DENVER (AP)Nikola Jokic was revealed Tuesday as the NBA’s Most Valuable Player for 2020-21, making him by far the lowest draft pick ever to win the award.
The Denver Nuggets big man was the 41st pick in the draft seven years ago. ”The Joker” now has his name etched alongside the greatest players in league history, which surely seemed unlikely when he was an unheralded prospect out of Sombor, Serbia.
Jokic was the runaway winner, getting 91 of the 101 first-place ballots cast.
Jokic had a league-high 60 double-doubles and added 16 triple-doubles. His scoring average jumped from just under 20 points per game to 26.4.
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Pittsburgh Pirates rookie third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes missed first base running out a home run Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers and was called out after a replay review.
Hayes stung an opposite-field line drive in the first inning against the Dodgers’ Walker Buehler that narrowly cleared the right-field wall, just inside the foul pole. Running hard and with his eyes on the ball, Hayes missed touching first base with his left foot by two or three inches and kept on going.
Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts challenged, and umpires overturned the call after a short video review.
Retired quarterback Philip Rivers has won the Pro Football Writers of America’s Good Guy Award for his cooperation with reporters.
Rivers, who retired at 39 after one season with Indianapolis in 2020 following 16 years with the San Diego and Los Angeles Chargers, earned praise for consistently tackling all topics, even in a Zoom setting, and offering answers with perspective, wit and originality during his career.
The Good Guy Award is given to an NFL player for qualities and professional style in helping pro football writers do their jobs.
NEW YORK (AP) – Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri saw his eight-game suspension for an illegal hit upheld by an arbitrator hours before Game 5 on Tuesday in a second-round series against Vegas.
Kadri has already served six games of a suspension he was given after an illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk in Game 2 of their first-round series. Faulk sustained a concussion, according to the report, and didn’t play in the final two games as the Avalanche swept the Blues to advance.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Trainer Bob Baffert and the owners of Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit have filed a lawsuit against Kentucky racing officials.
They are seeking a temporary injunction they say is to prevent violation of due process rights and for custody of ”remnant” samples of the colt’s urine to prove that traces of the steroid betamethasone found in his system during a positive drug test did not come from an injection.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Rickie Fowler came up just short – one roll of the ball – in his last shot at avoiding sitting out another major when he failed to get through U.S. Open qualifying on Tuesday.
Fowler had five holes to play Tuesday morning in the rain-delayed qualifier at Brookside and The Lakes, and he needed three birdies. From over the back of the 18th green, his chip was about a full turn short before peeling away to the right.
That left him one shot out of the 5-for-4 playoff for the remaining spots to the U.S. Open next week at Torrey Pines in San Diego.
Former U.S. national team coach Jill Ellis will serve as president of a National Women’s Soccer League expansion team in San Diego.
The new team, owned by investor Ron Burkle, will be launched next season. The team is expected to announce a name in the coming weeks, and Ellis is hoping to appoint a coach in July.
LONDON (AP) – The English Football Association nominated Debbie Hewitt on Tuesday to be its first female leader of soccer’s original national body created 158 years ago.
The experienced businesswoman is set to join the English FA in January, 14 months after Greg Clarke resigned in fallout from making offensive comments on race, gender and sexuality at a parliamentary hearing.
TRACK AND FIELD
HENGELO, Netherlands (AP) – Letesenbet Gidey lowered the women’s 10,000-meter world record on Tuesday, just two days after Sifan Hassan set the mark on the same track.
Gidey clocked 29 minutes, 1.03 seconds at the Ethiopian Olympic trials, which are being held in the Netherlands. Tsigie Gebreselama was second in 30:06.01.
Gidey took 5.79 seconds off Hassan’s record set at the Fanny Blankers-Koen Games.
BUENOS AIRES (AP) – Argentine golfer Angel Cabrera was extradited from Brazil to his homeland on Tuesday to face trial on charges he assaulted three former partners.
The 51-year-old Cabrera, who has won both the Masters and the U.S. Open, has been in jail since January when Brazil’s federal police arrested him on an Interpol warrant.
Cabrera had spent months on the run from an Argentine case involving assault claims filed by former girlfriend, Cecilia Torres Mana. Her case was unified with those of his former wife Silva Rivadero and former partner Micaela Escudero. They accuse Cabrera of assault, intimidation and causing injuries.
Jim Fassel, whose bold guarantee of a playoff bid late in the 2000 season seemingly catapulted the New York Giants to a spot in the Super Bowl, has died. He was 71.
The Giants said Tuesday that family friends informed them of his death. Son John Fassel, special teams coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys, confirmed the death to the Los Angeles Times. He told the newspaper his father was taken to a Las Vegas hospital with chest pains and died while being treated Monday.
Fassel, the 1997 NFL coach of the year, guided the Giants from 1997 to 2003, posting a 58-53-1 record. He was 2-3 in the postseason, including a 34-7 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl in February 2001.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) – John McDonnell, the track and field coach who set a gold standard for excellence at Arkansas during his 36 years at the school, has died. He was 82.
He died Monday night, according to a family statement released by the university. A cause was not given.
McDonnell’s men’s teams produced 40 NCAA championships at Arkansas. Under him, the Razorbacks were a perennial power in cross-country and indoor and outdoor track and field. His teams won six national triple crowns, 12 consecutive NCAA indoor titles from 1984-95 and 83 conference titles.
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