NBA fines Clippers $50K over Kawhi-related comments

first_img(Field Level Media) The NBA fined the Los Angeles Clippers $50,000 yesterday for comments made about Kawhi Leonard and his injury status. On Wednesday, the league said it accepted the Clippers plan to sit Leonard, who was listed on the injury report with an ailing knee, in the first of back-to-back games. He did not play in a 129-124 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks – a game that was nationally televised by ESPN.But a remark later made by coach Doc Rivers caught the attention of the NBA.“I think Kawhi made a statement that he’s never felt better. It’s our job to make sure he stays that way. That’s important. But he played a lot of minutes in the playoffs last year,” Rivers said. “So, it’s not, uh, a health thing really. It is in some ways. We want him to just keep feeling better and getting better.” In a statement announcing the fine on Thursday, the league said it continued to believe that Leonard has an injury but questioned Rivers’ remarks.“Following additional review of the LA Clippers not playing Kawhi Leonard in last night’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks, the NBA has confirmed that the team’s decision to sit Leonard for management of an injury was consistent with league rules,” the statement read. “The team has reasonably determined that Leonard is suffering from an ongoing injury to the patella tendon in his left knee and has been placed by the team at this time on an injury protocol for back-to-back games.“The NBA has fined the Clippers $50,000 for statements, including by head coach Doc Rivers, that were inconsistent with Leonard’s health status.” The Clippers host the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night on TNT, and Leonard is expected to play. The forward, who signed as a free agent with the Clippers in the offseason, has yet to play both games of a back-to-back this season and last played in a set in April 2017, when he was a member of the San Antonio Spurs.Leonard played in just nine games for the Spurs in 2017-18 due to a quadriceps injury and played in just 60 of 82 regular-season games for the Toronto Raptors last season.last_img read more

Blazers Cycle Club formed in Berbice

first_imgFemale cycling in Berbice has been given a much-needed boost with the formation of a club targeting female cyclists. The formation of the club is the brainchild of a former Olympian and a national female cyclist.Randolph Toussaint is the Olympian, a celebrated former national cyclist who competed at the 12984 Olympic games and who today despite being 64 years of age is still on the saddle competing with distinction at various veteran events the world over.Small wonder that Toussaint, whose blood bleeds cycling, has decided to team up with former national cyclist Shenika Teixeira, to former the Blazers Cycling Club. Also instrumental in the club’s formation is sports journalist Mark Bradford, who hails from Berbice and is actively involved in a number of sporting endeavours.Bradford told Stabroek Sport last evening that the primary aim of the club is to get more female cyclists involved and to reignite their passion for the sport.The club, which was formed last Thursday at the Benjamin’s Sports Store, will be based at Fyrish, Corentyne, Berbice. Teixeira began her cycling career as a junior cyclist at the Flying Ace Cycle club before moving to PSC Trojans. There she won the junior and juveniles titles, a number of those at the National Schools Cycling, Swimming and Athletic championships.The inability of the Guyana Cycling Federation to stage female events at the last Junior Caribbean Cycling Championship in Bartica, prevented Teixeira and other local female cyclists from showing their wares, and probably motivated Teixeira to become involved in an administrative capacity since cycle events for women in Guyana are few and far between.Teixeira’s mentor Toussaint, was instrumental in the club receiving its first donation of equipment which included five racing bicycles, headgear and other cycling gear which will be instrumental in the club’s initial phase. Teixeira, who earned a distinction in the Caribbean Examination Council General Proficiency in Physical Education, says she plans to use this platform as her first step in preparing the females affiliated to the club as they are looking forward to take the participation to the next level in cycling.Blazers Cycling Club (BCC) has also elected an executive committee to run the affairs of the club. Those elected are Bradford- president, Toussaint-vice president, Teixeira- secretary, Debra Hurst-treasurer and Gail Thomas- assistant secretary/treasurer.Guyana Cycling Federation Linden Dowridge and General Secretary Marc Sonoram met the executives and members of the club and congratulated them for the effort in expanding the sport in Berbice.  Sonoram spoke briefly on the constitution requirements and the affiliation licensing and discipline expected from cyclists, making it clear that the GCF is always open to assist the club in whatever way towards their development.Blazers Cycling Club is the third cycle club in the Berbice region and is expected to improve the rivalry existing in the sport in the female category come 2021 and beyond.last_img read more

