- Associated Press
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

BASKETBALL

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has ruled Kawhi Leonard out for Game 2 of the Western Conference finals with a sprained left ankle caused by what Popovich described as a “dangerous” and “unsportsmanlike” closeout by Golden State’s Zaza Pachulia.


Leonard had an MRI and Popovich had no timetable on when he’d be able to return to action.

Leonard left Game 1 on Sunday after re-injuring his tender left ankle in the third quarter when Pachulia’s foot slid under Leonard’s following a jumper by the All-Star forward.

The play happened in front of the Spurs bench and Popovich was angry at the time and even more upset a day after San Antonio’s 113-111 loss to the Warriors.

Popovich pointed to a history of borderline plays by Pachulia during his time with Dallas against the Spurs. Pachulia said he simply challenged the shot like he was taught and felt bad that the play ended with Leonard getting hurt.

CLEVELAND (AP) - The Cavaliers are teaming up with another Akron icon.

Linked by geography and superstar LeBron James, the defending NBA champions announced a three-year sponsorship deal with Goodyear. The Cavaliers will wear the tire giant’s winged-foot logo on the fronts of their jerseys starting next season.

The team believes the Akron-based manufacturer is a perfect partner, partially because of the shared ties with James, the three-time champ who grew up there and remains committed to his hometown.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the deal, which includes advertising, jersey and merchandise sales, could be worth $10 million annually for the team.

The logo will be unveiled this summer when Nike, which will become the league’s official uniform supplier beginning next season, rolls out Cleveland’s new jerseys.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

The College Football Playoff is bringing a Super Bowl-style halftime show to the national championship game without bumping the marching bands.

ESPN and the College Football Playoff say that a musical guest will perform at halftime of this season’s title game in Atlanta on Jan. 8, 2018, and the performance will be aired on ESPN. The halftime concert will be held in Centennial Olympic Park, near the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. An artist has not yet been booked, but ESPN is taking the lead on securing what it hopes will be an A-list performer with broad appeal.

The marching bands for each participating school will still perform in the stadium at halftime of the national title game and that performance will be aired on an ESPN channel to be determined as part of the network’s megacast.

OLYMPICS

PARIS (AP) - Paris leaders of their latest Olympic bid insisted that their planned 1.7 billion-euro ($1.86-billion) athletes’ village had guaranteed funding only for the 2024 Games and not 2028.

The International Olympic Council is assessing the possibility of giving Paris and Los Angeles the next two Olympics in September, and the athletes’ village has become a hot topic because Paris officials say their site will not be available after 2024.

Michael Aloisio, the deputy general director of the Paris bid, said before it would be difficult for Paris to freeze the project for four extra years “because there’s a need for the people around this area for housing.”

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo stressed that the village in the Seine-Saint-Denis will help develop an area where unemployment remains high. A total of 3,000 new homes should be built in the district after the Olympics.

PARIS (AP) - The president of the Pyeongchang Olympic organizing committee is still hoping for an NHL U-turn.

“I don’t think they made the final decision so far,” committee president Lee Hee-beom said at a news conference. “(There is) still room to discuss and negotiate.”

Last month, the NHL announced that it will not stop its season to allow players to compete at the Feb. 9-25 Olympics for the first time in 20 years. And Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly reiterated the NHL’s stance last week, despite International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel saying that his organization was still hopeful of working out a solution to bring the sport’s biggest stars to Pyeongchang.

Lee met with Fasel in Paris on Monday morning to discuss the issue. Paris is co-hosting the hockey world championship with the German city of Cologne, with the quarterfinals later this week.

SYDNEY (AP) - The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency has made an official complaint over an advertisement for an online sports betting agency which features disgraced Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson.

Johnson, who was stripped of his gold medal in the 100 meters final at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games after testing positive for anabolic steroids, features in the 90 second television advertisement for the Australian company Sportsbet.

During the ad, which aired on Australian television last weekend, Johnson jokes about his doping ban, saying Sportsbet’s new phone betting app “puts the roid in Android.”

In a statement, ASADA condemned the ad’s use of Johnson and its message.

SOCCER

Players from the National Women’s Soccer League whose salaries are not paid by a national federation have formed the NWSL Players Association, a first step toward creating a union.

National team players from Canada and the United States are allocated across the NWSL and their salaries are paid by their federations. The newly formed association represents those players who don’t have those national team ties.

The non-allocated players overwhelmingly approved a new constitution and bylaws in May, the association said. The group seeks to represent the interests of non-allocated players with the teams and the league office.

TENNIS

After spending a few days practicing on clay courts in Switzerland, a healthy and well-rested Roger Federer settled on his upcoming schedule: He will bypass the French Open and turn his focus to Wimbledon, then the U.S. Open.

Federer posted a message entitled “Roger to skip Roland Garros” on his website, announcing that he will stay away from competing on clay entirely in 2017 and instead will prepare for the grass- and hard-court events that follow.

It’s the second year in a row that Federer pulled out of the French Open, where main-draw play begins in Paris on May 28. He won the title at the clay-court major in 2009 to complete a career Grand Slam.


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