NBA: While LeBron James listened to reasons why he should leave his team, Rudy Gay was given a reason to stay.
Gay agreed to a five-year deal with the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday, the first day of free agency, that will pay him more than $80 million.
James received visits in Cleveland from the Nets and Knicks, and he’s set for more in the coming days.
Darko Milicic agreed to a four-year deal with the Timberwolves that includes $16 million in guaranteed money.
Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade were in Chicago, where Wade met with the Bulls and Nets, and Bosh was visited by the Heat. They will sit down with Knicks officials today.
Free agents can’t sign deals with new teams until Thursday.
Defensemen snapped up in free agency
NHL: Grade-A defensemen went quickly on the first day of NHL free agency. Sergei Gonchar left the Penguins for a three-year, $16.5 million deal with the Senators.
The Penguins signed former Devil Paul Martin and former Coyote Zbynek Michalek. Both signed five-year deals: $25 million for Martin, $20 million for Michalek.
The Devils signed Henrik Tallinder away from the Sabres with a four-year, $13.5 million deal and then grabbed Ottawa’s Anton Volchenkov by agreeing to a six-year, $25.5 million pact.
Dan Hamhuis left the Predators for a six-year, $27 million deal with the Canucks.
Simms charged, calls case ‘very weak’
NFL: New York City police say Titans backup quarterback Chris Simms told them he’d been smoking marijuana before he was stopped while driving in New York, but he says he was talking about cigarettes. He called the case against him “very weak” after his arraignment on charges of driving while impaired by drugs.
• White, Thomas suspended: The NFL suspended free-agent running back LenDale White for four games for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy and free-agent defensive tackle Hollis Thomas for eight games for violating its policy on performance-enhancing substances.
• Vick denies involvement in shooting: Eagles quarterback Michael Vick says he was not involved with a shooting following his birthday celebration in Virginia Beach, Va., last week.
• Favre hits field: Brett Favre is back – at Oak Grove High School in Hattiesburg, Miss. Oak Grove coach Nevil Barr said the Vikings quarterback has started throwing the ball at practice.
Atwal in four-way tie at AT&T National
Golf: Arjun Atwal ran off three straight birdies early in his round and wound up in a four-way tie for the lead of the AT&T National at 4-under-par 66 in Newton Square, Pa. Joining Atwal atop the leaderboard were Joe Ogilvie, Nick Watson and Jason Day. Alex Prugh (Ferris HS) shot a 2-over 72 and is tied for 67th.
• Choi leads Farr: Na Yeon Choi shot a 7-under 64 to take a one-stroke lead in the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic in Sylvania, Ohio. Wendy Ward (Edwall, Wash.) shot a 2-over 73 and is tied for 96th place.
• Woods talks to feds: Tiger Woods said he answered questions from federal authorities investigating Canadian doctor Anthony Galea, who is accused of distributing a human growth hormone.
Dale Jr.: No. 3 one-time tribute
Miscellany: Dale Earnhardt Jr. said he probably will not drive with his father’s No. 3 again after tonight’s Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Earnhardt’s Chevrolet will carry the No. 3 and a blue-and-yellow retro Wrangler paint scheme to honor his father’s induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
• U.S. in softball worlds final: Katie Cochran singled in two runs in a four-run first inning and the United States went on to beat Japan 4-0 in Caracas, Venezuela, and clinch a spot in the finals of the softball world championships. The United States will try to make it seven consecutive world titles today against Japan or Canada.