Monday’s Sports In Brief
Outrage over racist comments purportedly made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling hit a crescendo Monday, with corporations pulling their sponsorship deals with the team and coach Doc Rivers saying he believes ”a very strong message” is coming from the NBA in response to the scandal.
That message will come Tuesday, when NBA Commissioner Adam Silver holds a news conference in New York and is expected to reveal sanctions the league will impose on Sterling.
A suspension of indefinite length and a hefty fine – Silver can issue one of up to $1 million without approval of owners – are possible. However, it remains unclear how far Silver’s powers can reach, even though the NBA constitution gives the commissioner’s office a lot of clout to protect the game’s best interest.
Many players simply want Sterling ousted, with Lakers star Kobe Bryant tweeting he ”should not continue owning the clippers.”
Early Tuesday, Former NBA star and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson sent out a tweet that called for the league to suspend Sterling indefinitely, appoint an executive or family member to run the team, and levy ”the maximum fine possible.” Johnson is advising the National Basketball Players Association while the Sterling matter plays out.
MIAMI (AP) Jack Ramsay, a Hall of Fame coach who led the Portland Trail Blazers to the 1977 NBA championship before he became one of the NBA’s most respected broadcasters, died following a long battle with cancer. He was 89.
Ramsay’s death was announced by ESPN, his employer for many years.
Ramsay coached in the NBA for parts of 21 seasons before embarking on a second career as an NBA analyst. He was diagnosed with melanoma in 2004 and later battled growths and tumors that spread to his legs, lungs and brain, then later fought prostate cancer and most recently a marrow syndrome.
Ramsay, who competed in at least 20 triathlons during his life, worked out regularly into his 80s, even as he battled the various forms of cancer.
”He’s probably forgotten more about the game than I know,” Miami Heat coach and president Pat Riley once said of Ramsay.
After serving for the U.S. in World War II, Ramsay earned a doctorate in education from the University of Pennsylvania in 1949, leading to his ”Dr. Jack” moniker.
RENTON, Wash. (AP) – Safety Earl Thomas and the Seahawks reached agreement on a $40 million, four-year contract extension with just over $27.7 million guaranteed, according to two people with knowledge of the agreement. They spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because there had been no announcement from the team.
The agreement was first reported by NFL.com.
BEREA, Ohio (AP) – Free agent quarterback Vince Young took a physical with the Browns and was expected to be in minicamp with the team this week.
Browns general manager Ray Farmer said the team has been closely tracking 30-year-old Young. He hasn’t played in an NFL game since 2011, when he played for Philadelphia and made three starts. He spent his first five seasons in the league with Tennessee.
Young has gone 31-19 as a starter and twice made the Pro Bowl.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – An unusual stock tied to the earning potential of San Francisco 49er tight end Vernon Davis gained $2 to close at $12 Monday in its trading debut. Only 496 of the 421,100 shares sold in the initial public offering by San Francisco startup Fantex Inc. traded Monday.
This marks the first time a stock has been linked to the performance of a professional athlete, a risky concept that highlights the confluence of sports and business.
CLEVELAND (AP) – Former NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar pleaded no contest to a reckless operation charge after blaming knee and ankle surgeries for not performing a field sobriety test during a traffic stop last year.
Kosar had been charged with drunken-driving in September, but he entered a plea to the lesser charge and received a $750 fine and suspended jail sentence.
SYDNEY (AP) – International Olympic Committee vice president John Coates slammed Rio’s preparations for the 2016 Olympics, saying on Tuesday at an Olympic forum that they are ”the worst I have experienced.”
Coates, who has made six trips to Rio as part of the Coordination Commission responsible for overseeing the preparations, said the IOC had been forced to take the unprecedented action of embedding experts in the local organizing committee, including a construction project manager, to help ensure the games are delivered.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper reportedly is going to be sidelined at least until July because of surgery on his left thumb.
ESPN.com says the two-time All-Star will have the operation Tuesday.
Washington spokesman John Dever declined to comment. The team was off Monday, and plays Tuesday night at Houston.
The Nationals put Harper on the 15-day disabled list Sunday, saying he had a sprained left thumb.
ST. LOUIS (AP) – The St. Louis Cardinals demoted struggling rookie Kolten Wong to the minors.
Wong, the starting second baseman to open the season, and reserve outfielder Shane Robinson were optioned to Triple-A Memphis. Rookies Greg Garcia and Randal Grichuk, both off to strong starts, were recalled from Memphis and are in the majors for the first time.
The 23-year-old Wong was batting .225 with five RBIs in 71 at-bats and didn’t play the last two games of a weekend series against Pittsburgh.
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) – Former All-Star pitcher Freddy Garcia joined Taiwan’s EDA Rhinos and is set to become the highest-paid player in the local league’s history.
Garcia signed a 7-month contract worth up to $56,000 per month, reportedly topping the amount Manny Ramirez was offered during his three months with the team last year.
NEW YORK (AP) – Boston’s Zdeno Chara, Chicago’s Duncan Keith and Nashville’s Shea Weber are finalists for the Norris Trophy, given annually to the NHL’s best defenseman.
Chara won the award in 2009 and is a finalist for the sixth time. The Bruins’ captain had 17 goals and a plus-25 rating this past season.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) – Missouri hired Central Missouri’s Kim Anderson, a former star player and longtime aide to Norm Stewart, as its men’s basketball coach.
The decision came shortly after the school’s board of curators met in Columbia, Mo. A news conference to introduce Anderson was set for Tuesday morning.
The 58-year-old Anderson won a Division II championship at Central Missouri this season.