AP source: Lakers bracing for James to miss multiple weeks
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers may miss multiple weeks with an injury to his right foot. The full extent of the injury is not yet known and more test results are pending. That’s according to a person familiar with the situation who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither James nor the Lakers had announced anything about a long-term absence. The Lakers had already ruled James out Tuesday’s game at Memphis with what they called right foot soreness. James is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and is trying to lead the Lakers into the playoffs.
Mets’ Scherzer loves ‘cat-and-mouse’ game of MLB’s new rules
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — New York Mets right-hander Max Scherzer described pitching under Major League Baseball’s new rules as a “cat-and-mouse” game. Contrary to previous years, Scherzer feels the pitcher finally has control of the tempo because of the new pitch clock. In his first start of the Grapefruit League schedule, Scherzer was touched for a run in the second inning but struck out five while working the first two innings of the Mets’ 6-3 win over Washington. The average game time through three days of spring training is 2 hours, 39 minutes, down from an average of 3:01 for all of spring training last year.
MLB average salary rose 14.8% to record $4.22M last season
NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball’s average salary rose 14.8% to a record $4.22 million last year after the end of the lockout, boosted by big deals for Max Scherzer, Francisco Lindor, Marcus Semien and Corey Seager. The rate of increase was the highest since a 17.7% increase in 2000 to $1.61 million, according to final calculations by the players’ association. The average had dropped in each of the previous four seasons before 2022, sparking player anger that was expressed by the union during a 99-day lockout that ended last March.
It’s working: Pitch clock shaves 20 minutes from early games
So far, baseball’s new speed-up rules are working. The first-ever major league pitch clock and other rules have helped cut more than 20 minutes from spring training games through the first weekend. The average time of game has dropped from 3 hours, 1 minute last spring to 2:39. Players and umpires are still adjusting to the rules. In the Cubs game against the Diamondbacks, both pitcher Joe Mantiply and batter Brennen Davis were penalized for being too slow at the start of the third inning, so Davis’ at-bat started with a count of 1-1.
Messi and Putellas voted best players at FIFA awards again
PARIS (AP) — World Cup winner Lionel Messi has won FIFA’s Best Men’s Player award for 2022. Spain’s Alexia Putellas won FIFA’s Best Women’s Player award for the second straight time. Messi won the voting over Kylian Mbappé and Karim Benzema. Putellas won the women’s voting over Alex Morgan of the United States and England’s Beth Mead. Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni has been voted FIFA men’s coach of the year after leading his team to the World Cup title in December. The women’s coach award went to Sarina Wiegman after she led England to the title at the Women’s European Championship.
Ball fractures ankle in Hornets’ 117-106 win over Pistons
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — LaMelo Ball made six 3-pointers before breaking his right ankle in the third quarter, and the Charlotte Hornets held on to beat the Detroit Pistons 117-106 for their fifth straight victory. Terry Rozier scored 22 points and Gordon Hayward had 19 points for Charlotte, which is still second-to-last in the Eastern Conference standings — ahead of only Detroit. Ball finished with 18 points. He was hurt on a non-contact play, and the Hornets announced after the game that he had fractured his right ankle. Hamidou Diallo and James Wiseman each scored 23 points for the Pistons.
Maple Leafs up ante in East by making trade with Blackhawks
The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired forward Sam Lafferty and defenseman Jake McCabe from the Chicago Blackhawks. Their latest big trade comes the day after division-rival Tampa Bay paid a hefty price to acquire forward Tanner Jeannot from Nashville. Talent continues to flow to Eastern Conference contenders ahead of the NHL trade deadline Friday. In recent days, New Jersey got big winger Timo Meier from San Jose and Boston traded with Washington for Garnet Hathaway and Dmitry Orlov.
AP sources: Haslams agree to purchase Lasry’s stake in Bucks
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Two people with knowledge of the negotiations say Cleveland Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam have agreed to purchase Marc Lasry’s 25% stake of the Milwaukee Bucks in a deal that puts the value of the NBA franchise at $3.5 billion. The agreement has not been finalized. The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the Bucks nor the Haslams publicly disclosed any element of the agreement. The Haslams would be spending about $875 million for Lasry’s stake of the team. It would be the second-highest valuation in NBA history, behind the $4 billion valuation for the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury when Mat Ishbia acquired them in a deal that closed this month.
Commanders release quarterback Carson Wentz after one season
The Washington Commanders have released quarterback Carson Wentz. The expected move comes after their one-season experiment with Wentz did not work out. Washington was able to get out of the final two years of Wentz’s contract without any salary cap penalty. Wentz threw for 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions in eight games, including three picks in a late-season loss to Cleveland that contributed to knocking the Commanders out of playoff contention. Wentz could be on his fourth NFL team in as many years if he’s signed as a free agent. The team also released veteran safety Bobby McCain.
Houston, Alabama top AP Top 25; Marquette climbing, Pitt in
The top five spots in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll remained the same. The rest of the AP Top 25 was a big jumble. Houston was No. 1 for the second straight week in the poll released Monday, receiving 49 first-place votes from a 62-person media panel. No. 2 Alabama had five first-place votes and No. 3 Kansas received eight. UCLA and Purdue rounded out the top 5. The Boilermakers held at No. 5 despite losing to No. 15 Indiana. The rest of the poll, only No. 20 Providence kept the same position from last week.