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Source says Jeff Bezos will not bid for Washington Commanders



Jeff Bezos is not going to bet on the Washington Commanders, a source close to him said Wednesday, ending a pursuit that has struggled to gain momentum.

Bezos was interested in buying the franchise, and his presence hovered over the process, despite the fact that he never bid. He even hired Allen & Co. to study the offer.

In March, a source close to Bezos said that Commanders owners Dan and Tanya Snyder were blocking him from bidding, a claim denied by multiple sources close to the Snyders.

Bezos owns The Washington Post, which has published several investigative articles over the past three years that have caused problems for Snyder and the organization.

Puck News first reported that Bezos, whose net worth is $125 billion according to Forbes, “does not currently plan” to bet on the team.

Asked if Bezos was going to bet, a source close to Bezos told ESPN, “No, he’s not.”

Josh Harris, who owns the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and NHL’s New Jersey Devils, has submitted an official offer of about $6 billion to the commanders. Harris and one of his limited partners, Mitchell Rales, are both from Washington DC and have a combined net worth of over $11 billion. Their group includes NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson.

Canadian billionaire Steve Apostolopoulos has also reportedly applied. Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta was also interested. Three groups visited the Washington facilities – Harris, Apostolopoulos and an unnamed one.

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Coco Gauff at home for the USA against Austria in the Billie Jean King Cup



Coco Gauff is staying at home with her mom, dad and her siblings as she prepares for Billie Jean King’s US Cup qualifier against Austria starting Friday in Delray Beach, Florida.

“Definitely looks like a home court advantage,” Gauff, who finished second at the 2022 French Open, said in a phone interview on Wednesday. “I’m very familiar with the area … so definitely more comfortable with the surroundings, probably than the Austrians.”

This applies to the American team as a whole, including the players Jessica Pegula, Sophia Kenin, Danielle Collins and Kathy McNally, and Captain Kathy Rinaldi, who was born about an hour north of the outdoor hard courts of the Delray Beach Tennis Center. Pegula, like 19-year-old Gauff, was at her Florida home this week as rain limited training time.

“Competing here means a lot,” said Gauff, who estimated she was 12 or maybe even younger when she last competed in a big event in her hometown. “I’m thrilled to compete in front of my family and friends.” “It’s probably one of the few opportunities they get to see me play.”

Nine best-of-five qualifiers are scheduled for Friday and Saturday around the world, with each winner advancing to the final November 7-12 at a yet-to-be-announced venue, along with the defending champion. Switzerlandsecond place 2022 Australia and one wildcard receiver.

Other matches: France in Britain, the Czech Republic against Ukraine in Turkey, Mexico V Spain, Belgium V Canada, Brazil V Germany, Italy in Slovakia, Poland in Kazakhstan and Romania in Slovenia.

Top players on the rosters include 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic and Caroline Garcia of France. Among those missing is Iga Swiatek, who has been out since last month with a rib injury.

Looking at the WTA rankings, the US is the big favorite against Austria.

The Americans, whose record 18th and most recent title in the sport came in 2017, are led by Pegula, who sits at the top of the standings. 3 in singles and no. 4th in doubles and Gauff in first place. 6 in singles and no. 3 in doubles. Rinaldi’s roster also includes Grand Slam singles champion Kenin and major finalist Collins.

“We’re going strong, yes, but we don’t expect things to be easy. The moment you take your opponent for granted is the moment you lose the match,” Gauff said. 1 team in the world.

In Austria, which has never won a title in this women’s team tennis tournament, only one player is in the top 150 in singles – No. 1.78 Julie Grabher – and no one has ranked higher than No. 379 in doubles.

“We are not going to go there and underestimate our opponents. In the Billie Jean King Cup, the players tend to be the best – and we expect it to be. When you play for a team and for your country, it’s very powerful,” said Rinaldi. “Everyone respects our opponents and we still prepare like we would for any other match.”


More AP Tennis: another

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Miami accepted a change in college basketball and they made it to the Final Four.



