This NBA star won't be back until next season

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This NBA star won't be back until next season

From Comcast SportsNetBOSTON (AP) -- Boston Celtics star point guard Rajon Rondo will miss the rest of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.The news came during Boston's 100-98 double-overtime win over the Miami Heat on Sunday in which Ray Allen returned to his old home court for the first time."New guys are going to get an opportunity now," Boston forward Paul Pierce said. "These guys haven't had a chance to really showcase what they can do."For the past five seasons, Pierce, Allen and Kevin Garnett made up the Big Three. After Allen signed with the Heat as a free agent in the offseason, Rondo joined that group -- and became the team leader with his ability to run the offense.He was chosen as the starting point guard for the Eastern Conference in the All-Star game in Houston on Feb. 17.Now the Celtics hope he can be ready for the start of next season."How far is that?" coach Doc Rivers said, "I don't even know how long that is. Eight months? Nine months? So he'll probably be ready, but I don't know.Rondo injured his right knee in Friday night's 123-112 double-overtime loss in Atlanta, a game in which the Celtics blew a 27-point lead, but Rivers said he didn't know when.He reported to the TD Garden on Sunday for a pregame shootaround but was taken to a hospital after complaining of pain.The initial report was a hyperextended knee, but tests showed the ACL tear.Rivers said he learned about 25 minutes before the game that Rondo wouldn't play. Word of the injury's severity came during the game."He was telling me he thought he pulled his hamstring," Rivers said, "Rondo will be fine. He just will not be fine this year."The team made the announcement during Sunday's win in the nationally televised game that snapped a losing streak that had reached six games despite back-to-back triple-doubles by Rondo."We've just got to rally around each other," Pierce said. "I feel for him. He was having such a good season. It's disappointing news."As Celtics players walked off the court through a tunnel toward their locker room, Rondo, dressed in street clothes, greeted them."I know he's sad. I'm sad for him," starting guard Avery Bradley said. "Whatever Doc wants me to play, that's what I'm going to do."Rondo was averaging career highs of 13.7 points and 5.6 rebounds along with 11.1 assists this season.Still, the Celtics are struggling to remain around .500, finishing the day with a 21-23 record, 2 12 games ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference.The Celtics have no true point guard behind Rondo. Rivers said he didn't know if they would try to add one.Jason Terry, known for his outside shooting, Courtney Lee, Leandro Barbosa and Bradley are the other guards. Each played at least 25 minutes Sunday with Lee starting in Rondo's place."We knew something was up at the beginning, but we didn't know how serious it was," Lee said. "Nobody can fill his shoes. That's what makes him great. So the only thing we can do is work as hard as possible and keep the momentum going from this game and have no letup."Rondo suffered a dislocated left elbow in the playoffs on May 7, 2011, when he became entangled with Miami's Dwyane Wade.Boston won 97-81, but Miami won the next two games to clinch the second-round series in five games.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred open to idea of Cubs hosting All-Star Game at renovated Wrigley Field

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred open to idea of Cubs hosting All-Star Game at renovated Wrigley Field

PHOENIX – Rob Manfred is open to the idea of an All-Star Game at a fully renovated Wrigley Field, but the Major League Baseball commissioner won't make any guarantees about the 2020 target date the Cubs have proposed in a joint lobbying effort with Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office.

"I'm not going to get into specific years," Manfred said Tuesday during a Cactus League media event at the Arizona Biltmore. "Because there's a number of clubs – we're fortunate – that have interest in particular years. And I don't want to say anything that would suggest that I'm anywhere near making a decision."

During last month's Cubs Convention, president of business operations Crane Kenney expressed optimism in a Super Bowl-style bidding process, and not the old way of simply alternating the showcase event between the American and National leagues each year.

The Cubs will point to their starring role in a World Series that beat the NFL's "Sunday Night Football" in head-to-head TV ratings and saw more than 40 million people tune in for Game 7. By 2020, the $600 million Wrigleyville development is supposed to be finished, and Emanuel helped broker the deals that moved the NFL draft to Chicago the last two years after a long run at New York's Radio City Music Hall.

"I will say this: A renovated Wrigley Field would be a great location for an All-Star Game," Manfred said. "Chicago is a great city. And over time, we have tried to go to cities that would be great locations for the game – and to reward cities that had made substantial investments in either new or renovated facilities."

The Cubs still see potential roadblocks, needing City Hall's help with an increased security presence around an urban neighborhood ballpark that hasn't hosted the Midsummer Classic since 1990.

Kenney also acknowledged that All-Star Games have been used as bargaining chips in public negotiations in cities like Miami and Washington – Marlins Park (2017) and Nationals Park (2018) will make it four straight All-Star Games for NL stadiums – while the Ricketts family used private mechanisms to fund the project after striking out on other proposals. 

Nemanja Nikolic channels his inner MJ in jersey number

Nemanja Nikolic channels his inner MJ in jersey number

Jersey numbers can be a big deal in soccer. Who is the team's No. 10? Who is the No. 9?

Nemanja Nikolic, a forward who joined the Chicago Fire this offseason as a Designated Player, didn't have the choice of either number that is famously associated with marquee attacking players because both were taken by returning players on the Fire. Instead, he landed on a number more famous in Chicago sports than in soccer.

Nikolic will be wearing 23.

The Fire announced the jersey numbers for the 2017 season with Nikolic's 23 a part of the list. Every returning player kept the same number as last season.

It goes without saying that wearing the No. 23 in Chicago comes with an extra bit of notoriety. Ever since Michael Jordan donned the No. 23 for the Chicago Bulls, it has been a common sight to find the best player on a Chicagoland high school basketball team wearing No. 23. That doesn't translate to the world of soccer, but in Chicago fans will notice.

A spokesman for the club said the number was more coincidence than intentional MJ reference, but if Nikolic has a good season don't be surprised to see signs at Toyota Park referencing Nikolic's jersey number.

In the preseason some of the players have been wearing different jersey numbers from what they will in the regular season. Nikolic has been wearing No. 9 in preseason matches.

Here is a list of the other newcomers and the numbers they will be wearing:

Jorge Bava: 1

Dax McCarty: 6

Djordje Mihailovic: 14

Juninho: 19

Daniel Johnson: 20

Stefan Cleveland: 30