Wednesday Sports in Brief
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — The recurring cries of “Come on, Andy!” at Centre Court meandered somewhere along the continuum from pushing to pleading as two-time champion Andy Murray’s shortest stay at Wimbledon came to a close.
Unable to overcome big John Isner’s big serves, the way he always has in the past, the revered Murray lost in the second round to the 20th-seeded American 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (3), 6-4 at the All England Club, capping a disappointing afternoon and evening in the grass-court Grand Slam tournament’s main stadium for the locals.
Prior to Murray vs. Isner, the host country’s other leading player, reigning U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu, was eliminated by Caroline Garcia of France 6-3, 6-3.
Asked whether he plans to be back a year from now, the 35-year-old Murray replied: “It depends on how I am physically. If physically I feel good, we’ll try to keep playing. But it’s extremely difficult, with the problems I’ve had with my body the last few years, to make predictions.”
James Harden is taking less with hopes the Philadelphia 76ers can do more.
A person familiar with the situation said Harden chose not to exercise his $47.4 million option for next season and will become a free agent — but with no designs on leaving Philadelphia. Harden made the decision to allow the 76ers the flexibility they need to sign other players this summer, said the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither side confirmed those plans publicly.
That will be a major factor when the NBA opens the free agency negotiating window at 6 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, with Philadelphia among the teams that will be expected to target Miami forward P.J. Tucker, among others.
The most likely scenario for Harden now is this: The 10-time All-Star signs a new deal with Philadelphia, for something close to that $47.4 million number, after the team has addressed other needs and improved its chances of becoming a true championship contender in 2023. If Harden had opted in before his Wednesday afternoon deadline, Philadelphia would have had a much more difficult time in finding financial pathways toward luring free agents.
— By AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds.
The NFL and Deshaun Watson’s legal team presented their arguments before a disciplinary officer for a second day Wednesday, with both sides holding firm as the hearing is scheduled to continue in Delaware on Thursday.
The league is insisting on an indefinite suspension and Watson’s side is arguing there’s no basis for a punishment that significant, two people in attendance told The Associated Press. Both people spoke on condition of anonymity because the hearing isn’t public.
Former U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson, who was jointly appointed by the league and the NFL Players’ Association, is tasked with determining whether Watson violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy and whether to impose discipline.
If either the union or league appeals Robinson’s decision, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell or his designee “will issue a written decision that will constitute full, final and complete disposition of the dispute,” per terms of Article 46 in the collective bargaining agreement.
Watson agreed to settle 20 of 24 civil lawsuits for sexual misconduct, but the league is seeking at least a one-year suspension, one of the people told The AP. Watson’s side expects a suspension but wants the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback to play for the Cleveland Browns at some point this season, another person told the AP.
— By AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi.
NEW YORK (AP) — Mets aces Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer took their next steps toward returning to New York’s rotation.
DeGrom, sidelined since last July 7, threw 27 pitches to hitters in Port St. Lucie, Florida, and could progress to a minor league injury rehabilitation assignment.
A two-time Cy Young Award winner, the 34-year-old right-hander missed the second half of last season because of a sprained elbow. He returned and made spring training starts on March 22 and 27, then was sidelined by a stress reaction in his right scapula that caused inflammation. He did not throw another bullpen until June 4.
Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, has been sidelined since straining his left oblique muscle while pitching against St. Louis on May 18. He made his second rehab start for the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies on Wednesday night, throwing 80 pitches against the Hartford Yard Goats.
The right-hander allowed three runs — two earned — and four hits in 4 2/3 innings, striking out eight and walking one.
SEATTLE (AP) — Sue Bird became the WNBA’s leader in career wins with 324 as the Seattle Storm beat the Las Vegas Aces 88-78.
Bird, who has announced this will be her final season, passed former Minnesota star Lindsay Whalen.
Jewell Loyd led Seattle (12-7) with 24 points, and Breanna Stewart had 14 points and seven rebounds. Stephanie Talbot added 15 points and Bird had 13 points and six assists. Tina Charles scored four points in her debut for the Storm.
Bird made a 3-pointer in transition to cap Seattle’s 13-0 run for a 55-47 lead midway through the third quarter. But Las Vegas tied it at 60 later in the quarter after a 13-2 run.
A’ja Wilson had 17 points and 16 rebounds for the Aces (14-5). Kelsey Plum scored 16 points, Jackie Young added 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists, and Chelsea Gray had 10 points and eight assists. Iliana Rupert scored 11 points off the bench.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Roy Williams and Jim Calhoun will join John Beilein and Lon Kruger in a star-studded cast of coaches who will be inducted into the National College Basketball Hall of Fame in November.
Another longtime coach, Jerry Krause of Eastern Washington, will join the quartet along with players Richard Hamilton of UConn, Larry Miller of North Carolina, Frank Selvy of Furman and Jimmy Walker of Providence.
The date of the induction ceremony has not been announced, but it typically coincides with the Hall of Fame Classic, which is set for Nov. 21-22 at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri.
Williams retired in 2021 after leading two of college basketball’s bluebloods, Kansas and North Carolina, to a combined 903 wins — the third most for a Division I coach — and nine Final Four appearances. He spent his first 15 seasons with the Jayhawks before returning to his alma mater in 2003, where he led the Tar Heels to three national championships in 18 seasons.
Calhoun won three national championships at UConn, the first of them with Hamilton, who was voted the Final Four’s MVP after the Huskies beat Duke for the 1999 title. Calhoun’s other championships came in 2004 and 2011, making him one of six coaches in Division I history with at least three national titles.
YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) — Emoni Bates, one of the top recruits in the 2021 men’s basketball recruiting class, says he is transferring from Memphis to Eastern Michigan.
Bates, in an Instagram post, announced his decision to return to his hometown of Ypsilanti to play for the Eagles of the Mid-American Conference.An EMU spokesman said he could not confirm Bates’ transfer.
Bates averaged 9.8 points and 3.3 rebounds per game his freshman season at Memphis and started 13 of 18 games. He missed 15 games because of a back injury before appearing in the Tigers’ two NCAA Tournament games.
The 6-foot-9 forward announced in April that he would leave Memphis and later said he would decide among Michigan, Arkansas, Seton Hall, DePaul, Louisville and Eastern Michigan.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Kings acquired high-scoring forward Kevin Fiala from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for their first-round pick in the upcoming draft and prospect Brock Faber.
Fiala is a restricted free agent, but the Kings are expected to sign the Swiss star to a long-term contract extension.
Fiala was one of the most attractive potential acquisitions in the NHL this summer after putting up career highs of 33 goals and 52 assists for the Wild last season. The left wing seems to be a perfect fit on the top line for the Kings, who ended their three-year playoff drought last spring despite scoring fewer goals than every postseason team except Dallas.
The Wild get the 19th overall pick in the draft along with Faber, the Kings’ second-round pick in 2020 and a star defenseman at the University of Minnesota.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — A stolen Olympic gold medal belonging to a member of the 2020 U.S. Women’s Volleyball Team has been found in Southern California, authorities said.
Jordyn Poulter reported the medal stolen May 25 after the Olympian discovered her car broken into at a parking garage in Anaheim, police said.
Detectives later arrested a suspect in the theft, but weren’t immediately able to locate the missing medal.
On Monday, the owners of an Anaheim barbershop reported finding the gold medal inside a plastic bag discarded outside their business, police said in a statement. They handed it over to police, who plan on returning it to Poulter.
Poulter was part of the team that won gold at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, after the games were delayed a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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