Friday Sports in Brief
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers say they have mutually agreed to part ways with coach Luke Walton after three losing seasons.
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka announced Walton’s departure Friday.
The former Lakers forward went 98-148 in his first permanent head coaching job. The former Golden State assistant never led Los Angeles to the playoffs, even with the arrival of LeBron James last summer.
Walton leaves three days after the Lakers ended their 37-45 season with the abrupt resignation of president of basketball operations Magic Johnson.
NEW YORK (AP) — Commissioner Adam Silver mentioned shorter games or a shorter season as ways the NBA could make its future product better for players and fans.
Silver again talked Friday about the possibility of altering the 82-game schedule, either as a way to cut down on players sitting out games, or to introduce new types of competition.
He said the addition of midseason or end-of-season tournaments could be one option, as could trimming games from 48 minutes to 40, which is the length of college and international games.
Silver has focused on player health as commissioner, opening the regular season earlier to reduce the frequency of back-to-back games, and lengthening the All-Star break.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Pelicans have reached an agreement in principle to make former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin New Orleans’ new executive vice president of basketball operations, three people familiar with the situation said Friday.
The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because contract negotiations are ongoing and no announcement has been made.
Griffin will take over for former Pelicans general manger Dell Demps, who was fired in the middle of his ninth season with the club — a few weeks after All-Star Anthony Davis‘ trade request in late January.
—By AP Sports Writer Brett Martel.
STONY BROOK, N.Y. (AP) — The Rio Grande Valley Vipers are G League champions for the third time.
Isaiah Hartenstein scored 30 points, Dakarai Tucker and Michael Frazier each added 24 and the Vipers — the Houston Rockets‘ affiliate — never trailed on the way to beating the Long Island Nets 129-112 on Friday night in Game 3 of the G League Finals.
BOSTON (AP) — Chris Davis extended his record hitless streak to 0 for 54 when he lined out to end Baltimore’s 6-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Friday night.
Davis pinch-hit with two outs and none on, and hit a soft liner to second. The former home run champion is 0 for 33 this season.
Davis’ drought is the longest ever by a position player.
CHICAGO (AP) — Mike Trout has been ruled out for the Los Angeles Angels’ weekend series against the Chicago Cubs after he strained his right groin during the team’s last homestand.
Trout visited Dr. Steve Yoon on Friday in Los Angeles. Angels general manager Billy Eppler said imaging showed a reduced amount of swelling.
Trout first felt discomfort after working out Tuesday. The injury flared up while he was running to second base in the second inning of the Angels’ victory over Milwaukee that night.
Manager Brad Ausmus said the team doesn’t think Trout will need a stint on the injured list. He could rejoin the Angels for their next series in Texas.
NEW YORK (AP) — NFL and players’ union officials are encouraged by the improvements in helmet safety, as reflected by the poster both sides released Friday showing six of 11 helmets tested this year moved into the top-10 rated models.
In its annual study, designed by NFL- and NFLPA-appointed biomechanical engineers, a subset of concussion-causing impacts sustained by NFL players during games is simulated to determine which helmets best reduced head impact severity. The study measures rotational velocity and acceleration to evaluate helmets.
VICIS Zero1 graded best for the third straight year. Of the 34 overall helmets on the poster, it was followed by the Schutt F7 LTD and the Riddell SpeedFlex Precision Diamond.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Zion Williamson of Duke and Sabrina Ionescu of Oregon won the John R. Wooden Awards as the nation’s top men’s and women’s players of the year at the College Basketball Awards Friday night.
They received their trophies during the fifth annual ceremony at The Novo in downtown Los Angeles.
Ionescu beat out Connecticut’s Napheesa Collier, Asia Durr of Louisville, Iowa’s Megan Gustafson and Teaira McCowan of Mississippi State.
Other winners were: RJ Barrett of Duke received the Jerry West shooting guard award; Rui Hachimura of Gonzaga won the Julius Erving small forward award; Williamson took the Karl Malone power forward award; Ethan Happ of Wisconsin received the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar center award andJa Morant of Murray State was awarded the, Bob Cousy point guard award.
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn and basketball coach Bruce Pearl have agreed to a new five-year contract.
The deal announced Friday runs through the 2023-24 season. Auburn didn’t release terms.
Pearl led the Tigers to their first Final Four and a Southeastern Conference Tournament title last season, turning around a program that went 15 years without making the NCAA Tournament.
Auburn also won a share of the SEC regular season title in 2017-18. Things haven’t gone as smoothly off the court.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — LSU officials say their first meeting with suspended basketball coach Will Wade has taken place but that there is not yet a resolution regarding Wade’s long-term status.
A written statement from the university says “it is unlikely LSU makes any decisions today regarding Coach Wade.”
Friday’s meeting included NCAA compliance officials and marked the first meaningful face-to-face communication between all parties since LSU suspended Wade for initially refusing to meet with administrators on March 8.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Massachusetts defenseman Cale Makar has won the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as college hockey’s top player.
Makar is completing his second season and played a key role in helping the Minutemen advance to their first Frozen Four championship game. College hockey’s awards were announced Friday a day before UMass faces defending champion Minnesota Duluth in the final.
Makar beat out Harvard’s Adam Fox and St. Cloud State’s Jimmy Schuldt in the first time the award’s three finalists were defensemen.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — An attorney for Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Friday that the public release of video evidence in the prostitution solicitation case against him would invade his privacy and jeopardize his right to a fair trial.
William Burck told a Palm Beach County judge that releasing the video would only satisfy a “prurient interest,” during a hearing held in part to determine whether media outlets could offer arguments in the case.
Jupiter police obtained a search warrant to secretly record at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida. Police say those cameras captured Kraft twice paying to have sex with spa employees in January. Kraft was charged with two counts of solicitation as part of a multicounty investigation that also resulted in about 300 male customers being charged, 10 massage parlors being closed and their owners charged with felony prostitution.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Forrest Gregg, the great Hall of Fame lineman for the mighty Green Bay Packers of the 1960s that Vince Lombardi called the “finest player I ever coached,” died Friday at age 85.
Barbara Gregg said her husband of 59 years died in Colorado Springs from complications of Parkinson’s disease.
Gregg began his NFL career in 1956 and played a final season with the Dallas Cowboys in 1971. He went on to coach in the NFL for 11 years.
He played on six NFL/NFC championship teams and three Super Bowl winners. He was elected to the NFL’s all-decade team of the 1960s and its 75th anniversary team.
Gregg coached Cleveland, Cincinnati and Green Bay, guiding the Bengals to their first Super Bowl during the 1981 season.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs say former tight end Walter White has died.
White was 67. The team said White’s family said he died Wednesday of complications from pancreatic cancer.
He played his entire five-season pro career with the Chiefs, retiring after the 1979 season. In his second season, White finished among the top 10 in the NFL in receiving yards and touchdowns.
White also played at Mesa Junior College in Colorado and at Maryland.
LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Tommy Smith, a tough-tackling former Liverpool captain whose goal helped his hometown club win the European Cup for the first time, has died. He was 74.
Liverpool announced the death of Smith on Friday. In a statement on its website, Smith’s daughter, Janette, said her father “died very peacefully in his sleep” in his nursing home.
Nicknamed the “Anfield Iron” and described as a “club legend” by Liverpool, the defender made 638 appearances for the team from 1960-1978 and won nine major trophies — four English league titles, two FA Cups, a European Cup and two UEFA Cups.