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Marshawn Lynch Media Session Day Two: 'You Know Why I'm Here'


Jay Drowns/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch followed up his 4 minute and 51 second interview in which he said, "I'm just here so I won't get fined" 29 times on Tuesday with, "You know why I'm here."

Lynch would have been fined $500,000 if he did not speak at media day on Tuesday, ESPN NFL insider Ed Werder reports, but another fine could be on its way.

ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter reports that Lynch could be fined $100,000 for wearing his 'Beast Mode' logo hat, which isn't an official sponsor of the NFL.

When asked about fans wanting to hear from him, Lynch said, "They know why I'm here."

Lynch is also required to speak to the media on Thursday.

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Blatt: LeBron Is 'The Greatest Player in Our Game'


Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- The Cleveland Cavaliers have turned their season around after winning seven in a row. Head coach David Blatt was astonished that LeBron James isn't always in the MVP talk.

"He's the greatest player in our game, and he's had, since he's been healthy -- and really all year, but particularly since he's been healthy -- his performance has been as high level as ever," Blatt said before their game against the Pistons on Tuesday. "And you don't have to look very far at our record to see what impact he has on this team when he's playing and not playing."

James is averaging 30.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 2.0 steals in eight games since returning from taking two weeks off to rest.

"Certainly it does say something about what his value is when he is absent, what happens to the team," Blatt continued. "But again, it's of course what his impact on his own team but it's also the performance that that player is having relative to the rest of the league. Obviously if we look at our own example [in James], then you're looking at an MVP player in every respect. Which is not new news to anyone."

"I don't really get involved in what people say about the way I approach the game," James told reporters Tuesday at Cavs shootaround. "I know I can play the game at a high level. I know who I am and what I'm about. So, me making an excuse about my injuries throughout the time while we were struggling would just add on to what we were going through. So, it made no sense for me to talk about it until I crossed that path."

James has won four MVP trophies in 12 seasons.

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NBA Dunk Contest Lineup Announced


Christian Petersen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The NBA announced the players who will participate in the 2015 Sprite Slam Dunk contest on Tuesday.

Brooklyn Nets center Mason Plumlee, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo, and Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine will have their chance to shine.

The dunk contest will take place on Saturday, Feb. 14 at the Barclays Center, the home of the Nets in Brooklyn, New York.

Plumlee is looking forward to the opportunity.

"It's official, Thrilled to be a #Dunker in the #SpriteSlam Dunk contest @NBAAllStar weekend!" Plumee tweeted following the announcement.

Washington Wizards guard John Wall won the dunk contest last year.

The All-Star Game will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Sunday, Feb. 15.

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Two Former Vanderbilt Football Players Found Guilty of Rape


iStock/Thinkstock(NASHVILLE, Tn.) -- Corey Batey and Brandon Vandenburg were found guilty on all charges related to a rape case from 2013. 

The two former football players at Vanderbilt University were convicted by a Nashville jury after a little more than three hours of deliberation.

The two were accused of raping a female student in a dormitory.

Batey, 21, was found guilty on five charges of aggravated rape and two charges of aggravated sexual battery. While Vandenburg, 21, was found guilty on the same charges plus evidence tampering as well as unlawful photography.

Two other players are currently awaiting trial on similar charges.

The victim released a statement after the verdict:

"You are my heroes and I am so proud of and grateful for each of you," the statement read. "I am also hopeful that the publicity this case has received will lead to a discussion of how we can end sexual violence on college campuses. Finally, I want to remind other victims of sexual violence: You are not alone. You are not to blame."

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Report: Colts to Sign WR Duron Carter


Tom Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS, In.) -- The Indianapolis Colts are in the final stages of signing wide receiver Duron Carter, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The 6'5" Carter is the son of Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter, who played 16 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Vikings and Dolphins.

The younger Carter was initially signed in 2013 as an undrafted free agent by Minnesota, the team his father played for the majority of his career. He was unable to make the team in part because of character concerns.

Last season Carter, 23, played in the CFL for the Montreal Alouettes, catching 75 passes for 1,030 yards and seven touchdowns.

Carter would join an impressive Colts wide receiving group that includes T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief and stalwart veteran Reggie Wayne.

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Red Sox, Rangers Complete Pitching Swap


Major League Baseball(NEW YORK) -- The Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers have swapped pitchers struggling to find their role.

Rangers vice president of communications John Blake announced via Twitter Tuesday that Boston has sent right-hander Anthony Ranaudo to Texas in exchange for left-hander Robbie Ross, Jr.

Ranaudo, 25, displayed fantastic play in Triple A, compiling a 14-4 record in 2014 with a 2.61 ERA and 111 strikeouts over 138 innings pitched. He made his Major League debut last season, but struggled to find the same groove as his ERA ballooned to 4.81 in 39.1 innings of work.

