The NBA fined Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob $50,000 for violating the league’s anti-tampering rule with comments he made about Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons. Lacob said the Warriors had no interest in the disgruntled Sixers guard. “In some ways, it doesn’t really fit what we’re doing,” Lacob said this week. “He makes a lot of money. And, can he finish games? I don’t know. “He’s very talented. The problem is: We have Draymond (Green). Draymond and him are very similar in the sense that neither one really shoots and they do a lot of the playmaking. That’s one issue. The salary structure is another.”
Timberwolves fire basketball ops boss Rosas after two seasons
The Minnesota Timberwolves fired president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas on Wednesday, less than a week before training camp in yet another leadership change for a franchise often in flux. Owner Glen Taylor announced that the Timberwolves “parted ways” with Rosas in a two-sentence statement that revealed no explanation for the dismissal after just two seasons. “As an organization, we remain committed to building a winning team that our fans and city can be proud of,” said Taylor, who has begun the process of selling his majority stake in the club to e-commerce mogul Marc Lore and former baseball star Alex Rodriguez. Rosas became the highest-ranking Latino to run an NBA team, when he was hired in May 2019 after a long tenure in the front office with the Houston Rockets. Rosas replaced Tom Thibodeau, who held the dual role of head coach and president of basketball operations until his firing by the Timberwolves four months earlier.
CFP expansion stalls as commissioners sort through issues
A plan to expand the College Football Playoff stalled when the college sports administrators who oversee the postseason system were unable to reach consensus on whether to grow the postseason format from four to 12 teams. The 10 major college conference commissioners and Notre Dame’s athletic director who make up the CFP management committee met to share feedback from their members and address concerns about the expansion proposal that was unveiled in June. “There’s still issues that need to be discussed,” CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock told AP. Among the issues: the number of teams. Hancock said an eight-team format was part of the discussions Wednesday. The meeting in the Dallas area, which was attended in person by some of the participants and virtually by others, was prelude to a session in Chicago next week that was supposed to include the CFP board of managers. The board is comprised of university presidents and chancellors representing each conference. The board has final say in all matters related to the playoff and there was hope the management committee would bring the presidents a recommendation to approve a format change. Instead, the management committee will reconvene Tuesday, with the presidents joining via Zoom. “There won’t be a vote next week,” Hancock said. “Next week will be, I’ll call it an informational meeting. It’s complicated.” Hancock added: “We have time.”
Sabres agree to terms with Rasmus Dahlin on $18-million, three-year contract
The Sabres agreed to terms with defenseman Rasmus Dahlin on a three-year contract worth $18 million, getting the deal done on the eve of Buffalo’s first training camp practice. Dahlin was among the last unsigned restricted free agents around the NHL. The 6-foot-3 Swede has 107 points on 18 goals and 89 assists in 197 games since Buffalo took him with the first pick in the 2018 draft. With Dahlin’s situation settled, the Sabres focus is now squarely on injured captain Jack Eichel, who was expected to report for his physical after an offseason of trade talks. Eichel’s future with the team is unclear. Dahlin will count $6 million against the salary cap through the 2022-23 season, a contract that could set a comparable deal for Vancouver’s Quinn Hughes, the only other prominent restricted free agent defenseman left unsigned ... Goaltender Cal Petersen has agreed to a three-year, $15 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Kings. Petersen’s extension begins in the 2022-23 season. He will play the upcoming season under a three-year, $2.575 million deal signed in July 2019. Petersen went 9-18-5 last season for the struggling Kings, but established career-bests in goals-against average (2.89) and save percentage (.911). He appeared in a team-leading 35 games while assuming the role of Los Angeles’ No. 1 goalie in the injury absence of Jonathan Quick.
Katie Ledecky heads to Florida to work with new coach
Katie Ledecky will be learning a new stroke. The Gator Chomp. Ledecky announced that she is moving to the University of Florida to be closer to home and train under Anthony Nesty, a rising star coach who will oversee her preparations for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Ledecky, a seven-time Olympic gold medalist, spent the last five years at Stanford University, where she worked with US national team coach Greg Meehan while earning a psychology degree. “Stanford has been my second home,” Ledecky wrote on her Twitter account. “It will always have a special place in my heart. Having completed my college degree this year, I am moving east to be closer to home and family.” The Washington, D.C., native will now be training with Nesty, a 1988 Olympic gold medalist who serves as the primary coach to both Bobby Finke, who swept the 800- and 1500-meter freestyles at the Tokyo Games, and Kieran Smith, who took bronze in the 400 free. Ledecky will also serve as a volunteer assistant coach on the Gators staff, a coup for Nesty when he hits the recruiting trail. The 24-year-old Ledecky said she looks forward to looks forward to working with Nesty’s “outstanding mid-distance and distance training group.” Ledecky won two golds and two silvers at 2020 Tokyo Games this past summer. Over the last three Olympics, she became the first female swimmer to capture six individual golds and the first U.S. woman to win that many in any sport. Though not as dominant as she was in the 2016 Rio Games — Ledecky actually finished fifth in one event at Tokyo, the first time she’s failed to medal in an Olympic race — she remains one of the world’s greatest swimmers and hopes to add to her medal haul in Paris.
Naomi Osaka withdraws from next month’s Indian Wells
Naomi Osaka pulled out of the BNP Paribas Open, a move that was expected after she indicated following her US Open loss this month that she planned to take another extended break from tennis. The withdrawal was announced by the official Twitter feed for the hard-court tournament at Indian Wells, which is scheduled for Oct. 4-17 after twice being delayed during the coronavirus pandemic. Osaka is a four-time Grand Slam champion who has been ranked No. 1 and is currently No. 8. She last played at the U.S. Open, where her title defense ended with a third-round loss to eventual runner-up Leylah Fernandez on Sept. 3. After that defeat, Osaka said: “I honestly don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match.” Osaka, a 23-year-old who was born in Japan and now is based in the US, took time off earlier this season, a mental health break that began when she withdrew from the French Open before her second-round match. She also sat out Wimbledon, then returned for the Tokyo Olympics, where she lit the cauldron during the opening ceremony. “I feel like for me, recently, when I win, I don’t feel happy, I feel more like a relief. And then when I lose, I feel very sad,” Osaka said at her news conference following the 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-4 loss to Fernandez at Flushing Meadows. “I don’t think that’s normal.”
Casas hits first Triple-A homer for Worcester
Sox top prospect Triston Casas hit his first homer since his call-up to Triple-A Worcester, helping the WooSox top the Rochester Red Wings, 4-3. Jarren Duran went 1-for-4 and drove in a run for Worcester.