OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) The Golden State Warriors are taking another chance on a television analyst and former NBA guard who has never been a head coach at any level.
The Warriors won the bidding war with the New York Knicks for Steve Kerr on Wednesday, hiring him away from the TNT broadcast table to be their coach. Kerr agreed to a five-year, $25 million deal with the Warriors, said his agent, Mike Tannenbaum.
Kerr had been in talks with the Knicks about becoming their next coach since Phil Jackson took over as team president in March. He won three titles playing for Jackson in Chicago and another two under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio.
Kerr also spent three seasons as general manager of the Phoenix Suns before stepping down in June 2010. He replaces Mark Jackson, who was fired by the Warriors on May 6 after three seasons and back-to-back playoff appearances.
Kerr said last month that he has wanted to coach since going back to his job at TNT. And while the lure of building a contender with his mentor at Madison Square Garden looked appealing, the chance to coach a Western Conference contender in his home state proved to be too much.
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) – The Detroit Pistons are counting on Stan Van Gundy to bring some much-needed stability to a struggling franchise.
They’re certainly giving him plenty of authority.
The Pistons officially announced Van Gundy’s hiring Wednesday as their new coach and president of basketball operations. The team will introduce Van Gundy at a news conference Thursday. Detroit went 29-53 last season, missing the playoffs for a fifth straight year. That was the end of Joe Dumars’ tenure as team president. Coach Maurice Cheeks was fired in February.
Van Gundy agreed to a $35 million, five-year contract – a commitment from the team that suggests he’ll have plenty of time to turn Detroit’s fortunes around. Dumars stepped down after 15 seasons in the front office, and toward the end of his tenure, the Pistons seemed increasingly adrift as they hired coach after coach with little success.
BALTIMORE (AP) – Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome was made the odds-on favorite at 3-5 on Wednesday for the Preakness Stakes, and he drew an inside post position in the 10-horse field that includes a filly for the first time in five years.
Trained by Art Sherman and ridden by Victor Espinoza, California Chrome will break from the No. 3 post, which has produced 10 winners in the previous 138 runnings of the 1 3/16-mile race.
So does California Chrome’s co-owner Steve Coburn, who dared to look ahead.
If California Chrome would win Saturday, next up would be the Belmont Stakes on June 7. Only 11 horses have swept the Derby, Preakness and Belmont and none since 1978.
California Chrome brings a five-race winning streak into the Preakness, having won that many by a combined 26 lengths. Still, his overwhelming odds surprised Sherman, a 77-year-old trainer who has never had a colt this good.
Speedster Social Inclusion was the 5-1 second choice of new Pimlico oddsmaker Keith Feustle. The colt drew the No. 8 post. He skipped the Kentucky Derby and is one of seven new horses lining up to challenge California Chrome on Saturday.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Panthers Pro Bowl defensive end Greg Hardy was released from jail on $17,000 bond Wednesday, one day after being arrested on charges of assault on a female and communicating threats.
Hardy left jail wearing sweatpants and a black tank top. He did not speak to reporters.
Charlotte Mecklenburg County Judge Rebecca Thorne Tin called Hardy a potential threat and ordered him not to have any contact with the accuser and to attend three Alcoholic Anonymous meetings per week.
In the arrest warrant, the 24-year-old accuser alleges Hardy threw her on a pile of guns and threatened to kill her.
She filed a protective restraining order against Hardy on Wednesday, saying he attacked her in his apartment and ”picked me up and threw me into the tile tub area in the bathroom” and that she ”has bruises from head to toe.”
She also says in the filing that the 6-foot-4, 290-pound Hardy pulled her by the hair and ”was screaming he was going to kill me, break my arms and other threats.” She says Hardy choked her with both hands around her throat before picking her up and throwing her onto a couch ”covered with assault rifles and/or shotguns” and ”bragged that the guns were loaded.”
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Thirty-six Division I athletic teams will face postseason bans next fall because of sub-par scores on the NCAA’s annual Academic Progress Rate.
Seventeen of those teams play either football or men’s basketball. Last year, 17 teams in all faced postseason bans because of poor academic results.
The APR is billed as a real-time measurement for all teams and is based on a points-system that rewards athletes for staying academically eligible and staying in school.
This year’s four-year measurements, released Wednesday, cover the period from 2009-10 through 2012-13. The report shows a two-point improvement among all athletes, going from 974 to 976. A perfect score is 1,000.
Of the four most visible sports, men’s basketball made the greatest improvement, going from 952 to 957.