Ross, 25, struggled last season after a transition from the bullpen to the starting rotation. Posting a 6.20 ERA in 78.1 innings, Ross failed to find a role in the Rangers injury-riddled rotation.  He will likely resume his role as a left-handed reliever with Boston, a role he excelled in during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. In his career, he has a 53.8 percent ground ball rate.

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Blues G Martin Brodeur Set to Retire on Thursday


christian ammann/iStock/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) -- St. Louis Blues goaltender Martin Brodeur is set to announce his retirement from the National Hockey League on Thursday.

The 42-year-old Brodeur, who spent the previous 21 seasons with the New Jersey Devils, signed with St. Louis on Dec. 2, 2014. In seven games with the Blues, he went 3-3 with a .287 goals against average.

During Brodeur's illustrious career, he won the Vezina Trophy, which is awarded to the NHL's best goaltender, four times (2003, 2004, 2007, 2008), and has finished in the top five in voting for the league's MVP seven times.

Brodeur has complied a record of 691-397-176, along with a 2.24 goals against average, a .912 save percentage and 125 shutouts. Last season with the Devils, he finished with a 19-14-6 record with a 2.51 goals against average and a .901 save percentage.

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Super Bowl XLIX Media Day


IStockPhoto/ Thinkstock(PHOENIX) -- Media Day for Super Bowl 49 featuring the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots took place on Tuesday. The annual event is better known for its festive atmosphere than for hard-hitting X's and O's questions.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked what his favorite stuffed animal is. "I like a little puppet. You can kind of put your fingers in. It's a little monkey, and then he can talk and move his fingers and nod his head, so he can kind of talk back to you."

A reporter asked Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski if he'll be watching the halftime show featuring pop singer Katy Perry. "No. We'll be in the locker room preparing for the second half."

Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, known as a man of few words when it comes to speaking with the media, answered every question he was asked with some variation of "I'm here so I won't get fined."

Lynch has been fined a total of $100,000 this season for violating the league's media policy.

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Scoreboard Roundup - 1/27/15


Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Men's Top 25 College Basketball: (14) VCU 72 (17-3) - George Washington 48 (16-5)

(17) West Virginia 65 (17-3) - Kansas State 59 (12-9)

Oklahoma State 64 (14-6) - (20) Baylor 53 (15-5)

Xavier 66 (14-7) - (21) Georgetown 53 (14-6)

NBA: Toronto Raptors 104 (30-15) - Indiana Pacers 88 (16-31)

Cleveland Cavaliers 103 (26-20) - Detroit Pistons 95 (17-29)

Milwaukee Bucks 109 (23-22) - Miami Heat 102 (20-25)

Memphis Grizzlies 109 (33-12) - Dallas Mavericks 90 (30-16)

Washington Wizards 98 (31-15) - Los Angeles Lakers 92 (12-34)

Chicago Bulls 113 (30-17) - Golden State Warriors 111 (36-7)

NHL:  Columbus Blue Jackets 4 (21-22-3, 45pts) - Washington Capitals 3 (24-14-9, 57pts)

Pittsburgh Penguins 5 (27-12-8, 62pts) - Winnipeg Jets 3 (26-15-8, 60pts)

New York Islanders 4 (32-14-1, 65pts) - New York Rangers 1 (27-14-4, 58pts)

Philadelphia Flyers 4 (20-22-7, 47pts) - Arizona Coyotes 3 (16-25-6, 38pts) - SO

Carolina Hurricanes 4 (17-25-5, 39pts) - Tampa Bay Lightning 2 (30-15-4, 64pts)

Nashville Predators 4 (31-10-5, 67pts) - Colorado Avalanche 3 (20-18-11, 51pts) - OT

Detroit Red Wings 5 (28-11-9, 65pts) - Florida Panthers 4 (20-15-10, 50pts)

Montreal Canadiens 3 (30-13-3, 63pts) - Dallas Stars 2 (21-19-7, 49pts)

Calgary Flames 4 (26-19-3, 55pts) - Buffalo Sabres 1 (14-31-3, 31pts)

Minnesota Wild 2 (21-20-6, 48pts) - Edmonton Oilers 1 (12-27-9, 33pts)

Anaheim Ducks 4 (32-10-6, 70pts) - Vancouver Canucks 0 (26-17-3, 55pts)

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Colts Promote Rob Chudzinski to Associate Head Coach


David Lee/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(INDIANAPOLIS) -- The Indianapolis Colts have promoted special assistant Rob Chudzinski to associate head coach. 

"We're excited to keep Chud in our family," Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said in a statement. "He's been critical part of our operation and we're looking forward to sharing even more success in the future."

The San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams had been interested in Chudzinski to fill their offensive coordinator positions, according to ESPN, but Colts general manager Ryan Grigson turned down interview requests for the 46-year-old.

Colts defensive end Arthur Jones wrote on Twitter, "Im pretty fired up to hear Coach Chud is coming back. He is such a great man of integrity!"

Chudzinski previously was the head coach for the Browns, compiling a record of 4-12 in his lone season with Cleveland in 2013.

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