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Lakers Star Kobe Bryant Set for Shoulder Surgery


iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant has a torn rotator cuff, the team announced on Monday. Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic confirmed the diagnosis, which was made last week. 

The 16-time All-Star will undergo surgery to repair his shoulder on Wednesday. No timetable has been given for his return.

The 36-year-old Bryant injured his shoulder during the second half of the Lakers' 96-80 loss to the Pelicans last Wednesday night in New Orleans, when he went for a two-handed slam dunk.

In 35 games this season, Bryant is averaging 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game. Last season, he played in just six games because of injuries to his knee and Achilles.

Bryant has won five NBA championships during his 19-year career with the Lakers.

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Scoreboard Roundup - 1/26/15


Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Top 25 Men's College Basketball: (13) North Carolina 93 (17-4) - Syracuse 83 (14-7)

NBA:  Sacramento Kings (16-27) @ New York Knicks (8-37) - Postponed

Portland Trail Blazers (32-13) @ Brooklyn Nets (18-26) - Postponed

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Report: N.Y. Yankees Preparing to Challenge A-Rod


iStockphoto(NEW YORK) -- The New York Yankees are preparing to contest the validity of a marketing contact with third baseman Alex Rodriguez, according to ESPN.

In 2007, Rodriguez entered into a deal with the Yankees that would pay the 14-time All-Star a bonus for each milestone home run he reached.

Rodriguez is six homers away from tying Willie Mays for fourth on the all-time home run list, which will make him eligible for a $6 million bonus. The bonus is part of the 10-year, $275 million extension he signed with New York.

The Yankees are devising legal arguments against paying the bonus, because of Rodriguez's steroid revelations and year-long ban he received from Major League Baseball.

Rodriguez will also receive an extra $6 million each if he ties Babe Ruth at 714 home runs, Hank Aaron at 755 home runs, and Barry Bonds at 762 home runs, and breaks Bonds' all-time record.

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Bengals Linebacker Vontaze Burfict Recovering from Microfracture Surgery


David Lee/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It is unknown when one of the NFL's top linebackers will see the field again as Vontaze Burfict of the Cincinnati Bengals is recovering from microfracture surgery.

Microfracture surgery is a procedure performed on knees that have suffered cartilage damage. It is viewed as a serious surgery that has derailed the careers of various athletes in other sports, including football.

Still, the surgeon who performed the procedure, Dr. Neal ElAttrache, is hopeful Burfict will be ready to go by training camp.

"I don't see any reason, if this thing heals like we want and we think it will, why he won't be back like he was," ElAttrache told the NFL Network. "Microfracture has a bad connotation, but there are plenty of guys who have come back and been able to play like before. But it's not really news when it works out."

Burfict was limited to just five games in 2014, but in 2013 he recorded an NFL-high 171 tackles.

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Suns' Goran Dragic Looking Forward to Free Agency


Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Phoenix Suns point guard Goran Dragic will be one of the top free agent names on the market this summer as he has the opportunity to opt out of his contract after this season. And he's embracing the chance to explore his playing options.

“Every team in the NBA is an option to me, because it is a privilege to play for any team in the NBA," he told the Houston Chronicle. "When the time comes I’m going to sit down with my family and my agent and try to make the best decision for myself.”

Now in his seventh NBA season, the 28-year-old Dragic has flourished in his second tenure with the Suns. In 44 games this season, Dragic is averaging 16.5 points, 4.1 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per game in the guard-heavy Suns rotation. Last season, Dragic averaged a career-high 20.3 points per game.

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Team Toews Tops Team Foligno in NHL All-Star Game


iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- If you're a fan of low-scoring hockey, then the NHL All-Star Game isn't for you. On Sunday, Team Toews came out on top over Team Foligno, 17-12.

It was the highest-scoring All-Star Game in NHL history.

New York Islanders center John Tavares scored four goals in the game, which matched a record for the game.

There was so much offense that Tavares didn't even win the MVP Award. That honor went to Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen, who was playing in front of the Blue Jacket fans. He was given the award after the fans voted him the winner on Twitter.

