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Maryland man who attacked police station in 2016 gets 195 years

Maryland man who attacked police station in 2016 gets 195 years – Fox News


Michael Ford

Michael Ford
(Prince George’s County Police Department)

A Maryland man whoopened fire on a police stationin 2016, leading to the friendly-fire death of anarcotics detective, was sentenced Thursday to 195 years in prison.

Michael Ford, 25, was convicted in November of second-degree murder, first-degree assault and weapons charges in the killing of Prince George’s County Police Detective Jacai Colson. Ford said he was trying to get himself killed by police when he fired his handgun nearly two dozen times outside the station, but didn’t intend for anyone else to be harmed.

Prosecutor Joseph Ruddy argued that Ford caused Colson’s death by creating a “combat zone.” No one was hit by the 23 shots Ford fired, but bullets did strike two passing vehicles and an ambulance, according to Ruddy.

“That was no suicide mission. That was a mission to kill cops,” the prosecutor said during the trial’s closing arguments.

Jacai Colson.

Jacai Colson.
(Prince George’s County Police Department via AP)

Colson, 28, exchanged gunfire with Ford before a fellow officer fatally shot the plainclothes detective, mistaking him for a threat. Officer Taylor Krauss testified that he never saw Colson hold up a badge or heard him identify himself as a police officer before shooting him once in the chest. Colson’s parents sued Krauss and Prince George’s County, accusing Krauss of recklessly firing his rifle. Colson and Krauss had worked in the narcotics unit together and sat at connecting desks.

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Ford’s brothers, Malik and Elijah, recorded cellphone videos of the ambush after dropping him off at the station in Landover, a suburb of Washington, D.C. They agreed to film the shooting so the video could be sent to WorldstarHipHop.com, a website known for posting users’ violent videos, a police detective testified in 2016.

From left, Michael Ford, Malik Ford and Elijah Ford.

From left, Michael Ford, Malik Ford and Elijah Ford.
(AP)

One of the videos showed Ford screaming obscenities and shouting, “Do something!” between shots. Ford, then 22, also dictated his last will and testament on video minutes before his brothers dropped him off at the station.

Malik and Elijah Ford pleaded guilty to related charges and were sentenced to 20 and 12 years in prison, respectively.

Michael Ford said he was hearing voices in his head on the day of the shooting. He said he retrieved a gun from a safe in his car and held it to his head.

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“I couldn’t pull the trigger,” he testified at trial.

Trial judge Lawrence Hill Jr. ruled before the trial that Ford couldn’t present an insanity defense despite his serious mental health issues.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential adviser accused of sexual assault – Fox News

Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential adviser accused of sexual assault – Fox News


Sen. Bernie Sanders apologized Thursday following multiple reports of women who were sexually harassed or assaulted by one of his staffers during his 2016 presidential bid. Earlier Thursday, reports surfaced that a top aide was accused of sexually assaulting a female subordinate. 

“To the women in that campaign who were harassed or mistreated I apologize. Our standards and safeguards were inadequate,” Sanders said in a statement posted to social media.

He thanked the women who did come forward with complaints of sexual misconduct and ensured that his 2018 Senate re-election campaign had “established some of the strongest sexual harassment policies in the country.”

Robert Becker, the former Iowa state director for Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, allegedly made several inappropriate comments to a younger, female subordinates before he forcibly kissed her while at a bar with other staffers following the Democratic National Convention,Politico reported earlier Thursday.

The anonymous staffer, who is in her 20s, and other witnesses told Politico Becker said he wanted to have sex with her while at the Philadelphia bar. Later, he grabbed her wrists and head, forcibly kissed her and put his tongue in her mouth, she and other witnesses alleged.

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The woman did not report the incident at the time since the campaign was finished but has come forward now as Becker has been involved with potential 2020 groundwork.

Robert Becker, who was the Iowa state director for Sen. Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential bid, has been accused of forcibly kissing a younger female subordinate during the campaign.

