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Marcus Smart immediately contradicts Danny Ainge’s comments about Kyrie Irving, racism

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Marcus Smart immediately contradicts Danny Ainge's comments about Kyrie Irving, racism

In the wake of Kyrie Irving’s comments about the “subtle racism” of Boston fans, Celtics GM Danny Ainge spoke out about the issue.

In an appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich,” Ainge claimed that he had “never heard” any Celtics player mention that during their time in Boston.

“I think that we take those kind of things seriously,” Ainge said. “I never heard any of that, from any player that I’ve ever played with in my 26 years in Boston. I never heard that before from Kyrie and I talked to him quite a bit.”

Ainge’s comments were certainly a bit odd, as Marcus Smart had written about a racist incident he faced outside the TD Garden just months before. And on Thursday afternoon, Smart said that he has “heard a couple of things” during his time in Boston.

MORE: Kyrie Irving speaks about his return to Boston

“Yeah, I’ve heard it. I’ve heard a couple of things,” Smart said of Boston fans making racist comments, per Yahoo Sports’ Keith Smith. “It’s hard to hear that and then have them support us as players. It’s kind of sad and sickening.”

So, regardless of what Irving did or didn’t tell Ainge about racism in Boston, there’s recent evidence to support Irving’s claims. And it comes from Smart, the longest-tenured Celtics player.

Smart isn’t alone either. In January 2019, the TD Garden banned a fan for two years after they “muttered the n-word” at then-Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins.

MORE: Anthony Davis calls Devin Booker’s shove a “dirty play”

Generally, around the NBA, there has been a recent uptick in incidents between fans and players. Most recently, the Jazz banned fans indefinitely for hurling racist remarks at Grizzlies star Ja Morant’s family.

Additionally, a 76ers fan dumped popcorn on Russell Westbrook on Wednesday night while a Knicks fan spat on Hawks star Trae Young. Both fans were banned from the arenas indefinitely.

Here’s hoping that Friday’s Game 3 between the Nets and Celtics passes without incident.

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Padres’ Manny Machado wore the perfect Father’s Day footwear

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Padres' Manny Machado wore the perfect Father's Day footwear

Manny Machado’s got heat on feet. Kind of.

While ostentatious, loud and colorful cleats are all the rage in baseball, the Padres’ star third baseman dialed it down on Father’s Day. Like, a lot down.

Machado took the field wearing a pair of Nike Air Monarch cleats — the preeminent, iconic dad shoe — during San Diego’s Dad Day matchup vs. the Reds.

The Monarchs have fostered a reputation for being an unforgettable dad-worn sneaker, making Machado’s footwear a tremendous salute to fathers (and grillmasters) around the country.

What makes the cleats even better is that they are in the classic white, silver and navy blue colorway, which is the only way to wear those bad boys. While these are Jordan Brand player-exclusive cleats, they’re dad-exclusive away from the field.

MORE: Joey Votto makes young fan’s day in San Diego

Machado has worn all different makes of cleats throughout his career, usually flashy and gaudy types. The All-Star infielder has worn Jordan 11s, 12s, 4s and a bunch of others on the field.

Still, lacing up a pair of Grillmaster 5s on Father’s Day earned him plenty of praise from fans who understood the tribute:

You’ll probably be able to catch Machado after the game at a BBQ near you, likely cracking some bad puns and calling everyone “big guy.”

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Nets’ Kevin Durant joining Team USA for Tokyo Olympics after Game 7 loss vs. Bucks, report says

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Nets' Kevin Durant joining Team USA for Tokyo Olympics after Game 7 loss vs. Bucks, report says

Kevin Durant isn’t going to be taking much time off this summer.

In fact, he appears to be ready for more action despite playing all 53 minutes of the Nets’ Game 7 overtime loss to the Bucks and scoring a game-high 48 points. And he’s joining another super team that has title hopes.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Durant is expected to commit to Team USA ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

Durant would become the sixth player to commit to Team USA, joining another player with Olympic experience, Draymond Green, and four first-time Olympians: Damian Lillard, Jayson Tatum, Bradley Beal and Devin Booker.

MORE: Kevin Durant blames ‘big-ass foot’ for loss to the Suns

Durant competed in both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. He averaged 19.5 points at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro and 19.4 points at the 2012 London Olympics.

In addition, Durant shot 54.6 percent from the shorter-range international 3-point line at the two tournaments and has compiled a 39-0 record in international play.

Team USA can now turn its attention to its remaining question marks with Durant’s commitment reportedly secured. Anthony Davis and LeBron James won’t be participating in this year’s Olympics, but Stephen Curry was “50-50” about competing in the event.

Either way, Team USA should be considered the top threat at the 2021 Summer Games with Durant in the fold.

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Yankees secure win vs. Athletics with another triple play, tie MLB record

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Yankees secure win vs. Athletics with another triple play, tie MLB record

If a double play is a pitcher’s best friend, then what’s a triple play?

The Yankees had already turned two triple plays this season before Sunday, including one that has literally never been seen before in MLB history. Then they pulled off one more, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

With the Yankees teetering on the brink of danger in the ninth inning, closer Aroldis Chapman got A’s catcher Sean Murphy to ground to third baseman Gio Urshela, who stepped on the bag and relayed to DJ LeMahieu, who then threw to Chris Gittens for the 5-4-3 game-ender.

It was a record-tying play by the Yankees: The high-water mark for triple plays turned in a season is three, with the feat most recently accomplished by the White Sox in 2016.

The Yankees’ second triple play of the year — a 1-3-6-2-5-6 triple killing vs. the Blue Jays on June 17 — had never accomplished in baseball history:

The around-the-horn game-ending triple play on Father’s Day secured a 2-1 victory over Oakland and gave New York the series win over a hot A’s team. New York moves to 38-33 and continues to right the ship in an up-and-down season.

But, hey, that’s a pretty cool gift for dads everywhere.

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