NBA unveils full schedule
NEW YORK — LeBron James will make his one and only visit to Cleveland on Nov. 21 when the Los Angeles Lakers play the Cavaliers in the four-time MVP's home state.
The NBA released its complete regular season schedule Friday, two days after announcing the league's national TV schedule.
The regular season tips off Oct. 16 with Philadelphia visiting Boston and Oklahoma City at Golden State. The season concludes April 10.
Defending champion Golden State will play Houston for the first time since their Western Conference final went seven games on Nov. 15, while Toronto visits San Antonio on Jan. 3 in the first game between the teams since their big deal swapping DeMar DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard.
Utah and Orlando will play in Mexico City on Dec. 15, while the New York Knicks and Washington Wizards will play the NBA's ninth regular-season game in London on Jan. 17.
The league is starting the season earlier in its push to limit the number of back-to-back games with teams averaging just 13.3 back-to-backs, a drop of 31 percent from 2014-15 when the average was 19.3 per team. No team will play four games in five days for a second straight season and for the first time ever no team will play eight games in a 12-day span.
Loaiza pleads guilty
to drug charges
SAN DIEGO — Former All-Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza has pleaded guilty to federal drug charges in California.
The 46-year-old acknowledged in a San Diego courtroom Friday that he possessed about 20 kilograms of cocaine with intent to distribute. He faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 2.
Loaiza had been under surveillance when he was arrested in February near a house in Imperial Beach, which borders Tijuana, Mexico. His silver Mercedes SUV had just left the garage when authorities stopped him.
Loaiza played for several U.S. teams between 1995 and 2008, including the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox. He had a 21-9 record with the White Sox in 2003 and started in the All-Star Game that year.
Redskins' Guice out for season
Washington Redskins rookie running back Derrius Guice is out for the season after tearing the ACL in his left knee, a significant blow to the ground game.
Guice was injured in Washington's preseason opener at New England on Thursday night and could be seen on the sideline with ice on his knee. The team announced the prognosis Friday following an MRI, saying Guice should make a full recovery and be ready to play in 2019.
Guice was expected to be the Redskins' starter after they selected him 59th overall in the draft. The LSU product was considered a first-round prospect and fell amid reports of character concerns before being taken late in the second.
"Grabbing him in the second round was obviously a great treat for us, but character was never a concern," coach Jay Gruden said recently, pointing to injuries and the quality of running backs as reasons for Guice falling in the draft. "He's been great, never been late, attentive, great attitude, always happy, happy-go-lucky and fun to be around, quite frankly."