February 07, 2013

By TIM BOOTH (AP Sports Writer) | The Associated Press

 

With one more procedural move, the Sacramento Kings took another step toward Seattle.

NBA Commissioner David Stern said Wednesday night that the Seattle group led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer, which recently reached an agreement to purchase the Kings, has formally filed for relocation with the league.

Stern spoke in Minneapolis before the Timberwolves hosted San Antonio. He called the Seattle group ''very strong,'' and said the appropriate committees have been convened to look over the proposed sale of the Kings and the prospective move.

Stern said the relocation proposal calls for the team to play in KeyArena for ''two years, possibly three,'' while a new arena in Seattle is being built.

''We have had submitted a signed agreement to have the team sold to a very strong group from Seattle,'' Stern said. ''We have received an application to have the team moved from Sacramento to Seattle.''

The deadline for teams to file for relocation is March 1. It's been expected that the Hansen/Ballmer group would file to move the team, but Stern's comments were the first time that decision had been verified. The filing for relocation is just another step, but big in the efforts to bring professional basketball back to Seattle for the 2013-14 season.

Hansen's group reached an agreement with the Maloof family last month to buy 65 percent of the franchise, which is valued at $525 million, and move the team to Seattle and restore the SuperSonics name. The deal will cost the Hansen group a little more than $340 million.

The Kings' sale price of $525 million would surpass the NBA-record $450 million the Golden State Warriors sold for in 2010.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has been trying to find investors with the financial means to match the sale price, keep the Kings in Sacramento and help on the construction of a new arena in California's capital city.

Johnson responded on Twitter on Wednesday night, saying again that Sacramento ''is playing to win.''

''We know that with an ownership partner both to Sacramento and an arena plan already supported by the city and NBA, Sacramento is ready to show what a great one-team market can be, should be, and is,'' Johnson said in his post.

A day earlier, Johnson said he planned to attend the NBA All-Star game in Houston and lobby anyone he could on the merits of keeping the Kings in Sacramento, but he has yet to reveal any of the large equity investors he's attempting to pull together. Johnson said he hoped to be able to announce them next week.

''My guess is it's likely that the mayor of Sacramento will appear before the board with an alternate plan,'' Stern said. ''And that's why we have a board of governors, to make difficult decisions like this one.''

Stern said he didn't feel the situation between Seattle and Sacramento would turn into a battle to see who can make the most lucrative bid.

''I don't think it's a bidding war,'' Stern continued. ''There's a series of issues that are defined by our constitution that have to be considered. One of the things that our board is mandated to consider is the support for the team in the prior city. So there are real issues for the board to consider, about the buildings, about the likelihood they will be built, about the support from the cities.''

Two committees would typically vet both the proposed sale and the move of the franchise to Seattle, but Stern said he has combined the committees into one. The committee will report to the Board of Governors, which is expected to vote on both the sale and the proposed move at its meeting in mid-April.

Stern said the relocation of the franchise requires a majority approval of the Board of Governors and the sale of the franchise would require a three-fourths majority.

''So I did the sensible thing, I combined the committees and said, 'You guys figure it out.' We'll see how that works,'' Stern said.

Parent Category: News
Category: Sports

January 31, 2013

By JON KRAWCZYNSKI  Associated Press

 

Rudy Gay is on his way to Toronto in the latest and most dramatic move in the Memphis Grizzlies makeover, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.

The Grizzlies agreed to trade their star swingman to the Raptors on Wednesday, parting with the leading scorer on a team that has aspirations of making a run in the powerful Western Conference. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not yet been announced.

The Raptors gave up point guard Jose Calderon and forward Ed Davis in the deal, with multiple reports saying that Calderon was headed to Detroit in the three-team trade. The Pistons will send Austin Daye and Tayshaun Prince to Memphis, according to reports.

Gay, averaging 17.2 points and 5.9 rebounds, signed a five-year, $82 million maximum contract in July 2010 with Memphis. The 6-foot-8 small forward is due $16.5 million this season with $37 million more over the next two years. That’s a big number for new owner Robert Pera, who took over the franchise last November and has quickly started addressing the team's salary situation.

Just over a week ago, the Grizzlies sent valuable reserve Marreese Speights and two other players to Cleveland in a move that cleared $6.4 million in salary and avoided a $4 million luxury tax hit this season. Team officials said that move put the Grizzlies in position not to have to make a move this season.

Memphis coach Lionel Hollins had been lobbying to keep his five starters together the rest of this season, but he apparently lost that fight.

“Wow,” Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley tweeted.

