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The Sports Report: Rams, Cooper Kupp agree to big contract extension

Cooper Kupp
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
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Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

From Gary Klein: Record-setting receiver Cooper Kupp said he wanted negotiations on a new contract with the Rams to be a collaborative effort, something that would result in a great outcome for his family and for the team.

“That place exists,” he said this week, “and it’s just getting there.”

The Rams and Kupp got there Wednesday, Kupp signing a three-year extension.

Terms of the deal were not available, but the extension includes $75 million in guarantees and could be worth as much as $80 million, a person with knowledge of the situation said. Kupp has two years remaining on an extension he signed in 2020, making the total value of the five-year deal worth $110 million, the person said.

In a video posted to the team’s Twitter account, Kupp said he is glad to “be here for the long haul.”

“It’s just going to be an incredible ride,” he said. “Can’t wait to get back at it.”

Tweeted star cornerback Jalen Ramsey: “SECURED! Love to see guys who earned & deserve a pay day get it!”

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Kupp, the NFL’s offensive player of the year in 2021, led the league with 145 receptions, 1,949 yards receiving and 16 touchdown catches, becoming the first player since 2005 to win the so-called triple crown. Kupp caught eight passes, two for touchdowns, in the Rams’ victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium.

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Despite elbow rehab, Rams’ Matthew Stafford says he’ll be throwing by training camp

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ANGELS

From Dylan Hernández: Surprised that Perry Minasian fired Joe Maddon?

Don’t be.

As a rookie general manager last year, Minasian released Albert Pujols in the final season of his 10-year, $240-million contract.

Minasian made a similar move in April, dumping outfielder Justin Upton with $28 million remaining on his deal.

Really think Minasian wouldn’t sack a lame-duck manager he inherited?

At a time when baseball is run by cautious executives who are more concerned with protecting their jobs than winning, Minasian stands out for how unafraid he is.

He’s unafraid to be decisive.

He’s unafraid to take responsibility for his choices.

Which isn’t to say he made the right call by parting ways with the former World Series champion manager who oversaw the Angels’ 12-game losing streak heading into Tuesday.

Whether Minasian is the caliber of decision maker worthy of leading the Angels remains unknown. But playing the part of leader will require him to act the part of leader. Minasian is doing that.

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Angels managerial candidates start with Phil Nevin but include many intriguing names

Commentary: In firing Joe Maddon, Angels and Perry Minasian act boldly but risk more dysfunction

Angels believe shortstop Andrew Velazquez will benefit from more rest

DODGERS

From Jack Harris: For a brief moment Wednesday night, last year’s version of Tony Gonsolin started to reappear.

The right-hander gave up a home run and a double to lead off the fifth inning, then labored through a long at-bat that ended with a walk.

His pitch count was starting to rise. His secondary weapons looked a little out of whack. And the bullpen began to stir as the pitching coach Mark Prior came to the mound.

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But then, this year’s new and improved version of Gonsolin returned.

He got the next three batters out to limit the damage in the fifth, returned to the mound for an impressive sixth inning, and ended his start in the Dodgers’ 4-1 win over the Chicago White Sox back in possession of the National League’s ERA lead, lowering his mark to 1.58 in a six-inning, one-run gem.

“I’ve done pretty well this far [this season],” Gonsolin said. “I hope to continue it.”

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Late bloomer Tony Gonsolin finally ‘starting to hit his stride’ in Dodgers rotation

Elliott: The voice of the Dodgers and Angels? Make that the voices

SPARKS

From Thuc Nhi Nguyen: Brittney Sykes was excited to simply have the day off. A peaceful appointment for the Sparks guard to get hair done, however, went sideways when her phone started blowing up with texts from friends asking whether reports were true.

Indeed, Derek Fisher, her head coach of the last three seasons, was out.

The news of Fisher’s dismissal surprised Sparks players and assistants, but with two-thirds of the season left, the talented roster Fisher assembled is still chasing his vision of a title, even if there’s a new man leading the charge.

“Across the board everybody wants to compete for the championship,” Sykes said Wednesday after the Sparks’ first practice under interim head coach Fred Williams.

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Williams, who came to L.A. as an assistant under Fisher in 2018, will lead the Sparks for the rest of the season while the organization searches for Fisher’s permanent replacement — or replacements — at head coach and general manager.

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WNBA star Brittney Griner’s fate tangled up with other American held in Russia

USC FOOTBALL

From Ryan Kartje: In an already unique incoming class, Cooper Lovelace is an especially rare breed.

He didn’t play football until his final year of high school. He spent the last three years at a Kansas junior college — a distant outpost by USC’s recruiting standards — and estimates he has played only 20 football games in his life. And now, he’s suddenly the only offensive lineman joining the Trojans this summer at USC.

He also happens to be an excellent storyteller. The Times caught up with Lovelace last week to ask about his journey to Los Angeles, just as he was settling into his new life.

