The Kevin Durant-Nets drama is mercifully over (for now), plus what a potential Angels sale means for Ohtani

Happy Hump Day, everyone. Wajih AlBaroudi is filling in for Zachary Pereles.

Let’s get started.

Good morning to everyone, but especially to…


The The Brooklyn Nets were in DEFCON 1 less than two months agoas former league MVP Kevin Durant asked for a change while his superstar teammate Kyrie Irving seemed to be outside the door too.

Now, as unlikely as it sounds, the band is back together for the 2022-23 season. How we got here:

But things changed Monday, after a meeting in Los Angeles between Marks, Nash, Durant, his business manager Rich Kleiman, Tsai and his wife Clara Wu Tsai. Sean Marks said in a statement the next day the organization plans to “move forward” in their partnership with Durantadding “We focus on basketball, with one collective goal in mind: building an enduring franchise to bring a championship to Brooklyn.”

Our NBA writer Michael Kaskey-Blomain believes the Durant-Irving duo, along with a healthy Ben Simmons, could make the Nets a significant threat in the Eastern Conference despite their playoff run under Nash the past two seasons.

  • Kaskey-Blomain: “When Durant stays and joins Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons on the roster, The Nets are immediately back in the Eastern Conference contender conversation. After all, any team that Durant is on has a chance to make some real noise, as he remains the deadliest offensive weapon in the NBA.”

Angels sale could affect Shohei Ohtani’s future in Anaheim ⚾

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In the middle of what is soon Angels eighth straight season without the playoffsteam owner Arte Moreno announced that he is explore a potential sale of the club. And while Moreno isn’t exactly lauded in league circles, the ripple effects of a change in ownership could prove to be quote-destroying.

Angels two-way superstar Shohei Ohtanithe reigning AL MVP, could look elsewhere in free agency after next season if he feels the new ownership isn’t committed to what he has said is his top priority: winning. Our MLB writer Mike Axisa compared the situation to the a Nationals just met with Juan Sotowhen they dealt the 23-year-old wonder to the Padres ahead of their own expected sale this offseason.

  • Axis: “It should be noted an Ohtani trade would be extremely unpopular with the Angels fan base, in which case potential owners may want Moreno’s regime to make that trade so they can come in and be the good guys. The Nationals, who are also for sale, essentially followed that plan with Juan Soto. The current owner tore off the plaster. The new owner gets a clean slate.”

CBS Sports’ RJ Anderson surveyed the league to find out five teams best positioned to land Ohtani, should he become available. Let’s just say the team at the top of Anderson’s list would make the relocation costs much more manageable for Ohtani.

Nick Saban becomes highest paid college football coach… again 🏈

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Georgia is coaching Kirby Smart lost his first four games against Alabama and his mentor Nick Saban, broke through for its first 2022 College Football Playoff national championship. Smart was later rewarded with one 10-year, $111 million contract extension making him college football’s highest-paid coach.

Well, Saban, like the comeback he orchestrated against Georgia in the 2018 national title game, took what Kirby thought was his once again. Alabama made Saban the new highest-paid college football coach with a one-year contract extension, as the 70-year-old is set to make more than $90 million over the next eight years in Tuscaloosa.

  • Saban will earn $10.75 million without incentives this season — surpasses Smart’s $10.25 million – and is set to average $11.7 million annually through 2029 — when he turns 79.
  • With a base compensation of $305,000 per year, two other parts of Saban’s deal are significantly more lucrative: a “talent fee” that begins at more than $9.5 million annually and ends at more than $12.3 million, and a contract completion bonus of $800,000 he is set to serve each year from 2022 to 2025.
  • Saban is one of six college football coaches who will earn at least $9 million this seasonwith the others Smart, Ohio State’s Ryan Day, Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher, LSU’s Brian Kelly and Michigan State’s Mel Tucker.

Although Saban is a septuagenarian, he hasn’t let his age slow him down. The Crimson Tide have made six of the eight CFP national championships since 2015, winning three. Entering 2022, Alabama ranks first in AP Preseason Top 25 and had a conference leading 19 players earn preseason All-SEC honorsincluding six first team players.

Saban has most national championships by any coach with seven and is sixth on the career wins list with 274 — he’s all but certain to pass Amos Alonzo Stagg’s 282 wins this season, though Stagg has him beat if the coaches were ranked by how cool their names are.

Is 700 home runs a real possibility for Albert Pujols? ⚾

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With seven home runs in the last 13 days and a MLB-leading 1.414 OPS (among players with at least 50 at-bats) since All-Star break, Albert Pujols has the Cardinals soaring toward the NL Central title.

I promise you it wasn’t written in the late 2000s.

  • Pujols smashed his 693rd career home run against the Cubs on Monday, bringing him just seven shy of the vaunted 700 club.
  • Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714) and Alex Rodriguez (696) are the only players in MLB history with more dingers than Pujols.
  • Pujols has just 39 games left in his pursuit of 700 because he plans to retire after the season.

The Cardinals have been as hot as Pujols’ bat lately, going 17-4 in August. They are in sixth place CBS Sports’ MLB Power Rankings and knocking on the door of No. 5 given the Yankees’ bewildering descent (15-25 after a 61-23 start).

What we see on Wednesday 📺

Keepers on the Padres4:10 p.m., MLB Network
🏀 Sun on wings9 p.m., ESPN
Brewers at the Dodgers9:10 p.m., MLB Network

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