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Donovan not sure he wants to play at World Cup

Donovan not sure he wants to play at World Cup

NEW YORK (AP) Landon Donovan isn't sure he wants to play at the 2014 World Cup, a stance that prompted U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann to say he intends to speak with the longtime American star.

The 30-year-old Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder, a veteran of three World Cups, has been sidelined by a string of injuries this year and has appeared in just eight of 20 national team games since Klinsmann became coach.

``If I'm not enjoying playing any more, the World Cup is the last thing on my mind,'' Donovan said in an interview with ESPN released this week. ``I need to make sure that I'm enjoying playing every day. If I'm not enjoying it, none of that stuff really matters. And your body's going to tell you it's time to take a break and that's what my body has done this year, there's no question.''

Donovan said he can picture himself not playing at the World Cup. He has an American-record 49 goals in 144 international appearances, but his injury layoffs have given him doubts.

``When you're not part of the team all the time, you can start to question your value and your worth there,'' he said. ``I'm human. I think about those things, and I wonder that from time to time - am I capable and/or do they still want me around?''

Speaking during a conference call Thursday, Klinsmann said Donovan is wanted by the national team, which starts the 10-game final round of World Cup qualifying in February.

``I find it really courageous of him to talk openly about what's going through his mind,'' Klinsmann said, adding: ``He's always in our plans, absolutely.''

Klinsmann seems to be giving Donovan plenty of time to make up his mind.

``It's really down to him, himself, what he wants to further achieve in his career, what he wants to do,'' the coach said. ``Whatever he decides to do will be very respected by us.''

Donovan's availability for the next U.S. game, a Nov. 14 exhibition at Russia, depends on how far the defending champion Galaxy progress in the Major League Soccer playoffs.

His absence has created a void in the American attack.

``When one player is not there, there is a chance for another player to step in and make a case for a spot,'' Klinsmann said. ``We'll all be curious to see how it continues.''

Donovan has been sidelined this year by bronchitis, a hamstring injury and a knee injury. The U.S. is 3-2-3 with Donovan under Klinsmann and 8-4-0 without him.

``It's probably affected my relationship with everybody on that team,'' Donovan said of the absences. ``When you're a guy who's never been hurt for the most part and then all of a sudden you have all these injuries, I think people start to question it - maybe he's faking it, or maybe he's not really hurt or maybe he doesn't want to come in.

``That's really frustrating and candidly it's pretty hurtful because I've spent more time on a soccer field than anybody in the history of this program. I've played in games I shouldn't be playing in for health reasons or otherwise. I feel like I've given a lot to this program, and when you get the sense that people think you're not genuine, then that can hurt you.''

Klinsmann thought Donovan had the wrong impression, and intends to invite him to lunch or dinner.

``I don't know if he has a feeling that maybe some players didn't buy in or whatever. I didn't see that,'' Klinsmann said. ``If it's Landon's thought, then he can obviously talk about it. It's no problem.''

Donovan is not interested in a loan to Everton, where he played in early 2010 and early 2012.

``I'm no good to any team if I'm playing half-hearted or if I'm playing at 80 percent physically,'' Donovan said. ``I can go through the motions and do an OK job, but I don't want to be doing an OK job. I want to be making an impact.''

NOTES: Klinsmann hasn't spoken with Jozy Altidore since dropping the forward from his roster for World Cup qualifiers last month and said he hasn't decided whether to include him for the Russia game. ... The draw for the final round of World Cup qualifying will take place Tuesday. ... Klinsmann hasn't decided whether to have a January training camp. He may reduce the size or push it into late January, ahead of the next qualifier.

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Believe it or not, this isn't the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup

Believe it or not, this isn't the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup

In what is perhaps the most unexpected Stanley Cup Final pairing in recent memory, the Washington Capitals and the Las Vegas Golden Knights are going to make history this year.

Either it is going to be the first expansion team to win a title in their first season, or it will be a team looking to end a 27-year title drought for one of the biggest cities in the United States.

But what it will not be is the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup.

Going even farther back than the Capitals last Stanley Cup appearance (1998), the Georgetown Hoyas and UNLV Rebels met in the 1991 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Sin City took the first, and up until now, the only postseason bout between these two cities. The Larry Johnson-led University of Las Vegas squad powered right past the Hoyas in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.

[D.C. sports and Second Rounds, I know right?]

Coming fresh off the NCAA title in 1990, UNLV waltzed right to the Final Four before meeting their demise against Duke. It also ended up being the last game for Dikembe Mutombo in a Georgetown uniform.

While in all likely-hood this will not be the final game/ series for Alex Ovechkin rocking the red, it may be his last and only chance for him to play this far into a postseason.

In the past two seasons, Vegas has gone from zero professional teams to having a Stanley Cup contender, a WNBA franchise, and lined up to take over the Oakland Raiders in 2020. 

Now time for the Golden Knights' Cinderella story to come up a little bit short. 

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Bradley Beal receives zero All-NBA votes, which itself is a snub

Bradley Beal receives zero All-NBA votes, which itself is a snub

On Thursday the NBA revealed the All-NBA teams for the 2017-18 season.

Not surprisingly, Bradley Beal and John Wall did not make it to one of the three five-player teams. Of the two superstars, only Wall has been recognized once in his career.

What is surprising is that neither Beal nor Wall received a single vote in the whole process, especially Beal.

The 2017-18 season was without question the best in Beal’s career. He played in all 82 games, coming right off of the heals of his All-Star recognition. Beal seems to agree in his snubbing, tweeting this minutes after the teams were announced:

Looking at the list of players who made the top three teams, it shouldn’t be an issue, but these three guys got more votes than the Wizards' duo combined: Steven Adams, Trevor Ariza, and Dwight Howard. It is not surprising that Beal and Wall did not make an All-NBA team. It is odd that Beal didn’t receive a vote.

Here is a list of the full All-NBA Teams:

ALL-NBA FIRST TEAM: 

LeBron James (Cavaliers), James Harden (Rockets), Anthony Davis (Pelicans), Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers), Kevin Durant (Warriors)

ALL-NBA SECOND TEAM:

Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks), Russell Westbrook (Thunder), Joel Embiid (76ers), LaMarcus Aldridge (Spurs), DeMar DeRozan (Raptors)

ALL-NBA THIRD TEAM:

Stephen Curry (Warriors), Victor Oladipo (Pacers), Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves), Jimmy Butler (Timberwolves), Paul George (Thunder)

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