Update on the latest sports
Brand shoots 67 to take U.S. Open lead
SAN DIEGO (AP) ¬_Richard Bland is the early 36-hole leader at the U.S. Open.
Bland is why this major takes pride in being the most open of the majors. Bland shot a 67 on Friday and was at 5-under par. Louis Oosthuizen (LOO’ee OOST-hay-vihn) is a shot behind. Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson and Xander Schauffele were among those playing in the afternoon.
Bland is a 48-year-old from England. Just last month, he won his first European Tour event in his 478th start to become the oldest first-time winner in Europe. He walked off the course at Torrey Pines with his name atop the leaderboard.
Celtics’ send Kemba Walker, 16th pick to Thunder for Horford
UNDATED (AP) — The Celtics are bringing Al Horford back, trading point guard Kemba Walker to Oklahoma City for the five-time All-Star on Friday in Brad Stevens’ first major move since he moved from the Boston bench to the front office.
Boston will also send the No. 16 overall draft pick and a 2025 second-rounder to the Thunder and receive 7-footer Moses Brown and a 2023 second-round pick in return. Oklahoma City now holds 19 first-round draft picks over the next seven years. Horford returns to Boston and gives the Celtics the frontcourt presence they’ve lacked since he left two seasons ago. The 6-foot-9 was forward was a member of the NBA All-Defensive team with the Celtics in 2017-18 while also posting the best assist numbers of his career.
Walker is guaranteed more than $73 million over the next two seasons. But after helping the Celtics reach the Eastern Conference finals in the NBA bubble last season, he was limited by knee injuries to 43 games in 2021. He missed the last two games of the first-round playoff loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
In other NBA news:
—Dirk Nowitzki (noh-VIHT’-skee) is joining the Dallas Mavericks as an adviser in the wake of the abrupt departures of general manager Donnie Nelson and coach Rick Carlisle. The franchise leader in nearly every category says he considers Nelson and Carlisle mentors and wanted to do what he could to help the Mavericks find their replacements. Nowitzki, who turns 43 on Saturday, retired two years ago. The 7-foot German set an NBA record by spending all 21 seasons with the Mavericks. Nowitzki led Dallas to the 2011 championship.
—Golden State Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown has a new job this summer. He’s the coach of the Nigerian Olympic men’s team and opens training camp in preparation for the Tokyo Games this weekend in Oakland, California.
Canadiens coach Ducharme tests positive for coronavirus
UNDATED (AP) — Montreal Canadiens interim coach Dominique Ducharme has tested positive for the coronavirus.
The NHL says Ducharme received a confirmed positive COVID-19 test nine days since receiving his second vaccine dose. No other Canadiens players or members of the Vegas Golden Knights have tested positive. Ducharme isolated immediately and Game 3 scheduled for tonight in Montreal is set to be played as scheduled. It was not immediately clear who would run the Canadiens bench or how long Ducharme will be out.
In other NHL news:
—Ice Hockey UK says the Arizona Coyotes and British forward Liam Kirk have agreed to terms on an entry-level contract three years after he became the first player born and trained in England to be drafted. The Coyotes have yet to announce it. The 21-year-old Kirk was the joint top goal scorer at the recent world championship in Latvia, where he had seven goals in as many games for Britain. The Coyotes selected the 6-foot left winger in the seventh round of the 2018 NHL draft.
MLB COVID vaccinations slow, no additional teams reach 85%
UNDATED (AP) — The pace of coronavirus vaccinations in Major League Baseball has slowed. No additional teams in the past week joined the 22 that had already reached the the 85% vaccination threshold for players and other on-field personnel.
Major League Baseball and the players’ association say 85.3% of tier 1 and 2 tier individuals had been fully vaccinated and 86.5% had received at least one dose. Previous weekly announcements included just tier 1. MLB said June 11 that 83.5% had been fully vaccinated and 85.1% had been partially vaccinated.
