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­HOUSTON - APRIL 30: Center Yao Ming #11 of the Houston Rockets in Game Six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center on April 30, 2009 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Odd and premature sports retirements

The Detroit Lions announced Tuesday that WR Calvin Johnson has retired. Johnson, who walks away at age 30, signed a 7-year contract extension in 2012 worth $113.5 million. Here's a look back at some other odd, abrupt or premature retirements by star athletes over the years.

  • Tim Tebow answered Stephen A. Smith's dumb question with a riveting inspirational speech

    Hate on Tim Tebow all you want, but there’s no denying he’s one of the most motivational guys in sports — period. On Tuesday he appeared with Stephen A. Smith on First Take and dropped the best speech you’ll hear all week. When he was criticized for taking a long shot at making an MLB roster, Tebow dropped the hammer.

    SB Nation
  • Are Two NFL Stars Betting Six-Figure Cars on Total Receiving Yards?

    Last season, Pittsburgh Steelers’ Antonio Brown ranked second in the NFL among all wide receivers, with a total of 1,834 yards. New York Jets’ Brandon Marshall clocked in fourth, with 1,502. Analyze data for the past three years, and Brown’s still in the lead with an average of 125 receptions and 1,677 yards, while Marshall averaged 90 catches and 1,173 yards.

    The Drive
  • Kyle Schwarber shows why he's a freak of nature who can do some World Series damage for the Cubs

    Kyle Schwarber is a freak of nature, a hitter with the hand-eye coordination, explosiveness and guts to do what should be impossible. Now you know why the Cubs always believed Schwarber could help get them that championship parade down Michigan Avenue — and how the Cleveland Indians won’t just fade into history’s background as The Other Team. “No, not right now,” Schwarber said.

    Yahoo Sports
  • A guy gave up his airline seat to Kenny Lofton, cashes in big

    A man named Ken Kostal of Marblehead, Ohio was just trying to get home from Los Angeles yesterday morning. He looked over and saw former Indians great Kenny Lofton in the boarding area, trying to fly standby to Cleveland. Why was Lofton trying to get to Cleveland? To throw out the first pitch in last night’s Game 1 of the World Series, of course. Kostal gave up his seat to Lofton and Lofton made it to Cleveland in time. But don’t weep for Kostal. He got more than a ticket on the next flight and some federally-mandated bonus cash. The Indians just announced that they are giving Kostal tickets for Game 6, if necessary. In addition, United Airlines is giving Kostal 62,200 miles for his use on a

  • How Aly Raisman and Simone Biles used their 'imperfect' bodies to win 11 Olympic medals

    NEW YORK - Aly Raisman reached out her fist and unfolded her fingers, holding her hand out perfectly flat. "Gymnasts are supposed to look like this," she said, "like stick figures; having a butt is bad in gymnastics." She turned to Simone Biles, her U.S. teammate sitting next to her, and lets out a laugh. "It's true!" the 19 year-old said, giggling. Biles and Raisman aren't like regular gymnasts. They're the best two in the world, for a start. Raisman, the U.S. gymnastics team captain in 2016, added to her three medal-haul from London 2012 with a gold and two silvers in Rio. She was only bettered by Biles, the teenage phenomenon who walked away from her debut Olympics with four gold medals and

    USA Today
  • Eagles reportedly looking to trade for Alshon Jeffery

    Since the Chicago Bears are currently mired in a 1-6 season and Alshon Jeffery is a pending unrestricted free agent playing on a franchise tag, all options are being considered regarding the 26-year-old receiver. According to Benjamin Allbright as well as Jason La Canfora, the Philadelphia Eagles are working to push through a trade for Jeffery by the November 1st deadline at 4:00 p.m. ET. If the deal was to be completed, the Eagles would need to “work out a long term deal” and a mid-round pick would come back to the Bears as compensation. Philadelphia is also rumored to be in on San Francisco 49ers receiver, Torrey Smith, who has never seemed to be a quality fit with head coach Chip Kelly’s offense and the 49ers.

    Windy City Gridiron
  • Melvin Gordon on his confidence, breakout 2016

    Yahoo Sports' Evan Doherty talks with San Diego Chargers running back Melvin Gordon about his huge start to the 2016 season, motivation from fans and major injuries in the offense.

    Yahoo Sports Videos
  • Snap totals point to which tight end the Steelers could release if Ladarius Green is activated

    The Pittsburgh Steelers have a predicament on their hands when the team comes out of the bye week and starts preparing for the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9. Some might think the predicament is whether Ladarius Green is ready to be activated to the 53-man roster yet, a task they have 21 days to officially do, but the real question is not if, but when, Green is activated, who becomes the odd man out at the tight end position? The current tight end depth chart reads as follows (in no particular order): Jesse James Xavier Grimble David Johnson There is no debate about Jesse James. The 2015 5th round draft pick has been the main man at the tight end position, routinely playing more than 90-percent of

    Behind the Steel Curtain
  • Denny Hamlin's secret weapon?