Robert Becker, who was the Iowa state director for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential bid, has been accused of forcibly kissing a younger female subordinate during the campaign.
(Getty Images)

“It just really sucks because no one ever held him accountable, and he kept pushing and pushing and seeing how much he could get away with,” the woman said. “This can’t happen in 2020. You can’t run for president of the United States unless you acknowledge that every campaign demands a safe work environment for every employee and volunteer.”

BERNIE SANDERS UNDER SIEGE AT CRITICAL 2020 MOMENT: ‘THE PROBLEM HAS TO BE DEALT WITH’

Becker, who is now 50, dismissed the accusations, saying they are “at odds with my recollection of a late evening filled with many hugs and kisses and tears and conversations about what’s next.”

No charges have been filed.

Hillary Clinton officially secured the Democratic presidential nomination over Sanders at the convention.

Other former aides accused Becker of using social media to determine potential female hires’ attractiveness, according to Politico. Becker, however, said he was just tasked with reviewing “potentially questionable or damaging social media posts of potential hires.”

Becker traveled to South Carolina – the first-in-the-South primary state – in December for meetings with former Sanders campaign staffers,CNBC previously reported. But Jeff Weaver, who ran Sanders’ 2016 campaign, stressed then that Becker was not doing so in an official capacity as he “doesn’t work for the campaign because there is no campaign.”

Amid speculation that Sanders could seek the White House again, the progressive senator has faced fallout as broader sexual harassment complaints stemming from the 2016 bid have come to light in recent weeks.

More than two dozen former staffersrecently sent a letterto Sanders and his aides, seeking a meeting regarding the “sexual violence and harassment on the 2016 campaign” ahead of another bid for the presidency. Additionally, numerous women have complained they were paid less than men and forced into inappropriate and uncomfortable situations,according to The New York Times. A former Sanders delegate called the culture an “entire wave of rotten sexual harassment that seemingly was never dealt with.”

Sanderssaid he was unawareof the alleged behavior happening during his campaign because he was “a little busy” running for president. But he also apologized to “any woman who felt that she was not treated appropriately,” adding that if he does decide to run again he would “do better.”

Thursday, he said the country needs a “cultural revolution” in order to “change workplace attitudes and behavior.”

“I intend in every way to be actively involved in that process,” Sanders said.

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The harassment controversy isn’t entirely new. Allegations of sexism briefly surfaced during Sanders’ 2016 bid as some of his young, white male supporters who went online to aggressively attack Clinton and her followers were pejoratively labeled “Bernie Bros”; however, the stories didn’t seriously impact his bid for the Democratic nomination.

Sanders commanded the left flank of the party in 2016 as he crushed Clinton in the New Hampshire primary – propelling him into a marathon battle with the former secretary of state up until the party convention. But that might not necessarily be the case again in 2020 as progressive Massachusetts Sen.Elizabeth Warrenhas launched an exploratory committee and has traveled to Iowa.

Other liberal lawmakers, such as Sens. Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Sherrod Brown of Ohio,Cory Bookerof New Jersey andKamala Harrisof California, are also considered to be potential 2020 contenders.

Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

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Texas Republicans overwhelmingly reject removal of Muslim county official – Fox News

Texas Republicans overwhelmingly reject removal of Muslim county official – Fox News


Texas Republicans voted to keep a GOP county official in his position after a small group raised a ruckus over his Muslim religious beliefs.

The Tarrant County Republican Party overwhelming voted to keep Dr. Shahid Shafi as the party’s vice chair Thursday. Shafi, a trauma surgeon and Southlake city councilman, wastargeted by a small groupof Republicans – led by precinct chairman Dorrie O’Brien – who contended his religious beliefs are not in line with those he represents in the county.

But the party rejected calls to oust him from the position Thursday in a 139-49  vote.

“As an immigrant to this great country, I am honored and privileged to receive the support of my fellow Republicans,” Shafi said following the vote,according to The Texas Tribune. “We need to learn to trust each other so we can create a more perfect union every day.”

“We need to learn to trust each other so we can create a more perfect union every day.”

— Dr. Shahid Shafi

Tarrant County Republican Party Chair Darl Easton said the vote “demonstrates we are a party that respects the right of those who disagree on an issue to have a seat at the table and their voices heard.”