Trading away Gay also eases a luxury tax hit due next season, while concentrating the team around center Marc Gasol and All-Star forward Zach Randolph. The Grizzlies had their best playoff run in 2011 when they knocked off then-No. 1 seed San Antonio before losing to Oklahoma City in seven games in the Western semifinals — all with Gay on the bench after needing season-ending shoulder surgery.

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Category: Sports

January 31, 2013

Special to the NNPA

from the Washington Informer

 

The United States Playing Card Company (USPC), makers of Bicycle® Playing Cards, is proud to announce the launch of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Playing Card Deck. Bicycle® Playing Cards has partnered with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum by donating $0.15 per deck sold.

“The mission of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is to help preserve the rich history of African American baseball and we are excited that Bicycle® has developed this deck to support our cause,” said Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. “With partnerships like this, we will be able to share this history with generations to come.”

Roy Gifford, USPC vice president of marketing added that the partnership with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, “not only gave us access to the iconic logos and photos from the Negro Leagues archives to create a beautiful deck of cards, but more importantly it allowed us to support an organization who is protecting the amazing story of the Negro Baseball Leagues.”

To find out more online about Bicycle® and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum visit us at www.bicyclecards.com, www.nlbm.com, www.facebook.com/bicyclecards, and www.facebook.com/NegroLeaguesBaseballMuseum.

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Category: Sports

January 31, 2013

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A federal judge will hear oral arguments in about two months on requests to throw out lawsuits by thousands of former NFL players regarding concussions suffered while playing for the league.

U.S. Eastern District Judge Anita Brody in Philadelphia on Tuesday scheduled an April 9 hearing on motions to dismiss filed by the NFL Inc., NFL Properties Inc. and All American Sports Corp.

Players say they've developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease, or are worried about developing them.

They argue it's not a labor dispute that's governed by the collective bargaining agreement, but an issue that should be resolved through the courts.

The NFL has argued it didn't intentionally mislead the players and took steps to protect their health.

More than 100 lawsuits against the league are consolidated before Brody. And more than 3,500 former players have sued the NFL, alleging that not enough was done to inform them about the dangers of concussions and not enough is being done today to take care of them.

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Category: Sports

January 31, 2013

By BRIAN MAHONEY

Associated Press

 

Even Dennis Rodman laughs at the idea.

“Kind of funny, huh?” he said.

It’s true, though. One of basketball's most outrageous personalities has written a book for kids.

The Hall of Famer’s book, “Dennis The Wild Bull,” came out Wednesday and fans will immediately recognize Rodman’s influence. The large red bull on the cover has flowing red hair, two nose rings, a tattoo and red stubble under his chin.

“They’ll see me, literally see me. They’ll say, ‘Wow, this is just like him,’” Rodman said in a phone interview.

And he deals with the same issues.

Rodman, known as much for his wacky looks and lifestyle off the court as his considerable success on it, said the purpose of the book is simple.

“More than anything, I just want little kids today just to understand, ain’t no matter what you do in life, be different, rich or poor man, guess what, it’s OK to be who you are pretty much and you’ll be accepted,” Rodman said.

Rodman already wrote books about his personal life — the wild nights as a player, relationships with Madonna and Carmen Electra, and everything that allowed him to be famous long after he finished winning five championships with Detroit and Chicago.

The author whose previous works include titles such as “Bad as I Wanna Be” and “I Should Be Dead by Now” chose a different audience this time. He said even now he is still recognized by children who never saw him play, and those are the ones he wanted to reach.

“For a guy like me to be very eccentric, to even go to extremes to write a children’s book with all the wild things I do and make it believable was pretty much incredible,” Rodman said.

Co-written with Dustin Warburton, the book tells the story of Dennis, a bull who is captured away from his family and forced to live with other bulls in a rodeo. Though he looks nothing like them, they come to accept him and he becomes friends with them.

“Once I got to know the other bulls, I liked them,” Rodman said. “I enjoyed their company and stuff like that, and they accepted me for who I am no matter how I look.”

Dennis becomes so close with them that when he plots his escape to return to his family, he makes sure his new friends can come with him. Dennis originally was to escape alone until Rodman decided to change the ending.

“That’s not really Dennis. Dennis thought it was so cool that these other bulls accepted him and he stayed loyal to them. He wanted to see his family but he wanted these other bulls to come along,” said Darren Prince, Rodman’s marketing agent. “Anybody that knows the real Dennis Rodman knows how loyal he is to anybody that he’s close with and Dennis didn’t like that part, so they tweaked it at the end.”

Rodman, ordered to pay $500,000 in back child support to his ex-wife last month, acknowledges a couple of his children on the cover, where two little bulls are pictured in front of Dennis.

The book is available on Rodman’s website, www.dennisrodman.com, and Amazon for $16. His web site also has information regarding upcoming book signings in the New York area and Chicago.

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