September 29, 2022
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Monday Sports in Brief | AP News

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NBA

NEW YORK (AP) — Kyrie Irving has decided to exercise his $36.9 million option for the coming season and will remain under contract with the Brooklyn Nets, two people with knowledge of his decision said Monday.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because the Nets had not confirmed the decision publicly.

The Athletic first reported Irving’s decision. “Normal people keep the world going, but those who dare to be different lead us into tomorrow. I’ve made my decision to opt in. See you in the fall,” the outlet quoted Irving as saying.

The seven-time All-Star averaged 27.4 points and 5.8 assists this past season for the Nets, with whom he has spent the last three seasons. He’s about to enter the final season in a four-year, $137 million deal with Brooklyn.

—By AP Basketball Writers Brian Mahoney and Tim Reynolds.

HOUSTON (AP) — John Wall and the Houston Rockets have agreed that his contract will be bought out, a move that will free him to sign with any team of his choosing, two people with knowledge of the situation said Monday night.

Wall’s preference will be to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, according to one of the people who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the five-time All-Star guard had not announced his intentions publicly.

Wall will receive roughly $41 million from Houston, according to the other person who spoke with AP. Wall was scheduled to make $47.4 million this coming season, his last in what was a four-year contract.

Yahoo first reported that Wall and the Rockets came to the buyout decision. ESPN first reported that Wall intends to join the Clippers, presumably for the taxpayer mid-level exception of about $6.4 million — basically the same amount he’s giving back to the Rockets to become a free agent. No agreement can be struck between Wall and any team until he clears waivers and becomes a free agent.

— By AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds.

NFL

HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Texans had been told that their former quarterback Deshaun Watson was sexually assaulting and harassing women during massage sessions, but instead of trying to stop him, the team provided him with resources to enable his actions and “turned a blind eye” to his behavior, according to a lawsuit filed Monday.

The lawsuit against the team was filed in Houston by one of the 24 women who had previously sued Watson over allegations of sexual misconduct when he played for the Texans. Last week, the women’s attorney, Tony Buzbee, announced 20 of the 24 lawsuits have been settled.

Watson, who was later traded to the Cleveland Browns, has denied any wrongdoing and vowed to clear his name. Watson is facing discipline from the NFL over the allegations. He is set to have a hearing this week with NFL disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson, who will decide if the 26-year-old violated the league’s personal conduct policy. Robinson is expected to rule before the Browns open training camp late next month.

WNBA

MOSCOW (AP) — Shackled and looking wary, WNBA star Brittney Griner was ordered Monday to stand trial by a court near Moscow on cannabis possession charges, about 4 1/2 months after her arrest at an airport while returning to play for a Russian team.

The Phoenix Mercury center and two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist also was ordered to remain in custody for the duration of her criminal trial, which was to begin Friday. Griner could face 10 years in prison if convicted on charges of large-scale transportation of drugs. Fewer than 1% of defendants in Russian criminal cases are acquitted, and unlike in the U.S., acquittals can be overturned.

At Monday’s closed-door preliminary hearing at the court in the Moscow suburb of Khimki, Griner’s detention was extended for another six months, to Dec. 20. Photos obtained by The Associated Press showed the 31-year-old in handcuffs and looking straight ahead, unlike a previous court appearance where she kept her head down and covered with a hood. She declined to answer questions from reporters in English as she was led through the courthouse, according to video shown in Russian media.

COURTS

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court said Monday that a high school football coach who knelt and prayed on the field after games was protected by the Constitution, a decision that opponents said would open the door to “much more coercive prayer” in public schools.

The court ruled 6-3 for the coach with the conservative justices in the majority and the liberals in dissent. The case was the latest in a line of rulings for religious plaintiffs.

The case forced the justices to wrestle with how to balance the religious and free speech rights of teachers and coaches with the rights of students not to feel pressured into participating in religious practices. The liberal justices in the minority said there was evidence that Bremerton (Washington) High School Coach Joseph Kennedy’s prayers at the 50-yard-line had a coercive effect on students and allowed him to incorporate his “personal religious beliefs into a school event.”

MLB

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Angels interim manager Phil Nevin was suspended 10 games and Seattle Mariners outfielder Jesse Winker received a five-game ban from Major League Baseball for their roles in a benches-clearing brawl during the second inning of Sunday’s game.

Nevin and Winker were two of 12 players or coaches suspended between the teams, according to an MLB release Monday night.

Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford received five games, Angels pitchers Ryan Tepera and Andrew Wantz were suspended for three, and Mariners outfielder Julio Rodríguez, Angels reliever Raisel Iglesias and major league interpreter Manny Del Campo received two games.

Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon, who is out for the rest of the season after undergoing wrist surgery, will be suspended five games when he returns from the injured list. For now, he is prohibited from sitting on the bench for the next seven games.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Royals traded first baseman Carlos Santana and nearly $4.3 million to the Seattle Mariners for right-handers Wyatt Mills and William Fleming on Monday, clearing the way for Kansas City to bring up hot prospect Vinnie Pasquantino.

Pasquantino was not in the starting lineup against Texas on Monday night because of tight travel schedules, but Royals general manager J.J. Picollo and manager Mike Matheny expect his big bat to be in the lineup regularly.

The Royals optioned Mills, a 27-year-old relief pitcher, to Triple-A Omaha while designating right-hander Ronald Bolaños for assignment. Fleming, a 23-year-old with starting potential, was assigned to Class-A Quad Cities.

