Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri hasn’t forgotten the first time he met Nick Nurse.
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It was 1995 and Ujiri, now president of the Toronto Raptors, was playing for the Derby Storm of the British Basketball League. Nurse was coach of the rival Birmingham Bullets. Not yet 30, Nurse had already been on the bench for six years, quickly establishing himself as a coach on the rise.

The Nationals need to find some offense: Aaron Nola continued his monster first half, as he held the Nationals to one run over 7 2/3 innings in a 4-3 win for the Phillies. (The Nationals made it interesting with two runs in Keith Kinkaid Jersey the ninth before Seranthony Dominguez came on to get the final two outs.) My favorite part of the game was that Gabe Kapler left Nola in for 114 pitches, a season high, and to — heaven forbid — actually face the top of the order a fourth time.

Howard’s most impressive game of the 2017-18 season came on March 21 (ironically enough, vs. Brooklyn), when he finished with 32 points and a career-high 30 rebounds in a comeback win against the Nets.

Last season, he ranked third in the NBA James Bradberry Youth Jersey in rebounds per game (12.5), fourth in double-doubles (53), ninth in blocks (1.6) and 11th in field-goal percentage (55.5 percent). However, Howard struggled to mesh with Charlotte’s guards, and the Hornets failed to make the playoffs despite what former coach Steve Clifford considered the team’s most talented roster in half a decade.

Manny Ramirez: He led the AL twice in slugging and OPS with the Indians and had a 165-RBI season. He came to the Dodgers in 2008 and hit .396 with 53 RBIs in 52 games and finished fourth in the MVP voting, leading to the creation of Mannywood at Dodger Stadium.

Kenny Lofton: He was one of the best all-around players in the game in the ’90s, spending nine seasons with the Indians sandwiched around one season in Atlanta. He then entered the vagabond phase of his career and hit .301 for the Dodgers in 2006.

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