Weekend Sports in Brief
CLEVELAND (AP) LeBron James is leaving home for Hollywood and an iconic team.
The Los Angeles Lakers have a new superstar – L.A.-Bron.
The four-time NBA MVP announced Sunday night that he has agreed to a four-year, $154 million contract with the Lakers, joining one of the league’s most storied franchises and switching conferences to try and dethrone the Golden State Warriors and grow his own legacy.
For the second time in his career, James is saying goodbye to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who drafted the teenage sensation from Akron in 2003 and have to be satisfied with winning just one title in the 11 years they had him.
Unlike his two previous forays in free agency, James did not drag out his decision and made the announcement less than 24 hours after NBA free agency opened.
His management agency, Klutch Sports Group, announced his agreement with the Lakers with a simple, short release. It was a stark contrast from eight years ago, when a poorly conceived TV special to announce his departure from Cleveland backfired and damaged James’ image.
James isn’t planning any more comments and there won’t be a welcoming press conference or celebration in Los Angeles, a person familiar with his plans said Sunday night on the condition of anonymity. James will make his next public comments on July 30 in Akron when he opens a public school started by his family foundation.
TORONTO (AP) – Superstar center John Tavares is going home, agreeing to terms on a $77 million, seven-year contract with his childhood team, the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Tavares announced his intentions on Twitter on Sunday, posting a picture of himself as a child in Maple Leafs bedding. The team says the deal is worth $11 million a season for seven years.
The 27-year-old point-a-game playmaker met with the Leafs, New York Islanders, San Jose Sharks, Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars over the past several days in Los Angeles to hear their pitches for his services.
A native of Mississauga, Ontario, Tavares had 37 goals and 47 assists for 84 points in 82 games for the Islanders last season. He has 621 points in 669 career regular-season games.
Losing Tavares is a crushing blow to the Islanders, who have undergone an organizational makeover in recent months under still relatively new owners Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky. They hired Lou Lamoriello as president of hockey operations and fresh Stanley Cup winner Barry Trotz as coach.
RENTON, Wash. (AP) – Seattle Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor said scans on his injured neck have shown no improvement and declared it was ”time for the next chapter.”
Chancellor had been awaiting further clarity on his neck, which he injured in a game against the Arizona Cardinals in November. In a posting on his Twitter account Sunday night, Chancellor said his latest scans ”showed no healing.”
”I’ve played through all types of bruises and injuries at a high level. But this one, I just can’t ignore,” he wrote.
Chancellor never used the word ”retirement” in his statement, which may have been deliberate. Chancellor signed an extension through the 2020 season last August which contained guaranteed money in case of injury. An official retirement could open up the possibility of forfeiting some of that money.
Chancellor was named to four Pro Bowl teams (2011, 2013-15) and was twice a second-team All-Pro selection (2013, 2014). He appeared in 109 career games for Seattle with 93 starts after being selected in the fifth-round of the 2010 NFL draft.
MOSCOW (AP) – Russia shockingly eliminated Spain from the World Cup, surviving two hours of dominance by the 2010 champions in a 1-1 draw and then winning a penalty shootout 4-3.
Russia’s captain and goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev saved spot-kicks from Jorge ”Koke” Resurreccion and Iago Aspas, and four of his teammates all scored.
Spain dominated the ball during the game – completing more than 1,000 passes – but was too passive against a well-organized Russian defense.
Spain led in the 12th minute when captain Sergio Ramos helped force Russia’s Sergei Ignashevich into an own goal when his back was turned to the play. The 38-year-old defender diverted a crossed ball into the net with his heel.
An error in Spain’s defense let Russia level in the 41st, after Gerard Pique’s raised arm blocked a header by Artyom Dzyuba at a corner.
Dzyuba’s penalty kick fooled goalkeeper David De Gea to dive the wrong way.
On the same day Lionel Messi was sent home in Argentina’s loss, the other ”GOAT” at this tournament was also eliminated. It was two weeks ago that Ronaldo scored a hat trick in the same stadium against Spain, stroking his chin after the first goal to imply he was the ”greatest of all time.”
Uruguay, a two-time champion that reached the semifinals at the 2010 World Cup, will next face France on Friday in Nizhny Novgorod.
There was no goal from Ronaldo this time. Everywhere he went, the Portugal great was hounded by two or three Uruguayan defenders.
It was Cavani who instead took the spotlight. He combined with Luis Suarez to compete a series of precision passes to give Uruguay the early advantage with a header in the seventh minute. And after Portugal equalized on Pepe’s header in the 55th minute, it was Cavani again finishing a perfect Uruguay counter in the 62nd with a shot from just inside the penalty area that caught Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio slightly out of position and curled inside the far post.