Update on the latest sports

June 20, 2017 - 6:33 pm


Source: Pau Gasol expected to remain with Spurs — but as a free agent

UNDATED (AP) A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that Pau Gasol will not exercise the player option on his contract for next year, but intends to sign a new deal with the San Antonio Spurs when free agency opens in July.

Gasol declined the $16 million option on his contract on Tuesday. The 7-foot center made the move with the expectation of signing a new multiyear deal that will reduce his annual salary but give him more security. That's according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the Spurs did not officially announce the move.

Gasol's decision will give the Spurs more flexibility going into what is expected to be a hotly contested free agent market.

In other NBA news:

—A judge has denied a request to block some public funding for Little Caesars Arena and the Detroit Pistons' move from the suburbs. U.S. District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith issued his decision late Monday, saying a requested injunction would cause "catastrophic damage" to Detroit. The lawsuit said Michigan law prohibits spending school property tax revenue on the projects because a tax voters approved in 2012 was to be used exclusively for Detroit's public schools. It said a vote from Detroit residents was needed first.

— A $192.5 million renovation of Philips Arena, home of the Atlanta Hawks, has begun a day after funding was approved by the Atlanta City Council. About $110 million for the renovation will be generated from the car rental tax collected at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and other sites. An additional $32.5 million will come from the city's sale of Turner Field, the former home of MLB's Braves, to Georgia State University. The Hawks will contribute $50 million. As part of the deal, the team's lease was extended through the 2047-2048 season.

— The Neilsen ratings company says Game 5 of the NBA Finals was by far the week's big attraction, drawing more than 24 million viewers to ABC to land the week's top spot.


Agent: Tiger Woods in a clinic for handling pain medications

UNDATED (AP) — Tiger Woods has checked into a clinic to get help for dealing with pain medication, and his agent is not sure how long he will be there.

Mark Steinberg of Excel Sports Management wouldn't disclose the location of the in-patient treatment Woods is receiving, or how long the golfer would be there. Woods said Monday night that he is receiving professional help to manage his medications and how he deals with pain and a sleep disorder.

Steinberg says Woods' May 29 arrest in Jupiter, Florida, on a DUI charge shook him up. He says he's proud of Woods for seeking help, and that the objective is all about a healthy lifestyle more than playing golf again.

Woods says his arrest stemmed from a reaction to prescription medicine.


PGA Tour to start blood testing next season

UNDATED (AP) — The PGA Tour is beefing up its anti-doping policy by adding blood testing next season.

The tour also is bringing its list of banned substances in line with the World Anti-Doping Association. The revised policy takes effect in October at the start of next season.

Blood testing will allow the tour to detect any use of human growth hormone, which is on the list of banned substances but cannot be detected through urine.

The tour says it will report any suspensions for drugs of abuse. Under the current policy, the tour is required to announce when a player has been suspended only for performance-enhancing drugs.


Yankees rookie sensation Aaron Judge has been invited to participate in next month's Home Run Derby.

NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees rookie sensation Aaron Judge has been invited to participate in next month's Home Run Derby.

Judge said Tuesday that he received the invitation last week through his agent but had not yet decided whether to accept.

The 25-year-old outfielder, a towering presence at 6-foot-7, leads the major leagues with 23 home runs, tops the American League with a .335 batting average and is tied for the AL lead in RBIs at 53 with Seattle's Nelson Cruz.

Judge said: "I'm going to think about it for a while. Just haven't honestly thought about. I'm more focused on what I can do for the team right now, and we'll see what I decide to do."

The derby will be held at Marlins Park in Miami on July 10


NL West Showdown

UNDATED (AP) — Winning streaks are on the line when Arizona and Colorado begin a three-game series at Coors Field. Rookie right-hander German Marquez starts for the Rockies, who have won five straight and own the best record in the National League at 46-26. They are 20 games above .500 for the first time since 2009.

Zack Greinke (GREHN'-kee) pitches for the Diamondbacks, winners of seven in a row and just a game behind Colorado in the NL West at 44-26. This is Arizona's best 70-game start in team history.

Elsewhere in the majors:

— Red Sox ace Chris Sale comes off his best start in more than a month — and his only loss during that span — when he takes the mound at Kansas City. The major league leader in strikeouts allowed one run and four hits over eight innings while striking out 10 in a 1-0 loss at Philadelphia last Thursday. Boston expects to be without Dustin Pedroia for the second consecutive game after the second baseman was hit by a pitch Sunday night in Houston, causing him to spit up blood.

— After dropping the final six games of a 1-6 road trip in California, rookie slugger Aaron Judge and the Yankees return to the Bronx on their longest losing streak of the season. Up first, a rematch with the Angels. Michael Pineda pitches for New York, which lost two of three to Los Angeles last week. Parker Bridwell makes his second start for the Angels, taking the rotation spot vacated when Matt Shoemaker went on the disabled list.

— The Twins will try to rally after a deflating four-game sweep against Cleveland knocked them out of first place in the AL Central. Minnesota has dropped seven of nine overall and is just a game over .500 entering a series against the White Sox. Ervin Santana can spark a turnaround when he faces Chicago left-hander Derek Holland.

— Keeping St. Louis leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter off the bases has been nearly impossible of late. The first baseman has five walks over his past two games and a .528 on-base percentage during a 12-game on-base streak, a breakout stretch that followed a 5-for-41 slump. All that table setting hasn't done St. Louis much good, though — the Cards have dropped five of six heading into a three-game series against Philadelphia.


Phillip Fulmer named special adviser to Tennessee president

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro has hired former Volunteers football coach Phillip Fulmer as his special adviser for community, athletics and university relations. DiPietro announced the hiring Tuesday.

Fulmer had been a candidate for the athletic director job given to John Currie in March. As special advisor, Fulmer will be an ambassador for the Tennessee system statewide, support athletic programs at campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Martin, and lobby for the university system with both elected officials and alumni.


Former Notre Dame QB Zaire says he's going to Florida

UNDATED (AP) — Former Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire says he's going to Florida. Zaire announced his decision Tuesday on Instagram with a picture of the Gators logo. Florida officials can't comment on prospective student-athletes until they enroll in school and attend class. According to a person familiar with Zaire's transfer, the left-hander has been accepted into graduate school at Florida and is expected to attend classes next week.

Zaire missed most of the 2015 season because of a broken ankle and lost his starting job to DeShone Kizer in the 2016 season opener.

In other college football news:

— The NCAA has cleared transfer quarterback Will Grier to play at West Virginia at the start of the season. West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen confirmed Grier's eligibility Tuesday. While at Florida, Grier was suspended by the NCAA in October 2015 for one year for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. The suspension would have sidelined him for about half of the 2016 season, but he decided to transfer that April. In six games as a freshman at Florida, including five starts, Grier completed 66 percent of his passes for 1,204 yards, with 10 touchdowns and three interceptions.

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