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Could Indians be close to name change? Latest update on search for Cleveland’s new name



Could Indians be close to name change? Latest update on search for Cleveland's new name

Cleveland baseball fans are getting closer to finding out what the new name for their team will be. 

On Thursday, the team announced that it had compiled a list of almost 1,200 names and will cut it down to come up with a list for the name that will replace the Indians. 

“We’ve engaged our fans and community on many aspects of our team name process,” said Curtis Danburg, Indians vice president of communication and community impact. “We felt it was important to share our research journey and what we’ve learned so far.”

Here’s the latest on where things stand regarding the name change. 

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When could the Indians name change happen?

As of Thursday, the Indians have not provided an exact timeline for when the new name will be unveiled. 

On its team name branding process page, the Indians listed the steps needed, starting with listening and learning, announcing the step to change the name, researching the name options, developing name ideas through discussions with the community, designing the brand around names and going through legal steps of making sure they are not trademark protected, and finally unveiling the name. 

Based on the latest news, the team is at the step where it is examining creative options for the logos and other elements around the branding of the potential names that are left. 

What are some name options?

Cleveland has gone from a list of 1,198 names and narrowed it down through 14 steps of vetting and has picked out the top choices. 

What those top choices are, however, remains uncertain. 

Among the favorites most commonly thrown out there in the baseball community are the Spiders, the Guardians, the Rockers and the Rockets. 

While Cleveland has not announced what the finalists are, it did reveal how it reached this list. The team said it has gone through 140 hours of interviews with fans, community leaders, staff and front office personnel while surveying more than 40,000 fans.

From there, Cleveland identified themes of preserving the team’s baseball history, connecting with the city and uniting the community, the page says. 

Why are they changing their name?

Cleveland first announced in July 2020 that it was considering changing before it was announced in December that the team would officially change the name. 

In the news release tweeted out on Dec. 14, the team said that it would move forward with a “new, non-Native American based name” for Cleveland’s baseball franchise. 

Indians owner and chairman Paul Dolan said that the team spoke with Native American people and “gained a deeper understanding of how tribal communities feel about the team name and the detrimental effects it has on them.”

“We also spoke to local civic leaders who represent diverse populations in our city and who highlighted the negative impact our team name has had on our broader population and on under-represented groups across our community. I am truly grateful for their engagement and input, which I found enlightening and insightful. When a sports team is aligned with its community, it unlocks the ability to unite people from different backgrounds and bring people together in support of their home team,” Dolan said in the statement. 

The decision was the latest of a wave of rebranding taking place around the nation, with the Washington Redskins becoming known as the Washington Football Team as the franchise looks to select a new name and brands such as Aunt Jemima’s, Uncle Ben’s and Land O’Lakes all undergoing changes after the protests in the summer of 2020 that stemmed from the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. 

The team name of Indians was not exactly intended to be a permanent one, anyway. Cleveland originally used it as a placeholder after it had been called the Cleveland Naps for star talent Nap Lajoie before he was sold to the Philadelphia Athletics. “Indians” was selected as the team’s temporary moniker unless it could not come up with a permanent team name. 

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Chris Paul, NBA Twitter react to Deandre Ayton’s game-winning dunk in Suns vs. Clippers



Chris Paul, NBA Twitter react to Deandre Ayton's game-winning dunk in Suns vs. Clippers

Deandre Ayton was the hero for the Suns in their Game 2 win over the Clippers.

With less than a second left on the clock, the Suns were down one point and had just 0.9 seconds to get a shot off. Jae Crowder inbounded the ball on the baseline under the Suns’ basket and found Ayton cutting to the hoop.

Ayton threw it down. The play took just 0.2 seconds off the clock and sealed the 104-103 win for the Suns.

Here’s a look at the amazing finish.

Ayton and Crowder deserve a bulk of the credit, but Devin Booker had an impact on the finish as well. His physical screen on Ivica Zubac — who is seven inches taller and 35 pounds heavier than Booker — gave Ayton just enough space to get open off the cut and throw down the dunk.

And Booker put his body on the line despite playing with a bloodied nose that required stitches after an inadvertent hit from Patrick Beverley earlier in the game.

The Suns’ finish thrilled Phoenix fans as well as the team’s star point guard Chris Paul, who missed his second straight game in the NBA’s health and safety protocols. He took time to celebrate the victory on Twitter and praised coach Monty Williams for his “big-time play call.”

Indeed, it was a nice play call, and Williams made sure Ayton was prepared to dunk immediately after catching the ball.

