- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 23, 2009

From combined dispatches

The owner of the New Jersey Nets will get a 22-year delay on paying the full $100 million for the right to build a new arena in Brooklyn under a deal made public Monday.

Developer Bruce Ratner, the Nets’ principal owner, will pay the Metropolitan Transportation Authority $20 million up front and another $80 million in installments under the plan, which the full MTA board will vote on Wednesday. He had originally agreed to pay the MTA $100 million upon closing for development rights to rail yards it owns.

Under the revised deal presented to the MTA finance committee Monday, Ratner will pay $20 million at closing and then make additional payments until 2031.

City and state officials have long believed the project will benefit the area by generating tax revenues and creating jobs.

But foes of the Ratner project, known as Atlantic Yards, said the MTA should reject the revised payment plan and solicit new bids to develop the site.

“They are getting next to nothing up front for the railyards,” said Daniel Goldstein of the group Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, which has sued to halt the project. “They’re not testing the economy. They’re not testing the market.”

CLIPPERS: Los Angeles remains intent on keeping the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, and the team is expected to make Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin the top selection.

Assistant general manager Neil Olshey said Monday the pick is not going anywhere.

Coach and general manager Mike Dunleavy said he hasn’t spoken to anyone seriously about trading the pick in more than two weeks. He and Olshey haven’t ruled out the possibility of acquiring another pick before Thursday’s draft.

JURISPRUDENCE: Retired NBA star Jayson Williams will remain free on bail after a judge in Somerville, N.J., on Monday rejected a prosecutor’s request to revoke the bail and send him to prison for covering up the shooting of a hired driver more than seven years ago.

Prosecutors asked the judge to reconsider the sentencing delay because of Williams’ recent run-ins with the law, saying he has become “unpredictable.”

In April, police used a stun gun on Williams during an altercation in a New York hotel room, and in May he was arrested in North Carolina and charged with assault for reportedly punching someone in a barroom dispute. Earlier this year, his wife filed divorce papers claiming he was abusive and had a drug problem.

HEAT: Miami made qualifying offers to forward Jamario Moon and center Joel Anthony.

Both are restricted free agents, but the Heat will have the right to match any offer they receive from other teams.

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