Sports briefs: June 17

July 17, 2013 

College basketball

NCAA champion Cardinals to visit White House next week

The NCAA champion Louisville men's basketball team is headed to Washington, D.C., to meet President Barack Obama.

White House officials announced that the Cardinals will be honored by the president next Tuesday in the Rose Garden at 2:05 p.m. They follow Louisville's 1980 and 1986 NCAA title teams, who previously visited the presidential residence while presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan were in office, respectively.

Cardinals Coach Rick Pitino hinted last week that a White House invitation could come soon. In a release, he called the pending visit "a great honor" for the team and "something they will always cherish and someday tell their children."

The Cardinals' trip includes a tour of the U.S. Capitol and a visit with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, a Louisville graduate who frequently attends their home games.

■ Kentucky Coach John Calipari will reveal some of the philosophy behind his championship program in a book he's writing for release next year. Calipari's tome is titled, Players First: Success From The Inside Out, co-written with New York Times contributing writer and author Michael Sokolove. The coach said Tuesday via Twitter that the book will give him "a chance to go in-depth about how we do things at Kentucky and why we do what we do."

It will be Calipari's fourth book and first since 2010.


NBA

Billups excited for return to Detroit

For many Detroit Pistons fans, the team's decline can be traced to that November day in 2008, when they traded Chauncey Billups. Team president Joe Dumars certainly regrets that move, but Billups' return to the Palace this season is about more than just nostalgia.

"Although this is a great feel-good moment, to bring Chauncey back, he and I discussed the fact that this is not just about feel-good," Dumars said. "This is about his ability to impact the game for us on the court."

The Pistons brought the 36-year-old Billups back on a two-year deal for $2.5 million a year. The first season is guaranteed. The 6-foot-3 guard played 22 games for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2012-13, a season after tearing his left Achilles tendon. As his playing days wind down, he can provide Detroit with a pass-first point guard who is a 39 percent shooter from three-point range in his career.

He'll also be asked to mentor 21-year-old Brandon Knight, another of the team's options at point guard.

"I feel like I've still got some good years of basketball left," Billups said while being formally reintroduced at a news conference Tuesday. "I've said it, time and time again, that I always wanted to be remembered as a Piston."

Billups helped Detroit to the 2004 NBA title, winning MVP honors in the Finals. The Pistons dealt him to Denver on Nov. 3, 2008, in a deal that brought Allen Iverson to Detroit. The Pistons are almost 100 games under .500 since making the unpopular and unsuccessful move. They traded Billups in part to speed the development of Rodney Stuckey and to clear salary cap space.

Teague, Goodwin star in summer league

Former Kentucky star Marquis Teague scored 25 points and had three assists to lead the Chicago Bulls to an 80-78 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night in the Las Vegas Summer League. Teague was 3-for-3 from three-point range and is averaging 17.3 points and 5.7 assists through three games.

Archie Goodwin bounced back from a rough outing Monday with a stellar performance Tuesday in the Phoenix Suns' 100-88 victory against the Memphis Grizzlies in the Las Vegas Summer League. Goodwin scored 22 points, including going 3-for-3 from three-point range, and had four rebounds to help the Suns improve to 3-0. Goodwin was held to two points and committed five turnovers in Monday's game.


Tour de France

Froome keeps yellow, but also sees red

Chris Froome preserved his healthy overall lead after a nervous finish to Tuesday's 16th stage, and then blamed his main Tour de France rival Alberto Contador for a downhill incident that could have ended their races.

Portuguese rider Rui Costa won the stage with a solo breakaway, while behind him the subplot between Contador and Froome thickened with a few days left until the finish line in Paris. Although Froome is still more than four minutes clear of Contador, the British rider felt he could just as easily have ended up in hospital.

"One little accident and it could be the end of your Tour," Froome said. "In my opinion it was a bit dangerous from Alberto to ride like that, it's not good."

On the final descent down from the Col de Manse, Froome and Contador were undone by a sharp right turn as the Brit chased after the Spaniard. Froome went off the left side of the road and had to plant his left foot on the ground to stop from toppling off completely. Contador also lost balance and hit his knee on the ground before quickly jumping back up on the bike.

"It actually put me in danger because I had to go off the road to avoid him," Froome said. "He couldn't control his own speed and crashed."

Contador, the 2007 and '09 champion stripped of his '10 title for doping, defended himself.

"It was really difficult. In normal conditions I wouldn't have slipped like that, but it was very difficult terrain and the bike got away from me," he said. "Sometimes you have to go for it, whether it's at the start or the end of a stage."


Track and field

Injured Blake to miss worlds, too

Olympic sprinter Yohan Blake of Jamaica withdrew from the world championships in Moscow next month because of a nagging hamstring injury. Agent Cubie Seegobin said that although Blake has made "vast improvement" since injuring the leg in April, he needs more time to fully recover.

Blake also pulled out of the island's national championships last month because of his hamstring. He qualified for the August meet by winning the 100 meters at the 2011 world championships.

Blake's withdrawal Tuesday follows news over the weekend of positive tests for Gay and top Jamaican sprinters Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson.


Etc.

Bengals give Dunlap five-year extension

The Cincinnati Bengals signed defensive end Carlos Dunlap to a five-year contract extension worth $40 million.

The Bengals announced the deal Tuesday. Dunlap's contract would have expired after this season, but it now runs through 2018. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said Dunlap gets $20 million over the first two years in a deal with incentives.

The 6-foot-6, 280-pound Dunlap is a fourth-year pro from Florida. He had 55 tackles and six sacks in 14 games last season.

Brek Shea scored his first international goal off a feed from Landon Donovan in the 82nd minute Tuesday night to give the United States a 1-0 victory over Costa Rica and the top spot in its Gold Cup group. Seconds after Sean Johnson made a brilliant save off a corner kick, Joe Corona cleared the ball, setting up the winning sequence at East Hartford, Conn.


The last word

Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis had a sizable white bandage wrapped around his right hand Tuesday after he popped a blister during the Home Run Derby the previous night. Davis He remained in the starting lineup for the American League, hitting cleanup and playing first base. Davis said before the game:

"I'll be all right. I'm just going to swing one-handed. I'm not that tough. If you see me crying in the dugout, it's not because of my hand. I'm just an emotional person."

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