“Religious liberty won tonight and while that makes a great day for the Republican Party of Tarrant County, that victory also serves notice that we have much work to do unifying our party,” he said in a statement.

TEXAS REPUBLICANS CLASH OVER EFFORTS TO OUST MUSLIM COUNTY OFFICIAL

Originally from India and Pakistan, Shafi became a U.S. citizen in 2009 and has been in the vice chairmanship position since July. He’s worked for the party, however, for about 10 years.

O’Brien is credited with leading the effort against Shafi — often posting about her opposition to his appointment on social media.

“We don’t think he’s suitable as a practicing Muslim to be vice chair because he’d be the representative for ALL Republicans in Tarrant County, and not ALL Republicans in Tarrant County think Islam is safe or acceptable in the U.S., in Tarrant County, and in the TCGOP,” O’Brien wrote in a lengthy Facebook post.

Although she didn’t vote at the meeting, Tarrant County precinct chair Sara Legvold sat outside wearing a burqa to “represent the Islamization of our county, our state and our country,” The Texas Tribune reported.

“You already see it in the workplace where Muslims demand they’re able to wear their hijab and demand they get a prayer room,” Legvold said. “When was the last time a Christian was allowed to have a separate place to say their prayers?”

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Despite the push from some in the county party, Shafi got support from more prominent Republicans, including Gov. Greg Abbott, Sen. Ted Cruz and Land Commissioner George P. Bush.

“Religious freedom is at the core of who we are as a nation and state, and attacks on Dr. Shafi because of his faith are contrary to this guiding principle,” Abbott said in a statement.

“I salute the Tarrant County Republican Party for re-affirming Shahid Shafi,” Bush said in a tweet Thursday night. “He is a good man who is doing a good job. And we should never allow religious bigotry to play any party in our politics.”

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Cruz had previously decried the “discrimination” against Shafi.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Mongols motorcycle gang to lose trademarked logo, jury decides – Fox News

Mongols motorcycle gang to lose trademarked logo, jury decides – Fox News


U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O'Brien, right, speaks during a news conference in Los Angeles about the arrest of several Mongol motorcycle gang members in six states as a vest with the Mongols logo displayed. (Associated Press)

U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien, right, speaks during a news conference in Los Angeles about the arrest of several Mongol motorcycle gang members in six states as a vest with the Mongols logo displayed. (Associated Press)

In a first-of-its-kind verdict Friday, a federal jury ruled theMongols motorcycle gangshould be stripped of its trademarked logo.

The jury in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, Calif., previously found the Mongol Nation guilty of racketeering and conspiracy. The verdict was the second phase of a trial that focused on forfeiture of assets and it caps a decade-long quest by prosecutors to dismantle the gang claimed to be responsible for drug dealing and murder.

“The Mongols are a notorious criminal organization whose members regularly engage in violent acts against law enforcement officers, rival gangs and members of the public,”U.S. Attorney Nick Hannasaid. “The verdicts in this case brand the Mongols as a racketeering enterprise and direct the forfeiture of property used by the gang for decades to encourage and reward numerous acts of murder, assault and drug trafficking.”

STRUGGLE BETWEEN MOTORCYCLE GANGS RATTLES NEW MEXICO CAPITAL

“The verdicts in this case brand the Mongols as a racketeering enterprise and direct the forfeiture of property used by the gang for decades to encourage and reward numerous acts of murder, assault and drug trafficking.”

— U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna

Authorities claim the group’s logo — aGenghis Khan-like figure with sunglasses and a ponytail riding a motorcycle, which is worn on the back of the Mongols members’ leather vests — is directly linked to the club’s crimes.

The verdict will lead to the forfeiture of the gang’s legal interest in the word “Mongols” and some of their patches, as well as Mongols items seized during the investigation, prosecutors said.

Gang members were “empowered by these symbols that they wear like armor,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Welk said.

U.S. District Judge David O. Carter declined to immediately order the logos forfeited and set a hearing next month to address possible First Amendment issues raised by the verdict.

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Mongols defense lawyer Joseph Yanny questioned the reasoning for going after the group’s trademark.

