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Candace Parker tweets recruiting letter she received from Pat Summitt


Many athletes, coaches, and dignitaries have sent out tributes to Pat Summitt, who passed away at the age of 64 from early-onset dementia on Tuesday.

Candace Parker, one of the best Summitt ever coached, sent her condolences via Twitter by sharing a letter she received from the legendary coach when trying to recruit Parker.

Parker scored 2,137 points in her three year career at Tennessee, while also winning back-to-back national titles in 2007 and 2008, Summitt's last.

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The Next Cubs: Longest title droughts in each sport


The Chicago Cubs won the National League pennant on Saturday night, ending generations of waiting 'til "next year" on the north side of Chicago.

With the Cubs advancing to their first World Series since 1945, here are the franchises that now own the longest finals droughts in North American sports.

Sacramento Kings (1951)

Technically speaking, the dysfunctional Kings franchise owns the longest finals drought in North America, having not played for the NBA championship since defeating the New York Knicks in the 1951 NBA finals.

The catch, however, is that the Kings only moved to Sacramento in 1985 – they were the Rochester Royals when they last played for a title – so while Sacramento basketball fans may have already endured a lifetime’s worth of misery, they aren’t quite familiar with the true pain of a drought.

Defining drought moment: Entering Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference finals with a 3-2 lead over the back-to-back defending champion Lakers, the Kings were done in – at least in part – by some questionable officiating that led to a 40-25 free-throw advantage for L.A. and a 106-102 Lakers win.

Shaq, Kobe, and the Lakers completed the comeback in Sacramento a couple nights later, winning Game 7 in overtime en route to their third consecutive title.

For what it’s worth, the city of Atlanta actually owns the NBA’s longest Finals drought, having never made the NBA finals since the Hawks moved to Georgia in 1968.

Detroit Lions (1957)

Few franchises are as synonymous with losing as the Lions, who have never made a Super Bowl appearance, last played for a title when they won the 1957 NFL championship, and posted the only 0-16 season in NFL history in 2008.

Even more depressing, the Lions have only won a single playoff game since their last title, going 1-11 in postseason contests over the last 58 years.

Defining drought moment: Eddie Murray misses the potential game-winning field goal with five seconds remaining in a 24-23 NFC Divisional Playoff loss to the defending champion San Francisco 49ers in 1983. The Lions haven’t enjoyed a playoff run as deep since.

Toronto Maple Leafs (1967)

The Leafs are celebrating their centennial season right now, but the latter half of that century of hockey has been played without a single Stanley Cup Finals appearance to show for it.

In fact, the self-proclaimed center of the hockey universe hasn’t witnessed a Cup Final game since the NHL expanded beyond six teams only months after the Leafs’ 1967 triumph.

Defining drought moment: Wayne Gretzky’s obvious high stick to the face of Doug Gilmour – which drew blood – goes uncalled in overtime of Game 6 during the 1993 Campbell Conference final.

Instead of a power play that could have sent the Leafs to the Cup Final and an Original 6 matchup with the arch-rival Canadiens, they watched Gretzky score the OT winner moments later to force a Game 7. The Great One scored a hat trick two nights later in Toronto to send the Kings to Montreal.

Washington Nationals (N/A, 1969)

Speaking of Montreal, the Expos played 36 pennant-less seasons before their 2005 move to D.C., where the Nationals have continued the trend by losing in the NLDS in each of their three postseason trips. In 48 seasons spanning two cities, the franchise has made the playoffs only four times, the NLCS only once, and has never played a single World Series game.

Washington's baseball heartbreak goes back even farther. From 1901-1960, the team that would eventually become the Minnesota Twins failed to advance to the World Series over its final 27 seasons in D.C. after winning it all in 1933. From 1961-71, Washington was home to the franchise that would eventually become the Texas Rangers, and didn't have a single postseason trip to show for it.

Defining drought moment (Montreal): A strike cancels the remainder of the 1994 season, with the Expos boasting an MLB-best 74-40 record and a six-game lead in the NL East.

Defining drought moment (D.C.): The Nationals take a 6-0 lead into the fourth inning and a 7-5 lead into the ninth inning against the Cardinals in Game 5 of their 2012 Division Series, but fall 9-7 to St. Louis in both games. Of note, 23-year-old All-Star Stephen Strasburg is shut down in early September in accordance with a team-imposed innings limit.

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Florida's Dontay Bassett to redshirt due to stress fracture


Incoming Florida freshman Dontay Bassett will redshirt this season after being diagnosed with a stress fracture in his right foot, the school announced Friday.

The surgery is expected to require four-to-six months of recovery, almost guaranteeing Bassett will miss the whole 2016-17 season.

The power forward was a three-star recruit out of Oldsmar, Fla.

The Gators tip off their season Nov. 11 against Florida Gulf Coast.

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Krzyzewski, Calipari among those to pay tribute to Pat Summitt


Pat Summitt won 1,098 games, eight national titles and an Olympic gold medal. Her death Tuesday from early onset dementia, sparked many reactions, including one from President Barack Obama.

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski on Summitt, who he shared Sportsperson of the Year honors with in 2011, reflected on her impact.