Fit-again Archer hopes to play all three tests against Windies

first_img(Reuters) – England paceman Jofra Archer says he has fully recovered from a right elbow injury sustained earlier this year and hopes to play in all three tests against the West Indies next month. Barbados-born Archer’s injury had ruled him out of England’s tour of Sri Lanka and the Indian Premier League before both were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.“This past fortnight has been a lot different from the previous few weeks of practice as the intensity when you introduce batters goes up without you even noticing,” Archer wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.“So far everything feels like clockwork. Crunch in, crunch out, my body feels fresh, and there are no issues with my right elbow whatsoever, touch wood.” The first test is scheduled to begin in Southampton on July 8, with the last two matches at Old Trafford, as international cricket returns from the coronavirus shutdown.“Despite the fact that the three matches of this series are played in such a short space of time … I could play all three — but everyone will be a bit cautious in terms of workload, thinking about the body and what lies ahead,” Archer added.“… Bowling has been a gradual progression but despite the fact that I was resting my elbow injury when we went into lockdown in March, I have followed similar loads to the other England test bowlers.”last_img read more

Chase backing batsmen to close in on England’s 469/9 d

first_imgWest Indies all-rounder, Roston Chase is throwing his support being West Indies’ batsmen to home in on England’s 469 for 9 declared first innings total. Despite the imposing total, during a virtual press conference yesterday following the close of play on day two, Chase stated “I would never say 400 odd is beyond us with the quality of players we have and the way we played in the first game, this wicket is not as quick as the first innings so you have a little of time to adjust unlike the first innings where the ball was swinging around a bit so I’m backing our players to get 400 or even close to it to put England in a position and place to decide what they are going to do.”Chase posited that West Indies will need to take a page out of England’s book and approach the total with patience and grit. Chase namedropped Dominic Sibley who batted over nine hours while facing 372 balls and scoring 120. Sibley forged a 260-run fourth wicket partnership with Ben Stokes who made 176.“The approach is just to play each ball on its merit, take note of the English players, especially Sibley, how patient he was and allowed the bowlers to come into areas and scored, so it’s just for us to take that leaf from their book and play each ball on merit and when the opportunity comes to score, score and go about it the normal way, run hard between the wickets, I think that they ran really well between the wickets so that is something we can take from them as well and stay patient,” he noted. The Bajan all-rounder reckoned his side still did well to contain England from a bigger score.“Being out there for 160 overs usually teams would be showing a lot of signs of tiredness and waywardness but I thought although the English batters batted very well, we didn’t really let the game get away from us, we still kept the run rate under three runs which was our aim…and I thought that was good…I still thought we showed good energy out there, we made a few blunders in the field which is going to happen when you’re out there for that long,” he explained.Chase stood behind his captain, Jason Holder’s decision to bat first. He revealed that it was a collective decision following the conditions. “Looking at the conditions, I think the conditions played a big role in us deciding to bowl first, outside was very overcast and dark, and the lights were on before we even started so having the success we had in the first game, and everyone was down for the decision to bowl first,” he added.Nevertheless, Chase was instrumental in West Indies’ cause having bagged his second five-wicket haul in Test. His first also came against the same opposition last year in the Caribbean.Speaking on the emotions following his bowling performance, Chase admitted he likes to bowl to England stating, “yes, my second five-wicket haul following my eight-wicket haul in Barbados, I tend to do well against them even in 2017 when we toured I came up against them and got a few wickets although England is not really a place where spinners dominate. I still think I found a way to get some wickets and I’m happy about it.” The 28-year-old believed the conditions was a major factor in him performing well. He related, “I guess with the bad weather we had leading up to the Test match the pitch had a little bit of moisture early on so I thought that was what really helped the ball to spin that much so early on in the game but I thought the wicket, as the day went on the wicket got a little easier, the ball wasn’t spinning that much, wasn’t really spinning from straight early on as yesterday but it’s still a good wicket to bat on although you’re getting some spin.”However, with his success, it came with a toll on his body. He mentioned that his body was sore having bowled 44 overs in the innings but recommended “it’s just about managing your body, having that will power to come back…”last_img read more

