- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Sacramento general manager Vlade Divac headed into All-Star weekend convinced it was finally time to part ways with ultra-talented center DeMarcus Cousins.

When asked why he didn’t wait for a better offer closer to Thursday’s trade deadline, Divac gave a curious response that raised more questions than it answered.

“Most likely we would get less because I had a better deal two days ago,” Divac said. “I don’t want to go into details. I don’t want to discuss the process.”

Sacramento dealt Cousins and forward Omri Casspi to New Orleans in exchange for Tyreke Evans, 2016 first-round draft pick Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway and first- and second-round draft picks this summer.

Cousins will now team with another former Kentucky big man who has developed into an NBA All-Star in New Orleans’ Anthony Davis. Cousins is averaging 27.8 points and 10.6 rebounds this season and can become a free agent in 2018 unless the Pelicans can sign him to an All-Star caliber extension.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia coach Bob Huggins dropped to his knees on the court and clutched his chest during a scary moment just before halftime while the 12th-ranked Mountaineers faced Texas.

Huggins went down during a timeout just before halftime, and his players quickly came to his aid. Huggins stood, briefly massaged his chest and stayed on the sideline.

Huggins said his defibrillator went off, but he returned to coach in the second half and finished the game. WVU won 77-62.

The 63-year-old Huggins had a heart attack at the Pittsburgh airport in 2002 when he was the coach at Cincinnati. He was back in his office two weeks later.


FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - National championship quarterback Deshaun Watson plans to participate in every aspect of the NFL’s scouting combine.

Watson said before the Davey O’Brien Award presentation that he will do everything he’s asked to do at the combine, which begins next week in Indianapolis. That will include throwing and running before his pro day prior to the NFL draft in April.

Six weeks after his last-second touchdown pass pushed Clemson past Alabama in the College Football Playoff title game, Watson picked up his second consecutive O’Brien trophy as the nation’s top quarterback. He is the first repeat winner of the O’Brien since Oklahoma’s Jason White in 2003 and 2004.


RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Brazil’s football confederation has fired the coach who led Neymar and company to the country’s first Olympic football gold medal in Rio de Janeiro.

Confederation spokesman Gregorio Fernandes confirmed that youth division coach Rogerio Micale was removed after Brazil failed to qualify for the next Under-20 World Cup.

In nine games in the South American U20 championship, Brazil won three, drew four, and lost two, ending in fifth position.

Micale started with Brazil U20s in May 2015, shortly before the U20 World Cup in New Zealand, where Brazil lost the final to Serbia.

After Dunga was removed as coach in June 2016, Micale took over Brazil’s Olympic team.

Micale’s contract was recently extended to the 2020 Olympics.

His successor has not been picked.


ST. LOUIS (AP) - Rick Ankiel says he drank vodka before his first two starts in 2001 to quell anxiety after throwing five wild pitches in one inning during the previous season’s playoffs.

Ankiel detailed his experience during an interview with 590 The Fan.

Ankiel was an emerging star with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2000 before his ruinous postseason debut. He pitched the first game of an NL Division Series against Atlanta and became the first major leaguer with five wild pitches in one inning.

The next season, he was “scared to death” before his first start against Randy Johnson and Arizona and says vodka “tamed the monster.” He pitched five innings and got the win.

He also drank before his next start but says “anxiety took over the alcohol” that time, and the yips came back. He says he didn’t drink before games after that.

Ankiel has co-written a book, “The Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips and the Pitch that Changed My Life,” with Tim Brown, which is set for release April 18.


ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) - The British Open will be staged at Royal St. George’s in 2020.

The Royal & Ancient, which organizes the world’s oldest major, made the announcement.

The course in southeast England will be hosting the British Open for the 15th time, and for the first time since 2011 when Darren Clarke lifted the claret jug.

Walter Hagen, Henry Cotton, Bobby Locke, Sandy Lyle and Greg Norman are among the other previous champions at Royal St. George’s.

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