Wednesday, April 16
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Bortles, Texans getting awfully familiar

The Blake Bortles barnstorming tour continues, this time through Texas. Bortles met with the Oakland Raiders on Monday, jumped on a plane Tuesday afternoon and arrived in Houston on Tuesday evening in preparation for his official visit with the Texans on Wednesday. This won't be the first time Bortles has met with Texans head coach Bill O'Brien. He met with the Texans during the NFL Combine in Indianapolis and then again in Orlando when general manager Rick Smith and O'Brien were there to watch his pro day at UCF. "They've been great," Bortles said of his previous meetings with O'Brien. "He's a great guy and a great coach. I'm just excited to get here, meet everybody and sit down and talk with everybody again. So I'm really looking forward to it." (CSN Houston) Comment

J.R. Smith calls for Carmelo's return

If the topic is Carmelo Anthony, people will listen to what he has to say. J.R. Smith is one of [Anthony's] closest friends in the NBA. The two have played together for seven seasons. ... Here's what the New York Knicks shooting guard had to say about Anthony's pending free agency: "In my heart, I believe he'll still be here. It's just a matter of him coming up with that decision. Whatever it is, we're still going to be friends 'til our dying days, so I mean, whether he's on my team or he isn't, I still love him like a brother." Asked if he was "worried" that he'd played his last game with Anthony, Smith replied, "No, not really." Wonder if Phil Jackson is as confident as J.R.? Anthony will sit out the season finale against the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday due to a small tear in his left labrum. (ESPN New York) Comment

Cup drought weighing on Crosby?

No longer Sid The Kid, he hasn't raised the Cup since the time that nickname applied. Sidney Crosby, now 26, will attempt to cap a dream season by claiming the Stanley Cup for the first time in five years. Another Olympic gold medal was his in February. He won the Art Ross Trophy in a runaway, and the Hart Trophy almost certainly belongs to him in June. ... Four postseasons in his 20s remain, and while Crosby's legs might be fresher than most his age, he sounds hungry to pounce on another championship. "Each year you get banged up more and more," he said. "You appreciate how hard it is to win it all. It's not easy. It really isn't. I just want to make the most of a chance like this. I like this team. We got pretty close last year. But expectations here are higher than that." (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) Comment

Must-See Photo
Must-See Photo

Tim Hardaway Jr. went 5-of-10 from the field -- including 4-of-5 from three-point range -- for a team-high 16 points as the New York Knicks beat the Brooklyn Nets 109-98 on Tuesday. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Must-See Video

Iman Shumpert crossed up Paul Pierce during the third quarter of last night's Knicks-Nets game.

This Day in Sports
SI Vault: Wayne Gretzky
  • 1999 -- Wayne Gretzky held a press conference and announced his retirement from the NHL.
  • 1954 -- The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 in Game 7 to capture the Stanley Cup.
  • 1996 -- The Chicago Bulls set the NBA regular-season record for wins by notching their 70th victory. The beat the Milwaukee Bucks 86-80.
  • 2009 -- The New York Yankees played their first game at the new Yankee Stadium. They lost to the Cleveland Indians 10-2.

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