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a pitcher born
#1
Michael Jordan hired proven general manager Mitch Kupchak this offseason to help turn around a franchise mired in mediocrity since he became the Charlotte Hornets‘ majority owner eight years ago.

But that doesn’t mean the highly competitive Jordan won’t have input on personnel decisions Jason Sanders Color Rush Jersey , beginning with the NBA draft on Thursday night.

Kupchak said in a pre-draft news conference Tuesday that he’ll have final say in who the Hornets select before quickly adding, ”well, with the exception of one person – and obviously that’s ownership.”

Kupchak has won 10 NBA championships, including seven as an executive with the Los Angeles Lakers – so he knows a thing or two about building a winning roster. But he’s quickly learning that Jordan, who many consider the best NBA player ever, is still very much a hands-on owner when it comes to the players he employs.

And Kupchak understands that.

”There is a huge business component to our relationship,” Kupchak said.

Kupchak said he has communicated with Jordan on the phone and via text throughout the draft evaluation process. The 55-year-old Jordan arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina on Monday and the two have been studying tape on potential draft picks since.

The Hornets, who have failed to make the playoffs three of the past four seasons, have the 11th overall pick in the draft.

Kupchak has known Jordan since he was a freshman at the University of North Carolina.

However, Kupchak said that while they both are former Tar Heels http://www.seahawksauthorizedshops.com/authentic-rasheem-green-jersey , he never had considered Jordan a friend prior to being hired this past offseason to replace Rich Cho as Hornets general manager.

Since then they have had dinner together and gotten to know each other a little more.

He said the relationship has changed for the better.

”Hopefully when all is said and done, our other relationship, which is our friend relationship continues to grow and is not altered in any way,” Kupchak said. ”There are no favors being done here. We’re friends and I think we’ll remain friends, but the bottom line in this business is success and winning games.”

Kupchak was rather forthcoming in the team’s pre-draft press conference Tuesday, saying the does not expect to trade the 11th overall pick.

He also said he expects that the handful of top-notch big men will be off the board by the time the Hornets make their selection.

”Right now I think the best player on the board is the player we are going to go after – and I’d expect that player to be a guard or a wing,” Kupchak said. ”… I think we expect that we will be looking at guards and wings, but we will see.”



Chris Sale pitched his latest Bronx gem, Rafael Devers went 5 for 5 with a first-inning grand slam and the Boston Red Sox held the New York Yankees to two hits during an 11-0 rout Saturday night to take back baseball’s best record.

Sale (8-4) allowed only Giancarlo Stanton’s clean single over seven innings, striking out 11. He has a 1.73 career ERA against the Yankees, best among pitchers with at least 10 starts against them since 1920. His ERA at Yankee Stadium is 1.86 Sam Darnold Color Rush Jersey , second only to Seattle’s Felix Hernandez among pitchers with five starts.

Boston is a major league-leading 56-28, just ahead of the Yankees at 53-27. New York held the majors’ best mark by percentage points after winning Friday’s series opener 8-1.

Yankee Stadium hosted a season-high sellout of 47,125, and the crowd gave starter Sonny Gray (5-6) an earful after he gave up six runs in 2 1/3 innings. The right-hander dropped to 0-4 with a 9.35 ERA against Boston since being acquired by New York from Oakland last season.

RANGERS 13, WHITE SOX 4

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Bartolo Colon overcame a sluggish start to earn his 245th major league win and match Dennis Martinez for the most by a pitcher from Latin America when Texas beat Chicago.

Joey Gallo and Ryan Rua homered for the Rangers, who won for the 11th time in 13 games and clinched their fifth consecutive series. Robinson Chirinos hit a three-run double in the fourth inning that put Texas ahead to stay.

The 45-year-old Colon (5-5) was done after Matt Davidson led off the sixth with a homer to center field that pulled the White Sox to 5-3.