    "Finally he was able to catch his breath enough to key the mic and say 'I'm hurt.' That's all we got out of him," says Lambert. In the driver's seat – NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Denny Hamlin claimed his first career Daytona 500 win in February 2016. In the driver's seat – Hamlin's crew chief is Michael Wheeler, pictured left. "We worry about safety more than performance and durability," says Wheeler. In the driver's seat – "What I love about racing really is the competition of it," says Hamlin. Pictured here he celebrates his win at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 with a burnout in August 2016. In the driver's seat – "We have some of the greatest athletes in the world that have come to

  • Conor McGregor hits out at Jose Aldo over his decision to end contract with UFC

    Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) superstar Conor McGregor has taken a swipe at former featherweight champion Jose Aldo over his feud with the company and claimed that the Brazilian never wanted a rematch with him and just wants to get out of the sport. Aldo, who was knocked out by the Irishman at UFC 194 in just 13 seconds last December, has been vocal in the past about getting a rematch with McGregor. However, that has not happened with the Notorious going on to fight American Nate Diaz twice, once at UFC 196 and the second at UFC 202 and is scheduled to face Eddie Alvarez at the upcoming historical UFC 205 event in New York. What would have infuriated Aldo was that McGregor was allowed

    International Business Times UK
  • Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh says replay decision was the ‘worst call he’s ever seen’

    Jim Harbaugh has been known for using a bit of hyperbole from time to time but it sounds as though he was really, really, really upset at a call in the final few minutes of No. 2 Michigan’s 41-8 win over Illinois on Saturday. Wolverines quarterback John O’Korn had completed a third-and-nine pass to Drake Harris that officials had marked short of the first down by nearly two yards. Harbaugh quickly challenged the spot but Big Ten replay officials upheld the call to force a fourth down decision that was a little longer than it should have been according to the coach. “I’ve never seen a worse call in the game of football,” Harbaugh said at his Monday press conference. “My understanding of the rules

    NBC Sports: CollegeFootballTalk
  • LeBron, Cavs receive rings, raise Cleveland's 1st banner in 52 years

    The city of Cleveland waited 52 years to win a major sports championship before the Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors last June. Tuesday’s ring ceremony at Quicken Loans Arena brought that opportunity for yet another celebration of a classic victory. NBA Finals MVP LeBron James and teammates finally received their championship rings in a ceremony before Tuesday’s season opener against the visiting New York Knicks.

    Ball Don't Lie
  • Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly disappointed in AD's vote of confidence

    Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said Tuesday he was disappointed that athletic director Jack Swarbrick had to give him a vote of confidence last Friday. Notre Dame started the season ranked in the top 10, but are now 2-5 coming off a bye week and the groans about the coaching situation have been persistent. “Brian will lead this team out of the tunnel opening day next year,” Swarbrick said.

    Dr. Saturday
  • Joakim Noah mocks Cleveland after congratulating Cavs fans

    The only defiance from the Knicks on Tuesday came before their 117-88 season-opening loss — just as the Cavaliers began their ring ceremony. Joakim Noah, whose disdain for the Cavaliers is well-documented, needed to be told to leave the court as he shot free throws while the lights dimmed for the ceremony and a video montage rolled. “I was just warming up,’’ Noah said. The Knicks, under orders from the arena personnel, were asked to stay in the locker room during the 20-minute ceremony.

    New York Post
  • Bills Promise More Retaliation If Patriots Run Through Pregame Drills Again

    There seems to be a bit of miscommunication going on this week at the Buffalo Bills’ facility. The Bills host the New England Patriots on Sunday, a team they shut out on the road last month. The bad blood between the AFC East rivals began before that game even started, with Patriots rookies Jacoby Brissett and Malcolm Mitchell brawling with several Bills defensive backs during pregame warmups. According to the Bills players involved, Brissett and Mitchell started the altercation by running through a Buffalo drill rather than around it. As they jogged back down the field, safety Robert Blanton retaliated by shoving Brissett, and things escalated from there. Blanton called Brissett’s and Mitchell’s

    New England Sports Network
  • McIlroy: No-cut rule helped Woods rack up WGC wins

    While he hasn't played in more than a year, Tiger Woods remains a focal point whenever a World Golf Championship event rolls around. Woods has plenty of records to his name, but one of the most impressive feats is that he racked up 18 WGC titles from 1999-2013. That is the most all-time, while Dustin Johnson and Geoff Ogilvy are tied for second - with three wins apiece. Rory McIlroy has two WGC titles to his name, and speaking to reporters Wednesday at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China he tried to offer insight as to how Woods was so dominant for so long against elite WGC fields. "Honestly, I think because of the no-cut format. I think that's probably a big thing to do with it," McIlroy said. "You

    Golf Channel
  • Vicente Del Bosque backs Jose Mourinho over Antonio Conte spat

    Vicente Del Bosque has stepped into the row between Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho over the Chelsea manager's actions during their 4-0 victory over Manchester United on Sunday (23 October). Del Bosque, who won both the World Cup and Euro 2012 as Spain manager, believes Mourinho was right to be upset with the Blues boss, saying he also suffered the same humiliation when Italy knocked Spain out of Euro 2016 in the summer. Conte whipped up the Chelsea fans to show more support for the side after N'Golo Kante heaped more misery on Mourinho's team by scoring the fourth goal of the game. The United boss confronted his rival after the final whistle and, speaking into Conte's ear, reportedly accused

