July 3, 2009 in Sports

Artest will join NBA champs next season

From Staff And Wire Reports
Associated Press photo

Ron Artest will be wearing a Lakers jersey next season.
(Full-size photo)

Basketball: Ron Artest is joining Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.

David Bauman, Artest’s agent, told the Associated Press that the Houston Rockets forward has agreed to play for the NBA champions next season. Bauman said the final details are still being worked out, but should be finished soon.

ESPN.com reported that Artest had agreed to a three-year deal worth $18 million. Bauman would not confirm those numbers, saying the deal was still being negotiated.

“We’re not quite there yet,” Bauman said. “We’re still working on it.”

The 6-foot-7 forward earned $7.4 million in his only season with Houston, averaging 17.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists. The 2004 Defensive Player of the Year was also a rugged 1-on-1 defender, often assigned to guard the opponent’s most dynamic scorer.

It was also reported that the Rockets have reached a multiyear deal with free agent Trevor Ariza, who played for the Lakers this season.

The 6-foot-8 Ariza averaged 8.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists for the Lakers last season.

•Motum leads Australia: Washington State University incoming freshman forward Brock Motum scored 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds as Australia defeated Canada 88-77 in group play at the FIBA U19 World Championship in Auckland, New Zealand.

Also, Washington State’s DeAngelo Casto scored six points and Klay Thompson added four points as the United States defeated France, 71-55.

•Braswell sentenced: The son of the head basketball coach at Cal State Northridge has been sentenced in San Fernando, Calif., to probation and community service after pleading no contest to charges of stealing from the Best Buy store where he worked. Jeffrey Braswell, the son of coach Bobby Braswell, pleaded no contest to five felony counts. He was sentenced to three years’ probation and 300 hours of work service.

Kim sets course record, leads by two

Golf: Anthony Kim ran off eight birdies over his final 13 holes and set the course record at Congressional at the AT&T National in Bethesda, Md., with an 8-under-par 62, giving him a two-shot lead over Tiger Woods and two others.

The 24-year-old Kim has not won since his victory in the AT&T National last year, slowed by an assortment of injuries.

It was the best round of his PGA Tour career, although Kim walked off the par-5 ninth green slightly perturbed after narrowly missing a 10-foot birdie putt. Apparently, eight birdies weren’t enough.

“You don’t have many opportunities to bust a 61,” Kim said.

But it was enough to hold off Woods, who missed his tournament last year after having season-ending knee surgery. Woods played in the afternoon with deceptive wind swirling from trees lining the fairways. He missed only two fairways and three greens, and made enough putts for a 64, his lowest round since the 2007 Tour Championship.

“Today was nice to get back inside the ropes and get out there and try to catch AK,” Woods said. “He lit it up this morning.”

•Three share lead in LPGA event: Morgan Pressel, Song-Hee Kim and Laura Diaz made the most of the defending champion’s absence at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.

Each shot a 7-under 64 after Paula Creamer withdrew, taking a one-shot lead over Michelle Wie and Suzann Pettersen after the opening round at Highland Meadows in Sylvania, Ohio.

Creamer, who shot a personal-best and course-record 60 in last year’s first round, withdrew because of a thumb injury moments before her morning tee time.

Wendy Ward of Edwall, Wash., opened with a 70.

‘Money’ Mayweather owes a lot of it to IRS

Boxing: Floyd Mayweather Jr. has said rumblings about his financial troubles are nothing more than rumors, but public records obtained by the Associated Press show the boxer nicknamed “Money” owes about $6.4 million to the Internal Revenue Service and others.

The IRS hit the former pound-for-pound boxing king with a lien in October for $6.17 million in unpaid taxes from 2007, according to the Clark County Recorder in Las Vegas. A New Jersey Superior Court judgment from the same year shows he owes $193,000 in state taxes there.

Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather’s manager, disputed the documents and said he believed they were inaccurate.

“When you have a problem with them, you ain’t hard to find – ask Wesley Snipes,” Ellerbe said. “You go to jail, they come take your (stuff). He doesn’t have a problem.”

Snipes, the actor, is currently appealing convictions of willfully failing to file his income taxes and his three-year prison sentence.

More evidence points to Arguello death a suicide: Investigators have released new evidence that points to suicide in the death of former boxing champion and Managua, Nicaragua, mayor Alexis Arguello.

The rising star of the governing Sandinista party, a movement he once bitterly opposed, died at his home of a single gunshot to the chest early Wednesday.

Assistant judicial police chief Glenda Zavala says traces of gunpowder were found on the 57-year-old Arguello’s hands, suggesting he shot himself. There were no other signs of violence in the room where he was found.

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