Andy McCue exits Paddy Power Betfair

first_img Share StumbleUpon ‘Deal maker’ Rafi Ashkenazi ends Flutter tenure  August 27, 2020 Flutter moves to refine merger benefits against 2020 trading realities August 27, 2020 Submit FSB selects Glenn Elliott as new COO August 12, 2020 Related Articles Share Andy McCueNewly merged Paddy Power Betfair has confirmed that Chief Operational Officer (COO) Andy McCue has decided to step down from his leadership role at the FTSE 100 listed operator.The announcement of McCue’s departure will surprise many industry commentators, who had predicted that McCue would likely succeed Breon Corcoran as CEO of Paddy Power Betfair in the near future.McCue who had been with Paddy Power since 2006, had been appointed CEO of Paddy Power Plc in January 2015, taking over company leadership from long-term Chief Executive Patrick Kennedy.Shortly after his appointment the Irish operator shocked the betting industry by announcing its +£6 billion merger with rival Betfair.In its new entity Paddy Power Betfair, McCue would serve as COO to group CEO Breon Corcoran under the Chairmanship of Gary McGann (former CEO of Smurfit Kappa Group)“Andy has played a pivotal and hugely constructive role in the successful merger, for which I am very grateful. As chief executive of Paddy Power, he led the business strongly, embedding a new growth strategy which delivered record revenues and profits,” commented Breon Corcoran, CEO Paddy Power Betfair,Paddy Power Betfair detailed that McCue would officially leave his position on 30 April, as yet the company has not announced a replacement for McCue.last_img read more

Matthew Balch – On Mobile – How to drive organic installs using App store optimisation techniques

