NFL All-Pros: Kelce, Jefferson unanimous; 16 first-timers
Travis Kelce and Justin Jefferson are unanimous choices for The Associated Press 2022 NFL All-Pro Team, and Sauce Gardner is the first rookie cornerback selected in 41 years. The Chiefs’ Kelce and the Vikings’ Jefferson received first-team votes Friday from all 50 members of a nationwide panel of media members who regularly cover the league. Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, San Francisco 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa and Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones each got 49 of 50 first-team votes. Gardner, the fourth overall pick by the New York Jets, was named on all 50 ballots, receiving 43 first-place votes. Pro Football Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott was the last rookie cornerback chosen for the first team in 1981.
2022 NFL All-Pro Team Roster
NEW YORK (AP) — 2022 NFL All-Pro Team Roster
Sean McVay decides to keep coaching, stays with LA Rams
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sean McVay has decided to return for a seventh season with the Los Angeles Rams after taking a break to contemplate his future following the first losing season of his career. The youngest head coach in NFL history to win the Super Bowl has decided not to take a break from coaching after his Rams finished 5-12 in the worst season ever by a defending champion. McVay is sticking with the Rams at their lowest point in his tenure after a year of what he described as heavy mental fatigue and stress.
Kirk leads Sony as Spieth goes from leading to a missed cut
HONOLULU (AP) — Chris Kirk in the lead might have been the only shred of normalcy in the Sony Open. Jordan Spieth started with a share of the lead. He walked off the 18th green at Waialae in a minor state of shock after missing the cut. That hasn’t happened in nearly three years on the PGA Tour. Rory Sabbatini was one shot out of the lead when he made double bogey on three straight holes and missed the cut by one shot. Kirk had a 65 and leads by one shot over J.J. Spaun and PGA Tour rookie Taylor Montgomery.
Spurs set NBA attendance record of 68,323 against Warriors
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The San Antonio Spurs are hosting the largest crowd ever for an NBA regular-season game in their return to the Alamodome. The Spurs, celebrating their 50th anniversary season, have returned to their former home to face the Golden State Warriors on Friday night. Official attendance will be announced in the third quarter, but a Spurs official said more than 65,000 are on hand at the Alamodome for the game against the defending NBA champions. It shatters the previous record of 62,046 who gathered to watch Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls play the Atlanta Hawks at the Georgia Dome on March 27, 1998.
Nadal in rut, Djokovic on roll as Australian Open approaches
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Rafael Nadal acknowledges feeling vulnerable as the Australian Open approaches. He is the defending champion but also has lost six of his past seven matches. Novak Djokovic says he likes his chances at a place he could not compete at a year ago because is not vaccinated against COVID-19. And why wouldn’t he feel confident? He has claimed nine titles at Melbourne Park and has won 30 of his past 31 tournament matches overall. Nadal and Djokovic are two long-time rivals who have a lot in common but could hardly be facing more contrasting circumstances with the 2023 Grand Slam season beginning Monday.
Soto, Alonso, Guerrero get big deals, 33 head to arbitration
NEW YORK (AP) — Juan Soto, Pete Alonso and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. reached big-money agreements on one-year contracts as 170 players avoided salary arbitration with deals and 33 exchanged proposed figures with their teams. All-Star pitcher Max Fried and the Atlanta Braves were headed toward a hearing for the second straight year, while Toronto shortstop Bo Bichette and Houston outfielder Kyle Tucker were the farthest apart from their clubs, each asking for $7.5 million while their team offered $5 million. Soto got a $23 million deal with San Diego, while Alonso agreed to $14.5 million from the Mets, and Guerrero the same figure from the Blue Jays.
Clowney apologizes to Garrett for Browns favoritism comments
CLEVELAND (AP) — Jadeveon Clowney says he has apologized to Browns star Myles Garrett more than a week after criticizing Cleveland’s organization and coaching staff. Clowney had said the Browns favored Garrett and were more focused on getting him to the Hall of Fame than winning. The Browns disciplined Clowney by leaving him home from the season finale at Pittsburgh. Clowney spent two seasons with the Browns. The first year he had nine sacks. But this season he had just two sacks and missed four games with injuries. The 29-year-old is not under contract.
Djokovic receives warm welcome in Melbourne return
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic has received a warm and enthusiastic welcome in his return to Melbourne during an exhibition match against Nick Kyrgios. Djokovic’s visa for entering Australia was revoked and he was deported ahead of last year’s Australian Open because he was not vaccinated against COVID-19. He still hasn’t gotten the shots, but the country’s coronavirus rules have been relaxed. So the nine-time Australian Open champion was allowed to return for this year’s tournament beginning Monday. After enjoying what he said was a “fantastic” response from fans in Adelaide during a tournament last week, Djokovic admitted he was unsure how he would be received in Melbourne a year after he was deported.
Australian Open 2023: Coco Gauff, a teen in a tennis hurry
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Coco Gauff acknowledges she tends to be in a bit of a hurry as she moves through life. The 18-year-old American doesn’t stick around in a city after a tennis tournament ends. She doesn’t like to linger at a restaurant after dinner. Her philosophy, in a nutshell: Why wait if you don’t need to? When the Australian Open begins the 2023 Grand Slam season, Gauff will be scheduled to start the action in Rod Laver Arena against Katerina Siniakova. Win that, and Gauff next could face Emma Raducanu, who won the 2021 U.S. Open as a teenager. Keep going all the way to the semifinals, and the No. 7-seeded Gauff might just end up facing No. 1 Iga Swiatek.