

“It is a great opportunity to face arguably the best light heavyweight fighter in the world. After 12 years and 46 fights in my career with serious opposition, I get my first shot at a major world title,” Ngumbu said. “I have the utmost respect for Oleksandr Gvozdyk, a great champion who took the WBC title in a war against Adonis Stevenson. It is not going to be easy, but I believe I am much more experienced as a pro and I intend to use that to my advantage.”

Gvozdyk (16-0, 13 KOs) captured an Olympic bronze medal for his native Ukraine in 2012 as part of a national team that included two-time gold medalist and future promotional stablemate Vasiliy Lomachenko. He climbed the rankings with dominant wins over the likes of Nadjib Mohammedi and Yunieski Gonzalez and won the WBC interim light heavyweight title last March with a unanimous decision against Mehdi Amar. As the mandatory challenger, he traveled to Quebec City and, behind on two of the three judges’ scorecards, knocked out longtime champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson in the 11th round. Ngumbu (38-8, 14 KOs) is coming off perhaps the most significant win of his career, a 12-round majority decision over then-unbeaten Yoann Kongolo in May of last year. A native of the Democratic Republic of Congo who is now based in France, Ngumbu will be making his first attempt at a world title.

Kavaliauskas (21-0, 17 KOs) is universally regarded as one of the welterweight division’s top contenders, a massive puncher who rolled through then-beaten Roberto Arriaza in three rounds last November in Oklahoma City. He has knocked out five of his last six foes and is the WBO’s top contender for the belt currently held by pound-for-pound great Terence “Bud Crawford. Robinson (24-3, 12 KOs) is a rangy southpaw boxer who rebounded from back-to-back losses early in his career to Shawn Porter and Brad Solomon to win 13 in a row. In his last bout, Feb. 17, 2018 against Yordenis Ugas, he saw that winning streak come to an end when Ugas scored a seventh-round stoppage.

“I know a lot of Robinson’s fans will be in Philadelphia to cheer him on, but they will leave the 2300 Arena disappointed,” Kavaliauskas said. “This is the year that I fight for, and win, a welterweight world title. I am ready for anybody, including the Crawford-Khan winner. I will show everyone in Philadelphia and watching on ESPN what the ‘Mean Machine’ is all about.”

“I am always excited to come home and put on for my city,” Robinson said. “Every fight is a risk, but the higher the risk, the bigger the reward.”

Abdukakhorov (15-0, 9 KOs), a native of Uzbekistan who now lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, went 2-0 in 2018, including a convincing 12-round unanimous decision over Laszlo Toth in defense of his WBC silver welterweight belt. Obara (20-3-1, 18 KOs), who hails from Tokyo, is one of the division’s heaviest punchers. He knocked out Alvin Lagumbay in three rounds last August, a measure of revenge over the man who knocked him out in two rounds less than four months earlier.

Miller: ‘That punk AJ is standing in the way of my dreams and on June 1 he’s getting run the hell over’

After weeks of speculation, unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua(22-0, 21 KOs) will finally make his U.S debut on June 1 against Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller at Madison Square Garden.

For Miller(23-0-1, 20 KOs), this is an opportunity to get the fight he has wanted for a long time. He went face-to-face with Joshua during a heated exchange at the launch of DAZN’s streaming service in New York City in July last year and is promising to steal the show on June 1.

“This is the fight that I’ve been chasing all my life, and on June 1 I’m going to achieve the thing I was born to do and win the Heavyweight Championship of the World,” Miller said. “That punk AJ is standing in the way of my dreams and on June 1 he’s getting run the hell over.”

Miller believes that Joshua is making a huge mistake by fighting him in his U.S. debut.

“AJ is making a huge mistake coming over here to fight me in my own backyard,” Miller said. “He wants to announce himself on the American stage, but all he’s doing is delivering me those belts by hand. Its dog eat dog in the ring, and this dog has got a bigger bite, he’ll be leaving New York empty-handed.”

Joshua eventually had to come over the pond and fight in America, and Miller is the perfect opponent because he can help sell the fight. Britain’s Lennox Lewis conquered America, and we’ll see if Joshua can do the same.

Joshua: ‘I will leave nothing to chance and plan on dismantling Miller in style to make my mark’

Heavyweight boxing’s biggest star Anthony Joshua OBE will defend his WBA Super, IBF, WBO and IBO World titles against Jarrell Miller in his long-awaited U.S. debut at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday, June 1, live on DAZN in the U.S. and Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.

Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs), defended his World titles with a devastating knockout of dangerous Russian Alexander Povetkin last time out at Wembley Stadium in September in what was the Olympic Champion’s fourth straight stadium fight in front of over 80,000 fans.

