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March 7, 2019
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Update on the latest in sports:





LeBron overwhelmed after passing Jordan, his hero


LOS ANGELES – LeBron James has moved past Michael Jordan into fourth place on the NBA’s career scoring list. The Los Angeles Lakers superstar scored his 32,293rd point on a driving layup in the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets, getting fouled in the act and hitting the ensuing free throw.


When LeBron James surpassed Michael Jordan’s career points total, he did it in a pair of Nikes with “Thank You M.J.” written on the side.


That tribute doesn’t begin to encompass what Jordan meant to James while he grew up.


James couldn’t afford Air Jordans, but he remembers walking through the mall and marveling at the pristine red-and-black shoes. They inspired him to dream of having his own shoes.


James is among the last active players who were old enough to witness Jordan in his prime with the Chicago Bulls. Little LeBron would buy packs of basketball cards hoping for a Jordan, and he would study every aspect of Jordan’s game, down to the way he wore his calf sleeve turned slightly inside-out so that the red lining showed.


James said he thanks Jordan more than Jordan would ever know. James said that hopefully he can inspire the next kid.


There are two NBA games on the Thursday night schedule: Indiana at Milwaukee and Oklahoma City at Portland.




NBA content to be available on Alibaba platforms in China


NEW YORK (AP) – NBA content will be available on Alibaba’s platforms for the first time through an expanded partnership between the league and Chinese e-commerce company.


The league says Wednesday that programming such as game highlights and classic NBA games will be among the content available on the new “NBA Section” to the nearly 700 million Alibaba consumers. There will also be an enhanced online shopping experience for Chinese customers.


The content will be available through the regular season and postseason.


Joseph Tsai, the co-founder and executive vice president of the Alibaba Group, is a minority owner of the Brooklyn Nets. They will play a pair of exhibition games against the Lakers in China, where basketball is one of the most popular sports




Boston Red Sox Wright suspended


NEW YORK (AP) – Boston Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright will sit out the first 80 games of the season after testing positive for Human Growth Hormone.


The commissioner’s office says he tested positive for Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide 2 (GHRP-2).


It’s the latest in a series of setbacks for the 34-year-old knuckleball pitcher.


Wright accepted a 15-game suspension in spring training last year under the league’s domestic violence policy.




Calgary visits Arizona


UNDATED (AP) – In NHL action tonight, the Western Conference-leading Calgary Flames travel to face the Arizona Coyotes after the Flames saw their four-game road win streak snapped last night against Vegas. Calgary, which is 7-3-1 in its last 11 games, is now 0-3-0 in March. Vegas visits Calgary on Sunday for their final meeting of the season.


In other NHL action tonight (all times Eastern):


Florida at Boston, 7 p.m.


Columbus at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.


N.Y. Rangers at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.


N.Y. Islanders at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.


Minnesota at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.


Colorado at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.


Buffalo at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.


Vancouver at Edmonton, 9 p.m.


Calgary at Arizona, 9 p.m.


Montreal at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.


St. Louis at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.




FIFA Council member banned for selling World Cup tickets


ZURICH (AP) – FIFA (FEE’-fuh) has banned an elected member of its ruling council from all soccer duty for three months for selling tickets to last year’s World Cup.


FIFA says Lee Harmon of the Cook Islands will also pay a fine of $20,000.


The ban removes Harmon from two FIFA Council meetings, in Miami and Paris, and the annual Congress in Paris on June 5.


The vice president of the Oceania confederation has also been excluded from his regional body’s annual meeting on Saturday in Auckland, New Zealand.




Player barred for life for injuring 4 players in Turkey


ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – Turkey’s football federation has barred a player from competition for life after he was accused of injuring four other players with a sharp object during a third-tier game.


The Professional Football Disciplinary Board announced that Amed SFK player was banned for “attacks on rival team players” last Saturday during a home game in a mostly Kurdish populated city.


Also, two Amed SFK teammates and a player from the opposing team were barred from playing in at least four games.


Amed SFK denied allegations that their player attacked the rival players.


Amed SFK, whose fan base is largely Kurdish, frequently faces hostility in away games, especially in regions where Turkish nationalist sentiments run high.



AP-WF-03-07-19 1607GMT