Click here to read the Q&A.

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NHL PLAYOFFS

All times Pacific
Conference finals

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Western
All games on TNT
Colorado (C1) vs. Edmonton (P2)
Colorado 8, Edmonton 6
Colorado 4, Edmonton 0
Colorado 4, Edmonton 2
Colorado 6, Edmonton 5 (OT)

Eastern
All games on ESPN
New York Rangers (M2) vs. Tampa Bay (A3)
New York 6, Tampa Bay 2
New York 3, Tampa Bay 2
Tampa Bay 3, New York 2
Tampa Bay 4, New York 1
Today at New York, 5 p.m.
Saturday at Tampa Bay, 5 p.m.
*Tuesday at New York, 5 p.m.

*-if necessary

NBA PLAYOFFS

Schedule and results
All times Pacific
NBA FINALS
All games on ABC

Boston vs. Golden State

Boston 120, Golden State 108
Golden State 107, Boston 88
Boston 116, Golden State 100
Friday at Boston, 6 p.m.
Monday at Golden State, 6 p.m.
*Thursday, June 16 at Boston, 6 p.m.
*Sunday, June 19 at Golden State, 5 p.m.

*-if necessary

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1888 — James McLaughlin sets the record for wins by a jockey in the Belmont Stakes, six, when he rides Sir Dixon to a 12-length victory. McLaughlin’s record is matched by Eddie Arcaro in 1955.

1899 — Jim Jeffries knocks out Bob Fitzsimmons in the 11th round in New York to win the world heavyweight title.

1914 — Honus Wagner of the Pittsburgh Pirates becomes the first player in modern baseball to get 3,000 hits.

1934 — Olin Dutra edges Gene Sarazen by one stroke to win the U.S. Open.

1940 — Lawson Little beats Gene Sarazen by three strokes in a playoff to win the U.S. Open golf title.x

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1945 — Hoop Jr. wins the Kentucky Derby, which is run one month after a national wartime government ban on racing is lifted.

1973 — Secretariat, ridden by Ron Turcotte, wins the Belmont Stakes in record time to capture the Triple Crown. Secretariat sets a world record on the 1½-mile course with 2:24, and a record for largest margin of victory in the Belmont, 31 lengths.

1978 — Larry Holmes scores a 15-round split decision over Ken Norton for the WBC heavyweight title in New York.

1979 — Coastal, ridden by Ruben Hernandez, spoils Spectacular Bid’s attempt at the Triple Crown with a 3¼-length victory over Golden Act. Spectacular Bid finishes third.

1984 — Swale, ridden by Laffit Pincay, wins the Belmont Stakes by four lengths over Pine Circle. Swale dies eight days later.

1985 — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scores 29 points to lead the Lakers to a 111-100 victory over the Boston Celtics and the NBA title in six games.

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1990 — Monica Seles holds off four set points in the first set tiebreaker and goes on to become the youngest winner of the French Open, beating two-time champion Steffi Graf 7-6 (8-6), 6-4. Seles is 16 years, six months.

1991 — In the first all-American men’s final at the French Open since 1954, Jim Courier rallies to beat Andre Agassi 3-6, 6-4, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 for his first Grand Slam title.

1993 — Patrick Roy makes 18 saves and the Montreal Canadiens capture their 24th Stanley Cup, beating the Los Angeles Kings 4-1 in Game 5.

2001 — Jennifer Capriati beats Kim Clijsters 1-6, 6-4, 12-10 to win the French Open, her second consecutive Grand Slam title.

2003 — The New Jersey Devils end the Mighty Ducks’ surreal season, winning the Stanley Cup with a 3-0 victory. Mike Rupp, who had never appeared in a playoff until Game 4, scores the first goal and sets up Jeff Friesen for the other two.

2007 — Rags to Riches, a filly ridden by John Velazquez, outduels Curlin in a breathtaking stretch run and won the Belmont Stakes, becoming the first of her sex to take the final leg of the Triple Crown in more than a century.

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2008 — Ken Griffey Jr. becomes the sixth player sixth player in baseball history to reach 600 homers with a drive off Mark Hendrickson in the first inning of the Cincinnati Reds’ 9-4 victory over the Florida Marlins.

2010 — Chicago’s Patrick Kane sneaks the puck past Michael Leighton 4:10 into overtime, stunning Philadelphia and lifting the Blackhawks to a 4-3 overtime win in Game 6 for their first Stanley Cup championship since 1961.

2013 — Rafael Nadal becomes the first man to win eight titles at the same Grand Slam tournament after beating fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in the French Open final, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.

2015 — Chris Heston, San Francisco Giants throws a no-hitter against the New York Mets, 5-0.

2018 — Justify becomes the 13th Triple Crown winner by winning the Belmont Stakes with Mike Smith aboard.

2019 — Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz shot while visiting Dominican Republic.

Compiled by the Associated Press

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And finally

The Lakers win the 1985 NBA title. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.

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