Officially retired, is L.T. headed to Hall of Fame?

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Officially retired, is L.T. headed to Hall of Fame?

From Comcast SportsNet
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- LaDainian Tomlinson was in the midst of saying goodbye to the NFL when his young son, Daylen, wandered across the dais and tugged on his pants, wanting a little attention. Tomlinson reached down and lifted him up, holding him as carefully as he used to carry the football. Joined by his family and several former teammates, Tomlinson ended his brilliant 11-year NFL career the same way he started it -- with the San Diego Chargers. Tomlinson signed a one-day contract with the Chargers on Monday and then announced his retirement. "It wasn't because I didn't want to play anymore. It was simply time to move on," Tomlinson said. Tomlinson rushed for 13,684 yards, fifth all-time, and scored 162 touchdowns, third-most ever. His 145 rushing touchdowns are second-most in history. He also passed for seven touchdowns. Just as importantly, he helped the Chargers dig out from one of their worst periods to become a force in the AFC West division. He played his first nine seasons with San Diego and the last two years with the New York Jets. Tomlinson, who turns 33 on Saturday, said he knew at the end of last season that he'd probably retire. He said he was still physically capable of playing but mentioned the mental toll it takes to play at a high level. Tomlinson didn't shed any tears, as he did two years ago after being released by the Chargers. L.T. recalled the news conference in 2006 when former teammate Junior Seau announced his first retirement. "He said, I'm graduating today.' I've been playing football 20-some years and so at some point it almost seems like school every year where you sacrifice so much and there is so much you put on the line, mentally and physically, with your body, everything," Tomlinson said. "So today, I take the words of Junior Seau: I feel like I'm graduating. I really do, because I've got my life ahead of me, I'm healthy, I'm happy with a great family and I'm excited to now be a fan and watch you guys play." Seau, who committed suicide on May 2, came out of retirement a few times to play for the New England Patriots. Tomlinson said this is it for him. Tomlinson said he has special memories even though the Chargers never got to the Super Bowl during his time with them. His most memorable moment with San Diego came in December 2006, when he swept into the end zone late in a game against the Denver Broncos for his third touchdown of the afternoon to break Shaun Alexander's year-old record of 28 touchdowns in a season. His linemen hoisted him onto their shoulders and carried him toward the sideline, with Tomlinson holding the ball high in his right hand and waving his left index finger, while the fans chanted "L.T.! L.T.!" and "MVP! MVP!" Tomlinson was voted NFL MVP that season, when he set league single-season records with 31 touchdowns, including 28 rushing, and 186 points. "Those were championship days, for not only myself and my teammates, but my family as well," said Tomlinson, who won two NFL rushing titles. "So I'm OK with never winning a Super Bowl championship. I know we've got many memories that we can call championship days." Chargers President Dean Spanos said few players have had a bigger role or meant more to the team and the city than Tomlinson. Spanos said no other Chargers player will wear Tomlinson's No. 21, and that a retirement ceremony will be held sometime in the future. "People and players like LaDainian Tomlinson don't come around very often, if at all," Jets chairman and CEO Woody Johnson said in a statement. "His humility and work ethic made it clear why he will be remembered as one of the game's best players. Without question, his next stop will be the Pro Football Hall of Fame."

John Goossens scores his first MLS goal in Fire win

John Goossens scores his first MLS goal in Fire win

John Goossens and Rodrigo Ramos were in the middle of most of the Fire's chances throughout the match so it only seemed fair that the pair would both factor into the game-winning goal on Friday.

In the 59th minute, Ramos crossed a ball into the box from the right side which was directed for Kennedy Igboananike. Igboananike didn't win the initial header, but it was headed out into the path of Goossens. Goossens drilled the ball with his first touch on his left foot and scored his first Major League Soccer goal.

That goal stood as the only one of the match in a 1-0 Fire win against the visiting San Jose Earthquakes.

