LeBron James delivered on a promise and ended decades of Cleveland sports misery in 2016. For leading the Cavaliers to an NBA title and ending the city’s 52-year title drought, James was chosen Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year on Thursday, joining Tiger Woods as the award’s only two-time winners since its inception in 1954. ‘‘I'm honored,’’ James said. ‘‘I'm more happy for my family, my kids, for my wife, my mom, and for my foundation, for the kids that I represent and the kids that use me as a role model and an inspiration.”
Rivers fined for tirade
Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers was fined $15,000 by the NBA for verbally abusing a game official and failing to leaving the court in a timely manner after his ejection in the first overtime of the Clippers’ 127-122 double-overtime loss at Brooklyn Tuesday night . . . Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond was fined $15,000 by the NBA for striking Charlotte Hornets center Roy Hibbert in the back of the head with an elbow in the second quarter of the Pistons’ 112-89 victory Tuesday night . . . WNBA forward Chiney Ogwumike of the Connecticut Sun had Achilles’ tendon surgery after hurting her left leg playing in China last month. The operation was Wednesday. Her recovery is expected to take six to nine months.
81 straight for UConn
Kia Nurse scored a career-high 33 points and No. 2 UConn routed No. 15 DePaul, 91-46, in Storrs for the Huskies’ 81st straight victory in women’s basketball . . . Destiny Nunley had 21 points, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks, and 2 steals in leading the Harvard women’s basketball team to its sixth straight victory, 73-62 over Temple at Lavietes Pavilion . . . The University of New Hampshire women’s basketball team edged Northeastern, 66-63, in overtime at Cabot Gymnasium . . . PJ Dozier had a career-high 21 points and the No. 20 South Carolina men’s basketball team improved to 7-0 for a second straight season with a 68-50 victory over Vermont in Columbia, S.C. . . . UMass Dartmouth’s Brian Baptiste became the sixth active Division 3 men’s basketball coach to reach 600 victories, and just the 14th all time. The Corsairs won at Bridgewater State, 77-71. Baptiste is 600-309 in just over 33 seasons at UMass Dartmouth . . . Indiana football coach Kevin Wilson abruptly resigned, less than a week after the Hoosiers became bowl-eligible for the second straight season. Athletic director Fred Glass cited “philosophical differences” with Wilson. He said a law firm had looked into allegations that Wilson pushed players to return from injury and Glass said the investigation concluded there were not outstanding “medical issues.” Glass also said no potential NCAA violations were involved . . . Former Northeastern hockey player Dan Lupo died unexpectedly Tuesday. He was 44. No cause of death was given. Lupo played for the Huskies from 1992-96. He had his best year as a senior cocaptain, finishing second on team with 39 points (18 goals, 21 assists).
NASCAR gets sponsor
NASCAR announced an agreement with Monster Energy that makes the energy drink maker the title sponsor of its top series in 2017, ending a lengthy process of finding a replacement for Sprint. NASCAR chairman Brian France declined to provide financial details or the length of the deal, saying it was a ‘‘complicated agreement’’ that includes option years. It was believed to be for less money than Sprint’s multimillion-dollar sponsorship. France indicated they’re still in discussions with Monster Beverage Corporation, based in Corona, Calif., on the exact name of the 2017 Cup series.
USA Track and Field cut an eight-year deal for NBC to present the federation’s key events on its main broadcast network, cable, and digital platforms. The deal is considered groundbreaking for Olympic sports, many of which pay the network’s production costs in exchange for the air time. Financial details were not disclosed. The agreement calls for at least 18 hours of live coverage of USATF events, including national championships and the Prefontaine Classic, with at least eight of those hours on NBC. These events are in addition to the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Trials and Olympics.
Schwartzel shares lead
Defending champion Charl Schwartzel birdied the last hole for a share of the first-round lead at the European Tour’s Alfred Dunhill Championship in Malelane, South Africa. Schwartzel tapped in on No. 18 for a 66 to join Paul Dunne at 6 under par . . . Australians Andrew Dodt, Harold Varner, and Ashley Hall shared the Australian PGA Championship lead at 7-under 64 after the rain-delayed first round in Gold Coast. Dodt finished Thursday before lightning and a storm forced organizers to postpone play until Friday morning. Play resumed at 5:30 a.m., and Varner completed the round with birdies on his last two holes. Hall birdied four of his last seven Australian star Adam Scott opened with a 69 . . . Scott Parel shot a 3-under 69 on Thursday to take the third-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' qualifying tournament. The top five finishers Friday will be fully exempt and Nos. 6-30 and ties will get associate membership. Worcester’s Fran Quinn shot a 70, putting him in a tie with three others for sixth place.
Police in South Korea are investigating Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang over suspicions he crashed a luxury car into a guardrail while driving under the influence of alcohol and then left the scene. Seoul police on Friday said they are also investigating whether Kang asked a friend to falsely report who was driving the vehicle. Kang was involved in another off-the-field incident in June when a 23-year-old woman reported being sexually assaulted by Kang inside a Chicago hotel. The woman’s name has not been released and Kang has not been charged. Pirates President Frank Coonelly issued a statement saying the club was aware of the serious charges filed against Kang. ‘‘We are extremely disappointed in Jung Ho and in his decision process during this matter,’’ Coonelly said. ‘‘I know first-hand how foolish and dangerous it is to drive under the influence and am most thankful that, as we understand it, no one was injured. ‘‘We will have further comment once we have been able to gather all of the relevant facts and speak with the player.’’ . . . The St.Louis Cardinals traded lefthander Jaime Garcia to the Atlanta Braves for a trio of prospects, including second baseman Luke Dykstra, the son of former All-Star Lenny Dykstra. The Cardinals also got righthanders John Gant and Chris Ellis.