first_imgShare Related Articles Submit Peter Mares: Going Native… How Playtech is helping the industry stay ahead of the Apple curb August 6, 2019 Apple delays igaming ‘Native iOS’ enforcement  March 31, 2020 Share StumbleUpon Stuart Godfree: mkodo – Relax! Apple guidelines won’t trigger industry’s ‘Appexit’ August 13, 2019 Matthew BalchIf you’re a marketing person, or an operator with an iOS application swimming away in Apple’s app store, the chances are that you’ve allocated time, resources and budget to improving your app’s rank in the ‘Free Sports’ category.For some operators out there, the answer to boosting app store visibility is Hollywood or sporting celebrities jumping onto would-be customers’ TV screens at halftime.  Or for those of you with slightly shallower pockets, the answer has probably been media placements such as incentivised install marketing.  While both are solid marketing practices that deliver the volume of organic acquisitions, neither should be executed at the expense of a sound App Store Optimisation (ASO) strategy.With Apple’s iOS store ranking algorithm and the value it places of certain ‘tactics’ changing more often than a Football League club changes its manager, its best to keep abreast of ALL the factors that can contribute towards organic install conversions and improved ASO.In this article, I’m going to focus on 3 key elements of App Store Optimisation and offer a series of tips that will enable you to reduce your eCPA by converting app store browsers more efficiently.   Oh, and did I mention these techniques are free?Keywords:   Currently, Apple offers three methods to allow developers the chance to be recognized for keywords.  They are – app title, developer (brand) name and keyword field (of which there is a 100 character limit).   The most important of these is the app’s name title.  In recent years, brands in the know regularly placed keywords in their app’s title knowing that a) keywords within the apps’ title have greater weighting than those placed in the keyword field (apps with keywords in the title rank on average 10.3% higher than those without a keyword in the title*) and b) they did not count towards their key word field’s 100 character allocation.Below is an example of Sky Bet’s app title in August 2016 ‘Sky Bet – In-Play Sports Betting & latest odds on Football, Euro 2016, Tennis and Horse Racing Results.’While Skybet’s title looked canny, the reality was (as anyone who has visited the app store will tell you) that all characters after 50 were truncated.  So while Skybet’s title contained several ‘bonus’ keywords that it would have ranked for outside of their strict 100 character allocation, the user only ever saw ‘Sky Bet – In-Play Sports Betting & latest odds.’  To fix this anomaly, in September Apple changed their rules and reduced the title character length for any newly submitted app to a maximum 50 characters.  So where once developers were able to stuff keywords into their title with impunity, their challenge now is to be succinct and as stealth-like as possible.The second area of importance concerning keywords centers upon Apple’s allowance for developers to enter 100 characters of named keywords in their iTunes Connect account.  This is the developer’s way of saying to Apple ‘these words are important for my app, and we want to rank for them’.   However, in order to arrive at which keywords are best for your app, developers should ask themselves;Which keywords are my app already being ranked for? Is it worth ‘boosting’ my app’s ranking for that keyword by naming it with Apple as part of my 100 character allocation?How strong is the search volume vs. competition for each word? This is known as keyword efficiency, and there are several tools in the market which allow developers to track each word’s scoreWhich words are likely to be most searched for in the app store in the coming 1-2 months that are most relevant to my app? For example, a bookmaker looking to update their UK app’s keywords in February is highly likely to submit words like ‘cheltenham, gold cup, champions, league, grand national, premier, football, acca, free, bets , results, racing’Top Tips:Ensure the app’s title is relevant to the app’s purposeUse words your app can rank for in the top 40 that have a lower search volume over words with a higher level of competition and higher volumes that you are likely to rank lower forInclude the app’s strongest keywords in the title. g. [Brand name}: Best Odds, In Play and Acca BettingUse your full 100 character ‘named’ keywords allowance within iTunes ConnectDon’t repeat words from your app name, developer name (e.g. Ladbrokes), or app category (e.g. sports) within your ‘named’ keyword allowance, as it’s a waste of your character allocationMake sure your app words can be combined with each other – e.g. Premier,Football,Champions,LeaguePlural and singular words are seen as two different words, so its better to use singular versionsAlways localise words for each territory (they may not use the word ‘Acca’ in Spain)App Store Description:   Whilst its a common misconception that duplicated use of keywords within the app’s description boosts rank for keywords, the reality is that only those placed in the two areas mentioned above have any impact within Apple’s algorithm.  Having said this, Google does index app descriptions and there is certainly value in sprinkling high-value keywords within the app’s descriptive text to gain interest from app store browsers and would-be downloaders.  For betting operators, there are a number of simple techniques to enhance conversion using this all important real estate.Aim to describe your app’s best features within the first 255 characters (3 lines), as this area represents the first landing page within the app store beyond the initial search page. It is also advisable to include a bonus ‘call to action’ here, rather than forcing the user to make a subsequent tap read through the extended description pageUse bullet points or short paragraphs. It’s likely that the user is ‘scanning’ the text looking for reassurances in the form of key words or phrases describing features that match their needs, so make each sentence succinct and easy to read at a glance.  Ensure that bonuses are highlighted. A good way of doing this is to write them in CAPITALS towards the top of the description.  Again, do not take for granted that the user has the time or desire to read your app’s entire description, so it is vital to make your key selling points stand outChange your description at least every 4-6 weeks with updated information relating to key upcoming events, features or promotions. Like sporting events themselves, consumer motivation changes frequently, so a good way of doing this is to include upcoming sporting events that are likely to dominate betting markets.  Good examples are racing carnivals or major tournaments.Screenshots:  Currently, Apple offers developers the opportunity to insert up to 5 ‘still’ screenshot images plus a video with a submission.  These images become the app’s visual reference for users who are still in the download consideration phase.  In fact, release a new real money gambling app today, and the chances are that developers will be asked to supply a short video displaying the app’s interface and user journey with their submission for testers to view.   What some once viewed as a chore to satisfy Apple’s draconian testing procedure, others now see as an opportunity, with many app developers now seeing 15-30 second preview videos within the app store as a highly effective method to display the app’s key features, distribute broadcast commercials or even viral videos.  This tactic has quickly become a shot in the arm for boosting click to install conversion rates and subsequent organic install volumes.Like the video, ‘still’ screenshots also play an important role in boosting an app’s ASO.  Design them well, and your earned install rates will surge.  Design them poorly, and the only installs you will glean will be from existing loyal users.  Here are my Top Tips to designing the ultimate preview screens;Avoid using screenshots taken directly from the app, as their size is reduced by up to 50% rendering any text illegible when displayed in the app store. Rather, design a treatment to expand a specific feature that may be displayed clearly to the user.Each screen (5) should display a feature of the app, labeled with a headline which acts as a beneficial selling pointFocus on your first 2 screens, as these are the ones displayed in the search results page. If you intend to use a video, this will act as the first screen, so use your first ‘still’ screen should re-affirm your welcome bonus offer.Always use high res original images within your designsIn truth, no developer ever nails their ASO the first time, so treat it as an ongoing exercise with analysis every 6-8 weeks, regular testing of different keywords, design tweaks and practice….So best of luck!_______________________Matthew Balch is a gaming and gambling media specialist, having worked in the sector for media owners and agencies since 2002.   He now runs his own consultancy business, specialising in ASO and mobile acquisition media for a range of gambling and mCommerce businesses.last_img read more

