Adidas Reportedly Told Referees to Lay off Lavar Ball at Las Vegas Tournament

Adidas Reportedly Told Referees to Lay off Lavar Ball at Las Vegas Tournament

LaVar Ball (Getty Images)

Referees at Adidas’ AAU basketball tournament in Las Vegas this week have been implored by the shoe company to let LaVar Ball’s sideline antics slide, because of the blustering patriarch’s drawing power and also because the brand may be interested in signing his son, Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, to an endorsement deal, ESPN.com reports.

A source told the website that refs have been told by Adidas officials to “put three officials on the game who will keep (LaVar) in the building” while the Big Baller Brand squad he coaches is competing.

One referee either didn’t get the message or ignored it, as she slapped Ball with a technical foul Friday. After he threatened to pull his team off the court, she was removed from the game.

Adidas acknowledged it was the company’s decision to take the ref off the game.

“There was some miscommunication,” said Chris Rivers, Adidas director of global basketball sports marketing, per ESPN. “The NBA don’t put certain people with certain guys, either. If there’s a history or miscommunication, that happens.”

During his team’s win Thursday, Ball told a different ref, “You’re the worst (expletive) ref who ever lived.”

Said the source, “Under normal circumstances, the sideline behavior, including profanity and sideline antics, would have demanded a technical foul under the category of disrespecting the game.”

Ya think?

But, the source added, “Due to strong messaging (from Adidas) to extend those guidelines in an effort to keep (LaVar Ball) in the gym, the officiating crew felt uncomfortable enforcing the technical foul rule for actions that clearly warranted (action).”

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Former Las Vegas 51s Manager Wally Backman Fired by Mexican League Team

Former Las Vegas 51s Manager Wally Backman Fired by Mexican League Team

Manager Wally Backman talks with reporters during media day for the Las Vegas 51s at Cashman Field in Las Vegas on Tuesday, April 5, 2016. The event was held ahead of opening Thursday’s season opener against the Fresno Grizzlies. Daniel Clark/Las Vegas Review-Journal Follow @DanJClarkPhoto
Las Vegas 51s manager Wally Backman walks back to the dugout after making a pitching change during their Triple-A minor league baseball game against the Nashville Sounds at Cashman Field in Las Vegas Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (Josh Holmberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Manager Wally Backman (6) looks out over the field during media day for the Las Vegas 51s at Cashman Field in Las Vegas on Tuesday, April 5, 2016. The event was held ahead of opening Thursday’s season opener against the Fresno Grizzlies. Daniel Clark/Las Vegas Review-Journal Follow @DanJClarkPhoto

Wally Backman is out as manager of the Monclova Acereros of the Mexican Baseball League after just 42 games.

No governments were overthrown. No animals were harmed.

The fiery Backman compiled a 309-267 record in four seasons as Las Vegas 51s manager before leaving the New York Mets’ organization after a falling out with the front office. A lot of baseball people thought he might not be a good fit south of the border. But sketchy reports indicated his ouster had nothing to do with temperament.

Backman, who was popular with 51s players, fans and media, was fired after guiding Monclova to a 22-20 record.

Apparently, the language barrier made it difficult for Backman to communicate with his players, 51s president Don Logan said.

Monclova has never won a Mexican League championship, and when the Acereros lost a game in front of a big crowd recently, Backman was fired by owner Gerardo Benavides, Logan said. So was Von Hayes, the former Indians and Phillies outfielder who managed at Puebla, another Benavides-owned club.

One fan on a Mets website wrote, “I didn’t think you got ‘fired’ in the Mexican League. I just thought you were never seen again.” But Logan said Backman already has taken a job with another Mexican team as a bench coach.

A piece of our pregame show before our home opener, which we won 4-2 in front of a sellout crowd in Monclova. pic.twitter.com/QXaxPB9uVv

— Wally Backman (@Wally_Backman6) April 5, 2017

It’s elementary

If someone held a foam “We’re No. 1” finger to your head and said to name the local school that has produced an NBA player, a WNBA player, an NCAA national champion softball pitcher, an LPGA pro, a McDonald’s All-American and a Gatorade Player of the Year, your first guess would be Bishop Gorman.

The correct answer is R.E. Tobler, a small elementary school in northwest Las Vegas.

Ken Hinton, who taught physical education at Tobler, wrote in an email that many top athletes attended Tobler when they were youngsters. They included:

— C.J. Watson, a 10-year NBA veteran now with the Orlando Magic.

— Chelsea Hopkins, who played basketball at Duke and San Diego State and is now with the WNBA’s New York Liberty.

— Leslie Wolf, a pitcher for 2006 NCAA national softball champion Arizona.

— Stephanie Louden, a four-time All-American at Stanford who spent 12 years on the LPGA Tour.

