Sports briefs: July 29

July 29, 2014 

NBA Judge OKs record-setting $2 billion sale of Clippers

Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling lost his attempt to block the $2 billion sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

In allowing the deal to go forward, Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas sided Monday with Sterling's estranged wife, Shelly Sterling, who negotiated the record sale after the NBA banned the 80-year-old billionaire for making offensive remarks about blacks.

Shelly Sterling sought the probate judge's approval to ink the deal after taking over the family trust that owns the team because doctors found Donald Sterling had signs of Alzheimer's disease and couldn't manage his affairs.

The judge said Shelly Sterling had negotiated a good deal and the removal of her husband as a co-trustee was in good faith and not part of a secret plan to seize the team.

Shelly Sterling hugged her lawyer and wept after the judge explained his ruling from the bench.

"I can't believe it's over," she said. "This is the best thing."

An unusual provision of the ruling bars Donald Sterling from seeking a court-ordered delay of the sale as he appeals. His lawyers plan to seek permission from an appellate court to file an appeal.

Sterling was not in court for the ruling. Bobby Samini, one of his lawyers, said Sterling reacted calmly to the news and told his lawyers they had to keep battling on other fronts. Sterling testified during the case that he would fight the NBA until his death.

With lawsuits pending in state and federal courts, the ruling in Los Angeles County Superior Court is unlikely to put an end to the bizarre saga that began in April when a recording surfaced of Sterling scolding his young girlfriend for bringing black men to Clippers games. The NBA moved quickly to ban Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million.

Lakers confirm hiring Scott as head coach

The Los Angeles Lakers announced that they will introduce former player Byron Scott as their head coach at 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Scott, who won three NBA titles as a shooting guard for the Lakers, will take over for the club, which hasn't had a coach since Mike D'Antoni resigned April 30.

Scott is undoubtedly qualified for the job after stints as a head coach with New Jersey, New Orleans and Cleveland. He was Kobe Bryant's teammate during Bryant's rookie year with the Lakers in 1996-97, and the superstar endorsed Scott for the job earlier this month.

Scott also spent last season as a television commentator on the Lakers' own network, watching the franchise's implosion up close.

Mo Williams is on his way to Minnesota, which means J.J. Barea could be on his way out. The Timberwolves and Williams have agreed to a $3.75 million, one-year contract, the player's agency, Priority Sports, announced on Monday. The agreement gives the Timberwolves an experienced and versatile combo guard to play behind Ricky Rubio.

Williams turns 32 in December and is coming off a season in Portland in which he averaged 9.7 points per game for his lowest output since his rookie year in 2003-04. But his ability to shoot — he is a career 38.5 percent shooter from three-point range — and handle the ball made him an attractive target for the Timberwolves, who were looking for a quality veteran to play behind Rubio and alongside rookie Zach LaVine next season.

Barea is entering the final year of a contract that will pay him $4.5 million next season. So if Timberwolves President Flip Saunders is able to trade Barea this summer, he essentially will be saving $750,000.

Minor league baseball

Riddle named league's player of the week

Former University of Kentucky and Western Hills standout J.T. Riddle was named the South Atlantic League's player of the week after he went 13-for-26 with three doubles, two home runs, five RBI and 10 runs scored in six games for Class A Greensboro. Riddle, a Miami Marlins prospect, has an 11-game hitting streak.

Dex Kjerstad was 3-for-3 with a double, triple and home run in his only three at-bats in the Lexington Legends' 7-0 seven-inning victory against Savannah in the first game of a doubleheader. Fred Ford also homered for the Legends, and Alec Mills gave up one hit and struck out seven in six scoreless innings.

The Sand Gnats battled back to take the second game 7-2. Ford also hit a home run, his 10th of the season, in that game.

■ Former U of L standout Grant Kay had two doubles and two RBI in short-season Class A Hudson Valley's 8-3 victory against Vermont. Kay, a Tampa Bay Rays prospect, is batting .440 with two home runs and 11 RBI in 13 games. The Renegades' win came at the expense of former Kentucky star Jerad Grundy, who gave up five runs in three innings for the Lake Monsters. He's 1-5 with a 5.08 ERA for the Oakland A's affiliate.

Wakeboarding UK grad second in national championships

University of Kentucky graduate Cameron Steiner took second place in the Men's 1 division finals at the 25th annual Wakeboard National Championships in Waco, Texas, this past weekend.

Steiner's score of 61.67 in the four-man finals ranked behind only Woody White, who came in at 70.00.

The Wakeboard National Championships feature a collection of the world's top male and female amateur wakeboarders ranging in age from pre-teen to more than 40 years old.

Steiner, who was a member of the wakeboarding club team at UK and has been competing since he was 14, advanced to Friday's finals by winning his heat on Thursday with a score of 66.67.

Wakeboarding has been added as a trial sport at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.

UK sports

Ticket programs for soccer squads announced

The University of Kentucky men's and women's soccer programs announced ticket plans for the 2014 home season, their first in the newly constructed Wendell and Vickie Bell Soccer Complex.

New for the 2014 season, fans can purchase a men's and women's season ticket package for $30, which will admit fans to all 19 home matches. Fans can purchase their season tickets on Ticketmaster.com.

For single-match tickets, fans can purchase seats for $5 for adults (19-64 years old), $2 for youth (6-18) and seniors (65 and older) with fans 5 and under receiving free admission. Single match tickets go on sale Aug. 11.

The Wendell and Vickie Bell Soccer Complex will officially open on Aug. 31 with a dedication ceremony at noon.

Admission will be free to all opening weekend matches, which feature two women's matches (Francis Marion on Friday and Ohio on Sunday) and one men's match against Belmont on Sunday afternoon.

If local youth teams are interested in being part of the UK Soccer gameday experience, they should contact the UK Marketing offices at 859-257-8022.

The last word

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer, taking exception to David Ortiz's showboating after the Boston Red Sox slugger homered off him Sunday:

"I never saw Hank Aaron flip his bat."

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service