The Fire (3-7-5, 14 points) picked up a second win in three home matches and snapped a three-game winless streak in MLS play. A crowd of 16,487 watched the game and the fireworks that came after the match.

[MORE FIRE: John Goossens' return could be key for the Fire]

The first half featured a slow start, especially from the Fire. San Jose (5-5-7, 22 points) forwards Chris Wondolowski and Quincy Amarikwa were largely kept in check other than an Amarikwa header that forced a diving save from Sean Johnson.

The Fire finished the half much better with a Joao Meira shot from outside the box that David Bingham could only push over the bar and another effort from Kennedy Igboananike that forced a rebound in front.

John Goossens nutmegged two Earthquakes in the first half and Rodrigo Ramos was very aggressive going forward at right back. Most of the Fire's attacking buildup came from those two on the right side. Both were subbed out in the 80th minute.

The Fire outshot San Jose 16-6 and had a 6-2 edge in shots on goal.

[SHOP: Pick up your own Fire jersey]

Late in the game Fire forward David Accam and San Jose defender Fatai Alashe collided and went down immediately. After a stoppage, Accam got to his feet and returned. Alashe did not and San Jose, which was already out of subs finished the match with 10 men.

The Fire return to action next Saturday, July 9, in Toronto. Dutch forward Michael de Leeuw will be eligible to make his debut.

Report: Bulls one of four teams pursuing Dwyane Wade

Report: Bulls one of four teams pursuing Dwyane Wade

Could Dwyane Wade be coming home to Chicago?

According to a report from The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Bulls are one of four teams courting the free-agent guard and described as one of the "most aggressive" in pursuing Wade.

Per Wojnarowski, the wooing of Wade "has included offers in length of two and three years and upward of $20 million a season" and features the Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets and Milwaukee Bucks in addition to the Bulls.

[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

The Bulls were rumored to be one of many teams trying to land Wade back in 2010, when the free-agent prizes included LeBron James and Chris Bosh. Those two teamed with Wade and took their talents to South Beach, the trio winning a pair of championships with the Miami Heat.

Wade is a Chicago native and product of Marquette University. He's spent his entire NBA career with the Heat, who drafted him in 2003. Wade has three championship rings, winning his first in 2006 alongside Shaquille O'Neal prior to titles in 2012 and 2013 with James and Bosh.

Wade is a 12-time All Star who averaged 19 points per game in 74 games last season, the most he's played in a single campaign since 2010-11.

Brian Campbell hopes second stint with Blackhawks lasts longer than one season

Brian Campbell hopes second stint with Blackhawks lasts longer than one season

Brian Campbell returned to the Blackhawks with a one-year deal on Friday.

And while there's a whole year between now and the next time Campbell would be eligible to become a free agent, the 37-year-old defenseman was not shy about sharing his hope that his second stint in Chicago will last more than just one year.

"It's exciting for us to be home, to be a part of the great organization of the Blackhawks hopefully for a lot of years," Campbell told CSN's David Kaplan on Friday's edition of SportsTalk Live. "I know I just signed a one-year deal today, but hopefully we can keep this going for a few more."

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Campbell's first go-round with the Blackhawks lasted three seasons and featured a Stanley Cup win in 2010. But he's made his offseason home here ever since — even after getting traded to the Florida Panthers, where he spent the past five seasons — and his wife is a Chicagoland native, meaning he's got a strong desire to remain in the Windy City.

Taking the seemingly annual salary-cap squeeze out of the equation, will Campbell's body allow him to remain an attractive addition to future Blackhawks squads? He thinks so, saying he doesn't feel his age.

"I feel great. You know what I put into it. The offseason training is so important, especially when you get older. I really don't feel 37," Campbell said. "I feel good, I've still got my legs skating, and I'm doing everything to take care of myself. My biggest goal is to come back here and win again. I think I still have a lot left in the tank. I think I can fit in nicely into a good role here and produce and help out in a big way."