“If you were a law enforcement officer and you knew there was a gang out there and they had emblems on that identifies who they are, why in God’s name would you want to take them off of them so you couldn’t know who they were?” Yanny said. “It’s the stupidest thing.”

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The Mongols were formed in the 1960s in a Los Angeles suburb. The group is estimated to have more than 1,000 riders in chapters worldwide.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings reveals he has pancreatic cancer – Fox News

Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings reveals he has pancreatic cancer – Fox News


Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., announced on Monday that he is undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., announced on Monday that he is undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., announced on Monday that he is undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer, while saying he plans to continue representing Florida during the fight.

“I was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and in the midst of this traumatizing news, I found myself wondering not only if I would survive this disease, but also if it would impact my ability to perform my duties,” the Democratic lawmaker said in a statement. “Now that I have begun treatment, I feel hopeful about survival and about my ability to continue serving my constituents of Florida’s 20th Congressional district and the nation. “

Hastings added: “I have been convinced that this is a battle worth fighting, and my life is defined by fighting battles worth fighting.  Should it become clear that this cancer which has invaded my body cannot be defeated, I will tell you so.”

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Following former Sen. Bill Nelson’s departure from office following his defeat to Republican Rick Scott in the midterm elections, Hastings has become the longest-serving member of Florida’s congressional delegation. He first took office in 1993.

Hastings has also faced various controversies during his career in Washington.

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In 2017,it was reportedthat the Treasury Department paid a former congressional staffer $220,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit against Hastings. The staffer, Winsome Packer, alleged that Hastings touched her inappropriately and made unwanted sexual advances.

The House Ethics Committee conducted a separate investigation into Hastings, which it closed in December 2014. The committee concluded that Hastings “did admit to certain conduct that was less than professional,” but the most serious charges against him “were not supported by evidence.”

Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.

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Ocasio-Cortez questions Trump’s wealth after presidential swipe – Fox News

Ocasio-Cortez questions Trump’s wealth after presidential swipe – Fox News


President Trump clashed with Rep.Alexandria Ocasio-Cortezon Monday, with the president publicly brushing off a reporter’s question about her criticisms toward him, and the freshman congresswoman firing back with a swipe at his personal wealth.

The back-and-forth started when Trump was asked Mondayabout Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., recently saying there is “no question” Trump is a racist.

HOUSE DEMS TARGET TRUMP TAX RETURNS AS PART OF LEAD-OFF ETHICS PACKAGE

“Who cares?” Trump said of her comments, brushing off the question with a hand gesture.

Ocasio-Cortez fired back on Twitter.

“I bartended for *years* in New York City. I understand guys like this like the back of my hand. We got under his skin,” she tweeted, with a laughing emoji.

“I’d say we’d be taxing 70% of Trump’s income, but he probably hasn’t made more than $10 million in years—and that’s the real reason he’s hiding his taxes,” she continued, adding a winking-face emoji.

Ocasio-Cortez recently floated the possibility of a70 percent tax on the wealthyto fund the proposed ‘Green New Deal.’ Trump’s tax returns, meanwhile, have been a recurring and contentious topic ever since his time on the campaign trail in 2016, as he refuses to release the financial information. Trump has claimed his tax returns are complicated and has maintained he will not release them while they are under audit by the Internal Revenue Service.

OCASIO-CORTEZ ATTACKS FACT-CHECKERS FOR ‘FALSE EQUIVALENCY,’ ‘BIAS’

Earlier this month, House Democrats moved to target his tax returns, as part of a broad ethics reform package that amounts to their first major piece of legislation since reclaiming the majority. The package as a whole aims to make voter registration and polling access easier for citizens, in addition to tightening election security, but also requires presidents to disclose at least 10 years of their tax returns to the public.

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“Requires sitting Presidents and Vice Presidents, as well as candidates for the Presidency and Vice-Presidency to release their tax returns,” the bill’s “Presidential Tax Transparency” section reads.

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Trump administration birth control coverage rules blocked nationwide – Fox News

Trump administration birth control coverage rules blocked nationwide – Fox News


Trump administration rules allowing more employers to opt out of providing women with no-cost birth control cannot be enforced anywhere in the nation, a federal judge ruled Monday.

