Minnesota Timberwolves fire coach Kurt Rambis

The Minnesota Timberwolves fired Kurt Rambis on Tuesday, ending more than three months of uncertainty and awkwardness surrounding the head coach of the worst team in the NBA last season.

Rambis was 32-132 in his brief stay in Minnesota, including 17-65 last season.

“People can argue about this should have happened and that should’ve happened, but I think collectively we felt that we were doing the right thing in terms of the way we approached it,” team President David Kahn said. “But I also recognize it took a long time. That’s on me. And I realize that it can look more convoluted and complicated than maybe it really is, and that’s on me. And to that extent I feel badly about that too, and I apologize for that.”


Kahn hired Rambis in 2009 to turn around one of the league’s struggling franchises. But the Timberwolves won only two more games last season than they did in his first season, and Kahn felt compelled to cut ties with the first coach he hand-picked to help him rebuild the Timberwolves.

Rambis has two years left on the four-year contract he received to leave his job as Phil Jackson’s top assistant with the Lakers. That means owner Glen Taylor will be on the hook for $4 million while he and Kahn look for a new coach to work with the youngest team in the NBA.


Jury seated in Clemens’ trial

An overwhelmingly female jury with little interest in baseball will decide whether former pitching star Roger Clemens lied to Congress when he said he never used performance-enhancing drugs.

The jurors who took their seats in Washington include a woman whose cousin, former outfielder Al Bumbry, was a coach for the Boston Red Sox when Clemens played for the team. Another woman on the jury said she believes Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick was “done wrong” in his criminal conviction in connection with dogfighting.

The jury took shape after four days of questioning by U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton and lawyers for both sides. Clemens’ defense team said the seven-time Cy Young Award winner will begin his defense by questioning the propriety of lawmakers’ investigation into whether Clemens used performance-enhancing drugs. Opening arguments are scheduled for Wednesday.

Uruguay defeated Mexico, 1-0, at La Plata, Argentina, to finish second in Group C of the Copa America, setting up a quarterfinal against neighbor Argentina.

The sole goal came in the 15th minute. Diego Forlan took a 30-yard free kick, which Mexico goalkeeper Luis Michel stopped, but the ball slipped away, and Alvaro Pereira chipped it home.

Chile defeated Peru, 1-0, in Tuesday’s other Group C match. Peru finished first with seven points, Uruguay had five, Peru four and Mexico zero. Mexico was eliminated, with the other three teams reaching the quarterfinals.

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 the 22-year-old Box two months ago was ruled accidental. In the report, the agency said the combination of drugs probably caused pulmonary edema, or fluid in the lungs, and aspiration pneumonia, which is an inflammation of the lungs caused by inhaling foreign substances.