Monday’s Sports In Brief
LOS ANGELES (AP) Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling lost his attempt to block the $2 billion sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
In allowing the deal to go forward, Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas sided with Sterling’s estranged wife, Shelly Sterling, who negotiated the record sale after the NBA banned the 80-year-old billionaire for making offensive remarks about blacks.
Shelly Sterling sought the probate judge’s approval to ink the deal after taking over the family trust that owns the team because doctors found Donald Sterling had signs of Alzheimer’s disease and couldn’t manage his affairs.
The judge said Shelly Sterling had negotiated a good deal and the removal of her husband as a co-trustee was in good faith and not part of a secret plan to seize the team.
An unusual provision of the ruling bars Donald Sterling from seeking a court-ordered delay of the sale as he appeals. His lawyers plan to seek permission from an appellate court to file an appeal.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Los Angeles Lakers confirmed Byron Scott is their new coach, finally making the long-anticipated announcement in a news release.
Scott was to be introduced at a news conference Tuesday at the Lakers’ training complex.
Scott told reporters during the weekend he had been hired by the Lakers, who have been without a coach since Mike D’Antoni resigned April 30. Scott is the 25th head coach in the 16-time NBA champions’ franchise history.
Scott is 416-521 as a head coach for New Jersey, New Orleans and Cleveland, reaching two NBA Finals with the Nets. He has won three division titles, and he was the NBA’s coach of the year in 2008.
Scott also was a shooting guard for the Lakers for 11 seasons, playing alongside Magic Johnson during the Showtime era. He was a teammate of Lakers star Kobe Bryant during his final NBA season, and Bryant has endorsed Scott for his new job.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Mo Williams is on his way to Minnesota, which means J.J. Barea could be on his way out.
The Timberwolves and Williams have agreed to a $3.75 million, one-year contract, the player’s agency, Priority Sports, announced. The agreement gives the Timberwolves an experienced and versatile combo guard to play behind Ricky Rubio.
Williams turns 32 in December and is coming off a season in Portland in which he averaged 9.7 points per game for his lowest output since his rookie year in 2003-04. But his ability to shoot – he is a career 38.5 percent shooter from 3-point range – and handle the ball made him an attractive target for the Timberwolves, who were looking for a quality veteran to play behind Rubio and alongside rookie Zach LaVine next season.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) – The Detroit Lions are postponing contract talks with All-Pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh until after the season.
Suh is entering the final season of his contract, and team president Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew said negotiations are being tabled. Lewand and Mayhew both expressed optimism that a deal can eventually be reached.
Suh talked to reporters after practice, but he didn’t want to discuss his contract situation.
Lewand said Detroit’s salary-cap situation isn’t the reason for the delay in an agreement.
If the two sides can’t reach a deal after the season, the Lions could still keep Suh by using their franchise tag on him.
The Lions selected Suh with the second overall pick in 2010, and he has 27 1/2 sacks in his four pro seasons.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – For the second straight day a fight broke out between an offensive and defensive player at Philadelphia Eagles training camp.
Cornerback Bradley Fletcher took on wide receiver Jeremy Maclin one day after linebacker Trent Cole got into it with All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy.
Maclin walked off the field and declined to speak to reporters. He looked angry about the fight.
The Eagles’ defense ranked 29th in the NFL last year during Philadelphia’s worst-to-first season and was the main reason the Eagles lost to New Orleans in a wild-card playoff game.
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) – The Panthers are breathing a sigh of relief over rookie wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said an MRI revealed the team’s first-round draft pick has a bone bruise in his left knee and will miss at least a few days of training camp.
Rivera wouldn’t give a specific timetable on Benjamin’s return.
He said it should take a ”few days” for the swelling to subside, but the Panthers will play it by ear and lean largely on how Benjamin feels before putting him back on the field.
That’s good news for the Panthers, who view Benjamin as a key component in this year’s offense.
NEWTON, Iowa (AP) – Brad Keselowski will run the NASCAR Nationwide race in Iowa on Saturday, just a day before the Sprint Cup event at Pocono.
Keselowski will make his seventh start in NASCAR’s second-tier series this season. Keselowski, who has already won a pair of Nationwide races in 2014, will replace Ryan Blaney in the No. 22 car so Blaney can run a trucks race in Pocono on Saturday.
Keselowski has won twice in four Nationwide races at Iowa Speedway, including the inaugural event in 2009.
Keselowski will fly back to Pennsylvania following Saturday night’s race to run the No. 2 car at Pocono on Sunday.
TORONTO (AP) – Center Daniel Winnik has signed a $1.3 million, one-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs after spending last season with the Anaheim Ducks.
Winnik, joining his fifth NHL team, had a career-high 30 points (six goals, 24 assists) and 23 penalty minutes in 76 games last season. He had one assist and two penalty minutes in nine playoff games.
The 29-year-old Toronto native, selected by Phoenix in the ninth round of the 2004 NHL entry draft, has 150 career points (49 goals, 101 assists) with Anaheim, Colorado, San Jose and the Coyotes.