In a two-page decision, U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone in Philadelphia cited the potential harm to states should the rules be enforced.

Numerous citizens could lose contraceptive coverage, Beetlestone wrote, resulting in the increased use of state-funded contraceptive services, as well as increased costs associated with unintended pregnancies.

The rules, scheduled to take effect Monday, would change an ObamaCare mandate by allowing more employers, including publicly traded companies, to opt out of providing no-cost contraceptive coverage to women by claiming religious objections. Some private employers could also object on moral grounds.

Pennsylvania’s attorney general, Josh Shapiro, called the ruling a “victory for the health and economic independence of women.”

“Women need contraception for their health because contraception is medicine, pure and simple,” Shapiro said in a statement, adding “Congress hasn’t changed that law, and the president can’t simply ignore it with an illegal rule.”

Dr. Leana Wen, the president of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement to Fox News: “This is a win for women across our country — as a doctor, I cannot believe that we are still debating birth control in 2019, something that nine in 10 women will use in our lifetimes. Affordable, accessible birth control is why the U.S. has reached the lowest unintended pregnancy rate in 30 years. It’s time that politicians recognize birth control as health care and that women, in consultation with doctors, decide what contraception we receive — not our employers.”

Health and Human Services Department spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley said in a statement that “no American should be forced to violate his or her own conscience in order to abide by the laws and regulations governing our health care system.”

She said the new rules “uphold the freedoms afforded all Americans under our Constitution.”

The statement did not indicate whether the Trump administration would appeal.

The Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic order of religious women dedicated to caring for the elderly poor has been in court because of the contraceptive mandate since 2013, asTownhallreported.

“Government bureaucrats should not be allowed to threaten the rights of the Little Sisters of the Poor to serve according to their Catholic beliefs. Now the nuns are forced to keep fighting this unnecessary lawsuit to protect their ability to focus on caring for the poor,” Mark Rienzi, president of Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and lead attorney for the Little Sisters of the Poor, said in a statement to Fox News. “We are confident these decisions will be overturned.”

On Sunday, a federal judge in California blocked the rules from taking effect in the jurisdictions in the lawsuit before him. Those included California, New York and 11 other states along with Washington, D.C.

At issue is a requirement under Democratic President Barack Obama’s health care law that birth control services be covered at no additional cost.

Obama officials included exemptions for religious organizations. The Trump administration expanded those exemptions and added “moral convictions” as a basis to opt out of providing birth control services.

The Department of Justice has argued that the new rules “protect a narrow class of sincere religious and moral objectors from being forced to facilitate practices that conflict with their beliefs.”

Beetlestone previously had blocked an interim version of the rules in a December 2017 ruling. In November, the Trump administration rolled out a final version of the rule, prompting another challenge by states.

Fox News’ Lee Ross and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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UConn vs. Tulane – Game Recap – January 16, 2019 – ESPN