    International Business Times UK
  • The Spurs offense showed a new wrinkle against the Warriors

    The Spurs took advantage of the Warriors' weaknesses to the tune of a 29 point demolition on opening night. The Warriors lack proven depth, and the Spurs bench outscored the Warriors bench 54-16 with Jonathon Simmons, Manu Ginobili, and Patty Mills all in double figures. Another area of concern for Golden State is size and rim protection, and the Spurs out-rebounded them 55 to 35 and 21 to eight on the offensive glass. David Lee and Dewayne Dedmon came up with a combined seven offensive boards as reserves to add to LaMarcus Aldridge's eight. The degree of domination was surprising, but it's not shocking that the Spurs won in these specific facets of the game. What was a great sign for Spurs fans

    Pounding The Rock
  • Why the Rangers loss on Tuesday might have been bigger than that of the Chicago Cubs

    Rangers officials, including Levine, did not comment on the report. The Rangers have had some upheaval in the executive ranks over the last couple of years, but the belief here is this one will hurt more than the resignation of Nolan Ryan (2013) and the departure of A.J. Preller (2014). Each had their own strengths. Levine, who has spent a decade as Daniels' top assistant, has developed a well-rounded blend of skills that will serve him well. In baseball, ownership seems to gravitate towards one of two schools in hiring a GM: They either favor "scouting," which means they want a guy who played the game, spits tobacco and can talk in colorful jargon or they aim for "analytics" and a guy with a

  • Who has the advantage in Eagles at Cowboys?

    To say that the Eagles upcoming game against the Cowboys is critical is blatantly obvious. The Cowboys lead the NFC East by one game over the Eagles who are coming off of a much needed win against the Minnesota Vikings. The Cowboys have perhaps the most prolific rookie duo in recent memory in Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott. However, the Eagles defense sits in the top five of most major categories. Let’s take a look at which team has the advantage in each phase rolling into week eight. Cowboys Offense or Eagles Offense? The jury is still out on both Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz, two rookie quarterbacks who are blowing preseason expectations out of the water. Being rookie quarterbacks means

    Eagles Wire
  • Golf's Superheroes launch WGC Shanghai event

    Some of the stars of golf were turned into superheroes to promote the launch of the WGC HSBC Champions event in Shanghai.

    Omnisport Video
  • How a fan helped Kenny Lofton get to Cleveland for World Series first pitch

    An Indians fan came to Kenny Lofton’s rescue Monday night, ensuring the team’s former center fielder would make it to Cleveland in time to throw out the first pitch prior to Game 1 of the World Series against the Chicago Cubs. Lofton’s crazy adventure started in Los Angeles, where he was scheduled to take a red-eye flight to Cleveland late Monday night. As time ticked by and Lofton’s urgency to get to Cleveland hastened a bit, he was met by a fan who recognized him and offered his seat so Lofton could make an earlier flight.

    Big League Stew
  • Rumor: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope demanding more than $20 million annually to sign contract extension with Pistons

    Pistons owner Tom Gores said he’d pay the luxury tax if a contract extension for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope put Detroit over next season. Yet, Caldwell-Pope hasn’t signed an extension with the deadline six days away. What will it take? Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press: There was gossip over the summer that it would take a deal worth north of $20 million per year to get Caldwell-Pope’s signature. That’s not an unreasonable demand. It’s up to Caldwell-Pope whether he’d accept less in exchange for more security, but I think he’d get even more as a restricted free agent next summer – maybe even a max contract, which projects to start at more than $24 million. Caldwell-Pope is a good shooting guard

  • NFL Stock Watch: Spencer Ware rising, Allen Robinson falling

    Spencer Ware: He’s totaled 294 yards from scrimmage with two touchdowns over the last two games, and Jamaal Charles has renewed knee issues making it increasingly unlikely he’ll contribute much over the rest of the season. Ware is on pace to finish with 2,075 yards and eight touchdowns this year, and he has another dream matchup in Week 8 against an Indy defense that’s allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs. Ware should be considered a top-five fantasy RB down the stretch.

    Roto Arcade
  • Fan dies after fall of 30-50 feet at Broncos' stadium

    DENVER -- A fan who fell 30 to 50 feet while leaving Sports Authority Field at Mile High after the Denver Broncos game Monday night has died. The Denver County medical examiner's office made the announcement, saying the fan died Monday night after being taken to a hospital. The Broncos identified the man as Jason Coy in a statement released on Tuesday. "The Denver Broncos are extremely saddened to learn that Jason Coy, the fan who fell over a stairwell railing at Monday night's game, has passed away," the Broncos said in a statement. "Providing a safe, enjoyable environment for guests at Sports Authority Field at Mile High is the top priority for the Broncos and [Stadium Management Company].

    ABC News