NEW YORK (AP) Former Commissioner David Stern praised the NBA’s handling of the Donald Sterling controversy and predicts it will ”end well” for the league.
Stern said his successor, Adam Silver, has been ”forceful” but also ”demonstrated a compassionate side” in his reaction to the racist remarks that were made by the Los Angeles Clippers owner.
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Silver fined Sterling $2.5 million and banned him for life after the recorded comments became public. Sterling’s wife, Shelly, later agreed to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for a record $2 billion, a transaction the league believes will close shortly even as Donald Sterling continues trying to fight in court.
Stern retired after 30 years as commissioner in February. He will be enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame next week.
Rafael Nadal withdrew from U.S. Open tuneups in Toronto and Cincinnati because of a right wrist injury, putting in doubt his status for a title defense at the year’s last Grand Slam tournament.
The second-ranked Nadal plays left-handed, but he uses a two-handed backhand. He said in a statement issued by the Toronto tournament that he injured himself Tuesday.
In a posting on Facebook, Nadal said he is ”disappointed” that he can’t play the next two weeks but adds, ”I expect to be well for the U.S. Open.”
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Derek Jeter got a surprise presidential farewell before playing his final game in Texas, when former President George W. Bush took part in a pregame ceremony.
Retired Rangers All-Stars Michael Young and Ivan Rodriguez first presented Jeter a pair of cowboy boots inscribed with the New York team logo, his name and No. 2. A video was then shown of Bush at Yankee Stadium before Game 3 of the 2001 World Series.
Bush, recounting the story from an excerpt in his 2010 book ”Decision Points,” spoke about going into an indoor batting cage to loosen his arm. Jeter came up to talk to him and told him to throw from the mound, or else they’ll boo you. … But don’t bounce it. They’ll boo you.”
When the video ended, showing Bush throwing a strike, the former president came on the field. He gave a surprised Jeter a framed signed picture of the two together in the batting cage that night nearly 13 years ago. The photo was from the archives of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in nearby Dallas.
CLEVELAND (AP) – The Cleveland Indians traded disappointing ace Justin Masterson to the St. Louis Cardinals, a deal that will allow the Indians to get something in return for the 29-year-old righty who was in his final year under contract.
In exchange for Masterson, who was scheduled to come off the disabled list later this week, the Indians got outfielder James Ramsey. A first-round pick by the Cardinals (No. 23 overall) in 2012, Ramsey has spent this season at Double-A Springfield, where he batted .300 with 13 home runs and 36 RBIs.
Masterson went 14-10 last season and then turned down an offer of a contract extension in spring training. He was 4-6 with a 5.51 ERA in 19 starts with the Indians this season and has had a noticeable loss in velocity.
PHOENIX (AP) – Arizona Diamondbacks infielder Eric Chavez announced his retirement, ending his 17-year major league career at the age of 36.
The left-handed hitting infielder, on the disabled list since June 9 because of a sprained left knee, spent 13 seasons with the Oakland Athletics, two with the New York Yankees and was in his second season with Arizona.
Chavez won six AL Gold Gloves from 2001-2006.
In 1,615 career regular-season games, he hit .268 with 260 home runs and 902 RBIs. This season, he hit .246 with three homers and eight RBIs in 69 at-bats.
OXNARD, Calif. (AP) – Tyron Smith has a new contract that will probably make him the most important blocker for the next Dallas quarterback after Tony Romo.
The Pro Bowl left tackle signed an eight-year, $98 million extension that pushes the total value of his deal to $110 million over 10 years, locking him up through 2023.
The extension includes a $10 million signing bonus and $40 million in guaranteed money. Smith joins Romo as the only Cowboys with contracts valued at more than $100 million.
Smith was just 20 when the Cowboys took him ninth overall in 2011 out of Southern California.
PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) – Fred Jackson has no plans of slowing down any time soon.
The 33-year-old running back signed a one-year contract extension with Buffalo, placing the Bills’ unquestioned leader on offense under contract through 2015.
Following an injury-plagued 2012 campaign, Jackson rushed for 890 yards and nine touchdowns last season while battling two separate knee sprains.
Jackson has rushed for 5,121 yards and 28 career touchdowns while adding 2,139 yards and six touchdowns as a receiver.
CINCINNATI (AP) – Bengals cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris was suspended for two games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Lewis-Harris can participate in preseason games and practices. He’ll miss the first two games without pay and can return to the active roster on Monday, Sept. 15.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) – With four NFC North titles and a Super Bowl victory in the past decade, Ted Thompson has had quite a run as Packers general manager.
Thompson sees no reason to stop now, even as retirement age nears. The team announced the signing of Thompson to a multiyear contract extension.
Terms of the deal were not announced. Thompson didn’t comment on the specifics, either.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Hendrick Motorsports didn’t look far for Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s next crew chief, choosing a candidate already quite familiar with the organization.
Greg Ives, the race engineer for Jimmie Johnson’s record run of five consecutive championships, will return to Hendrick next season as crew chief for NASCAR’s most popular driver. Ives will replace Steve Letarte, who is stepping down at the end of the year for an analyst job with NBC Sports.
Ives worked under Johnson crew chief Chad Knaus from 2006 through the 2012 season. He then moved to JR Motorsports for his first job as a crew chief, in the Nationwide Series with Regan Smith.
He was moved to rookie Chase Elliott’s pit box this year, and has five wins as a crew chief. Elliott is also the current Nationwide Series points leader.