TIME Sports

This Elite Marathon Runner Was Determined to Finish Race No Matter What

In a show of determination, Hyvon Ngetich crawled over finish line to take third place

Hyvon Ngetich turned metaphor into reality when she literally crawled across the finish line at the Austin Marathon on Sunday.

The Kenyan runner was in the lead among the elite women after 23 miles, according to local CBS affiliate KEYE-TV, when she collapsed between there and the finish line. Still, Ngetich persevered, crawling on her hands and knees to cross the finish line. She still finished in third place in spite of her setback.

The race director, John Conley, was apparently so impressed with this triumph of will that he decided to increase her prize money to what she would have won if she came in second place. “You ran the bravest race and crawled the bravest crawl I have ever seen in my life,” he said. “You have earned much honor.”

[KEYE-TV]

TIME Basketball

Westbrook Scores 41, West Edges East in NBA All-Star Game

West Team’s Russell Westbrook, of the Oklahoma City Thunder, holds the MVP trophy after the NBA All-Star basketball game, Feb. 15, 2015, in New York.
Kathy Willens—AP Russell Westbrook holds the MVP trophy after the NBA All-Star basketball game in New York City on Feb. 15, 2015

The Western Conference beat the East 163-158

(NEW YORK) — Mixing Broadway and basketball, this NBA All-Star Game was a West Side Story.

Russell Westbrook scored 41 points, one shy of the All-Star record, and the Western Conference beat the East 163-158 on Sunday night.

The Oklahoma City speedster had a record 27 points by halftime and closed out the scoring with two free throws, falling one point shy of Wilt Chamberlain’s 42 points in the 1962 game. He was voted the game’s MVP.

The NBA’s return to New York showed off everything about the Big Apple, and by the time Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” played after the game, it was clear Westbrook was king of the hill.

“It’s amazing. It’s a blessing to be here in New York City,” Westbrook said during the MVP ceremony.

James Harden added 29 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the West, which built a 20-point lead in the first half and then pulled away after it was tied at 148 with a little more than 4 minutes remaining.

LeBron James finished with 30 points, but couldn’t lead the East to the victory in his favorite NBA arena.

“Don’t get no better, man. You play in the Garden in front of these fans,” James said.

Harden’s 3-pointer snapped the final tie with 4:02 to play and Chris Paul followed with consecutive baskets. Westbrook’s fifth 3-pointer put it away at 158-149 with 2:22 to go.

Atlanta’s Kyle Korver made seven 3-pointers and scored 21 points for the East, while Washington’s John Wall had 19.

But right from the start, the players were sharing the stage.

Christina Aguilera appeared from behind a giant big apple, and belted out some New York-inspired numbers to start the show, joined on stage by the Rockettes.

Entertainment’s elite were all over the arena, with players hobnobbing with Jay-Z and Floyd Mayweather near their courtside seats at halftime. But the biggest roar came for a star from another sport — politics.

President Bill Clinton, who had a big night of his own at Madison Square Garden when he was nominated here during the 1992 Democratic National Convention, got a pair of loud ovations when he was shown during Queen Latifah’s performance of the national anthem.

Players were quizzed during comedic skits on New York talk and terms, and fuhgeddaboudit, Pau Gasol had no idea what a stoop was. (Stephen Curry knew it was a porch in the front of a building).

Pau won the jump ball against little brother Marc to begin the first All-Star game featuring two sibling starters, but for a while it looked as if that would be the East’s only win of the night.

The West shot out to a 20-point lead, but the East chipped away and cut it to 83-82 before pop star Ariana Grande’s halftime performance.

It was New York’s first time hosting the weekend since 1998 and a rare journey to the north for the NBA, which has preferred to stage the festivities in the warmth of the South and West.

Even some of the NBA’s most fashionable had to choose bundling up over dressing up, a concession to the frigid temperatures they faced during the weekend. But next year might be worse, when the game heads north of the border to Toronto.

Carmelo Anthony struggled to 14 points on 6-of-20 shooting for the East in what may have been his final game of the season. The Knicks star has been battling a sore knee for much of the season and may opt for surgery with the team owning the NBA’s worst record.

But even the Knicks’ misery couldn’t dampen the spirts for this basketball-rich city. Players on the floor were surrounded by some of New York’s hoops royalty, such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Julius Erving. There was even time to celebrate the Knicks: Willis Reed, Walt Frazier, Bill Bradley, Phil Jackson, Earl Monroe and Bernard King were honored during a break in the action.

Tim Duncan had one basket in his 15th All-Star Game, second only to Abdul-Jabbar’s 18. Duncan’s first was here in 1998, as was Kobe Bryant’s.

Bryant had to sit out along with Anthony Davis and Blake Griffin, leaving the West without three elected starters. But they had more than enough talent left, not surprising in another season where the West is the more powerful conference from top to bottom.

East coach Mike Budenholzer played his four Atlanta Hawks together in the first quarter, Al Horford joining Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap and Korver.

