Sports Log

Rambis gets fired by the Timberwolves

July 13, 2011

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The Timberwolves fired Kurt Rambis yesterday, ending more than three months of uncertainty surrounding the coach of the worst team in the NBA last season. Rambis was 32-132 in Minnesota, including 17-65 last season. Timberwolves president of operations David Kahn hired Rambis in 2009 to turn the team around. But Minnesota won just two more games last season than it did in his first season. Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor will be on the hook for the final two years of Rambis’s four-year $4 million deal while he and Kahn look for a new coach. The only known candidate is Trail Blazers assistant Bernie Bickerstaff, but ESPN, citing sources, reported that Don Nelson, the winningest coach in league history, is interested in the position . . . Rockets coach Kevin McHale will add Milwaukee assistant Kelvin Sampson and Minnesota assistant J.B. Bickerstaff to his coaching staff once the lockout ends, a person with knowledge of the decisions told the Associated Press. McHale was hired June 1 to replace Rick Adelman.

Durant not ruling out playing overseas Thunder All-Star forward Kevin Durant isn’t ruling out playing abroad next season if the lockout isn’t resolved. During a promotional tour in China, Durant said that he thinks more players will follow Nets guard Deron Williams’s example and play overseas if the season is disrupted. Williams will play in Turkey . . . Bobcats radio announcer Scott Lauer was one of several people to lose their jobs in cost cuts for owner Michael Jordan’s team amid the lockout. The team’s director of corporate communications, the manager of community relations, and at least four others were laid off the past week . . . Guard Jacob Pullen, who led Kansas State to the NCAA Tournament last season while averaging 20.2 points per game, signed with Pallacanestro Biella of the Italian League . . . Ticha Penicheiro scored 18 points to help Joe Bryant win his debut as coach of Los Angeles in the Sparks’ 84-74 WNBA victory over the host San Antonio Silver Stars. Kobe Bryant’s father took over as Sparks coach Sunday after Jennifer Gillom was fired . . . Sue Bird scored 22 points and Swin Cash added 20 in the host Seattle Storm’s 79-71 victory over the Washington Mystics.

Brewers strike deal for Mets’ Rodriguez The Mets traded closer Francisco Rodriguez to the Brewers for two players to be named. The deal was announced after the All-Star Game. The Mets also sent cash to Milwaukee. The Brewers are tied with St. Louis for the NL Central lead, helped by closer John Axford’s 23 saves . . . The Blue Jays traded outfielder Juan Rivera to the Dodgers for a player to be named or cash considerations.

Crouch signs with UFL’s Nighthawks Former Nebraska Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch signed a contract with the United Football League’s Omaha Nighthawks. The 32-year-old quarterback was a third-round draft pick of the Rams in 2002, and played for three NFL teams without appearing in a regular-season game. He last played in 2006 in the CFL . . . Oklahoma linebacker Austin Box had five prescription painkillers and an anti-anxiety drug in his system when he died, according to a preliminary toxicology report released by the state medical examiner’s office. The death of Box, 22, two months ago was ruled accidental . . . West Virginia University linebacker Branko Busick is free on $25,000 bond after being charged with an armed robbery at a Morgantown, W.Va., apartment building.

Kings agree to terms with Richardson The Kings agreed to terms with forward Brad Richardson on a two-year, $2.35 million contract, avoiding arbitration. Drew Doughty is the Kings’ only prominent remaining restricted free agent. Talks between the team and the 2010 Norris Trophy finalist have stalled . . . Goalie Jeff Deslauriers agreed to a two-year contract with the Ducks, who also acquired center Andrew Cogliano from Edmonton for a second-round draft pick in 2013 . . . The Coyotes hired former Thashers head coach John Anderson as an assistant . . . Hurricanes center Brett Sutter pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct for punching a cab driver outside a Scottsdale, Ariz., bar last year. Sutter was with the Flames at the time.

Vandeweghe leads Lobsters to victory Coco Vandeweghe beat Lilia Osterloh, 5-3, and won her doubles and mixed doubles matches to lead the Boston Lobsters to a 24-19 overtime win over the Springfield Lasers in World TeamTennis play at Ferncroft Country Club in Middleton. Vandeweghe teamed with John Isner in mixed doubles to defeat Carly Gullickson and Paul Hanley, 5-2, and teamed with Mashona Washington to beat Gullickson and Osterloh, 5-3 . . . American Walter Dix will run in his first European race of the season July 21 in Lucerne, Switzerland, to prepare for the world championships. Dix, a double bronze medalist at the 2008 Olympics and the main US sprint medal hope at the worlds, will compete in the 200 meters.