Friday’s Sports in Brief

PRO BASKETBALL

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Oklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony plans to opt in and take the $28 million he is due next season.

The New York Times first reported the 34-year-old Anthony’s decision to bypass the chance to become a free agent. A person with knowledge of details confirmed Anthony’s choice to The Associated Press on Friday night. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the situation publicly.

The Thunder traded for Anthony and Paul George to join Russell Westbrook before last season, moves that gave them high hopes of challenging Golden State in the West. It didn’t work out as planned.

The 34-year-old Anthony had been the headliner his entire career – he’s 19th in NBA history with 25,417 points – but he was more of a catch-and-shoot scorer last season instead of the isolation specialist he had always been. He averaged 16.2 points per game, but struggled at times in his new role. His playing time dwindled in the playoffs and he wasn’t happy. In Game 6 of the first-round playoff series against Utah that ended Oklahoma City’s season, he played fewer minutes than backup Jerami Grant.

HOCKEY

DALLAS (AP) – Rasmus Dahlin went first overall to the Buffalo Sabres, Commissioner Gary Bettman was booed relentlessly by the crowd all night and trade chatter didn’t amount to a whole lot of movement.

With the exception of one trade by the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals, the first round of the NHL draft went off without many surprises. Only two players and a handful of picks were traded Friday night, leaving general managers hoping for more on Day Two.

”That was kind of a boring first day or first round,” Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall said. ”It’s not typical for this day.”

The Sabres picking Dahlin at No. 1 and the Carolina Hurricanes taking Russian winger Andrei Svechnikov at No. 2 got the draft itself off to a predictable start. Montreal taking Finnish center Jesperi Kotkaniemi third and Arizona going a bit off the board with center Barrett Hayton fifth allowed high-scoring Czech winger Filip Zadina to fall to Detroit with the sixth pick.

Not a whole lot of big decisions happened Friday night at American Airlines Center. The Sabres taking Dahlin was automatic since they won the draft lottery in April, and the 18-year-old wore a Buffalo Bills hat Friday prior to the selection. Svechnikov got to try on the Hurricanes’ draft hat before he was the No. 2 pick just as general manager Don Waddell acknowledged recently.

BASEBALL

WASHINGTON (AP) – Slugger Bryce Harper will participate in the Home Run Derby if he makes the National League All-Star team.

On Friday afternoon the Nationals tweeted: ”tfw Bryce announces he’ll do the (at)MLB HR Derby if he makes the NL All-Star team…” accompanied by a GIF of Harper celebrating in the dugout.

The All-Star Game will be held July 17 at Nationals Park.

The 25-year-old Harper is second in the voting among National League outfielders behind Nick Markakis of the Braves. The top three in the voting will be starters.

Despite being in a slump that has dropped his average to .213, Harper entered play Friday leading the National League in home runs (19) and walks (55), and stood 10th in RBIs (45).

Harper last participated in the derby in 2013 at Citi Field in New York.

ATHLETE ABUSE

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan State University’s embattled interim president survived an attempted ouster from the school’s governing board Friday as trustees met to approve using a bond to finance a $500 million settlement with hundreds of women and girls who said they were sexually assaulted by sports doctor Larry Nassar.

At the meeting’s outset, trustee Brian Mosallam tried to change the agenda and allow a vote to fire John Engler, who had disparaged accusers and their lawyers in emails. The audience rejoiced, but the board voted 6-2 against taking up the issue, with Mossallam and Dianne Byrum the only trustees voting in favor.

Engler has faced a whirlwind of backlash since the emails surfaced last week. At one point he wrote that Rachael Denhollander, one of Nassar’s most outspoken accusers, probably received a ”kickback” from her attorney. Within days, the controversy crested in some 150 Nassar accusers demanding his departure before he apologized in a written statement on Thursday.