“I thought we would all be out there together quite a bit. We were kind of hand signaling to run a few plays, but you weren’t really running plays,” Korver said. “It was just up and down. But it was great for the Hawks and for the city of Atlanta. It was really cool.”

TIME hockey

Former Blackhawks Defenseman Steve Montador Found Dead at His Home

Chicago Blackhawks v San Jose Sharks
Rocky Widner—Getty Images Steve Montador of the Chicago Blackhawks readies for the face-off against the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion in San Jose on Nov. 23, 2011

UPDATE: Authorities have determined Montador died of natural causes, according to multiple reports.

Former Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Steve Montador was found dead at his home in Mississauga, Ontario on Sunday, according to the Mississauga News.

Regional police, who do not suspect foul play was involved, found Montador, 35, around 2:30 a.m. Sunday after a female acquaintance of Montador’s notified authorities, according to the report. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of death was not immediately known.

The Vancouver native was signed by the Calgary Flames during the 2001-02 season and played for six different NHL teams.

Montador most recently played in the NHL for the 2011-12 Chicago Blackhawks, during which he suffered a season-ending concussion.

In the 2013-14 season, Montador played in the multi-national Kontinental Hockey League.

Montador logged 33 goals and 98 assists over 571 games in his 10-year NHL career.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Football

Ray Rice Apologizes to Ravens Fans for Domestic Violence

Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice during his arraignment at the Atlantic County Courthouse in Mays Landing, N.J. on May 1, 2014.
Tom Gralish—AP Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice during his arraignment at the Atlantic County Courthouse in Mays Landing, N.J. on May 1, 2014.

Almost one year to the day when Rice was arrested for striking his now-wife

Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice apologized for his role in a domestic violence incident with his then-fiancee last year in a letter to Baltimore published by the Baltimore Sun on Friday.

In the statement, he also thanked owner Steve Bisciotti, general manager Ozzie Newsome and coach John Harbaugh.

The apology comes almost one year to the day when Rice was arrested in Atlantic City after an incident with his now-wife in a casino elevator.

The NFL suspended Rice for two games after he pleaded not guilty to third-degree charge of aggravated assault. He received no jail time after applying for a pretrial intervention program.

In September, TMZ published another video showing Rice striking Palmer inside the elevator, prompting outrage and calls for the NFL to increase Rice’s punishment. Previously, the only public video of the incident was footage of Rice dragging Palmer out of the elevator. After the release of the elevator video, the Ravens terminated Rice’s contract and the NFL suspended him indefinitely.

The full apology letter:

Dear Baltimore,

This is not a farewell or goodbye. The last seven years that my family and I have spent in Baltimore have by far been the best of our lives. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for the love and support you’ve shown my family and I throughout my football career. We’ll always be grateful for the love we’ve received from all of our fans and supporters, and for winning a Super Bowl. To all the kids who looked up to me, I’m truly sorry for letting you down, but I hope it’s helped you learn that one bad decision can turn your dream into a nightmare. There is no excuse for domestic violence, and I apologize for the horrible mistake I made. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me, and I hope to make a positive difference in people’s lives by raising awareness of this issue. Thank you, Baltimore Ravens, for all you have done for my family and I. I’m very grateful to Steve Bisciotti, Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh, and everyone at 1 Winning Drive. I love you all very much, and I’ll always be proud to say I played for the Baltimore Ravens.

Thank you.

— Ray Rice

Rice, 27, appealed that suspension and was ultimately reinstated by the league. He has yet to sign with a team.

An investigation headed by former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III found no evidence that the NFL had seen the videotape before it was publicly released, but it also determined that the league did not do enough to obtain the tape from law enforcement.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME Football

Eagles Calendar Uses Controversial Riley Cooper for Black History Month

Despite past racial slur by the wide receiver

The Philadelphia Eagles 2015 team calendar uses a picture of wide receiver Riley Cooper for February—Black History Month—despite the fact that Cooper came under fire in 2013 after he was recorded using a racial slur at a concert.

“It was an honest mistake,” Eagles spokesman Brett Strohsacker told TMZ, which first pointed out the flub.

A video of Cooper using a racial slur at a Kenny Chesney concert in the summer of 2013 went viral, forcing the wide receiver to publicly apologize on Twitter. Cooper has yet to comment on the calendar, but the Eagles did release a statement to ESPN:

We do not oversee the production of the annual team calendar. We do not provide any input about the players who are featured or where those pictures appear in the calendar. The NFL licenses the production of that calendar to a third party and we do not have an opportunity to review the material.