"It's meant a lot, being a part of it -- seeing the fans and how much they've been enjoying all the festivities," he said. "We did a two-hour (autograph) signing. Everybody just seemed to be having a great time. All the kids were laughing and having a lot of fun."

Philadelphia Flyers winger Jake Voracek had a memorable game as he tied another record with six points.

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Report: Dan Quinn to Be Named Falcons Head Coach


Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

(ATLANTA, Ga.) -- Once the Super Bowl has concluded, the Atlanta Falcons are expected to name Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn as their head coach, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Quinn, 44, has served as defensive coordinator of the Seahawks defense for the past two seasons after replacing Gus Bradley, who took the head job with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Falcons have already named Kyle Shanahan as the team’s offensive coordinator, though it has been rumored that his hiring is contingent on Quinn being hired.

Raheem Morris, a former player of Quinn at Hofstra in 1990, will likely join the Falcons as defensive coordinator.  Morris was previously head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2009-2011.

Quinn has been in a bit of a tricky situation because of NFL rules. As a member of a coaching staff that is actively in the postseason, Quinn was only available to interview during the Seahawks bye weeks -- the wild card round and this week leading up to the Super Bowl.  No team was able to hire him until the Seahawks season concluded.

He will replace Mike Smith, who served as Falcons head coach for the past seven seasons. 

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Whiteside Posts Triple Double in Heat Win


Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(CHICAGO, Ill.) -- On way to a victory over the Chicago Bulls, a remarkable event occurred for the Miami Heat. Hassan Whiteside, a center who has worked on his craft in the Developmental League, recorded a triple double for the Heat in their 96-84 win.

By putting up 14 points, 13 rebounds and 12 blocks, Whiteside recorded his first career triple-double. He also did this in 25 minutes of action; achieving the feat in the second shortest period of time in the shot clock era. 

"It's a blessing. Like I told my teammates, you won't believe how things work out in life," said Whiteside. "Three months ago I was at the downtown Y just chilling, working on my game. I couldn't get a team to pick up the phone."

A second round pick of the Sacramento Kings in 2010, many teams chose to steer themselves away from Whiteside because of questions about his attitude. After working on his craft overseas and in the D-League, Whiteside signed with the Heat in November.

“That’s what the team needs,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. “It gives us a very different dimension. It’s a credit to him for continuing to work hard and match it with his talent.”

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Report: Mavericks Likely to Sign Jermaine O'Neal


Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images Sport(DALLAS, Tx.) -- The Dallas Mavericks are inching closer to signing center Jermaine O'Neal.

The 36-year-old center, who is currently rehabilitating from numerous injuries and chronic ailments, is likely to join the Mavericks around the All-Star break, according to ESPN.

O'Neal, an 18 year veteran, last played in the 2013-2014 season with the Golden State Warriors. He has had multiple surgeries to repair both wrists and undergone plasma-rich therapy on both knees to alleviate tendinitis.

After acquiring Rajon Rondo from the Celtics on Dec. 18, the Mavericks are now seeking to add depth to their front line.

For his career, O'Neal has averaged 13.2 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game. 

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Team Irvin Wins Pro Bowl


NFL Shield (NFL)(GLENDALE, Az.) -- The NFL's annual All-Star competition concluded with Team Irvin defeating Team Carter 32-28.

Under the leadership of Hall of Fame wide receivers, Michael Irvin and Cris Carter, the NFL's most popular players put on a show for the fans.

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford took home MVP honors for their respective side of the ball.

"I just tried to enjoy it," Watt said, who intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble in the game. "That's what the Pro Bowl is all about, giving the fans a good show. Everybody worked so hard to get here, you want to enjoy yourself and play some good ball. Guys are dancing around and having a good time, that's what it's all about."

Stafford, who tossed two touchdowns and threw for 316 yards in the game, said: "It was a blast. To able to play with the best in the world is a whole lot of fun, and everybody is such good people, too. I am out here having a good time."

This year, the Pro Bowl was held in the host city of the Super Bowl, Glendale, Arizona, taking a one year break from its usual destination of Honolulu, Hawaii.

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