Daily Jolt: September 13

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Thursday, Sept. 13

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Perkins says Harden signing is close

Perhaps the Thunder can keep the band together, after all. With the deadline fast approaching for the Thunder to come to terms on a contract extension for James Harden, a potential sliver of hope was heard Wednesday afternoon. Thunder center Kendrick Perkins, speaking following an appearance at a Thunder Fit event at a local middle school, said the two sides are "getting close" on a deal that would keep the reigning Sixth Man of the Year in Oklahoma City. "We're doing good. We're making positive steps going forward," Perkins said of the organization's off-season. "We got coach (Scott) Brooks locked in. We got Serge (Ibaka) locked in. And we're getting close with James, and we're getting close to keeping our unit together. And we're still hungry." (The Oklahoman)Comment

Bills' Jackson predicts aggressive return schedule

After a dispiriting start to the season, Bills fans learned some hopeful news. Bills feature back Fred Jackson knows he dodged a season-ending injury last Sunday in sustaining only a sprained LCL in the season opener against the Jets. Head coach Chan Gailey pegged Jackson's time on the shelf between three and eight weeks. Jackson is confident his time on the sidelines will be closer to the short end of that prognosis. "Hopefully sooner, but I'll definitely be back in four weeks," said Jackson. "Without a doubt." That would peg Jackson's return to come in Week 5 when the Bills play the 49ers in San Francisco. Jackson confirmed that it's only a sprained ligament after having an MRI. (BuffaloBills.com)Comment

Calhoun's final power play

The end of the Jim Calhoun era will be followed by the Kevin Ollie era in Storrs. In the past months, the whispers were the poker game went like this: Calhoun wanted Ollie to be permanent coach and [Warde Manuel] wanted a man with head coaching experience and was willing to name Ollie only as an interim. Ironically, Calhoun probably would have had an easier time convincing Jeff Hathaway, an AD he helped sack. I heard Ollie wasn't crazy about the interim idea, to the point where he was hesitant about taking the job. That's understandable. Lacking inside presence, the team isn't going to be very good this season, and every move Ollie makes, every breath he takes, will be weighed in a decision on whether he should be the permanent guy. (Hartford Courant)Comment

Must-See Photo

Phillies' Michael Martinez stretches for a ball during Philadelphia's 3-1 over Miami. The victory was the Phillies' seventh in a row. (Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Must-See Video

With Jim Calhoun reportedly retiring today, a look back at one of the more memorable UConn moments: Kemba Walker's buzzer beater during the 2011 Big East tournament.

Game To Watch

Cardinals look to hold off Dodgers in tight NL wild-card race, 10:10 pm ET.

  1. St Louis Cardinals
  2. Los Angeles Dodgers

SI Vault: More Willie Mays

This Day in Sports

  • 1965 -- Giants' Willie Mays hits his 500th career home run.
  • 1981 -- Falcons tie record with 31 points in 4th quarter vs. Green Bay.
  • 1983 -- Oakland's Rickey Henderson tallies 3rd straight 100-steal season.