— Troy Brown Jr., a McDonald’s basketball All-American who has signed with Oregon.

— Jada Brown, Troy’s sister, a former Gatorade Player of the Year who recently finished a four-year basketball career at Kansas.

“For a school like Gorman or some of the other high schools, this is probably nothing,” Hinton wrote. “But for us at R.E. Tobler, it sure makes us proud.”

0:03

— Apparently those at stock car racing headquarters knew what they were doing in naming Riley Herbst to its NASCAR Next list of up-and-coming drivers. Driving a Toyota for former Super Bowl coach Joe Gibbs, the Las Vegas teenager raced to his first ARCA series victory at Pocono (Pennsylvania) Raceway on Friday. Herbst, the son of off-road racing star Troy Herbst, took the lead early from Xfinity Series regular Brandon Jones and led 45 of 80 laps.

— Astute soccer fans may recall that Real Madrid and Juventus, the combatants in this year’s UEFA Champion’s League final — Madrid won 4-1 — are the same two international sides that were to play in a friendly at Sam Boyd Stadium in 2012 as part of the World Football Challenge. A previous commitment forced the Italian team to back out of the event, with Santos Laguna of Mexico stepping in. Real Madrid won 2-1. Its global superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo, did not score, but many in the crowd of 29,152 snapped his picture with cellphone cameras.

— UNLV shortstop Bryson Stott, a Desert Oasis High graduate who has been named to the College Baseball Freshman All-America team, is the son of Derek Stott, who survived three seasons as the Rebels’ starting quarterback when Jim Strong was coach. I’m sure Papa Stott has many stories to tell.

Former Southern Nevada baseball players named freshmen All-Americans https://t.co/se3gPAfLaF pic.twitter.com/AGyxExlyV7

— Nevada Preps (@nevadapreps) June 8, 2017

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

Wally’s (managerial) World

Here is a list of teams Wally Backman has managed:

— Catskill Cougars, Northeast League, 1997

— Bend Bandits, Western Baseball League, 1998

— Tri-City Posse, Western Baseball League, 1999-2000

— Winston-Salem Warthogs, Carolina League, 2001

— Birmingham Barons, Southern League, 2002-03

— Lancaster JetHawks, California League, 2004

— South Georgia Peanuts, South Coast League, 2007

— Joliet JackHammers, Northern League, 2008-09

— Brooklyn Cyclones, New York-Penn League, 2010

— Binghamton Mets, Eastern League, 2011

— Buffalo Bisons, International League, 2012

— Las Vegas 51s, Pacific Coast League, 2013-16

— Monclova Acereros, Mexican Baseball League, 2017

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2 Closed Las Vegas Casinos to Open Temporarily to Preserve Licenses

2 Closed Las Vegas Casinos to Open Temporarily to Preserve Licenses

The now-closed Las Vegas Club is being considered to be set up as a temporary casino by the Gaming Control Board in order to preserve the gaming license, in downtown Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 6, 2017. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The now-closed Las Vegas Club is being considered to be set up as a temporary casino by the Gaming Control Board in order to preserve the gaming license, in downtown Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 6, 2017. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The now-closed Mermaids Casino is being considered to be set up as a temporary casino by the Gaming Control Board in order to preserve the gaming license, in downtown Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 6, 2017. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The now-closed Mermaids Casino is being considered to be set up as a temporary casino by the Gaming Control Board in order to preserve the gaming license, in downtown Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 6, 2017. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The now-closed Mermaids Casino is being considered to be set up as a temporary casino by the Gaming Control Board in order to preserve the gaming license, in downtown Las Vegas, Tuesday, June 6, 2017. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Slot machine play will return to downtown’s Las Vegas Club and the Mermaids casino later this month — at least, for 16 hours.

The state Gaming Control Board on Wednesday recommended approval of a plan to preserve the grandfathered gaming license for the buildings containing the two properties, purchased in 2015 and 2016 by Derek and Greg Stevens, owners of downtown’s D Las Vegas and Golden Gate properties.

The Las Vegas City Council will review the plan June 21 with final approval scheduled by the Nevada Gaming Commission on June 22.

In order to preserve a gaming license, casino play must occur on the site for at least eight hours every two years.

In the case of the Las Vegas Club and Mermaids, slot-route operator United Coin Machine will set up 16 slot machines for eight hours at the Las Vegas Club on June 27, then move the operation to Mermaids for eight hours on June 28.

United Coin is owned by Montana-based Century Gaming Technologies and is routinely requested by licensing applicants to set up temporary casinos to preserve licenses.

The Stevenses acquired the Las Vegas Club for an undisclosed price in August 2015, then picked up the building holding the Mermaids and La Bayou casinos as well as the Topless Girls of Glitter Gulch adult entertainment club in April 2016. Mermaids, La Bayou and the Topless Girls of Glitter Gulch club closed in June 2016.