Orioles sign Japanese pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada

first_imgPRESS RELEASEThe Orioles today announced that they have signed left-handed pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada (sue-YO-she WAH-dah) to a two-year contract with a club option for 2014.Wada, 30, was 107-61 with a 3.13 ERA (1444.2IP, 503ER) and 1,329 strikeouts in 210 career games (207 starts) over nine seasons with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League. In his 52 starts over the last two seasons, Wada is 33-13 with a 2.29 ERA (354.0IP, 90IP) and has struck out 337 batters while walking 95 and allowing just 18 home runs.Wada was named the 2003 Pacific League Rookie of the Year when he went 14-5 with a 3.38 ERA (189.0IP, 71ER) in 26 games and was named to the Nippon Professional Baseball All-Star Team in 2003, 2004, 2010 and 2011. In 2010, he was named the NPB Most Valuable Player as he led the league with 17 wins and on August 3, 2011, he became the fastest NPB left-hander to win 100 games. Wada pitched in the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, winning a bronze medal in the 2004 Athens Games, and also helped Japan to the 2006 World Baseball Classic championship.He will wear jersey number 18 for the Orioles.last_img read more

Orioles sign infielder Wilson Betemit to 2-year deal

first_imgPRESS RELEASEThe Orioles Tuesday announced that they have signed infielder Wilson Betemit to a two-year contract with a vesting option for 2014.Betemit, 30, batted .285/.343/.452 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 97 games for Kansas City (57) and Detroit (40) in 2011, including a .303 average and .865 OPS in 263 plate appearances from the left side. He has batted .298/.367/.501 with 54 extra-base hits and 69 RBI in 433 at-bats against right-handed pitching in the last two seasons. Betemit owned an .871 OPS in 133 plate appearances for the American League Central champion Tigers after being traded and appeared in four playoff games.Originally signed by Atlanta as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic on July 28, 1996, Betemit was the youngest player in the major leagues when he made his debut at 19 during the 2001 season.The switch hitter owns a career line of .269/.336/.448 with 63 home runs and 243 RBI in 697 games over nine seasons with Atlanta, the Dodgers, the Yankees, the White Sox, Kansas City and Detroit. Betemit has batted .277 with an .817 OPS and 50 of his 63 career home runs against right-handed pitching. He has appeared at every defensive spot except for center field and catcher in his big league career.To clear room for Betemit on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Rick Vandenhurk has been designated for assignment. VandenHurk, 26, pitched to an 8.00 ERA (9.0IP, 8ER) in four games for the Orioles and was 9-13 with a 4.43 ERA (154.1IP, 76ER) in 26 starts for Triple-A Norfolk in 2011.last_img read more

