NBA

Wizards’ GM rules out

return of star guard Wall

John Wall will not join the Washington Wizards for the resumption of the NBA season this summer, ending the chances of the five-time All-Star guard playing his first game since 2018.

General manager Tommy Sheppard effectively ruled out Wall returning this season when he said Monday the 29-year-old wouldn’t be part of the Wizards’ traveling party to Central Florida.

Among the factors in the decision was a cap of 35 people per team in the quarantined bubble at Walt Disney World. The COVID-19 pandemic also hindered Wall’s progress in his rehab from multiple surgeries.

“He definitely lost all the basketball gains that he had made,” Sheppard said. “He’s got to focus on what he’s got to do.”

Wall hasn’t played an NBA game since December 2018. Surgery for bone spurs in his left heel ended that season; while he was working his way back from that, he tore his left Achilles tendon and needed another operation in 2019.

He declared himself “110 percent” healthy in late May, saying, “I’m itching to get back out there.”

The Wizards put the brakes on that, meaning Wall will try to return for the 2020-21 season as originally planned.

The Cleveland Cavaliers agreed to terms with free agent forward Jordan Bell on a two-year contract and signed two-way forward Dean Wade

  • to a multiyear deal. The additions fill two roster openings for the Cavs ahead of the NBA reopening its transaction window Tuesday. The 6-foot-8 Bell was a second-round pick in 2017. He spent his first two seasons with Golden State before signing with Minnesota as a restricted free agent in 2019 and then going to Memphis. He’s averaged 3.8 points in 154 games. Wade played in 12 games last season for Cleveland. He averaged 1.7 points and 1.6 rebounds.

NFL

Prosecutors take Kraft

case to appeals court

Florida prosecutors charging New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft with twice buying sex from massage parlor prostitutes will attempt to save their case this week by arguing to an appeals court that his rights weren’t violated when police secretly video-recorded him in the act.

Prosecutors will tell the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal during an online hearing Tuesday that a county judge erred when he invalidated the January 2019 search warrant allowing police to install secret cameras at Orchids of Asia spa as part of an alleged sex trafficking investigation.

The judge said the warrant didn’t sufficiently protect the privacy of innocent customers who received legal massages, and he barred the videos’ use at trial as well as testimony about what they showed. If the ruling stands, it will deal a fatal blow to the prosecution’s case.

The late Bill Arnsparger and Houston associate head coach Romeo Crennel

  • have won the Paul “Dr. Z” Zimmerman award from the Professional Football Writers of America. Arnsparger was behind Miami’s “No-Name Defense” and “Killer B’s” and helped three franchises to the Super Bowl. Crennel is in his 38th season as an NFL coach and has been on the staff of five Super Bowl champion teams.The Dr. Z Award was started by the PFWA in 2014 to recognize lifetime achievement among assistant coaches.

COLLEGES

Watts returning to UNC women’s program

Stephanie Watts is returning to North Carolina for a final basketball season after transferring to Southern California for a year.

The school said Monday that the former Atlantic Coast Conference freshman of the year would return after receiving an additional year of eligibility from the NCAA. She played four games for USC last year as a graduate transfer before having knee surgery.

Watts was one of multiple UNC players to transfer in 2019. That came as an outside program review highlighted concerns over player treatment, leading to the resignation of Hall of Fame coach Sylvia Hatchell and the hiring of Courtney Banghart from Princeton.

Watts averaged averaged 15.5 points and 6.9 rebounds through her first three years with the Tar Heels, though she missed the 2017-18 season because of injury.

Texas Tech’s football team added another graduate transfer from an SEC power by signing former LSU safety Eric Monroe. Monroe joined the Red Raiders about a week after running back Chadarius Townsend

  • came over from Alabama. Monroe has one year of eligibility remaining, while Townsend has two.

ELSEWHERE

Mercedes announced that it will race in all-black cars for the 2020 Formula 1 season as it pledges to fight racism and improve the diversity of its team. Six-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas

  • will also race in black overalls for the season, which starts Sunday in Austria after a long delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The USGA is transferring its U.S. media rights from Fox Sports to NBC, which returns the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open to NBC this year and for the final seven years of the Fox contract. The transfer is largely attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down golf for three months and let to a reconfiguration of the major championship schedule.
  • Italian auto racing champion turned Paralympic gold medalist

Alex Zanardi

  • underwent a second brain surgery on Monday in Siena, Italy, 10 days after an emergency operation following a crash on his handbike. The latest surgery lasted 2½ hours, after which Zanardi was returned to the intensive care unit in a medically induced coma, the Santa Maria alle Scotte Hospital in Siena said in a medical bulletin. “His condition remains stable from a cardio-respiratory and metabolic viewpoint, grave from a neurological viewpoint,” the hospital said.

— From wire reports

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