“When we purchased the Las Vegas Club in August (2015), we knew then we wanted to look at a larger footprint,” Derek Stevens said at the time. “Now that we’ve done this transaction, it completely changes the scope of what the project could become. I’m going to need a little time with my team to start thinking through what this project will look like.”

Stevens has not disclosed any additional details for the Fremont Street properties.

The Control Board also unanimously agreed to send proposed amendments to a regulation on off-track, pari-mutuel sports wagering to the Gaming Commission for consideration.

Amendments to Regulation 26B makes betting on “other events” in pari-mutuel betting consistent with other sports bets overseen by Regulations 20 and 22.

The changes were mandated by Senate Bill 240, passed by the Nevada Legislature in its recently completed session. The proposed regulatory amendments were drafted as a class project at UNLV’s Boyd School of Law.

The commission is expected to address the regulatory changes June 22.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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Raiders Announce Las Vegas Preseason Television Partner; Bay Area Is Still to Be Determined

Raiders Announce Las Vegas Preseason Television Partner; Bay Area Is Still to Be Determined

Norm Hall/Getty Images The Raiders have a broadcast partner in Las Vegas for their preseason games, but still have to determine one in the Bay Area.

The Raiders announced Thursday that KVVU FOX5 will be their television partner in Las Vegas for preseason broadcasts for the next three years.

According to a team spokesman, the deal has no impact on the broadcast of preseason games in the Bay Area, although the specific broadcast partner locally has yet to be determined.

The preseason games are produced by the Raiders’ in-house Silver and Black Productions and will continue to feature Beth Mowins as the play-by-play announcer, along with analyst Matt Millen and sideline reporters Nicole Zaloumis and JT the Brick.

KTVU has most recently served as the Raiders’ local broadcast partner for the preseason games that are not nationally televised. While the Raiders have five nationally televised regular season games this year, none of their four preseason games were selected and so they will all be local airings.

The Raiders also announced they’ve signed a two year deal with Beasley Media Group to be the Las Vegas radio partner. All preseason and regular season games will air on 102.8 The Coyote and KDWN-720 AM. That doesn’t impact the Raiders local radio deal with 95.7 The Game and Greg Papa remains the play-by-play voice along with Tom Flores as analyst and Lincoln Kennedy on the sidelines.

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Las Vegas Has Warriors as Big Favorites over Cavaliers – Are They Right? | Undisputed

Las Vegas Has Warriors as Big Favorites over Cavaliers – Are They Right? | Undisputed

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A closer’s mindset: Cody Allen discusses one of the toughest roles in baseball Tito talks rain delay, offers update on Corey Kluber On the road again: 3 cites, 11 days and 10,000 pounds of luggage FOXSports 5:54 FOXSports 6:10 FOXSports 1:20 FOXSports 8:55 FOXSports 0:40
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Raiders Las Vegas Stadium Construction Timeline Is Very Tight

Raiders Las Vegas Stadium Construction Timeline Is Very Tight

Last week the Raiders closed escrow on the site for their proposed 65K seat stadium in Las Vegas. They got the site they wanted most; a 62-acre lot North of Russell Road on the east side of I-15. With that hurdle cleared, they were able to put together a timeline for construction.

In that timeline, construction would begin in January and would be expected to take 30 months to complete, finishing up in June of 2020. That would then allow the Raiders 3 months to move into the stadium in time for the first preseason game in August.

The timeline will be discussed this week at the Stadium Authority meeting on May 11.

The January start time is a bit later than originally planned and the timeline is two months shorter than previous estimates as well.

Initially Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak pegged a December ground breaking, and even called that a small window.

“It’s a tight timeline — 32 months. Backing away from August 2020, that gets us until December of this year to break ground,” said Sisolak in early April. “By the end of the year we’ve got to have them out there getting to work on the property. They know that and they’re committed to that, and they got to take it step by step.”

If 32 months was tight, 30 months is very tight. In fact, as Rick Velota of the Las Vegas review Journal noted, it’s a smaller window than recent new stadiums had. The Vikings’ new US Bank Stadium took 32 months to complete and the Falcons’ new Mercedes -Benz Stadium has already taken 36 months.

The stadium being built in Inglewood for the Rams and Chargers also has a 32-month timeline, having begun construction last November with an expected opening for the 2019 season.

Yeah, maybe schedule the first couple 2020 preseason games on the road just to be safe.

Watch Race Day LIVE for the Las Vegas Supercross

Watch Race Day LIVE for the Las Vegas Supercross

The Monster Energy Supercross riders roll into Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas this weekend for the final round of the 2017 season.

While Justin Hill won the championship in the 250SX West class, the 450SX and the 250SX East titles are still up for grabs.