KANSAS CITY. It didn’t take long for Jim Larranaga to find the motivation his team needed when Miami Hurricanes entered the dressing room after the break, eight points behind Texas Longhorns in the Elite Eight of the 2023 NCAA Men’s Tournament.

“I said, look, against Kansas we were up six in the lead, but they gave us trouble and kicked us out of the building,” Larranaga told reporters after securing Miami’s first place in the Final Four, 88–81. defeat the longhorns. “I said we should do it with Texas and we did it.”

Miami men’s basketball had never reached a regional final in the program’s history before he hired Larranhaga in 2011. Now the Hurricanes were in the Elite Eight for the second year in a row, and both times no one believed they were supposed to be there. Like last season, no. 10th, Miami was 20 minutes from the Final Four to the eventual national champion. Kansas Jayhawks beat them in the second half, forcing losses, getting to the foul line and breaking the Hurricanes’ shaky defense. Kansas beat Miami 47–15 in the second half to end the season.

So many of the key players on Miami’s roster this year were also last year. Isaiah Wong, Jordan Miller and Vuga Poplar felt the pain of last year’s defeat and didn’t want it to happen again. The Hurricanes have an extra boost this year: Nigel Pack is the most talked about transfer of the offseason after signing an $800,000 zero deal. Kansas State Miami said another deadly shooter. Norchad Omier left Arkansas State to provide toughness and rebounding inside.

Miami earned a portion of the ACC regular season championship with Virginia and moved up to No. 1. 12th in the AP Poll after not ranking once last season. A dynamic offense from a year ago got even better when Pak appeared in the line-up. Unfortunately, the defense wasn’t much better, and that made the Hurricanes feel like a team that could beat anyone in their best games and lose anyone in their worst.

With 13 minutes left, Texas was ahead of Miami by 13 points. The Longhorns themselves were bigger, deeper and with great defensive play. After everything Texas has been through this season since the sacking of head coach Chris Byrd on domestic violence charges, it seemed like interim coach Rodney Terry and his Horns were something of a team of destiny. Miami had other plans.

The comeback began with a viral game: after hitting the ball under his basket, Poplar bounced the ball off the back of Timmy Allen of Texas and completed a simple layup for two points.

For the remainder of the game, Miami would beat Texas 37–17.

The Hurricanes voluntarily made it to the free throw line and completed an outstanding 28-of-32 from the free throw line. They constantly got stops and forced losses throughout the game. Wong, who scored only two points in the first half, fired up in the second and led the attack with a typical set of pull-ups that look like bad throws until they crash against the net.

A year ago, Miami lost to Kansas in the second half and missed out on the Final Four. This time Miami is the team that made the raid.

“This loss haunted me for a very, very long time,” Miller said after the game, looking back on last year. “I had to leave it in the past because it was a new season. To be able to almost correct your mistakes and overcome things that used to baffle you is a wonderful feeling.”

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

On the face of it, the story is pretty believable: last year the team made it to the Elite Eight, added arguably the best transfer in the country, learned from their mistakes and defeated their demons en route to the Final Four this year. Such neat packaging may be true, but it doesn’t take into account how unlikely Miami’s run is this year.

In a tournament full of frustrations, the Hurricanes had to play the top seed at every opportunity. Their biggest test unbelievably happened in the first round against No. Drake with 12 seeds: The Hurricanes were eight points behind with five minutes left, but finished the game 16-1 to take the win.

No. The 4-seed Indiana was supposed to cause trouble for Miami with a stud like Trace Jackson-Davis on the front court, but the Hurricanes took the lead early and were close again to blow their ticket to the Sweet 16. Houston waited for the next, perhaps the most big favorite of the tournament. The Cougars’ size, tenacity, and defense should have been too much for Miami, but instead, a great offense defeated a great defense, and the Hurricanes landed a knockout blow after the break for a landslide victory.

Texas was supposed to be too big and deep for Miami, and it was for the first 30 minutes or so. Miami bounced back by dictating the game: getting small with Miller in center, playing aggressively, trapping a ball-pressing defense, and then burning slower Texas defenders on dribbles to get to the foul line. When Miami launches its offensive avalanche, it seems almost impossible to stop the tide.

