Seattle investor might buy Kings and move them
Investor Chris Hansen has contacted the Maloof family about buying the Sacramento Kings, setting up the possibility of the NBA's return to Seattle.
Hansen's interest was confirmed Wednesday by people with knowledge of the situation.
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One person said the Kings could sell for more than $500 million. The Kings' future in Sacramento has been uncertain because the Maloofs and the city haven't been able to come up with a long-term arena solution.
Former Kentucky star John Wall is expected to make his season debut for the Washington Wizards on Saturday if he can get through the next couple of days of practice pain-free. Wall seemed to be in good form at practice Wednesday. During a scrimmage, he stole the ball, raced down the right sideline and went high with his left hand for a dunk.
Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Love will miss the next eight to 10 weeks after needing surgery to repair his right hand, which is broken for the second time this season.
Cleveland center Anderson Varejao, who was the league's leading rebounder when he hurt his knee Dec. 18, needs surgery for a torn leg muscle and could be sidelined two more months.
In games Wednesday night:
Kyrie Irving scored 18 of his 33 points in the third quarter and injury-riddled Cleveland beat Atlanta 99-83. The Cavs had lost five of six overall and six straight at home.
Brandon Jennings scored 20 of his 35 points in the third quarter and visiting Milwaukee beat the Chicago Bulls 104-96 for the Bucks' second straight victory under interim coach Jim Boylan.
Tennessee QB enters NFL draft
Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray, wide receivers Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson and defensive end Darrington Sentimore are bypassing their senior seasons to enter the NFL draft.
Patterson caught 46 passes for 778 yards and five touchdowns this fall as a first-team all-Southeastern Conference all-purpose player. Hunter had 73 receptions for 1,083 yards and nine touchdowns as a second-team all-SEC pick. Both are considered potential first-round selections. Bray threw for 3,612 yards and 34 touchdowns this season to rank second on Tennessee's single-season list in both categories, behind Peyton Manning.
Syracuse announced Scott Shafer as its new coach. Shafer, defensive coordinator the past four years for the Orange, succeeds Doug Marrone, who resigned to become the coach of the Buffalo Bills. Shafer, whose defenses have ranked among the nation's best in various categories, will be formally introduced Friday.
Skins' Griffin has second knee surgery
Robert Griffin III underwent reconstructive knee surgery Wednesday and faces a challenging rehab if he is to return for the start of next season. The Redskins quarterback had his lateral collateral ligament repaired and his ACL in his right knee reconstructed for a second time. The surgery was performed in Florida by orthopedist Dr. James Andrews, who was optimistic that Griffin would be back on the field next fall. Griffin tore the ACL in the same knee in 2009 while playing for Baylor.
Ryan Longwell's mindset was that he would be running a marathon this weekend. Instead, he'll be back in the NFL playoffs, kicking for the Seattle Seahawks.
"My wife is probably the happiest person that I got called in to work," Longwell said. "We were actually training all fall for the Disney marathon that's this Sunday coming up, so I got her out of that and got me out of it, too."
Longwell and defensive end Patrick Chukwurah were signed by the Seahawks on Wednesday to take the roster spots of kicker Steven Hauschka and defensive end Chris Clemons, who were both placed on injured reserve.
Green Bay Packers wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb should be ready for Saturday night's NFC divisional playoff game against San Francisco despite missing practice Wednesday. Nelson is nursing an ankle injury; Cobb was sent home with the flu.
The Chargers hired Tom Telesco from the Indianapolis Colts to replace fired general manager A.J. Smith. Telesco, 40, who will be San Diego's youngest GM ever, spent the last 15 seasons with the Colts, most recently as vice president of football operations.
Rob Chudzinski might get a third shot at coaching the Browns, this time as the head man. Chudzinski, Carolina's offensive coordinator the past two seasons, was reportedly interviewed by the Browns on Wednesday. He has twice served as an assistant coach with Cleveland.
Recently fired Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith will interview for the Philadelphia Eagles' head coaching opening Thursday.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Tickets available for Derby Festival
Tickets for the 40th annual Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic, to be held April 19 in Freedom Hall, went on sale Wednesday. The game showcases top high school seniors from around the country. Tickets, which cost $11 and $16, are available online at Ticketmaster.com or by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Tickets for the game will allow for free admission to the Derby Festival Night of the Future Stars to be held on April 18, at Floyd Central High School.
In girls' games Wednesday night:
Senior Serena Sandusky scored 21 points to lead visiting Bryan Station past Tates Creek 66-62. Commodores senior forward Katie Pippin, who has committed to play for Eastern Kentucky, scored 24 points, including the 1,000th of her career.
Sayre junior Molly Manella led all scorers with 21 points, but host Berea (10-4) beat the Lady Spartans 41-37. Sayre is 7-5.
Oprah to interview Lance Armstrong
Cycling champ Lance Armstrong has agreed to an interview with Oprah Winfrey and is to address allegations he used performance-enhancing drugs during a career in which he won seven Tour de France titles. Winfrey's website says it will be a "no holds barred interview," the first with Armstrong since his cycling career crumbled under the weight of a massive report by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. The show will be broadcast at 9 p.m. Jan. 17 on OWN and Oprah.com.
Jockey Calvin Borel won't be racing for his 5,000th win when Oaklawn Park opens Friday. The Arkansas racetrack said Borel suffered a minor fracture in his wrist Tuesday and won't be riding for at least 18 days.
An auction house expects to get at least $100,000 on Feb. 6 when it sells a rare 148-year-old baseball card discovered at a yard sale in rural Maine.
The card shows a photograph of the Brooklyn Atlantics amateur baseball club. Troy Thibodeau, manager of the Saco River Auction Company, says he's aware of only two such cards in existence. The other is in the Library of Congress.
The last word
NHL owners unanimously ratified a tentative labor deal Wednesday. All that now remains is player approval to finally start a 49-game season on Jan. 19. The players will vote Friday and Saturday.
A relieved Commissioner Gary Bettman made the announcement Wednesday and apologized to players, sponsors and hockey supporters.
"Most importantly to our fans, who love and have missed NHL hockey, I am sorry. I know that an explanation or an apology will not erase the hard feelings that have built up over the past few months, but I owe you an apology nevertheless."