Watch qualifying and get up to date on all the off-track news and stories ahead of Saturday night’s event with Race Day LIVE below (starting at 3:50 p.m. ET). Then tune in to FS1 at 10 p.m. ET for all of tonight’s heat race and main events.

Chris McGaha Wins Pro Stock Final at Charlotte | 2017 NHRA DRAG RACING

Patriots Favored by a Field Goal over Falcons in Super Bowl 51

Patriots Favored by a Field Goal over Falcons in Super Bowl 51

Image

Associated Press

New England Patriots Tom Brady celebrates a touchdown pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz.

Published Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017 | 6:18 p.m.

Updated 2 hours, 27 minutes ago

Super Bowl 51

For the sixth time in the past 13 years, the New England Patriots are the betting favorite in the Super Bowl.

Local sports books opened the Patriots as 3-point favorites over the Atlanta Falcons ahead of Super Bowl 51 on Feb. 5 in Houston. Betting lines began surfacing before the Patriots wrapped up their 36-17 victory Sunday night over the Steelers as 6-point favorites in AFC Championship Game.

“Matt Ryan and the Falcons look unstoppable but now they’re going up against (Tom) Brady and the Patriots, who look just as good and are more experienced going into this,” said Jason McCormick, sports book director at Red Rock Resort. “I think that’s going to weigh on everyone’s head, and it wouldn’t surprise me if this went up.”

McCormick went into Sunday expecting to post the Patriots as a 3.5-point favorite over the Falcons in their potential matchup. Atlanta essentially shaved off a half-point by blowing out Green Bay 44-21 as 6-point favorites in the NFC Championship Game.

It was the first game throughout the entire playoffs that Station Casinos and MGM Resorts International profited on the point spread. The majority of public bettors loaded up on the Packers.

Casinos’ wins were still modest, however, because the game eclipsed the over/under of 60.5 points. The Steelers’ final touchdown also brought a windfall to bettors as the AFC Championship Game went over the total of 50 points with less than four minutes to go.

The Patriots’ and Falcons’ high-flying offenses have the Super Bowl over/under set at 59.5 points, the highest in the history of the NFL’s championship game.

“You just can’t make it high enough,” said Jay Rood, MGM’s vice president of race and sports. “People aren’t afraid to put big money on the totals anymore. We almost had as much money on the overs as the sides today.”

The public’s winning streak should boost betting volume on the Super Bowl. Rood described the average bettor’s bankroll as “flush right now,” and said they’d be itching to put the excess cash into action on the final game of the season.

Last year’s Super Bowl, where the Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers 24-10 as 5.5-point underdogs, set a state record with an overall handle of $132.54 million wagered. It would be a surprise if this year’s game didn’t surpass that figure.

“This is a great quarterback matchup, and an overall great matchup for the props,” McCormick said. “People are going to want to bet on everything, and we’re going to want to give them those opportunities.”

Once the Falcons prevailed in Sunday’s first game, it was important for the Patriots to join them to give the state the best chance at another Super Bowl betting record. Falcons vs. Steelers would have been around a pick’em, which would have eliminated moneyline bets on each side to win outright.

The only Super Bowl to not set a state record for betting volume in the last five years was the only one without a moneyline, when the Patriots edged the Seahawks 28-24 as 1-point favorites two years ago.

The Westgate Las Vegas Superbook made the Patriots a minus-150 (risking $1.50 to win $1) moneyline favorite in Super Bowl 51 with the Falcons coming back at plus-130 (risking $1 to win $1.30).

Bookmakers cautioned not to discount a surplus of wagers on Atlanta to win outright.

“The Falcons have been somewhat overlooked but they got their fair share of the action today,” Rood said. “It was definitely the public mostly all over Green Bay, but a lot more people are starting to buy into Atlanta.”

The Falcons would be one of the biggest underdog champions of all-time, as they were as high as 80-to-1 to win the Super Bowl at the beginning of the season. Even at the enticing odds, hardly anyone bet on them, according to Rood.

Atlanta has only one previous Super Bowl appearance, a 34-19 loss to Denver as 7.5-point favorites in 1999. New England has now reached the final game seven times since then, starting with their 20-17 victory over the Rams in 2002 as 14-point underdogs.

The Patriots are 4-2 straight-up and against the spread in the Super Bowl over that span, and usually commanded the bulk of the action on the betting line. Bookmakers lean towards that happening again, even though New England won’t be the most popular play on the board.

That’s reserved for the over. Bettors will be undeterred by the astronomic number.

“How can you bet a game under right now with the way these teams go over every game?” McCormick said. “I think people see these teams and all they do is attack, attack and attack. They feel like these offenses are impossible to stop.”

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or case.keefer@lasvegassun.com. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.