UConn vs. Tulane – Game Recap – January 16, 2019 – ESPN


1:49 AM ETESPN News Services NEW ORLEANS — Megan Walker has been playing well this past month.On Wednesday, she single-handedly outscored Tulane by one point in No. 2 UConn’s 75-33 rout.Walker, whose 34 points were a career high, is the first UConn player in the past 20 seasons to outscore her opponent, according to ESPN Stats & Information.According to STATS, she is the first Division I player — male or female — to outscore the entire opposing team in a conference game since Cincinnati’s Steve Logan outscored Southern Miss 41-37 on Feb. 15, 2002.”I think since we got back from Christmas, Megan has had a different approach to the game,” Huskies coach Geno Auriemma said. “Her effort is different. Her intensity level is different. Just her whole mannerisms are different. It’s obviously showed up in the way she’s played in games. These are the kind of games where you just need one person to step up because everyone else is struggling to make any kind of shot. Today, it was her.”Walker, a sophomore who averages 11.0 points game, scored 15 in the first half on 6-of-11 shooting and finished 11-of-16 from the floor. With Tulane concentrating on stopping UConn’s leading scorers, Katie Lou Samuelson and Napheesa Collier, Walker took command, driving to the basket with ease.She said she was just having fun and trying to play with more confidence.”This is just the second year [for me] now,” she said. “I’ve got a year under my belt, and I want to make an impact, so I’m just focusing on that and being really aggressive the whole time.”That aggressiveness — helping hold an opponent to four points over 10 minutes — is something Walker hopes is contagious.”It was good tonight,” Walker said. “Coach keyed in on that at shootaround and pregame. I feel like we did our job tonight on the defensive end.”UConn (15-1, 4-0 American Athletic Conference) pounded the Green Wave (13-4, 3-1) with its size and strength, holding Tulane to 18.3 percent shooting and forcing 22 turnovers.The Huskies held the Green Wave to a season-low four points in the first quarter and allowed just six points in the third quarter to coast to the victory.”I thought we played great defensively for the entire 40 minutes,” Auriemma said. “Sometimes the defensive effort wanes as the game goes on, but I thought this was a really, really good defensive effort, coming off the last game [a 63-46 win over South Florida] when our players were a little disappointed with the way we came out.”UConn dominated from the opening tip, holding Tulane to 15 percent shooting (2-of-13) in the first quarter. Tulane had won six consecutive games but could not overcome UConn’s relentless ball pressure. UConn led 38-14 at the half, and the Huskies’ defensive pressure forced Tulane into 12 first-half turnovers.”It certainly was a tough day for us,” Tulane coach Lisa Stockton said. “We couldn’t shoot the ball very well, but most of all, I was disappointed in our defensive effort. Twenty-two points in the paint in the first half was way too easy.”Kaila Anderson led the Green Wave with seven points.BIG PICTUREUConn: Including tournament victories, the Huskies are 105-0 in American Athletic Conference play. The previous low for a UConn opponent this year was 38 by Cincinnati on Jan. 9. The Huskies have allowed 39.0 points per game in their past three games, against Cincinnati, USF and Tulane.Tulane: The 33 points were by far a season low for the Green Wave, who lost 56-48 to Old Dominion on Dec. 21 in their previous scoring low.CAN SOMEONE HIT THE BARN?Each team struggled from the perimeter. UConn was 7-of-24 from long range, but Tulane was much worse, going 2-of-22.”We were lousy, and they were lousier,” Auriemma said. “We rushed [Tulane] in the beginning, so the shots they normally get, they didn’t get too many of those today.”UP NEXTUConn: The Huskies play at Temple on Sunday.Tulane: The Green Wave travel to face South Florida on Saturday.Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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Apologetic Kyrie sought advice from LeBron