Overweight Upshaw admits needing to get in better shape

first_img(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)Appearing noticeably heavier while participating in the Ravens’ first two weeks of organized team activities, outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw acknowledged Sunday he needs to shed pounds in time for his sophomore season in the NFL.The 35th overall pick of the 2012 draft told reporters at a charity event in Aberdeen, Md. that he currently weights 285 pounds, a significant increase from the 272 pounds at which he played during his rookie season. The Alabama product cited the need to handle “personal issues” as a reason why he’s gained weight.Upshaw raised eyebrows in his rookie season when he was heavier than the Ravens preferred during OTAs and training camp before finally getting into better shape by the early portion of the regular season. A shoulder injury also slowed the linebacker during training camp before he eventually earned a significant role in the Baltimore defense.Expected to back up projected starting outside linebackers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil, Upshaw recorded 60 tackles, 1 1/2 sacks, and a forced fumble while making nine starts in his first pro season. With the 30-year-old Suggs and the 29-year-old Dumervil both advancing in age, the Ravens likely envision Upshaw as a key piece to replace Dumervil in obvious running situations at strongside linebacker. This would then allow the former Denver Bronco — who will be playing out of position at the “Sam” linebacker spot — to either gain a breather or spell Suggs at rush linebacker.Though he’s entitled to some benefit of the doubt regarding the personal issues that have supposedly impacted his ability to work out and eat right, Upshaw showing up in poor shape for a second straight year doesn’t speak well for his standing with head coach John Harbaugh and defensive coordinator Dean Pees. Some have speculated that the Ravens could use Upshaw some at inside linebacker, but that possibility would appear unlikely if he’s showing even less quickness and agility.Playing in 42 of the Ravens’ 62 defensive snaps in Super Bowl XLVII, Upshaw collected five tackles and forced a fumble that was recovered by defensive lineman Arthur Jones to help the franchise win its second Super Bowl title.last_img read more

Showalter confirms Wieters expected to begin season on DL

first_imgWhat appeared probable earlier this week was made all but official by Orioles manager Buck Showalter on Saturday.Orioles catcher Matt Wieters is expected to begin the season on the 15-day disabled list after being shut down earlier this week due to elbow tendinitis. The 28-year-old made his Grapefruit League debut behind the plate on Tuesday, which marked exactly nine months after he underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.Wieters experienced soreness and was shut down the following morning. An X-ray on Thursday revealed no concerns and prompted no further testing on the elbow.He would be eligible to return as early as April 11, which would fall during the Orioles’ home-opening series against the Toronto Blue Jays. Showalter confirmed that Wieters beginning the season as the club’s designated hitter was not an option since it wouldn’t help in the recovery process.The Orioles aren’t viewing Wieters’ tendinitis as a concerning setback since it’s very common during the recovery process from ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery. Pitchers often take 12 to 14 months to fully recover from the procedure, and Wieters will still be under the 10-month mark on Opening Day.Showalter told reporters in Sarasota that he doesn’t want the veteran catcher to feel as though he’s facing a deadline as it’s more important for him to be full healthy for as much of the season as possible rather than rushing back for the opener at less than 100 percent. It’s a similar stance to the one the Baltimore manager took with Manny Machado last spring before the third baseman eventually made his season debut on May 1, 2014.With most attention being paid to his defense and throwing ability, Wieters is 0-for-23 with four strikeouts and one walk in seven Grapefruit League games this spring. He served as a DH in all but one of those contests.Caleb Joseph is expected to be the starting catcher with Steve Clevenger, Ryan Lavarnway, and J.P Arencibia serving as the candidates to back him up to begin the season.last_img read more