Friday Sports in Brief
NEW YORK (AP) — In a record sale for a U.S. sports franchise, the co-founder of Alibaba agreed to buy the remaining 51 percent of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center for about $3.4 billion, two people with knowledge of the details said Friday.
Joe Tsai already had purchased 49 percent of the team from Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov in 2018, with the option to become controlling owner in 2021.
Instead, he pushed up that timeline for full ownership of a team on the rise after signing superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in July.
Terms were not disclosed, but those familiar with the agreements told The Associated Press that Tsai is paying about $2.35 billion for the Nets and nearly $1 billion in a separate transaction for the arena. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the transactions are not complete.
The deal is expected to be completed by the end of September and is subject to approval by the NBA’s Board of Governors.
—By Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney.
NEW YORK (AP) — Four minor league pitchers have drawn long suspensions for drug violations that will carry into next season.
Luis Diaz of the Atlanta Braves, Marcos Encarnacion of the Chicago Cubs and Eliezer Mejia of the Seattle Mariners drew 72-game suspensions without pay after testing positive for the steroid stanozolol. All are on Dominican Summer League rosters.
Ian Krol of the Minnesota Twins pitches for Triple-A Rochester of the International League. He was suspended 50 games without pay following a second positive test for a drug of abuse.
MEDINAH, Ill. (AP) — Hideki Matsuyama rode a hot putter to a record score at Medinah, making five birdie putts from 15 feet or longer for a 9-under 63 that gave him a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the BMW Championship.
He also took a big step toward keeping alive his streak of playing the Tour Championship every year since he turned pro.
Matsuyama started and ended his round with a 30-foot birdie putt, the last one giving him the 36-hole lead over Patrick Cantlay (67) and Tony Finau (66). Justin Thomas recovered from three bogeys for a 69 and was two shots behind.
Tiger Woods made back-to-back bogeys late in his round just when he was getting some momentum. He had to settle for a 71 and was 10 shot behind.
NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL has conditionally reinstated Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon.
Commissioner Roger Goodell notified Gordon on Friday that on Sunday, Gordon can rejoin the team for meetings and conditioning and individual workouts. After that, according to a league statement, “Subject to appropriate progress on clinical care and other arrangements, he will be permitted to participate in team activities, including practice.”
But Gordon is barred from next Thursday’s game because of a lack of sufficient conditioning and practice time.
Gordon had been suspended indefinitely since December 2018 for violations of the league’s substance abuse policy.
NEW YORK (AP) — The Jets will be without playmaking linebacker Avery Williamson for the season because of a knee injury.
A person familiar with the nature of the injury told The Associated Press that Williamson tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the second quarter of the team’s 22-10 preseason win at Atlanta on Thursday night.
An MRI on Friday revealed the nature and severity of the injury, according to the source who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the team did not make an announcement.
NFL Network first reported that Williamson tore his ACL.
—By Pro Football Writer Dennis Waszak.
MASON, Ohio (AP) — Naomi Osaka felt a strange sensation in her left knee, different than anything she’d experienced. The U.S. Open champion left the court worried about whether she’ll be in shape to defend her precious title.
Osaka retired from her quarterfinal match at the Western & Southern Open on Friday, unsure what’s going on in the knee. She expected to get an MRI.
For now, the player currently ranked No. 1 in the world is concerned about her chances of making another deep run in New York.
The problem came out of the blue.
Osaka split two sets with Sofia Kenin. She felt something unusual in the knee while serving early in the third set. After a timeout to have it examined and wrapped, she played a couple more points before retiring .
ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (AP) — Investigators say the plane carrying NASCAR great Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family bounced, veered off the runway and ended up on a highway during a crash landing.
Elizabethton Police Chief Jason Shaw said at a news conference Friday “it’s just the grace of the good Lord that a vehicle didn’t get struck by the plane.”
National Transportation Safety Board investigators obtained surveillance video that included footage of the crash. They plan to issue a preliminary report in about a week.
Investigator Ralph Hicks says the Cessna Citation Latitude had left Statesville, North Carolina, about 20 minutes before the crash Thursday at 3:40 p.m. Earnhardt was with wife Amy, 15-month-old daughter Isla, two pilots and a dog.
NBC Sports says all five people aboard were safe.
ZURICH (AP) — The coach who led Nigeria to two Olympic Games medals has been banned for life by FIFA for agreeing to receive bribes to fix soccer matches.
Samson Siasia was punished in the latest case from the investigation into renowned Singaporean match-fixer Wilson Perumal.
FIFA did not specify which games were investigated as it also fined Siasia 50,000 Swiss francs ($50,000) on Friday.
“Siasia agreed to receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation,” FIFA said.
Siasia coached Nigeria from December 2010 through October 2011 and again in 2016 when he also led the men’s under-23s team at the 2016 Olympics where they beat Honduras 3-2 in the bronze medal match. He also coach Nigeria to silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Former Southern California and South Carolina athletic director Mike McGee, a former Outland Trophy winner at Duke who hired Lou Holtz and Steve Spurrier to lead Gamecocks football, died Friday. He was 80.
The University of South Carolina announced McGee’s death, while Southern California said he died of natural causes at his home in Montrose, Colorado.
McGee was the Gamecocks’ athletic director from 1993-2005. He was responsible for hiring several high-profile coaches at the Southeastern Conference school, including Holtz after the 1998 season and Spurrier following Holtz’s retirement in 2004. McGee also hired current AD Ray Tanner.
McGee served as AD at Southern California from 1984 until midway through the 1992-93 season. The Trojans played in four Rose Bowls during his tenure.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Jose “Mantequilla” Napoles, the Hall of Famer Mexican boxer who was a two-time welterweight world champion, has died. He was 79.
The World Boxing Council said Friday that Napoles died in his home in Mexico City “with his children and grandchildren at his bedside”.
Napoles, who was inducted in the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990 and was named by The Associated Press the fourth-greatest welterweight of the 20th century, was a two-time welterweight world champion, who boxed from 1958-1975.