New Sacramento arena to be discussed during NBA All-Star weekend

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, NBA Commissioner David Stern and Sacramento Kings ownership are expected to gather at All-Star weekend in Orlando, Fla., to discuss a new arena term sheet to submit to the city council March 6.

In a joint news release by Johnson and Stern, the sides expressed confidence about meeting the NBA-imposed March 1 deadline for a plan to finance a new $387-million arena downtown.

"Our approach makes good on the principles that have guided us throughout this process: protecting the taxpayers, creating jobs, and pursuing an open and transparent process," Johnson said in the statement.

Staples Center operator AEG is expected to contribute an estimated $53 million to the arena's construction, but it remains unclear how willing the Kings' owners, the Maloof family, are to contribute a reported $85 million in the public-private venture.

Anaheim would like the Kings to relocate south to Honda Center without such expenses.

"We appreciate the work of the City of Sacramento and our discussions have been constructive," Stern said. "Our hope is that current momentum continues in a way that we're able to reach a deal by March 1 that makes sense for all parties."

— Lance Pugmire


Former lacrosse player guilty of murder

Jurors in the trial of a former University of Virginia lacrosse player found him guilty of second-degree murder in the slaying of his ex-girlfriend.

A jury in Charlottesville, Va., returned the verdict in the trial of 24-year-old George Huguely V for the May 3, 2010, beating death of Yeardley Love, a 22-year-old suburban Baltimore woman who had a volatile relationship with the Chevy Chase, Md., defendant.

Huguely could be sentenced to five to 40 years on the guilty verdict, returned after nine hours of deliberations.

Prosecutors said Huguely killed Love, a member of the women's lacrosse team at Virginia, in a drunken, jealous rage fueled by her relationship with a North Carolina lacrosse player.

Temple and the Big East are talking about the Owls rejoining the conference as soon as next season.

Mid-American Conference Commissioner Jon A. Steinbrecher said in a statement that his league is "aware that Temple has been in discussions with the Big East regarding membership."

A person familiar with the talks said Temple and the Big East are trying to negotiate a deal that could have the Owls in the league for all sports by next season. The person spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the talks are ongoing.

Temple played in the Big East in football only from 1991 to 2004 but was forced out of the league.

Boise State will remain in the Mountain West Conference for the 2012-13 athletic seasons after considering an early move for its football program to the Big East.

The school said it was not "fiscally responsible" to move its football program a year earlier than scheduled to the expanding Big East.

Connecticut basketball Coach Jim Calhoun is to undergo surgery next week to address a lower back condition, and he will sit out the Huskies' next two games.

The university said the status of the Hall of Fame coach, who has been on a medical leave of absence since Feb. 3, will then be evaluated on "a day-to-day basis."

Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team. He replaces injured Atlanta Hawks guard Joe Johnson.

The league also announced that Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant will compete in the three-point contest for the first time, replacing Johnson.

New York Knicks rookie Iman Shumpert pulled out of the dunk contest because of a knee injury. He will be replaced by Utah's Jeremy Evans in Saturday's event at Orlando, Fla.

U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur defeated Lucie Safarova, 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-1, and advanced to the third round of the Dubai Tennis Championships in the United Arab Emirates.

Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki beat Simona Halep, 6-2, 6-3. Wozniacki next faces Ana Ivanovic, who defeated Maria Kirilenko, 6-2, 7-6 (4).

Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka pulled out of the tournament because of a left ankle injury. The Australian Open champion said she will rest for two or three days. Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, French Open winner Li Na and Vera Zvonareva also withdrew because of injury or illness.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Janko Tipsarevic won in straight sets, advancing to the quarterfinals of the Open 13 at Marseille, France.

The top-seeded Frenchman did not face a break point, winning 36 of his 41 service points.

Tsonga took a 3-0 lead in the first set and broke Nicolas Mahut in the second for a 6-3, 6-2 win. Tipsarevic saved six break points and defeated David Goffin, 6-4, 6-2.

MSG said it punished a radio announcer who used an offensive term about Knicks guard Jeremy Lin.

The network said the term Spero Dedes "unintentionally and inadvertently" used was "inappropriate and inconsistent with the high regard we have for Jeremy Lin as a member of our MSG family, as well as for the Asian community."

In a statement, Dedes, who formerly was an announcer on Lakers radio broadcasts, said he has apologized to Lin. One ESPN employee was fired and another suspended for using the same term, which also can be used as a slur against Chinese people.

Ryan Howard took live batting practice for the first time since he tore his left Achilles' tendon while making the final out in the Philadelphia Phillies' season-ending 1-0 loss to St. Louis in the playoffs last season.

Howard said he is pleased with his recovery but has not set a timetable for his return. He started swinging a bat less than two weeks ago and faced pitchers for the first time Wednesday.

The Columbus Blue Jackets traded center Antoine Vermette to the Phoenix Coyotes for two draft picks and goaltender Curtis McElhinney.

The deal would give Columbus a second-round pick in the 2012 draft and a fifth-round pick in 2013. The fifth-round pick will become a fourth-round selection if the Coyotes make the playoffs this season and win their first-round series.

Officials in Philadelphia said the death of a Ukrainian hockey coach awaiting trial on federal child molestation charges was a suicide by hanging. The city medical examiner's office said Ivan Pravilov killed himself in his prison cell.

Pravilov, 49, was found dead Feb. 10 at the federal prison in Philadelphia. He had not been on suicide watch.

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