Colon already had the most wins by a pitcher born in the Dominican Republic, having surpassed Hall of Famer Juan Marichal for that distinction with his 244th victory at Kansas City on June 18, six days before a loss at Minnesota. Colon won in his first start at home since June 6 to match Martinez, who is from Nicaragua.

White Sox lefty Carlos Rodon (1-3) allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings.

GIANTS 7, DIAMONDBACKS 0
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PHOENIX (AP) – Dereck Rodriguez blanked the Diamondbacks into the seventh inning and San Francisco made it two wins in a row at Arizona.

Brandon Crawford http://www.billsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-taron-johnson-jersey , Andrew McCutchen and Joe Panik homered on another rough night for Shelby Miller (0-2), who struggled in his second start since returning from Tommy John surgery.

Panik’s homer, off reliever Jimmie Sherfy in the eighth, was his first since April 3, a span of 162 at-bats.

Ty Blach and Cory Gearrin completed San Francisco’s 10th shutout of the season.

The Giants have won nine of 11 to pull into a tie with the Los Angeles Dodgers for second in the NL West, 3 1/2 games behind the first-place Diamondbacks. San Francisco can complete a three-game road sweep on Sunday.

Rodriguez (3-1), the son of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan ”Pudge” Rodriguez, dominated in his sixth major league start. He allowed six hits in 6 1/3 innings, struck out five and walked two.

MARINERS 6, ROYALS 4

SEATTLE (AP) – Ryon Healy had four hits, including a homer http://www.buccaneersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-ryan-jensen-jersey , and drove in three runs to lead Seattle over Kansas City.

Felix Hernandez (8-6) gave up four consecutive hits, including a three-run homer by Mike Moustakas, to start the game. But the right-hander settled down to pitch four scoreless innings after that, helping the Mariners to a season-best sixth consecutive win.

Edwin Diaz worked a perfect ninth for his 31st save. The Mariners (53-31) are 22 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2003 season.

Jason Hammels (2-10) lost his fifth straight, allowing six runs and 13 hits in six innings.

PADRES 4, PIRATES 3

SAN DIEGO (AP) – Wil Myers homered, doubled and drove in three runs, and rookie Joey Lucchesi threw five scoreless innings to send San Diego past Pittsburgh.

The Padres had to hold on after closer Brad Hand allowed two runs in the ninth before earning his 23rd save. Hand gave up doubles by Elias Diaz and Austin Meadows, and a triple by Gregory Polanco. The reliever then got Jordy Mercer to fly out to shallow right field, pinch-hitter Jose Osuna to foul out to right and struck out Starling Marte.

Myers, limited to 19 games this season due to injuries http://www.cowboysauthorizedshops.com/authentic-dalton-schultz-jersey , homered off Trevor Williams (6-6) in the third, his second. Myers then chased the San Diegan with a two-run double to give the Padres a 4-0 lead in the fifth.

San Diego won for just the third time in 13 games.

Lucchesi (4-3) won for the first time since April 28. He was making his third start since missing five weeks with a strained right hip. The left-hander allowed one hit while striking out five and walking four.

BLUE JAYS 4, TIGERS 3

TORONTO (AP) – Justin Smoak led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a home run and Toronto handed Detroit its 11th straight loss.

Smoak connected against reliever Joe Jimenez (3-1) for his 11th homer of the season.

Seyunghwan Oh (4-2) worked one inning for the win. Randal Grichuk also homered for the Blue Jays, who have won 10 of 11 at home.

John Hicks hit a solo homer in the Detroit second off Sam Gaviglio and Nick Castellanos made it 3-0 with a two-run shot in the third, his 12th.

Randal Grichuk hit a two-run homer to cap Toronto’s three-run fifth that tied the score.

RAYS 5, ASTROS 2

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Wilson Ramos drove in four runs in the first two innings against Justin Verlander, and Tampa Bay won for the seventh time in eight games.

Matt Duffy finished with three hits, including two in the first two innings, to help the Rays move to .500 (41-41) for the first time since June 1. Tampa Bay has held opponents to two runs or fewer in five straight games for only .
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#2
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