Eddie Rosario's hot bat led the Atlanta Braves to a World Series matchup with the Houston Astros and earned him the NL Championship Series MVP award. Less than three months after he was traded by Cleveland, the 30-year-old outfielder had six multi-hit games against the Dodgers. He hit .560 with three homers and nine RBIs, giving him a 1.040 slugging percentage and 1.647 OPS. He hit safely in all 10 postseason games, batting .474 with 11 RBIs. With 14 hits, he tied the record for a postseason series, a mark he shares with Albert Pujols, Hideki Matsui, Kevin Youkilis and Marco Scutaro.
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Reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic had 27 points and 13 rebounds, leading the Denver Nuggets past the Phoenix Suns 110-98 in the season opener for both teams. The Suns were playing three months after losing Game 6 of the NBA Finals to the Milwaukee Bucks. Phoenix has returned much of the same roster, including the All-Star backcourt of Chris Paul and Devin Booker, to make another run at the title. The teams were playing for the first time since the Suns swept the Nuggets in four games in the second round of last season’s Western Conference playoffs. Mikal Bridges led Phoenix with 16 points.
The NFL and lawyers for thousands of retired NFL players have reached an agreement to end race-based adjustments in dementia testing in the $1 billion settlement of concussion claims. That's according to a proposed settlement filed in federal court in Philadelphia on Wednesday. Critics say the use of “race-norming” in the testing has made it difficult for Black retirees to qualify for awards that average $500,000 or more. The proposed changes come after months of closed-door negotiations. The NFL says the plan would provide “a race-neutral evaluation process” and "diagnostic accuracy and fairness in the concussion settlement.” The league says it hopes Senior U.S. District Judge Anita Brody approves it promptly.
Three-time Pro Bowl right tackle Lane Johnson returned to practice with the Philadelphia Eagles on Wednesday after missing the last three games because of a personal matter that he revealed was related to anxiety and depression. Johnson’s teammates and coaches have emphasized their support for him. Jordan Mailata, who moved over from left tackle to the right side to replace Johnson, said it’s “bloody great” to have him back. The Eagles have lost two of three games since Johnson left the team to return to Oklahoma hours before they played Kansas City at home on Oct. 3.
The price of a qualifying offer to Major League Baseball free agents dropped by $500,000 to $18.4 million, a sign of the slide in salaries. The figure is determined by the average of the top 125 major league contracts this year and marks only the second fall. The price fell by $100,000 to $17.8 million in 2019, then rose to $18.9 million in 2020. Among the top players eligible for free agency following the World Series are Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman, Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager and Houston shortstop Carlos Correa.
Richard E. Lapchick shares some of the backlash his family felt that was directed at his father for signing the first Black player to an NBA contract. Lapchick directs the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida. His father, Joe Lapchick, was the first coach of the New York Knicks. Joe Lapchick's initial efforts to integrate what would become the NBA was thwarted in 1947 but he signed Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton in 1950. The vitriol came in waves, including anonymous, hate-filled phone calls and Richard's dad being hung in effigy outside the family's New York home.
Artemi Panarin scored in overtime, Igor Shesterkin stopped 40 shots and the New York Rangers beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1. Mika Zibanejad had a goal and an assist for New York, the 100th two-point game of his NHL career. Michael Bunting scored for Toronto, which got 21 saves from Jack Campbell. Panarin won it at 3:48 of a frantic, end-to-end extra period off a faceoff in the Maple Leafs’ end. He played a quick give-and-go with Zibanejad before firing a shot past Campbell. Auston Matthews made his season debut for the Maple Leafs after sitting out Toronto’s first three games as he finished rehabbing following surgery on his left wrist.
The Atlanta Hawks have agreed to a four-year, $65 million contract extension with Kevin Huerter. It locks up another important player from a team that made a surprising run to the Eastern Conference final. The Hawks confirmed ESPN's initial report in an evening news release. General manager Travis Schlenk said it was important to keep Huerter in Atlanta. The 6-foot-7 guard averaged 11.9 points a game last season. But he saved his best performance for the playoffs, scoring 27 points in a Game 7 upset of top-seeded Philadelphia.
Milwaukee Bucks guard Grayson Allen has signed a multi-year contract extension less than 2 ½ months after the team acquired him from the Memphis Grizzlies. Allen joined the Bucks in an Aug. 7 trade that set guard Sam Merrill and two future second-round draft picks to Memphis. Allen posted career highs in scoring (10.6), rebounding (3.2) ad assists (2.2) last season in 50 games with the Grizzlies. The 26-year-old Allen averaged 11.3 points and 4.3 rebounds and 22.4 minutes in four preseason games with the Bucks.
The NBA, known today as a leader when it comes to culture and racial issues, was anything but during the 1950s when segregation divided the country. It was a powerless, fledgling league trying to find its footings. Franchises were folding and few paid much attention to the NBA. When Jackie Robinson became Major League Baseball’s first Black player in 1947, Bob Cousy remembered it being major national news. Three years later, his Boston Celtics made Chuck Cooper the NBA’s first Black draft pick. The 93-year-old Cousy says “to this day I have yet to read a story about Chuck Cooper breaking the color line in the NBA, because as I say nobody gave a damn what color we were or what we were doing."