SPORTS BROADCASTING

Formula 1 is close to renewing its United States broadcast rights with ESPN — for an exponentially higher price — but the sides have not finalized a deal, according to two people with knowledge of the negotiations.

The sides are working on a three-year contract, the people said. Although the numbers have not been finalized, ESPN would pay something in the range of $75 million to 90 million per year, one of the people said. The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss financial matters and the contract is still being negotiated.

ESPN did not pay any rights fees in 2018 when NBC Sports Group dropped F1 after five seasons, leaving the series without a U.S. home.

ESPN has paid $5 million per year from 2019-22, meaning the price tag to keep F1 will be up to 18 times higher. Ratings have dramatically improved over the past five seasons as the sport’s popularity grows stateside.

— By AP Sports Writer Joe Reedy.

NHL

Swedes Henrik and Daniel Sedin and Daniel Alfredsson were elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday along with goaltender Roberto Luongo, Finnish women’s star Riikka Sallinen and builder Herb Carnegie.

The Sedins and Luongo are being inducted in their first year of eligibility.

Alfredsson made it in his sixth year. Alexander Mogilny and Jen Botterill were passed over for another year.

Alfredsson won the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year and each of the Sedins won the Art Ross Trophy for leading the NHL in scoring.

CHICAGO (AP) — Luke Richardson is the new coach of the Chicago Blackhawks, stepping into a tricky rebuilding process for one of the NHL’s marquee franchises.

General manager Kyle Davidson announced the move on Monday. Richardson replaces Derek King, who finished the season as the interim coach after Jeremy Colliton was fired on Nov. 6.

Richardson, 53, played for six teams during 21 years in the NHL, finishing with 35 goals and 166 assists in 1,417 games. The defenseman was selected by Toronto with the No. 7 overall pick in the 1987 draft.

GOLF

The Saudi-funded LIV Golf series added three more players to its roster for the second tournament in Oregon, a group that includes 23-year-old Matthew Wolff and Oklahoma State’s Eugenio Chacarra of Spain.

LIV Golf had been expected to announce additional players from its inaugural event outside London three weeks ago. The big surprise was Brooks Koepka, who only a week before he signed on had been in full support of the PGA Tour.

LIV Golf also said Monday that Carlos Ortiz of Mexico is joining, one week after Abraham Ancer of Mexico signed on.

The 48-man field at Pumpkin Ridge in North Plains, Oregon, starts Thursday for another $20 million purse, with an additional $5 million prize fund for a team competition. Charl Schwartzel won the inaugural event and its $4 million payoff.

SOCCER

NICE, France (AP) — French club Nice hired Lucien Favre as coach on Monday, replacing Christophe Galtier who is expected to take over at Paris Saint-Germain.

Nice said Favre returned after a first spell, from 2016-18, that was “engraved in the history” of the club.

Favre’s first season ended with a third-place finish in Ligue 1 and entry into the Champions League qualifying rounds.

COLLEGE ATHLETICS

LOS ANGELES (AP) — South Carolina basketball star Aliyah Boston was named the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year on Monday night.

She received the Honda Cup in a ceremony at Galen Center on the University of Southern California campus. Boston’s coach, Dawn Staley, won the award in 1991 as a basketball player at Virginia.

The junior forward is the first basketball player to win the award since Breanna Stewart won it in 2016.

Boston helped South Carolina to its second national championship this past spring and was the AP women’s basketball Player of the Year.

The other finalists for the award were Oklahoma softball senior Jocelyn Alo and Florida gymnast Trinity Thomas. The top three were selected by voting of nearly 1,000 NCAA member schools, and the winner was chosen by the Board of Directors of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards program.

CYCLING

BRUSSELS (AP) — Two-time world champion Julian Alaphilippe and ace sprinter Mark Cavendish won’t be on the starting line when the Tour de France kicks off Friday from Copenhagen.

Alaphilippe has not recovered enough in the two months since his horrific crash at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, his Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team said on Monday when it unveiled its eight-man roster for cycling’s biggest race.

Cavendish, who rides for the same team and last year matched Eddy Merckx’s all-time record of 34 Tour stage wins, also missed the cut. He was named as first-reserve rider despite winning the British national title over the weekend.

The Belgian outfit will be led by another sprinter, Fabio Jakobsen, who posted 10 victories this season.

OBITUARY

Marlin Briscoe, who became the first Black starting quarterback in the American Football League more than 50 years ago, died Monday He was 76.

His daughter, Angela Marriott, told The Associated Press that Briscoe died of pneumonia at a hospital in Norwalk, California. He had been hospitalized with circulation issues in his legs.

Briscoe, an Omaha, Nebraska, native, was a star quarterback for Omaha University before the Denver Broncos drafted him as a cornerback in the 14th round in 1968. Briscoe told the team he’d return home to become a teacher if he couldn’t get a tryout at quarterback. Denver agreed to an audition, and the 5-foot-10 dynamo nicknamed “The Magician” nearly rallied the Broncos to victory as a reserve against the Boston Patriots on Sept. 29 before earning the historic start on Oct. 6.

Briscoe started five games that season. He was runner-up for AFL rookie of the year after passing for 1,589 yards and 14 touchdowns and rushing for 308 yards and three scores.

Briscoe was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2016, and the Broncos named a diversity coaching fellowship in his honor before the 2021 season.

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