Warriors fire Smart; 10-game improvement not enough
OAKLAND, CALIF. | The Golden State Warriors parted ways with coach Keith Smart on Wednesday, the first major fallout this offseason from a new ownership group that has promised sweeping changes to the perennial underachieving franchise.
Smart spent seven years as an assistant with Golden State before he replaced Don Nelson just before training camp. The Warriors went 36-46 under Smart, a 10-game improvement from the previous season but clearly not enough to appease owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber.
They managed to hastily put Smart in place even before the NBA officially approved the sale of the Warriors last year. Smart was only given a one-year contract with a team option for next season, and nothing short of a rare playoff appearance was likely to save his job. Golden State already had decided to keep general manager Larry Riley.
Broncos DE Hunter hospitalized after stabbing incident
DETROIT | Police say Denver Broncos defensive end Jason Hunter was stabbed and taken to a hospital.
The stabbing occurred Wednesday, but police didn’t have any additional information, including where the incident took place, who was responsible and Hunter’s condition. The hospital wasn’t disclosed.
The Broncos released a statement saying the team hopes Hunter “makes a quick recovery,” but that out of respect for his privacy, it wouldn’t comment further.
Hunter is a five-year pro who also has played for the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers.
Knicks bring back veteran guard Billups for another season
NEW YORK | The New York Knicks announced Wednesday that they are keeping veteran point guard Chauncey Billups, deciding his leadership outweighs the savings they would have earned by waiving him this week.
The Knicks would have been obligated to pay Billups, who will be 35 in September only $3.7 million if they cut him within five days after the season. Instead, he will be on the books for $14.2 million next season..
Billups, who was acquired from Denver in February, averaged 17.5 points with the Knicks but battled a pair of injuries, missing six games with a bruised left quadriceps in March, then straining a tendon in his left knee during Game 1 of the playoffs and missing the final three games of New York’s loss to Boston.
Fan claims foul words, acts by Braves coach McDowell
LOS ANGELES | A California man claims Atlanta pitching coach Roger McDowell made homophobic comments and crude sexual gestures toward fans and threatened him with a bat before the Braves played the San Francisco Giants on April 23.
Justin Quinn, 33, of Fresno, made the allegations Wednesday during a news conference organized by Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred. Quinn says he was attending the game with his wife and 9-year-old twin daughters at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
Quinn alleges that when McDowell was told there were children present, McDowell replied that kids don’t belong at a baseball park, picked up a bat, walked up to Quinn and asked him how much his teeth were worth.
Lawyer: Fiesta Bowl is following BCS’ recommendations
SAN ANTONIO | The attorney who conducted an internal investigation into the campaign contributions scandal at the Fiesta Bowl said Wednesday the committee that operates the game is closely following his recommendations to change its operations.
“I can’t think of one of those recommendations that the bowl didn’t implement - and it was eight pages, single spaced,” said Chris Madel, the attorney who was hired by a special committee to conduct a second internal investigation of the bowl game.
Whether the bowl can save its spot in the lucrative Bowl Championship Series rotation for the national championship game remains unclear. The seven-member BCS task force is not expected to announce until May whether the Fiesta Bowl will remain in the title rotation.
Ceremonies, five events sold out for London Games
LONDON | Five sports events and the opening and closing ceremonies sold out in the first round of ticket sales for the 2012 London Olympics, with 1.8 million applicants making 20 million requests.
After a six-week online application period for the 6.6 million tickets on sale, Olympic organizers said Wednesday that more than half of the 650 competition sessions in 26 sports were oversubscribed.
While tickets remain for sports such as track and field, already sold out are track cycling, rhythmic gymnastics, triathlon, modern pentathlon and the cross country equestrian competition.