It was a crushing return to the scene of his historical triumph over legendary Champion Wladimir Klitschko in April 2017, where he produced the performance of a lifetime to claim the WBA crown in an unforgettable battle in front of a post war record crowd of 90,000 at England’s National Stadium.

The British sensation blasted Povetkin to the canvas with a brutal assault in the seventh round and then floored the WBA mandatory challenger again to signal a sudden and dramatic ending to his 22nd professional victory in his home city.

And now sport’s biggest name will follow in the footsteps of Heavyweight greats such as Joe Louis, Joe Frazier, Evander Holyfield and Muhammad Ali when he crosses the Atlantic to silence Brooklyn’s brash ‘Big Baby’ Miller at ‘The Mecca of Boxing’.

“June 1st I am heading to The Big Apple and I plan to embrace the culture and leave with an appetite for more,” said Joshua. “I will be fighting Jarrell Miller at the legendary Madison Square Garden. It has been an honor and a blessing to fight at some of the best venues in the World at home in the UK, not least Wembley Stadium, but the time has come to head across the Atlantic and defend my Heavyweight titles in the USA. I am looking forward to taking on another challenge with a good boxer & a brilliant talker, it will be an exciting fight, I will leave nothing to chance and plan on dismantling Miller in style to make my mark.”

Miller (23-0-1, 20 KOs), has been calling for a British scalp ever since he went face-to-face with Joshua during a heated exchange at the launch of DAZN’s streaming service in the U.S. in July last year, and the undefeated giant is promising to turn AJ’s American dream into a living nightmare as he looks to announce himself on the biggest stage of all.

Shields-Hammer set for April 13 in Atlantic City

Undefeated middleweight world champions Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer will meet on Saturday, April 13 live on SHOWTIME to crown the women’s undisputed 160-pound world champion.The blockbuster unification from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. will be the main event of SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION live at 9 p.m. ET/PT and is arguably the most significant women’s boxing event in history.

Shields vs. Hammer features two of the consensus top-10 pound-for-pound fighters in the world squaring off to crown only the second undisputed champion in female boxing history.The fight, originally scheduled for November 2018, was postponed due to a now-resolved medical issue suffered by Hammer.

The 23-year-old Shields (8-0, 2 KOs) is a two-division champion who holds the IBF, WBA and WBC 160-pound titles. The 28-year-old Hammer (24-0, 11 KOs) owns the WBO belt, is the WBC Champion in Recess, and has dominated the women’s middleweight division for more than eight years. Shields and Hammer fought on the same card last June on SHOWTIME, with both fighters winning impressively to set up the first undisputed showdown in the women’s 160-pound division.

The winner of Shields vs. Hammer will join Terrence Crawford, Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins, Oleksandr Usyk and women’s welterweight Cecilia Braekhus as the only fighters to have unified all four major world titles in any weight class.

Shields vs. Hammer is promoted by Salita Promotions.Ticket prices and on-sale date will be announced next week by Boardwalk Hall.

“I always seek the biggest challenges and set the highest goals.I will be ready like never before and will defeat Christina Hammer on April 13,” said Shields.”Nothing will stop me from becoming undisputed champion and continuing my journey to carry women’s boxing to never-before-seen heights.I want to be the greatest of all time and change the game forever for all women in sports, and April 13 is an important step on that road to history.”

“I have waited a long time for this moment,” said Hammer.”I am bigger, stronger and more experienced than Claressa Shields.I am undefeated and have been a champion for over eight years.I can’t wait to show the world that I am the best and undisputed middleweight champion of the world.”

Shields was the first American boxer in history – male or female – to win consecutive Olympic gold medals. The Flint, Mich., native turned professional following the 2016 Olympics and became unified women’s super middleweight world champion in just her fourth professional fight. Shields moved down to middleweight for her June 22 headliner on SHOWTIME, defeating Hanna Gabriels to win the IBF and WBA titles and become a two-division champion in just her sixth professional contest.After Hammer was named WBC Champion in Recess due to her medical issue, Shields picked up the vacant WBC title last November with a unanimous decision over Hannah Rankin.She most recently defended all three titles in December against Femke Hermans.

The undercard for the SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION telecast will be announced in the coming weeks.

76ers-Thunder game time changed

The NBA announced today that the Philadelphia 76ers-Oklahoma City Thunder game scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 28 at Chesapeake Energy Arena will now be played at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT.

The game was initially slated to begin at 9:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. CT; the game will be broadcast nationally on TNT.

This will be a battle of two of the top teams in the NBA, and will be a rematch of their game back in January, in which the Thunder won 117-115 in Philadelphia.

HOF Roaf on Super Bowl 53: ‘I think we gotta put an asterisk next to that one’

For some, Super Bowl 53 was not very exciting, in fact, some people were bored by what they watched in Atlanta. In a game that saw the Rams have more punts(9) than points, the Patriots would defeat Los Angeles 13-3 in the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in NFL history.