 

TIME Basketball

LeBron James Plans to Take Over Hollywood

Cleveland Cavaliers v Indiana Pacers
Andy Lyons—Getty Images LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers dribbles the ball during the game against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on February 6, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The basketball star is building his second career

For LeBron James, it’s not enough to pull in the most endorsement dollars ($42 million a year) of any NBA player. According The Hollywood Reporter, the basketball player is ramping up projects with his production company, Spring Hill Productions, working on shows like Becoming (Disney), Survivor’s Remorse (Starz), Uninterrupted (Bleacher Report) and a pilot for a trivia game show (NBC). He’ll also appear in Trainwreck alongside Amy Schumer this summer.

While basketball remains the priority, it seems James is already plotting to remain culturally relevant long after his career on the court comes to an end—and to do it, he’s ready to entertain “all kinds of outside-the-box ideas.”

[The Hollywood Reporter]

TIME Basketball

Former NBA All-Star Anthony Mason Has Improved Slightly After His Heart Attack

Former New York Knick Anthony Mason attends the Boston Celtics vs the New York Knicks 2013 Playoff game two at Madison Square Garden on April 23, 2013 in New York City
JP Yim—Getty Images Former New York Knick Anthony Mason attends the Boston Celtics vs the New York Knicks 2013 Playoff game two at Madison Square Garden on April 23, 2013 in New York City

“Right now, it’s day to day, but that’s an improvement from moment to moment”

NBA veteran Anthony Mason has improved slightly after a massive heart attack that had him “fighting for his life” throughout the day on Thursday, reports the New York Times.

The Times cited Dan Cronson, Mason’s agent from his playing days, who was updated by a close family member. “Right now, it’s day to day, but that’s an improvement from moment to moment,” Cronson told the paper.

Cronson also said the family has been informed that Mason may need a heart transplant if he survives.

The 48-year-old Mason, who was known to have heart issues, was at the hospital getting a checkup when the attack happened.

The leftie played in the NBA for 13 years but is perhaps most famous for his five years spent on the New York Knicks in the mid-1990s.

While there, he proved himself as a physical big man with immense ball-handling skills. He was a valuable member of the 1994 Knicks team that lost to the Houston Rockets in the NBA Finals.

Mason won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award in 1995, became an All-Star in 2001 and was named to the All-NBA Third Team and All-Defensive Second Team in 1997.

Mason has two sons, Anthony Jr. and Antoine, who are both out to make a career in basketball. Anthony Jr. plays professionally in Europe and Antoine plays at Auburn University.

[New York Times]

TIME Basketball

Former NBA All-Star Anthony Mason Is ‘Fighting for His Life’

He suffered a massive heart attack

Correction appended, Feb. 17, 2015

Anthony Mason, a physical NBA power forward from the 1990s, is in critical condition after suffering a massive heart attack.

Retired NBA columnist Peter Vecsey broke the news on Twitter that Mason had undergone multiple surgeries, with one procedure lasting nine hours.

Mason played for six teams over his 13-year career but is probably most famous for his time as a valued role player for the New York Knicks in the mid-1990s. Mason teamed up with Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley to form one of the most bruising frontcourts in NBA history. The Knicks offered their condolences to the Mason family via Twitter.

Mason was awarded the Sixth Man of the Year honor in 1995, was an NBA All-Star in 2001 and made both the All-NBA Third Team and All-Defensive Second Team in 1997.

Mason’s sons, Anthony Jr. and Antoine, are both pursuing careers in basketball. Anthony Jr. plays professionally in Europe while Antoine plays for the Auburn Tigers, according to Sports Illustrated.

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the timing of Mason’s heart attack. The attack was reported on Wednesday, Feb. 11, but had occurred earlier.

TIME golf

Tiger Woods to Take a Break From Golf

Tiger Woods reacts after playing his shot from the 13th fairway on the north course during the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course on Feb. 5, 2015 in La Jolla, California.
Donald Miralle—Getty Images Tiger Woods reacts after playing his shot from the 13th fairway on the north course during the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course on Feb. 5, 2015 in La Jolla, California.

"My play, and scores, are not acceptable for tournament golf."

Tiger Woods will leave professional golf until his game gets better, he announced Wednesday.

“Right now, I need a lot of work on my game, and to still spend time with the people that are important to me,” he wrote on his website. “My play, and scores, are not acceptable for tournament golf. Like I’ve said, I enter a tournament to compete at the highest level, and when I think I’m ready, I’ll be back.”

Woods shot a career-low 82 in Phoenix last week, missing the cut for the Phoenix Open by 12 shots. He then withdrew from Torrey Pines on Feb. 5 because of tightness in his back, prompting speculation that the back surgery he had last spring would hurt his long-term prospects. His current world ranking at 62 is his lowest since he went pro in 1996.

“I’d like to play The Honda Classic — it’s a tournament in my hometown and it’s important to me — but I won’t be there unless my game is tournament-ready. That’s not fair to anyone,” Woods concluded in his statement, setting a tentative goal of returning to the PGA Tour on Feb. 23. “I do, however, expect to be playing again very soon.”

 

TIME Music

Watch Live: Kings of Leon Perform in Nashville at the SI Swimsuit Show

 

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