In other MLB news:
—The Baltimore Orioles have put left-hander Bruce Zimmermann on the 10-day injured list with left bicep tendinitis. Zimmermann was supposed to be Baltimore’s starter Friday night against Toronto, but the Orioles instead will go with right-hander Thomas Eshelman. Zimmermann is 4-4 with a 4.83 ERA this year. His move to the IL is retroactive to Tuesday.
NFL holding its inaugural General Manager Forum next week
UNDATED (AP) — The NFL is holding its inaugural General Manager Forum next week in an effort to increase minority hiring in front offices.
The forum named after Ozzie Newsome will be held virtually on Monday ahead of the fourth annual Quarterback Coaching Summit. There are only four Black GMs and three Black head coaches in a 32-team league where about 70% of the players are minorities. Newsome, Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, New York Giants owner John Mara, Buffalo Bills owner Kim Pegula and Black College Football Hall of Fame co-founder James “Shack” Harris will speak during some of the sessions on Monday.
In other NFL news:
—Buffalo Bills receiver Cole Beasley does not plan to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and he insists he will not follow rules jointly adopted by the NFL and NFLPA requiring unvaccinated players to stay clear of people. Tweeting in response to criticism over the last 24 hours of his stance on social media, Beasley confirmed Friday he is not vaccinated and he will live his life like he wants. Coming off a career year, Beasley said he will go outside while unvaccinated and he will not wear masks. He advised people who see him to get out of his way.
—The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed receiver Laquon Treadwell, adding the 2016 first-round draft pick following a minicamp tryout. Treadwell was the 23rd overall pick that year by Minnesota. Treadwell caught 65 passes for 701 yards and two touchdowns with Minnesota. He played five games for Atlanta last season. Jacksonville waived receiver Jon’Vea Johnson to make room for Treadwell on its 90-man roster.
—The industry publication VenuesNow.com is reporting the Buffalo Bills are pursuing plans to build a new stadium, and selected a company controlled by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and the New York Yankees to represent them in negotiations. The publication cited “industry sources” in also reporting the Bills have selected a division of the Legends Global firm to sell sponsorships and seat licensing for the prospective new stadium.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-TOKYO OLYMPICS
Top medical adviser says no fans would be safest for Tokyo Olympics
TOKYO (AP) — The top medical adviser to the Japanese government says the safest way to hold the Tokyo Olympics is without any fans.
Fans from abroad have already been banned and organizers are to announce early next week if some local fans should be allowed. The Olympics open in just five weeks on July 23.
Dr. Shigeru Omi issued his suggestions in a report to the government and organizers, apparently putting him at odds with organizers and the International Olympic Committee. Reports suggest organizers want to allow up to 10,000 fans in some venues. Ticket sales were to account for $800 million in income. Much of it will be lost and government entities will have to make up the shortfall.
NCAA memo: Emmert tells schools to act on NIL or he will
NCAA President Mark Emmert says he will seek temporary rules as early as July to ensure all athletes can be compensated for their celebrity.
In a memo obtained by The Associated Press, Emmert urged member schools to pass legislation that would make it permissible for the first time for college athletes to earn money off their names, images and likenesses. A host of state laws are looming and congressional efforts for a national law have stalled. The NCAA Division I Council meets Tuesday and Wednesday and could act on an NIL proposal.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF-EXPANSION
Commissioners dig into CFP expansion plan, now seek feedback
ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) — College Football Playoff expansion took another step forward as the full group of commissioners who manage the postseason system spent about six hours over two days digging into a proposed plan for a 12-team format.
There is no announced timeline and the earliest expansion would be possible is likely 2023 if there are no big snags. Last week, the CFP unveiled a plan to expand from four to 12 teams. Six spots would be reserved for the highest-ranked conference champions and and the other six would be at-large spots. The plan calls for first-round games played on campuses and quarterfinal and semifinal games played in bowls.
The detailed proposal was developed over two years by four members of the CFP management committee: Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick and Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson. This week’s meeting was the first chance for the entire 11-person management committee to discuss the proposal in person.