Wednesday’s Sports in Brief
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Cubs now have the rings to go with their historic championship.
The team was given its crowning jewels before Wednesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, with fans at Wrigley Field roaring as the ceremony unfolded. That put the final punctuation on a celebration 108 years in the making, one that started when the Cubs beat Cleveland in Game 7 last November for their first World Series title since 1908.
They raised the championship banner on Monday night at Wrigley and got their sparkling rewards Wednesday.
Each 14-karat white gold ring has a total of 214 diamonds, three karats of red rubies and 2.5 karats of sapphires. The top of the ring features 33 red rubies forming the team’s bull’s-eye logo, and the bezel features 108 round white diamonds.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Oscar Robertson endorsed Russell Westbrook for the Most Valuable Player award before the Thunder’s regular-season finale against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night.
Westbrook broke Robertson’s single-season record for triple-doubles by getting his 42nd on Sunday against Denver. Robertson set the previous record of 41 for the Cincinnati Royals during the 1961-62 season.
Robertson attended Wednesday’s game as part of the Thunder’s effort to honor Westbrook for his record-setting season. Robertson congratulated Westbrook, and at the end of his short speech, he got the crowd fired up.
”I only have one more thing to say: M-V-P!!” Robertson said, triggering a loud ovation.
Westbrook broke Robertson’s triple-double mark with a 50-point, 16-rebound, 10-assist performance in Denver on Sunday, and his buzzer-beating, game-winning 3-pointer knocked the Nuggets out of the playoffs.
Robertson said Thunder fans should be proud of Westbrook, the first player since Robertson to average a triple-double for a season.
SEATTLE (AP) – Two arena companies have pitched multi-million plans to remake Seattle’s KeyArena into a premier entertainment venue that’s ready for an NBA or NHL team.
Seattle received two proposals ahead of Wednesday’s 5 p.m. PDT deadline for bids to renovate the 55-year-old city-owned facility. KeyArena was the former home of the SuperSonics before the basketball team bolted for Oklahoma City in 2008.
In January, city officials sought proposals to reimagine KeyArena into a facility that attracts more music, entertainment and sports events, including a potential NBA or NHL team. Developers would be responsible for all costs for redevelopment and construction.
Los Angeles-based Oak View Group on Wednesday submitted a $564 million plan that calls for the arena to be renovated by October 2020 and ready for the following NBA or NHL seasons, The Seattle Times reported (http://bit.ly/2puAzYB).
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) – The nation’s No. 1 recruit made his college choice official Wednesday when swingman Michael Porter Jr. signed a letter of intent to play for new coach Cuonzo Martin at Missouri.
The 6-foot-10 Porter initially chose Washington last year when his father, Michael Porter Sr., worked as an assistant for Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar. But when Romar was fired, Porter’s father was hired to be an assistant for Martin at Missouri, and the talented forward soon made a verbal commitment.
It became binding Wednesday, the first day prospects could sign letters of intent.
Porter grew up in Columbia and starred for Father Tolton Catholic until last year, when he played for Nathan Hale High School in Seattle. He averaged 36.2 points and 13.6 rebounds as a senior.
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) – Longtime Stanford associate head coach Amy Tucker is retiring from coaching but will remain with the program in an administrative role.
Tucker shared the news Wednesday night that she is calling it a career to her time on the bench.
”It has been a great journey and I have loved it,” said Tucker, who just completed her 32nd season on The Farm under Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer and Stanford reached the Final Four before losing in the semifinals to eventual champion South Carolina.
Known for her impressive work on the recruiting trail and talents evaluating players, Tucker and co-interim head coach Marianne Stanley guided the Cardinal during VanDerveer’s season away leading the 1996 gold medal-winning U.S. team in the lead up to the Atlanta Olympics. Stanford went 29-3 and reached its fifth Final Four during the 1990s.
Tucker played for VanDerveer at Ohio State and played a key part in the program’s turnaround into a Big Ten power, then began her coaching career on the Buckeyes’ bench.