Sports Briefs

Courtesy of Winslow Townson | USA Today Sports | All-Star guards Kyrie Irving, left, and Isaiah Thomas, right, switched teams on Aug. 22 when the Cavs agreed to send Irving to Beantown for Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a 2018 Brooklyn Nets first-round pick.

Compiled by Adam Lindner | Sports Editor

Kyrie Irving dealt to Boston for package including All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas – On Tuesday night, the Boston Celtics acquired perennial All-Star guard Kyrie Irving from the Cleveland Cavaliers for guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, forward Ante Zizic and a 2018 Brooklyn Nets first-round pick, which is projected to be a top-5 selection in this year’s draft. In July, it was reported that Irving was seeking a trade, as he’d become dissatisfied playing alongside LeBron James and sought to play on a team where he would be regarded as more of a focal point. He’ll get what he asked for in Boston, as he’ll lead an offensive attack that also includes newly-acquired Gordon Hayward, Al Horford and rookie Jayson Tatum. Cleveland jumped at the opportunity to swap a disgruntled star for a chance to restock for the future. While all of the assets that Cleveland acquired are controllable, Thomas’ hip injury is of concern. Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said on Monday that he wasn’t sure that Thomas would be ready for the start of training camp, and Cleveland is eager to give Thomas a physical. The Celtics and Cavaliers will open the NBA regular season in Cleveland on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 8:00 p.m.

Women’s basketball team announces non-conference schedule – On Wednesday afternoon, the Duquesne women’s basketball team announced their non-conference schedule for the 2017-18 basketball season. Head coach Dan Burt’s squad will begin their campaign at UNC Charlotte on Friday, Nov. 10 at 7:00 p.m. Marquee non-conference games that the Dukes will play this year include a Nov. 16 game at Pitt, a Nov. 26 at Virginia as part of the Virginia Thanksgiving Tournament and a Dec. 22 matchup against perennial power UConn in Toronto. The Dukes also host several mid-major opponents at the A. J. Palumbo Center that finished last season ranked highly in ESPN’s Ratings Percentage Index, including Toledo (No. 44) on Dec. 6 and Central Michigan (No. 43) on Dec. 17. As opposed to the men’s team, who is scheduled to play a school-record 19 games at the Palumbo Center this season, the women’s team will only play on campus six times during the non-conference portion of their schedule.
Mayweather, McGregor prepare for Saturday’s mega-fight – On Aug. 26, boxing will meet mixed martial arts for the first time on centerstage. Floyd Mayweather, 49-0 in his boxing career with 26 KOs, will face MMA star and Irish-countryman Conor McGregor, 21-3 in MMA with 18 KOs, in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena at 9:00 p.m. Saturday in a high-profile crossover spectacle. Though McGregor has never boxed before, neither amateurishly nor professionally, he will attempt to hand Mayweather his first career defeat. Mayweather is an extremely heavy favorite given that the match is being governed as a boxing match, the sport that he’s yet to lose in while facing off against the world’s other top boxers over the course of his career. Nevertheless, the fight has been able to generate enough allure that it projects to “kill” the current over-under of 4.9 million pay-per-view purchases, according to UFC president Dana White. Given that White expects to surpass 4.9 million PPV customers, White’s expected total would obliterate the previous record set of 4.6 million PPV buys ($437 million in revenue), set in 2015 during the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight.

Le’Veon Bell to return to Steelers following preseason – On Tuesday night, Steelers star running back Le’Veon Bell tweeted that he will return to the franchise on Sep. 1, one day after Pittsburgh’s final preseason game. Bell skipped training camp with the Steelers after not reaching an agreement with the franchise on a long-term deal. Upon returning on Sept. 1, Bell is expected to sign his $12.1 million franchise tender. After returning from a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s drug-abuse policy at the beginning of last season, Bell rushed for 1,268 yards and seven touchdowns in only 12 games. He added another 616 yards and two touchdowns receiving. Bell openly considers himself an elite receiver, and the way that he sees it, his hybrid abilities as both a top-end tailback and wide receiver warrant a more lucrative contract for himself. The news that he will return should come as relieving news for Steelers fans, as some feared that Pittsburgh might begin the regular season without its star tailback.

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