Apologetic Kyrie sought advice from LeBron


2:30 AM ETTim BontempsESPN BOSTON — Celtics guard Kyrie Irving said that in the wake of his outbursts at coach Brad Stevens and forward Gordon Hayward on the court at the end of Saturday’s loss at the Orlando Magic and pointed criticisms of Boston’s young players afterward, he called LeBron James and apologized for the way he handled criticism from James when the two were teammates in Cleveland.”Obviously, this was a big deal for me, because I had to call [LeBron] and tell him I apologized for being that young player that wanted everything at his fingertips, and I wanted everything at my threshold,” Irving said after scoring 27 points and dishing out a career-high 18 assists in Boston’s 117-108 home victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night. “I wanted to be the guy that led us to a championship. I wanted to be the leader. I wanted to be all that, and the responsibility of being the best in the world and leading your team is something that is not meant for many people.”[LeBron] was one of those guys who came to Cleveland and tried to show us how to win a championship, and it was hard for him, and sometimes getting the most out of the group is not the easiest thing in the world.”In the wake of his calling out the Celtics’ young players, Kyrie Irving said Wednesday that he reached out to LeBron James to apologize for the way he reacted to James’ criticism while the two were teammates in Cleveland. Brian Babineau/Getty ImagesSaturday’s discontent was the latest in a series of situations this season in which Irving has called out the team’s young players, in some form or fashion, for their play. As Boston has struggled to live up to its preseason expectations — after Wednesday’s win, the Celtics are now 26-18 and remain in fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings — Irving has repeatedly cited the team’s youth and inexperience as something Boston needs to work through to get where it needs to go.The combination of Irving being frustrated with the play Stevens called with Boston trailing by two in the final seconds of Saturday’s loss, his reaction when Hayward passed Jayson Tatum the ball instead and Tatum missed the final shot, and the things he said after the game, though, created a firestorm that lasted through the weekend.”Experience,” Irving told reporters after Saturday’s loss. “We’re lacking it, and because of that, we have a lot of learning to do.”Irving apologized for the comments on Monday, but then he didn’t play with a quad injury as the Celtics lost in Brooklyn to the Nets. After that game, one of the team’s young players, Jaylen Brown, repeatedly referred to Irving’s comments, saying the Celtics “can’t be pointing fingers,” and that, “It starts from the top to the bottom, not the bottom to the top.”For his part, Irving said Brown was right, and Irving apologized for saying what he did in a public forum.”I did a poor job of setting an example for these guys of what it’s like to get something out of your teammates,” Irving said. “You go and you say something publicly and it ends up received in so many different ways and you never know how fragile or what guys are going through when you say things like that. You’re expecting results, but at the same time, I should’ve kept it in house. Going forward, I want to test these young guys, but I can’t be a bully like that. I want to get the best out of them, but I can’t do it personally like that. That was a learning experience for me of being in this position of really realizing the magnitude of my voice and what I really mean to these guys. I want to see them do well and do that where I empowered them.”It takes a real man to go back, call somebody and be like, ‘Hey, man, I was young. I made some mistakes, I wasn’t seeing the big picture like you were. I didn’t have the end of the season in mind.'”

Kyrie Irving on apologizing to LeBron James

“[Jaylen] was right. I gotta do the right things and not point fingers at individuals and really realize what we can do as group, despite when we go on the road or the mishaps we may have. I’ve been there to the championship. I’ve tasted it. But I can’t expect that they’re gonna get it. I’m just really working on my patience and just coming to helping these guys realize that we can do it against the best teams; but in order to be that championship-level team, we gotta do that every single day to help our team prove to not just the Raptors or Golden State that we can play with them, but we gotta prove it to every team that we can really play with them.”One of the ironies of the comments Irving has made publicly at times — and the friction that has flared up with the team’s young players because of it — is that it has been reminiscent of the way Irving would occasionally bristle at the things James would say about him after James’ return to Cleveland in 2014.James, who had won a pair of titles and reached four NBA Finals in his four years with the Miami Heat, came back to Cleveland to team up with Irving and Kevin Love — a pair of young stars who, prior to playing alongside James, hadn’t played in a single playoff game, let alone had any postseason success.And at times, Irving was none too pleased with the way James spoke about it.But in thinking about how things transpired Saturday, Irving said he was moved to call James to talk about what happened, and about how, with the benefit of hindsight, he has a far better appreciation for what James was trying to do back then.”Like I said, only few are meant for it or chosen for it, and I feel like the best person to call was him, because he’s been in this situation,” Irving said. “He’s been there with me. I’ve been the young guy, being a 22-year-old kid and I want everything. I want everything right now. Coming off an All-Star year starting and this heck of a presence is coming back and now I gotta adjust my game to this guy.The eight-part docuseries, produced by UNINTERRUPTED and airing on ESPN+, will follow LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s improbable journey from Akron to the global stage. Watch on ESPN+
“You take it personal, but at the end of the day, he wants what’s best. And he has a legacy he wants to leave, and he has a window he wants to capture. So, I think what that brought me back to was like, all right, how do I get the best out of this group to the success they had last year and then helping them realize what it takes to win a championship.”Part of Irving’s desire to seek a trade away from the Cavaliers in the summer of 2017 — a process that eventually led to him being traded to Boston several weeks later — was to be in the same position James had in Cleveland, as the undisputed leader of a championship team.Irving looked the part on the court Wednesday night, helping break a tie at 106 late in the fourth quarter with an 11-0 Celtics run that included a turnaround jumper, a 3-pointer and assists on two baskets by Al Horford and another by Tatum to put the game away.Irving admitted, however, that he’s still trying to come to grips with the rest of the responsibilities that come with the role — and that there was no one who was better for him to reach out to for help than James, based off everything the two of them have been through in the past.”Being in this position is something new for me,” Irving said. “So I take it with a grain of salt and I just enjoy all of this. So having that moment to be able to call a guy like that where we’ve been through so much, where we won a championship together … it took a lot.”Now I’m in this position; I asked for this and I want this. I want the responsibility. And I take it on full force. But it’s also good to reach out for help and really take responsibility for what you’ve done in your career. It takes a real man to go back, call somebody and be like, ‘Hey, man, I was young. I made some mistakes, I wasn’t seeing the big picture like you were. I didn’t have the end of the season in mind.’ I just wanted to get my stats and make All-Star Games, which in his career means like this much at that point. So it was just good, and it gave me a peace of mind to go about what I’ve gotta go do. Obviously, I’m going to be competing against him the best and everybody else in the league. But it was good.”

