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Rockets' James Harden surprises fan celebrating 100th birthday

The Houston Rockets’ James Harden had a great night on the court, but it’s what he did after the game that has fans cheering.

After scoring 38 points in a 111-92 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, Harden headed to the stands, where he signed a ball for a very special fan, a woman celebrating her 100th birthday. Harden presented her the ball and sat down to speak to her briefly, according to The Associated Press. During a post-game ESPN interview, Harden said he told the woman how blessed he was to have a chance to meet her.

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The Houston Rockets posted the heartwarming exchange on the team’s Twitter page.

That moment you get the game ball from @JHarden13 on your 100th birthday. pic.twitter.com/sRBueSShDW— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) January 19, 2017

NBA considers changing game over millennials’ short attention spans

NBA basketball games are shorter than the other major league sports games like football and hockey, but the last minutes of a game can drag on for a considerable time.Commissioner Adam Silver said last week the league is considering making changes so they don’t lose millennials, who are tuning out in the final minutes of the game.

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“It’s something that I know all of sports are looking at right now, and that is the format of the game and the length of time it takes to play the game,” Silver said to ESPN.com’s Tom Hamilton.

“Obviously people, particularly millennials, have increasingly short attention spans, so it’s something as a business we need to pay attention to,” he added.

During the last two minutes of a basketball game, coaches call time outs, they switch players, and plan for plays that could help them win, but it can turn those final two minutes into 10 to 15 minutes, or longer.“We are going to take a fresh look at the format, specifically in the last two minutes," Silver said. It’s ultimately up to the NBA’s board of owners, but there’s been no word on what kinds of changes might happen or when.

Plane carrying Miami Heat skids on taxiway in Milwaukee

A charter flight carrying the NBA’s Miami Heat basketball team slid on a taxiway after it landed at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee on Wednesday night, WISN reported.

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However, the plane stayed on the pavement as it taxied toward the terminal, and team officials said nobody was hurt.

The incident, which occurred at 9:20 p.m., was caused by ice on the runway, WPLG reported. The plane had to be towed to safety, the television station reported.

Flights arriving and departing at the airport were temporarily suspended earlier in the evening due to icy conditions in the plane parking/taxiway area, WITI reported. The suspension was lifted 90 minutes before the plane carrying the Heat landed.

The Heat will play the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night. Miami played Golden State on Tuesday night.

Upon landing in Milwaukee tonight the team plane slid while taxiing but never left the pavement. Everyone on board has deplaned and is ok.— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 12, 2017 <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Atlanta Hawks GM apologizes for comment

Atlanta Hawks general manager Wes Wilcox has apologized for a comment he made at a recent meeting with season-ticket holders.

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Wilcox issued a statement Friday in response to a published report that he made a racially insensitive comment that offended Clarenton Crawford and his wife during a question-and-answer session in December.

The statement from Wilcox read: "At an early December chalk talk, I made a self-deprecating comment at my own expense regarding my family, which is multi-racial. This joke offended Mr. Crawford and his wife and for that, I apologize."

Hawks CEO Steve Koonin and Chief Diversity Officer Nazinga Shaw met with Crawford this week. The team does not consider the matter closed, pending further internal discussion.

Notable sports deaths in 2016

Dancing Warriors fan hits center court with Christmas moves

She’s a dance mom without the drama, but with plenty of moves.

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Robin Schreiber, who caused a stir in November when her dancing skills were caught on a dance cam during a Golden State Warriors game, was featured on center court Tuesday night. The retired teacher in her 60s took to center court at Oracle Arena with the Warriors dance team, wearing a Christmas sweater featuring Golden State’s logo and colors. 

The Christmas-themed halftime performance made it to the Warriors' Twitter account, as she danced to a rendition of “Let It Snow.” 

"I was in the moment, I was having so much fun," the Redwood City, California resident told Inside Edition.

She was invited to perform after a video of her energetic dancing in the stands went viral. Her husband wasn't surprised that she impressed the crowd—or the Warriors. 

“She’s always had serious dancing skills,” John Schreiber told Inside Edition. “She’s just out there having a good time, and that’s what people relate to.” 

<iframe width="390" height="219" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xN7epGg_blI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&amp;version=v2.8";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script> Posted by Robin Schreiber on Thursday, December 1, 2016

Ex-Florida financial adviser charged with stealing millions from former athletes

A former Florida businesswoman is accused of stealing $6 million from 1998 Heisman Trophy winner and former pro football player Ricky Williams and more from three other pro athletes, according to court documents.

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Peggy Ann Fulford operated two management companies out of Florida, according to secretary of state records.

Fulford and Williams made an agreement in 2008 for her to manage his financial affairs free of charge, the former running back said in a lawsuit.

Fulford presented herself as a graduate of Harvard’s business and law schools who had made millions in the stock market buying and selling hospitals and “just wanted to protect (clients) from losing their money,” according to a media statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

There is no record of Fulford ever graduating from Harvard, officials said.

Williams and Fulford opened a joint bank account in 2008 in Orlando where the former football player deposited the $11 million that he made from 2007 to 2012, according to court documents.

While Williams and his family were living off a monthly stipend sent from Fulford, she was spending the rest on luxury cars, real estate, jewelry and airline tickets, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Fulford is listed as the head of King Management Group and Associates, LLC, and Dennis Rodman Group and Associates, LLC in Florida.

While he is not named in Fulford’s criminal indictment, TMZ reported in 2015 that former NBA star Dennis Rodman fired Fulford as his financial manager in 2015 and accused her of stealing millions of dollars from him.

At that point, Fulford was going by the name Peggy King, court documents said. 

Fulford, who is also known by the aliases, Peggy Williams, Peggy Simpson, Peggy Rivers, Peggy Barard, Devon Cole and Devon Barard, was arrested Friday in New Orleans, the Times-Picayune reported.

Bomb threat on Celtics’ plane was hoax

Members of the Boston Celtics got a scare Saturday when they were told of a bomb threat on their chartered flight to Oklahoma City, but it appears it was a hoax, several news outlets reported.

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The Celtics’ team plane landed safely in Oklahoma City on Saturday. A team spokesman said the Celtics became aware of the threat while the flight was airborne, ESPN reported. 

According to Tim Martin of WFXT, the plane made it to Oklahoma City as scheduled, with the FBI and local law enforcement looking into the threat. Martin also reported that a Celtics spokesman said there was no evidence of a bomb on the plane. 

The FBI's Oklahoma City field office said late Saturday that a thorough search of the aircraft "did not locate an explosive device" and that the agency is investigating the incident.

Celtics forward Jae Crowder posted a short video to his Instagram page showing police lights flashing next to the team plane with the caption, “Bomb threat on us.”

Crowder also tweeted about the incident, saying the team was fine.

The Celtics face the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Sunday night. Boston lost 101-94 at home Friday night to the Toronto Raptors. 

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