November 28, 2013
The Timberwolves’ five starters have logged more minutes than any other starting group in the NBA this year, in part because former No. 2 overall draft pick Derrick Williams couldn’t gain the trust of coach Rick Adelman.
Williams is gone. New Wolves President Flip Saunders traded the former No. 2 overall pick to the Sacramento Kings for Luc Mbah a Moute in a deal that was completed on Tuesday morning.
“Luc is known as one of the premier defensive players in the league with an ability to guard multiple positions,” Saunders said in a statement issued by the team. “He adds a lot of energy, grit and a high basketball IQ to our team. We thank Derrick for his contributions to our organization and wish him well in Sacramento.”
Williams was the highest draft pick in franchise history when the Wolves grabbed him in 2011. But his style of play didn’t mesh with Adelman’s system, and the impasse reached a breaking point early this season. Williams missed one game because of back spasms and did not play in four other games as Adelman elected to go with Robbie Hummel and Dante Cunningham with the second unit instead.
Adelman wanted to see more energy from Williams on both ends of court. But Williams often said that he had difficulty getting into the flow of the game with such sporadic minutes. He bounced between small forward and power forward in two-plus years with the Wolves, averaging 10.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.
The Kings are hoping Williams can bring some offensive punch to a team that could use some more of it in the frontcourt alongside DeMarcus Cousins. The Kings have been searching for an answer at power forward after Carl Landry went out with a torn hip flexor in the preseason. They've used Jason Thompson and Patrick Patterson to varying degrees of success and see Williams as a player who may just need a change of scenery to realize his potential.
Williams is more comfortable playing the power forward, which he showed when filling in for the injured Kevin Love last season. But with Love back healthy this year, and Cunningham earning Adelman’s trust as a veteran off the bench, there was little room for the 22-year-old. Williams played less than 15 minutes per game this season, much of it in garbage time during blowouts.
The move will help the Wolves balance their roster a little bit, relieving a glut at power forward while addressing a weakness at small forward. The 6-foot-8 Mbah a Moute played with Love in college at UCLA and brings some toughness and defensive presence that the Wolves are sorely lacking.
With Chase Budinger still not close to playing while he recovers from knee surgery, the Wolves needed another body to help take some of the pressure off of Corey Brewer as the team’s primary perimeter defender.
Adelman has told others in the organization that he likes Mbah a Moute’s game, an important endorsement if the Wolves were going to cut ties with Williams.
Mbah a Moute’s size will help the Wolves better matchup with some of the toughest covers in the West, including Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, the Clippers’ Blake Griffin and Dirk Nowitzki from Dallas.
November 28, 2013
RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Seahawks cornerback Walter Thurmond has been suspended by the NFL for the team's next four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
Thurmond will be eligible to return to the active roster on Monday, Dec. 23 before the final game of the regular season.
A member of one of the NFL’s best secondaries, Thurmond has one interception and one sack thus far. His pick came in the team’s last game, against Minnesota, and he returned it 29 yards for a touchdown.
November 28, 2013
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) —Top-ranked Serena Williams will defend her title at next month's Brisbane International among a powerful women’s field in preparation for the Australian Open.
Williams’ opponents at the Dec. 29 to Jan. 5 Brisbane tournament will include six of the world’s top-10 players. The field announced Thursday includes No. 2 Victoria Azarenka — the 2009 champion — Maria Sharapova, Jelena Jankovic, Angelique Kerber and Caroline Wozniacki.
The men’s field is headlined by 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, whose rivals include top-20 players Kei Nishikori of Japan, Gilles Simon of France and Kevin Anderson of South Africa.
Tournament director Cameron Pearson said “to have Roger Federer and Serena Williams headline the event is a remarkable result and testament to the high regard the players have for the tournament.”
November 28, 2013
By Ken Brooks
LAWT Contributing Writer
Narbonne’s football team is tasked with going 2-0 this season versus No. 4 seed Carson which gets a chance at redemption against the Gauchos on its second visit this season. Although the score in Carson’s Marine League game loss was not close, the playoffs is a different season.
Top seeded Narbonne struggled unimpressively in its second round game against Birmingham. They did not look like a team that is destined to repeat as City champions. In fact both it and Carson, unlike the first round, were pushed to the limit and had to earn their respective second round home victories.
Despite having the home field advantage, can Narbonne afford to give away anything near the 140 penalty yards that it surrendered versus Birmingham? Perhaps so if Carson again cannot score better than the mere eight points it posted in the last meeting. It’s going down at the same place, same time. But the Colts better have a different game plan the second time around.
November 28, 2013
LAWT Wire Services
Sharon Sands love of boxing began when she was just a little girl. She would sit in awe in front of the television watching boxing matches with her father. This little girl’s love of boxing would lead to an even greater love for the sport as she grew up. She would eventually travel across the nation attending as many boxing matches in person as she could. When she couldn’t be there in person, she would make sure to watch the match on the television. You could even say boxing was her first love. This love of boxing would one day lead her inside the ring – calling the shots.
One of six kids, Sharon grew up in a very athletic home – every morning before breakfast, their father would play a song called Chicken Fat and they all knew it was time to exercise and sing along. Her father learned all about exercise and structure in the military and it came in handy when managing six young children. Sharon continued her athleticism playing basketball, running track, serving as a lifeguard, and even set a national record as a hurdler when she was in high school. As an adult, she would grow up to be an attorney and own a boxing gym.
But the love of boxing and being in the ring was always on her mind. When she was initially approached to become an amateur referee back in the 1990’s, she declined. After much thought, she decided to go for it and seize the opportunity. Being a new referee in the boxing world can be intimidating and challenging. Just like the hurdles she jumped over setting a national record in high school, she would do the same exact thing as a referee in amateur and professional boxing.
Sharon would spend 14 years an amateur boxing referee on the West Coast and the East Coast before officially becoming a California professional boxing referee last month. For the last 20 years in California, it has been male referees calling the shots inside the professional boxing ring.
Sands is the first female referee in California in more than two decades to officiate a professional boxing match. A recent bout in Southern California was the first evaluation of Ms. Sands as she earns a permanent professional license. So, during a boxing match, she is the one responsible for enforcing the rules inside the ring. The last woman to do this in California was Gwen Adair back in the 1990’s.
If you think becoming a professional boxing referee is easy, think again. They are licensed and regulated by the California State Athletic Commission and must meet some of the strictest requirements and guidelines in the nation.