NBA star has been cleared to play in Olympics


NBA star has been cleared to play in Olympics

From Comcast SportsNet
PARIS (AP) -- Spurs guard Tony Parker can play for European runner-up France in the Olympic Games after San Antonio's doctors agreed he has recovered from an eye injury. Parker scratched his left cornea during a nightclub melee in New York last month. "The two ophthalmologists (from the Spurs) confirmed the opinion of the French doctor who operated on Tony Parker, and the two Swiss specialists who also examined the player last Thursday, and indicated that he can resume playing," the French Basketball Federation said on Friday, adding that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich also gave his blessing. Parker is joining the French squad in Orleans and he could play in a tuneup against England on Saturday. France's first game at the Olympics is against the United States on July 29. "It is great news and a relief for the whole France team," coach Vincent Collet said. "I spoke with Tony on the phone and he sounded very happy -- and also relieved -- about this development. It was a difficult and alarming situation for everyone." Parker was included on the team's 12-man Olympic roster as he waited to see whether his injury would heal in time. He was hurt by shards of flying glass in a nightclub fight involving singer Chris Brown and members of hip-hop star Drake's entourage. Parker scored 26 points for France when it lost last year's European final 98-85 to Spain. France will be missing Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah, who is still recovering from a left ankle injury he hurt during the NBA playoffs.

Billy Corgan: not your typical 'Cubs celebrity' at World Series

Billy Corgan: not your typical 'Cubs celebrity' at World Series

Late October and Smashing Pumpkins go hand in hand. Double meaning, of course.

They now intertwine at Wrigley Field, albeit for somewhat different reasons.

Chicagoland native Billy Corgan, of alternative rock band Smashing Pumpkins fame, was on site at Wrigley Field Friday night in advance of Game 3 of the World Series. He acknowledged that he is a "Cubs celebrity," but don't put him alongside others who may fit the description.

"I don't talk to other Cubs celebrities. In fact, I am 'anti' Cubs celebrity," Corgan said. "Other Cubs celebrities tend to show up when the playoffs come around. I don't necessarily see them in June. I might be a little biased being a Chicagoan year-round."

And Corgan has seen his share of Cubs games over the years. His favorite players included Bob Dernier and Andre Dawson, key cogs in the 1984 and 1989 N.L. East championship seasons, respectively. He lamented the lean years of the late-70s and early-80s and how this year's team was worth the wait.

"You have a different appreciation of this moment because it's taken a long time to get here. I find myself thinking about my grandmothers --who were fans-- and all the people who didn't get a chance to see this team."

[SHOP: Buy a "Try Not to Suck" shirt with proceeds benefiting Joe Maddon's Respect 90 Foundation & other Cubs Charities]

Corgan applauded how this current Cubs team was built and looks forward to several other potential playoff runs down the line.

Corgan is a familiar face around Wrigley Field in the postseason. He sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during Game 7 of the NLCS.

Fittingly, the Pumpkins' 1996 hit "Tonight, Tonight" blared through the Wrigley speakers Friday at 6:33 p.m. CT.

On Demand: Cubs-Indians World Series a huge draw for fans, media and celebrities alike

On Demand: Cubs-Indians World Series a huge draw for fans, media and celebrities alike

There are thousands of ways fans can consume video, pictures and text about the 2016 World Series.


According to MLB Communications, over 2,100 media have been credentialed to report on the sights, sounds and emotions of this year's Fall Classic between the Cubs and Indians.

"We have people here from about 15 different countries," MLB Vice President of Communications John Blundell said. "We have a lot of media from Latin America and Asia. We have some from the U.K. and some from as far as Australia to cover this series."

Over 42,000 fans per game this weekend at Wrigley Field will comprise a bulk of those sights, sounds and other intangibles. And that number will include scores of celebrities, from Friday's Seventh Inning Stretch singer Bill Murray to the likes of Eddie Vedder, Billy Corgan and various television personalities.

[SHOP: Buy a "Try Not to Suck" shirt with proceeds benefiting Joe Maddon's Respect 90 Foundation & other Cubs Charities]

Blundell's office has helped facilitate several requests from celebrities as well, including a bizarre one from talk show host Jimmy Kimmel. The late night celebrity surprised Cubs fan Ryan Slagle with tickets after a video surfaced of Slagle shedding tears of joy in the waning moments of Game Six of the NLCS.

"His show called us and we secured the tickets so he could take care of that fan, which was a very nice gesture. A lot of {fans and celebrities} want to be here to be a part of history. It's exciting to be around everything."

[RELATED: Paul Pabst takes a hilarious stroll around Wrigleyville before Cubs host World Series]

Although seats at Wrigley Field (or Cleveland's Progressive Field) may be the 'best seats in the house,' fans are seemingly doing just fine watching the games from the comforts of a quiet living room or a noisy bar. World Series ratings are currently the highest they've been nationally since the Yankees-Phillies series in 2009. Those numbers are sure to climb as a clinch nears.