“DA — if he throws it, you gotta try to dunk it,” Williams said. “Okay?”

Ayton was ready and obliged. As a result of his make, NBA Twitter erupted and celebrated the exciting end to yet another tightly-contested playoff battle. 

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How Suns perfectly executed game-winning play — and why goaltending didn’t apply on Deandre Ayton’s dunk



How Suns perfectly executed game-winning play — and why goaltending didn't apply on Deandre Ayton's dunk

Back in December 2017, the Suns and Grizzlies found themselves in a down-to-the-wire contest. Phoenix had the ball with just 0.6 seconds on the clock and the game tied at 97.

So what did then-Suns coach Jay Triano do? He unveiled a play that he had kept in his back pocket for years.

MORE: Chris Paul reacts to Deandre Ayton’s game-winning dunk

While standing on the sideline near the Grizzlies’ bench, Dragan Bender threw a pass toward Tyson Chandler that floated directly above the rim, giving Chandler the opportunity to slam it through the bottom of the net. Wait, you can do that?

“You cannot goaltend a ball that isn’t going to count,” Triano told reporters after the game.

More than three years later, Triano’s words were once again ringing throughout Phoenix Suns Arena. Coach Monty Williams drew up a similar play on Tuesday night, and his players executed it perfectly to give the Suns a stunning 104-103 win over the Clippers and a 2-0 series lead in the Western Conference finals.

Look at this beauty:

OK, let’s break down what NBA TV’s Matt Winer called “The Valley Oop.” (Great work, Matt).

First, notice the positioning of DeMarcus Cousins. Clippers coach Tyronn Lue made a smart move by putting Cousins on Jae Crowder in order to make an inbound pass more difficult, but Cousins is squared up to Crowder, opening up the passing lane Crowder needs.

As for the action in the paint, Devin Booker sets a terrific screen on Ivica Zubac, allowing Deandre Ayton to break free. Could Nicolas Batum have bumped Ayton and recovered? Possibly, but he is understandably concerned with leaving Booker.


Once Ayton gets a step on Zubac running toward the basket, it’s on Crowder to put the ball in a spot in which Ayton can score. As you can see from the angle below, Crowder just narrowly avoids the backboard. The placement here is simply incredible.

“That’s definitely Jae’s game-winner,” Ayton said after the game.

deandre ayton suns play

Now, you may still be asking, “But why isn’t that a goaltending violation?”

As the NBA explained in its Last Two Minute Report from that December 2017 game, “Goaltending rules do not apply because (Chandler) makes contact with the ball off of a throw-in and not a live ball that has already legally been touched on the playing court.” Scott Foster, who served as the crew chief on Tuesday, offered the same explanation when asked about Ayton’s dunk.

Sometimes less than a second can be all the time in the world. Just ask any Suns fan.

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Clippers’ Paul George misses crucial free throws in stunning Game 2 loss to Suns



Clippers' Paul George misses crucial free throws in stunning Game 2 loss to Suns

The box score from Tuesday’s Suns-Clippers game — a pivotal Game 2 win for Phoenix in the Western Conference finals — will show Paul George had a decent game.

Twenty-six points, on 10-of-23 shooting; six assists; six rebounds; and 5-of-10 shooting from the free throw line. He also scored his team’s last six points, all within the last minute, to help the Clippers to a 103-102 lead with just 8.2 seconds remaining.

The only stats that ultimately mattered in the Clippers’ 104-103 loss, however, were the final two free throws George — a career 84.7-percent free throw shooter — missed. They ultimately allowed Phoenix a chance at an unbelievable comeback victory, which may prove costly even as the series heads back to LA.

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Had George sunk both of those shots, the Suns would have needed a 3-pointer just to send the game to overtime. Had he sunk even one shot, they would have needed a 2-pointer. But he missed both, allowing the Suns to win on an inbound dunk with less than a second remaining:

Credit to Deandre Ayton, Jae Crowder and the Suns. That play will go down as one of the top plays in NBA playoffs history. But every heartbreaking loss needs a goat, and no one fits the bill better than “Playoff P,” who could have secured a win for his team with the simplest of basketball scoring plays.

Here’s the bright side for the Clippers, if there is one: They have already overcome 2-0 deficits in each of their first two series against the Mavericks and Jazz, respectively. That’s likely a cold comfort as George and Co. head back to LA, however. The scathing Twitter comments aimed at George likely won’t do anything to help, either:

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