THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Astros, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Orioles at Yankees, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Dodgers at Mets, 7:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)
Roy Hibbert, Lou Williams and former Celtic Brandon Bass were welcomed to Los Angeles by the team, but Bryant — who has been criticized for failing to help land any high-profile free agents — has been noticeably quiet.
Asked if Bryant had reached out to any of them, the players said nothing. Bass smiled during the period of awkward silence, although he later said he’s looking forward to “a great opportunity to play with one of the greatest ever to play the game.”
Williams, who averaged 15.5 points per game last season with the Raptors and was named Sixth Man of the Year, spoke highly of the team’s aging and injury-prone star.
“You always feel like you have an opportunity to win here,” Williams said. “And when you have Kobe Bryant, that always gives you an opportunity to go far. So for me, they have a winning tradition, they always are one move away from their team going from zero to 100 and you’ve got Kobe Bryant.”
Bass, signed as a free agent after four productive seasons with the Celtics, said he’s long been a Lakers fan and didn’t think he’d have an issue switching sides in the league’s most heated rivalry.
“I haven’t thought so much about it,” Bass said. “All I’ve thought about is me playing in purple and gold when I was in college [at LSU]. It kind of got me back to my roots. I remember being in college and being a Laker fan. I haven’t thought about the rivalry, but I know I’m going to get a lot of questions.”
— Former ESPN columnist and commentator Bill Simmons is headed to HBO, where he will host a weekly TV show and produce other content for the network’s digital platforms.
“It’s no secret that HBO is the single best place for creative people in the entire media landscape,” Simmons said in a statement.
Following his success overseeing ESPN’s “30 for 30″ series, Simmons will work with HBO Sports to develop shows and documentary films.
“We have been fans of Bill Simmons and his work for a very long time,” HBO programming president Michael Lombardo said. “His intelligence, talent and insights are without precedent in the areas he covers. We could not be more thrilled for him to bring those talents to HBO and to become a signature voice at the network, spanning the sports and pop culture landscape.”
— The fan who caught Alex Rodriguez‘s 3,000th hit — and claims to have snatched more than 8,000 balls in his lifetime — caught another home run during Wednesday’s game, but he couldn’t full enjoy it because he says he was assaulted before the game.
Zack Hample had scratch marks on his neck that he said were inflicted by another fan during a pregame incident when Orioles player Miguel Gonzalez threw a ball in his direction.
Tweeted Hample: Unfortunately the answer to Have you every gotten into a fight for a ball?’ is now yes. I was flat-out assaulted.
The Yankees acknowledged there was an incident but said “there was not a clear determination of who was the aggressor.” The team relocated the other fan to a different section.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On July 23, 2002, which Red Sox player hit three two-run home runs in a 22-4 rout of the Devil Rays and tied a major league record with five home runs in two games?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We just haven’t put it together, and that is basically it. When we get guys on, we have to find a way get them in.” — Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, after Wednesday’s 4-2 loss to the Astros, the team’s seventh straight loss
STAT OF THE DAY: 5 — Consecutive Gold Cup finals appearances for the U.S. men’s soccer team prior to this year, as the Americans were upset by Jamaica, 2-1, in Wednesday’s semifinals
‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Phillies pinch-hitter Odubel Herrera delivers a gapper to left-center field for a walkoff win over the Rays in the 10th inning.
Cubs left fielder Chris Coghlan makes a nice diving catch against the Reds.
Things get testy in Arizona after Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez hits David Peralta in the head, and D-Backs reliever Dominic Leone retaliates in the following inning.
Dale, Michael and Jerry discuss Darrell Revis' comments to SI about the Patriots turning his mother away at the door of their 2015 championship ring ceremony.
[0:03:22] ... by the way a guy who was essentially new winning that big SuperBowl ring that everybody got. And he's sending his mom today except his ring on his behalf. You letter I shut shut mom ... [0:04:22] ... should be here Revis even your objection your team when when the superbowl of though personally ring you're gonna get a good career yeah atomic. Tech shares of plausible point two what are they just ... [0:06:18] ... gets graduate buys you would buy but. Eight promises to get the triptoDisneyWorld. They leave that very day that same day. Where they are there I don't know if they were there I don't know ... [0:08:11] ... anybody into their homes and that you know how much of these SuperBowl rings worth you don't know than that in India you've got all those question marks. I think they did emotion wise. As I said there's there's video footage we've hole looked out of her dancing with wrong and and other guys down on the field after the SuperBowl or strike. I I think they have an idea who she was. And and I'll and I'll take it one step further ...