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No team more hated than Warriors, says Cousins


2:05 AM ETNick FriedellESPN Staff Writer CloseNick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.Ahead of his long-awaited debut with the Golden State Warriors, All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins said he believes he’ll be joining up with the “most hated team in sports.”In a sit-down interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, Cousins said he hasn’t focused on the reaction from fans since he signed as a free agent with the Warriors this past summer.”I don’t really pay attention to storylines,” Cousins told ESPN. “I mean, they’re gonna say what they have to say. They’re gonna add their opinions. We’re the most hated team in sports.”The best shooter ever: Steph Curry is still completely unfairYou’re not supposed to be able to score from these spots.Warriors’ Plan A: re-sign Durant. But what’s Plan B?Plan A would be to re-sign Kevin Durant, but what is the Warriors’ backup plan if Durant walks in free agency this summer?NBA predictions: Awards, Finals matchups and Warriors vs. the fieldWe polled the ESPN Forecast panel of experts for their votes halfway through the NBA season.Cousins, who is set to return Friday at the LA Clippers after missing almost a year because of a left Achilles tendon tear, signed a one-year, $5.3 million deal with Golden State in hopes that a rehabbing season with the reigning two-time NBA champions would help him find the massive payday he was seeking before the injury. When Cousins signed, it set off an avalanche of criticism from fans who thought his presence on a Warriors team that already had four All-Stars was unfair to the rest of the league.Now, neither Cousins nor his teammates care about what the reaction will be when he returns.When asked by Nichols if he really believes the Warriors are the most hated team in sports, Cousins didn’t back off his original point.”Can you name another?” he said.When Nichols answered with the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Yankees, Cousins responded by saying, with a laugh, “Well, put us up there. I would say the Warriors are for sure. You know they hate Kevin [Durant]. They hate me. I think the only guy they really like is Stephen [Curry]. Actually, they may hate him, as well. They hate Draymond Green. But I mean, it is what it is. I can’t worry about that.”
What Cousins is worried about is making an impact on a team counting on him to produce at center. Warriors players and coaches aren’t sure exactly what Cousins will be able to offer after almost a year of rehab, but they’re hopeful he will provide a dynamic low-post presence they haven’t had on the roster before.”When he’s focused, when he’s doing the little things, he’s the best big man in the game,” Warriors All-Star swingman Klay Thompson said. “I can’t wait ’til we get him; he adds a whole new dimension to our team. He gives us a low-block presence we haven’t had in a while; and we can throw it to him at any point to get hot. And with the floor spacing our team creates, he’s gonna be a monster.”As he fought through the arduous recovery process, Cousins said one person he leaned on most for advice was Basketball Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins, who tore his right Achilles in 1992.”He just basically tells me to attack it,” Cousins said. “Once you realize you are healed, like, don’t think about it. Just go forward.”One thing that Dominique also spoke on is — they don’t know your heart, and they don’t know your drive. So, you know, the people that do know me, they know I can be very stubborn. I don’t like to be proved wrong.”Cousins is confident he’ll able to return to his All-Star form over time.”I’m back, and I’m not looking back,” Cousins said. “I’m moving forward. I’m leaving it on the floor every night. And I plan on coming back for that top spot.”

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