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Alabama's Saban, ex-Dolphins coach, back in Miami

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Alabama's Saban, ex-Dolphins coach, back in Miami

MIAMI (AP) Nick Saban returned to his former NFL home and insisted he's not looking for another one.

The Alabama coach was back at Sun Life Stadium - where he coached the Miami Dolphins in 2005 and 2006 - for the BCS title game media day event Saturday. The second-ranked Crimson Tide (12-1) faces No. 1 Notre Dame (12-0) on Monday night there for the national title.

Saban said he wasn't feeling nostalgic by being back on the Dolphins' turf, further adding that a return to the NFL is not tempting to him.

``I don't have any unfinished business in the NFL,'' Saban said. ``I have a job right now and I want to do the best job that I possibly can for this team, right now. ... That's not something that I'm concerned about. It's not something I'm thinking about; it's not even something that I want to do. I want to be a college coach.''

Of course, Saban sometimes changes his mind.

And nowhere has that been more chronicled than Miami.

It was Dec. 21, 2006, when Saban spoke at the Dolphins' facility after his team practiced and, after weeks of trying to denounce reports that Alabama intrigued him as ``rumor and innuendo,'' he offered his most emphatic denial of the entire process.

``I guess I have to say it. I'm not going to be the Alabama coach,'' Saban said that day, an oft-repeated quote.

Less than two weeks later, Saban was the Alabama coach.

So when he returned Saturday - the first time he was on the field at Sun Life in a working capacity since Christmas 2006 - Saban was predictably all about what's looming for Alabama on Monday night.

``I'm kind of excited for the opportunity that our team has,'' Saban said. ``It's really about our team and this game. We're always happy to come back to South Florida. We have some great relationships here and some very fond memories of being here. But right now, we've recruited and worked to develop this team for a long, long time, and it's really a lot more about them being here ... than it is anything that's happened in my past.''

Saban walked onto the field about 9:30 a.m. Saturday, not even seeming to take a look around at the facility where he went 9-7 in home games with the Dolphins. He walked down the visitors' sideline to his assigned booth, shook a couple hands with game staff and spoke with reporters for an hour.

``It's good to be back,'' said Alabama assistant coach Jeff Stoutland, a former coach at the University of Miami - which also uses Sun Life as its home field. ``But it's a business trip for us. We've got a schedule and we're sticking to that schedule.''

The Dolphins went 6-10 in Saban's final season in Miami, the only sub-.500 record that one of his teams has posted in his 19 seasons as a head coach. He lost 17 games in two seasons with the Dolphins; he's lost 13 in nearly six full seasons with the Crimson Tide and is now trying for his third BCS national title in four seasons.

``I'm not looking for new challenges,'' Saban said. ``I'm just trying to take advantage of helping the challenging situation that we have and continue to be successful.''

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

Instead of visiting the White House when they come to Washington this week to play the Wizards, the defending-champion Golden State Warriors plan to hold an event with D.C.-area kids.

Their invitation was rescinded by president Donald Trump following a back-and-forth between the two sides last year. After the Warriors won the title, they openly questioned whether they should follow the tradition given many of the players and coaches disagree with his policies. Trump took the opportunity away before they came to a final decision.

PODCAST: WIZARDS MAKE A FREE AGENT SIGNING

The Warriors' event will be closed off to the media and held at an undisclosed location. It is set for Tuesday, the day before they play the Wizards at Capital One Arena. The Warriors had the option of holding a ceremony with other politicians in the Democratic party, but decided that would send the wrong message. 

"It's their championship. They got disinvited to the White House, so it's up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans," coach Steve Kerr said. "I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they're doing."

The Warriors are the first NBA team to make this choice since Trump was elected president. Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers held their celebration with president Barack Obama in November. They did so just days after Trump was elected and LeBron James questioned at the time whether he would visit the White House with Trump in office.

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Sports teams visiting the White House goes back to the mid-1800s. The first World Series title team to visit was the 1924 Washington Senators. By the 1960s, NBA teams were going and by the 1980s NFL and NHL teams made it a tradition.

Entire teams snubbing the White House is unusual, but many players have turned down the opportunity. In the NBA, some famous cases include Larry Bird in 1984 and Michael Jordan in 1991, according to Rolling Stone.

Perhaps the Warriors start a trend, or maybe it will be a one-off thing. Regardless, the alternative they chose is a respectable one. 

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

 

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Game 62: Capitals vs. Sabres Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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USA TODAY Sports

Game 62: Capitals vs. Sabres Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Buffalo Sabres

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Sabres will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Sabres game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME?

The Capitals (34-20-7) take on the Sabres (18-32-11) Saturday, February 24 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Capital One Arena.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME ON?

The Capitals-Sabres game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Sabres
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:00 p.m. — Caps in 30

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME?

Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Sabres game:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Defensemen
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Michal Kempny - Brooks Orpik

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Alex Chiasson, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME?

The Capitals-Panthers game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

CAPITALS-SABRES OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.