Miami went into the Final Four with the top five players on offense and defense, which quiet falls out of the Division 1 top 100. The Hurricanes have never had the size of a traditional defensive power, but they can still fight back by hitting perimeter handlers and maintaining discipline in their close quarters. Sometimes the other team just misses, and when that happens, Miami’s scorers go into the race.

“An important factor I would say is that we know we’re pretty good offensively, but what will decide the game for us comes down to how many stops we can make,” Miller said after the game. “Even though we were shooting at such a high percentage, they were also scoring and we knew we couldn’t just keep scoring back and forth because they had the advantage. So we had to dig deeper, find a way to make stops.”

If the game had been played on a spreadsheet, Miami’s defense wouldn’t have been good enough to eliminate the likes of Houston and Texas and make it to the Final Four. However, Miami has enough fight on the court to allow their offense to win.

Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Miami had no history of hoops to speak of when he hired Larranhaga five years after his Cinderella made it to the Final Four with George Mason. Larranyaga was 61 years old when he joined Coral Gables, and most of them were wondering how an elderly middle coach could change a dormant power conference program.

How stupid it looks now. Larranaga, at 73, still seems as young in spirit as ever. He is the coolest grandpa in college basketball, giving his players a fun way to play on the court and not shying away from the new realities of the sport.

Few programs in America have adapted to the changing college basketball landscape better than Larranaga’s Hurricanes. On the court, this means giving his players the freedom to attack to bomb transition threes, rise and fall, and bend the opponent’s defense in punch and slam play. The Miami offense is similar to the NBA offense, only without the size. It’s easy to imagine players observing their style and deciding they want to be part of the party.

And then there is the NIL and the transfer portal. Park wanted to leave Kansas State in part because he wanted to prove to NBA teams that he could play point guard, and the Wildcats already had a great point guard in this year’s March Madness star Markkis Nowell. Miami gave him the opportunity to play point guard… and also gave him $800,000 and a car thanks to wealthy booster John Ruiz and his Life Wallet company.

When Park hit seven 3-pointers in the Sweet 16 and knocked down No. 1. 1 seed Houston, that money was certainly a bargain.

When Park agreed, the other Miami players Wong, Miller and Norchad Omier didn’t need the money to feel welcome either. Life Wallet picked them up too. Not everyone was happy: Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim, 78 went viral in February in which he said that Miami “bought” his team. Boheim retired or was ousted at the end of the season due to his program slipping. Larranhaga never objected to players being paid. He adapted, and so did Miami.

As his team cut the nets in the foreground, Larranhaga was asked what it would be like to be the oldest head coach ever to win a national championship if his team could win two more games.

“I’m not that old!” exclaimed Larranaga.

He definitely doesn’t want to. Larranaga may be an older man, but no one plays college basketball better. So much has changed in the sport since Larranhaga brought George Mason to the Final Four with the No. 1. 11 seed 17 years ago when he took the second seed in the Final Four of his career in Miami. Unlike many of his fellow coaches, Larranaga was not intimidated by these changes. Because of this, Miami is two wins away from the national title.

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Report: Nico Hoerner and Cubs agree to a three-year contract extension



Infielder finished eighth in the National League in batting average in 2022.

Vcubssigned infielder Nico Horner to a three-year, $35 million contract extension, according to Monday evening’s report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Horner, 25, is starting his fifth season in Chicago; The extension will buy out two arbitration years as well as his first year of free agency. The Oakland native will reportedly earn $15 million and $20 million in his last two years in arbitration.

In 2022, Horner was one of the few bright spots on a 74–88 Cubs team. He hit .281 in 135 games – eighth in the National League – a season after hitting .302. His five triples, 20 stolen bases, and 1.9 defensive bWARs finished fourth, ninth, and 10th in the league, respectively.

Horner has been one of the organization’s top prospects since being drafted 24th overall by Chicago from Stanford in the 2018 MLB Draft.

The Cubs open the 2023 season on Thursday afternoon againstBrewers.

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