“There’s no question, she was really one of the greatest coaches of any sport,” Krzyzewski told Matt Norlander of CBS Sports. “She really put women’s basketball out there, in other words, what she did with recruiting, accomplishments and championships really set the foundation for where women’s basketball is in our country right now. (She’s) really the gold standard of women’s college basketball. She produced so many pros and set the bar at a really high level for basketball.”

From another Tennessee great, Peyton Manning:

From WNBA President Lisa Borders:

From UConn‘s Geno Auriemma, who Summitt’s Tennessee teams had a heated rivalry with for over a decade:

Kansas head coach Bill Self:

Auburn coach and former Tennessee men’s coach Bruce Pearl:

San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammond, the first full-time female coach in NBA history:

The world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden, also paid tribute to the legendary coach:

And then there is this Pat Summitt story, which sums it up nicely:

A legend on and off the court.

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Nowitzki: 'Dallas will always be home'


There's no place like home – even adopted ones.

Dirk Nowitzki was 20 years old when he moved to Dallas after the Mavericks drafted him ninth overall in 1998.

Now 38, he’s entering his 19th campaign with the franchise as his retirement looms.

Related: Nowitzki to ‘take it year by year’ in effort to finish career strong

There’s been speculation Nowitzki could return to his homeland of Germany once his NBA career ends, but he doesn’t see that happening.

“I think my future is more in the U.S.,” he told Eddie Sefko of SportsDay. “I think we’ve been here too long.”

The 13-time All-Star, whose children were born in the U.S. and have American passports, has truly embraced his NBA city.

“So for now, I think Dallas will always be home,” said Nowitzki, who led the team to its first championship in 2011.

Should he move back to Germany, he could pick up a role with the country's top basketball club. Bayern Munich has made the future Hall of Famer a standing offer to take up an advisory role.

Nowitzki doesn’t intend to accept the position, though, citing his all-or-nothing mentality.

“I don’t think I can do a job like that if I’m not there full time,” the 2007 NBA MVP said, adding, “I can’t be a manager or have influence on a team if I’m not there and can’t do stuff every day. I don’t want to do something halfheartedly. So that’s not something that’s in the plan.”

The 7-footer averaged 18.3 points, 6.5 boards, and 1.8 assists over 75 games last season. This summer, he signed a two-year, $50-million deal to remain with the Mavs.

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Iowa State picks up 4-star guard Lindell Wigginton


Iowa State has landed four-star guard Lindell Wigginton for its 2017 recruiting class.

The Oak Hill Academy product and native Canadian announced his commitment to Steve Prohm’s program Friday.

“Iowa State made me a priority and they always made me feel like family,” Wigginton said, according to Paul Biancardi of ESPN. “They trust me to be their scoring guard and I trust them to coach me. Coach Prohm is a humble guy. He keeps it real, he doesn’t tell you what you want to hear and I like that.”

Wigginton, ranked 49th on the ESPN 100, chose the Cyclones over an array of programs, including Arizona State and Oregon.

The 6-foot-1 guard could step into a significant role early, as Iowa State is set to lose key players Monte Morris, Naz Mitrou-Long, and Deonte Burton to graduation after the 2016-17 season.

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SEC's Greg Sankey: 'We weep, we mourn' for shooting victims


HOOVER, Ala. – Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey scrapped much of his planned speech at the league's annual media days to decry the wave of shootings across the country.

The second-year commissioner said Monday this is ''one of those times in our nation where we weep, we mourn, for those families and cities who have experienced loss.''

Sankey said the shooting in Dallas that killed five police officers was particularly personal because he lived in the city for 11 years.

Sankey also paid tribute to the late Pat Summitt. Tennessee's Hall of Fame women's basketball coach died last month at 64 more than five years after being diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type.

The league's 14 teams will conduct interviews throughout the week in Hoover.

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LeBron, Wade placing 'a nice bet and more' on World Series


LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have officially caught World Series fever.

The ex-teammates decided to make things a little interesting, with James proposing a bet on the upcoming matchup between the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs.

James’ Indians reached the World Series for the first time since 1997 on Wednesday, while Wade’s Cubs won the pennant for the first time in 71 years Saturday night.

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North Carolina's Pinson out indefinitely with foot fracture


North Carolina announced Friday that forward Theo Pinson is out indefinitely due to a fractured right foot.

The junior suffered the injury in practice earlier this week, and the team said its medical staff is reviewing possible treatment plans.

While the timetable for his return isn't known, head coach Roy Williams said the Tar Heels hope to get Pinson back before the end of the season.

The energetic swingman appeared in all 40 games for North Carolina last year, and made seven starts. He averaged 4.5 points and 3.2 rebounds as a sophomore.

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Student artist pays tribute to Pat Summitt with mural on 'the Rock'


As many gathered Thursday to pay tribute to Pat Summitt, the legendary Tennessee coach who amassed 1,098 career wins and touched the lives of countless friends, players, and family members, one person decided to honor her in a different way.

The artist responsible for the stunning image of Summitt was Payton Miller, a student artist with a reputation for her artistic depictions of famous Tennessee athletes, according to Courtney Martinez of NCAA.com.

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