Flip Saunders hired to run Timberwolves
Goodbye, David Kahn.
Hello, Flip Saunders. Again.
The Minnesota Timberwolves announced Thursday that owner Glen Taylor will not pick up the option for next season on Kahn’s contract as president of basketball operations. Three people with knowledge of the situation told the Associated Press that Taylor has agreed on a deal to hire Saunders as Kahn’s replacement. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Saunders will be a part-owner of the team.
Saunders coached the Timberwolves from 1995 to 2005, and his reputation in the Twin Cities only grew when the team cratered after his exit.
Kahn spent four seasons leading the Timberwolves. He helped bring point guard Ricky Rubio and Coach Rick Adelman to Minnesota, but his teams were 89-223 and missed the playoffs in all four of his seasons.
Phil Jackson has agreed to help the Detroit Pistons search for a head coach.
The Pistons said that Jackson will serve as an advisor.
The Pistons fired Lawrence Frank after a 29-53 season and 54-94 mark in his two seasons.
Jackson has won 11 NBA titles as a coach, six with the Chicago Bulls and five with the Lakers.
McIlroy (67), six others share lead
For all the talk about the greens, Rory McIlroy’s most important club was his driver in the Wells Fargo Championship at Charlotte, N.C.
McIlroy kept the ball in play at Quail Hollow and gave himself plenty of birdie chances. He ran off six birdies in a seven-hole stretch around the turn and finished with an eight-foot birdie putt for a five-under-par 67 to share the lead with six other players.
It was the first time this year McIlroy has been atop the leaderboard after any round, and the first time he broke par in the opening round.
Nick Watney, Ryan Moore, Robert Garrigus and PGA Tour rookie Derek Ernst shot 67 in the morning. Daniel Summerhays and Nate Smith, a Monday qualifier, joined McIlroy by posting their 67s in the afternoon.
Phil Mickelson and Lucas Glover were in a large group at 68, with 19-year-old Jordan Spieth in another big group at 69.
Thai teenager Ariya Jutanugarn shot a seven-under 64 to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the LPGA Tour’s Kingsmill Championship at Williamsburg, Va.
The 17-year-old Jutanugarn was eight under through 16 holes but pulled her drive and had a double bogey on the par-three 17th before rebounding with her ninth birdie of the day on the par-four 18th hole.
Cristie Kerr, the only two-time winner in the tour’s eight previous visits to the River Course, had six birdies and one bogey in a 66 that put her alone in second place.
The NCAA has suspended a number of changes it made in January that were intended to streamline its football recruiting rules.
The changes would have opened the door for much greater contact — including unlimited text messages — between coaches and recruits. Sports information directors and other employees beyond the coaching staff would have been allowed to contact prospects and there would have been no limit on mailing printed materials.
The Division I Board of Directors made its decision Thursday after the NCAA received more than 75 override requests from member schools.
The Southeastern Conference and ESPN announced a 20-year agreement to operate an SEC network that is scheduled to debut in August 2014.
SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said the SEC network will produce 1,000 live events each year, including 450 televised on the network and 550 distributed digitally. Slive says the network will carry about 45 SEC football games each year.
No financial terms were released for the deal.
Top-seeded Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia defeated Grega Zemlja of Slovenia, 6-4, 6-2, to reach the quarterfinals of the BMW Open at Munich, Germany.
Second-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland rallied past Albert Ramos of Spain, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, to move into the Portugal Open quarterfinals at Oeira.
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