While all eyes were on the big game in Atlanta, many fans in New Orleans refused to watch because they felt jobbed by the NFL after a missed pass interference call late in the NFC title game against the Rams, and according to nola.com, last year’s Super Bowl earned a rating of 53 in New Orleans, while Super Bowl 53 earned a 26.2 rating in the “Big Easy,” which is a clear indication that Saints fans were not interested in watching.

Hall of Famer Willie Roaf, who started his career with the Saints and played nine seasons in New Orleans, thinks the Saints not playing in Super Bowl 53 took away from the game.

“I think it lost its luster,” Roaf told Paul Gant and the Go4it podcast. “I think a lot of people feel the way I feel that they don’t count it as a Super Bowl because the Saints should have been there, and the way that game was played, even made that more apparent they(Rams) shouldn’t have been there. The Rams had a great year; they stepped it up in the playoffs, but a lot of people feel the same way I feel. They’re really not thinking of counting that(Super Bowl), especially in New Orleans. You go anywhere in New Orleans, and they are not counting that as the Super Bowl. They’re not; they think the Saints got screwed out of it.”

Because the Saints were not there, Roaf believes that people should put an asterisk next to the Patriots’ victory in Super Bowl 53.

“I think we gotta put an asterisk next to that one,” Roaf added. “That’s six, but the way they won that, I think there is an asterisk next to that Super Bowl.”

Missed calls happen in the NFL, but we still have to give the Patriots their proper respect for winning Super Bowl 53. Maybe the Saints beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl, but no matter how anyone feels, the Patriots are the world champs, and there is nothing we can do about it.

Listen to the interview below with Roaf at 16:50 as he talks Super Bowl 53:

 

76ers’ Milton has surgery on fractured hand

Philadelphia 76ers two-way player Shake Milton underwent successful surgery this morning to address a fracture of the 4th metacarpal in his right hand that was suffered during a Delaware Blue Coats game vs. Austin on Feb. 5.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Asif M. Ilyas, a hand specialist at the Rothman Institute/Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia.

Milton is out and will be re-evaluated in approximately 2-3 weeks.

In 13 games with the 76ers, Milton is averaging 4.2 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 1.0 assists.

Crawford: ‘The Garden is the perfect venue for a fight of this magnitude’

Start spreading the news. The year’s most anticipated welterweight showdown is headed to The World’s Most Famous Arena.

Terence “Bud” Crawford will defend his WBO welterweight world title against Amir “King” Khan on Saturday, April 20 at Madison Square Garden.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Matchroom Boxing and Khan Promotions, tickets for this world championship event go on sale Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 12 p.m. ET/9a.m. PT. Tickets priced at $606, $406, $306, $206, $106, $81, and $56 (including facility fees) can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online atwww.ticketmaster.com or www.MSG.com.

Undercard bouts and details on how fans will be able to access the pay-per-view event will be announced at a later date.

“I can’t wait to head back to New York City and Madison Square Garden for this fight with Amir Khan. The Garden is the perfect venue for a fight of this magnitude,” Crawford said. “I know that my fans will make the trip up to New York and I’ll have a ton of support when I step in to the ring. I expect Khan’s British fans to come out as well, and I believe we will have a packed house on April 20. It’s going to be a great fight so make sure to get your tickets early.”

“New York is undoubtedly one of my most favorite cities in the world, and it’s like a second home to me,” Khan said. “This is the biggest fight of my career against one of the world’s best in Terence Crawford, and Madison Square Garden is the perfect venue for a fight of this magnitude. It’s a short flight for my fans from the United Kingdom, and they will be coming over in droves to see this fantastic fight. I want to become a three-time world champion, and that is my primary motivation to win this fight.”

Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs), widely regarded as the world’s best fighter, is a three-weight world champion who has knocked out five consecutive opponents. A former undisputed 140-pound world champion, Crawford won the WBO welterweight title in June 2018 with a ninth-round stoppage of Jeff “The Hornet” Horn. He defended the belt in October with a 12th-round TKO over bitter rival Jose Benavidez Jr. in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. This will be Crawford’s second headlining appearance at the big arena at Madison Square Garden. In May 2017, he knocked out 2008 Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz in 10 rounds.

Khan (33-4, 20 KOs), a former unified world champion at 140 pounds, has won two in a row since his 2016 knockout loss to middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez. He is 4-0 in his career when fighting as a welterweight, including wins over former world champions Devon Alexander, Chris Algieri, and Luis Collazo. Khan headlined at Madison Square Garden once before when he defended his WBA 140-pound world title against Paulie Malignaggi at The Theater on May 15, 2010.
Photo: Top Rank/Mikey Williams