Williamson out weeks to start season
Pelicans forward and No. 1 overall draft pick Zion Williamson will be out “weeks” of the regular season because of a knee injury, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Williams was scheduled to make his debut at Madison Square Garden in Friday night’s preseason game against the Knicks, but remained in New Orleans for treatment and tests. The injury is reportedly not severe, which ostensibly means there is no ligament tear.
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry told reporters that Williamson probably sustained the latest injury on Sunday against the Spurs, and downplayed any concern.
Cubs’ network signs deal with AT&T
Sinclair Broadcast Group, the Chicago Cubs’ partner in Marquee Sports Network, has announced a multiyear agreement with AT&T that ensures the Cubs’ TV channel will be available on DirecTV, U-verse and AT&T TV when it launches in February.
Marquee will be the exclusive TV home to all Cubs games to which the team controls the rights in what Major League Baseball has designated as its TV territory beginning with spring-training exhibitions.
It was not immediately clear whether AT&T’s various TV platforms would make Marquee available as part of their basic service or require purchase of an add-on tier. AT&T is the second-largest carrier in the Cubs’ territory after Comcast’s Xfinity cable service.
Joe Buck ripped for game he wasn’t at
With Fox airing Thursday Night Football this week, main play-by-play man Joe Buck was in Denver to call the Broncos’ game against the Chiefs on Thursday, instead of at ALCS Game 4 in New York.
But even with Joe Davis working alongside John Smoltz in the FS1 baseball booth at Yankee Stadium, Buck still took some heat on Twitter from people who mistakenly believed Buck was calling the ALCS game.
One tweet complained that Buck was talking about the wind during the game, while another asked for FS1 to tell Buck to shut up between pitches. Another questioned his baseball expertise when Davis – again, not Buck, as he was in Denver – asked Smoltz whether a player would be hitting away on a 3-0 pitch with the bases loaded, and several tweets complained about Buck’s perceived Yankees bias.
Devils sign Hischier
No. 1 in the 2017 NHL draft, Nico Hischier will now be with the New Jersey Devils for a number of years to come.
The Devils on Friday signed Hischier to a $50.75 million, 7-year contract extension that counts $7.25 million against the salary cap through the 2026-27 season. Committing long-term to Hischier is another important move for New Jersey, which is trying to become a perennial contender again.
Hischier, the first Swiss player to go first overall in the NHL draft, was set to be a restricted free agent this summer. Instead, he’ll make $7 million in the first season of his new deal, all the way up to $8.5 million in the seventh year.
Hischier has 37 goals and 64 assists for 101 points in his first 157 regular-season NHL games. Along with 2019 No. 1 pick Jack Hughes, Hischier is part of the next generation of stars for New Jersey, which has made the playoffs just once in the past 7 years.