Sports artic le
May 31, 2012
By AMY TAXIN | Associated Press
ORANGE, Calif. (AP) — Former NBA star Dennis Rodman might soon find himself working with at-risk teens or cleaning up streets.
The flamboyant former player known for his rebounding skills and wild, off-court behavior was sentenced Tuesday to 104 hours of community service after being found guilty last year of four counts of contempt for failing to pay child support.
The ruling also placed Rodman, 51, on three years of informal probation on the condition he keep up his child and spousal support payments.
It was the latest development in a series of legal disputes that began in 2004, when Rodman's wife at the time filed for divorce.
Orange County Superior Court Commissioner Barry Michaelson urged Rodman — who wore a black button down shirt and jeans to the family court hearing — to put his basketball skills to good use in his service.
"My suggestion is to use your talents as a motivator, as a fine, fine athlete and as a fine person to assist others in need," Michaelson said.
Rodman still faces additional contempt charges and is accused of owing back child support in an amount that attorneys for Michelle Rodman, his ex-wife, say exceeds $800,000.
The towering Rodman, who sports face jewelry, said he would do whatever community service was required near his home in Florida, possibly working with children.
"It's all about the kids," Rodman said of the ex-couple's two children, after the hearing. "It does suck the fact that it had to come to this."
Rodman was found guilty by a judge of the four counts of contempt involving child support owed in 2009 and 2010.
Rodman's attorney Linnea Willis said the four charges stemmed from a period of time when he was expected to pay $50,000 a month in child support. That amount has since been reduced to $4,500 for child and spousal support. Rodman is now current on those obligations, she said.
Rodman, also known for his sometimes Technicolor hair, married in 2003. For years, he and his former wife have been feuding over custody and support of their children, ages 10 and 11.
Michelle Rodman declined comment after Tuesday's hearing. Her attorney, Jack Kayajanian, said he was pleased with the ruling and an award of $32,500 in attorney's fees.
Outstanding disputes over child support and additional contempt charges will be addressed at a hearing on June 22.
Willis said Rodman owes far less money in back child support than claimed by attorneys for his ex-wife.
Court documents filed earlier this year indicated that Rodman was broke. His tax return from 2010 shows he earned roughly $150,000, but his financial manager Peggy King said he owes significant back taxes.
She also said Rodman's alcoholism has tarnished his image and made it difficult for him to obtain corporate endorsements and other work.
On Tuesday, Rodman said he was doing fine financially and playing in basketball games in Europe and Asia, though he wasn't raking in the money he once did as a professional player.
"I'm making enough to keep everyone satisfied," he said.
Rodman was a bad-boy star of the Detroit Pistons and won three NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls. He lived in Orange County before moving to Florida. He was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame last year.
Rodman dated Madonna, was married briefly to Carmen Electra, and gave loud parties that led to frequent run-ins with the law when he lived in Newport Beach.
By | Associated Press
NEWARK, N.J. - EA Sports predicts the Los Angeles Kings will defeat the New Jersey Devils in six games to win the Stanley Cup.
That’s the word from the NHL 12 simulation engine, the video game developer said.
In the simulation, Kings goalie Jonathan Quick continued his stellar post-season play. The 26-year-old records a shutout and does not allow more than two goals in a game against the Devils en route to collecting the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
The simulation has Los Angeles winning Game 1 by a 4-2 score before losing the next two 2-0 and 2-1. The Kings close it out with 2-0, 3-2 and 3-1 wins.
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty scores the winning goal in the final game.
The EA hockey game is developed in Burnaby, B.C.
June 14, 2012
By MARK LONG | Associated Press
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — One day after the Jacksonville Jaguars took a strong stance on Maurice Jones-Drew's contract situation, the star running back made his feelings equally clear.
And he did it without saying a word.
Jones-Drew skipped the opening day of a mandatory minicamp Tuesday, showing just how disgruntled he is about his current deal, and has no plans to join the Jaguars for any part of the three-day practice session.
Coach Mike Mularkey can fine Jones-Drew up to $60,000 if he misses the entire camp.
"Obviously I would have liked to have had him here a long time ago," said Mularkey, who declined to say whether he will levy a fine. "It's not like all of a sudden something's new. It's been the same case. I'm trying to focus on the guys that are here, similar in talking about the guys that do it right on the weekends. Basically the same thing.
"The guys who show up here have gotten a lot done for us in all phases. Those are the guys I want to talk about. Write a good story about good things for them that are happening."
Jones-Drew, who led the NFL in rushing last season with 1,606 yards, has two years remaining on a five-year contract worth $31 million. He is scheduled to make $4.45 million this season and $4.95 million in 2013.
Coming off a career year, Jones-Drew wants to be one of the league's highest-paid backs. His contract currently ranks eighth among NFL backs, behind Minnesota's Adrian Peterson, Tennessee's Chris Johnson, Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy, Houston's Arian Foster, St. Louis' Steven Jackson, Carolina's DeAngelo Williams and Seattle's Marshawn Lynch.
But Jaguars general manager Gene Smith made it clear Monday that the team has no plans to renegotiate with Jones-Drew, setting the stage for a potentially lengthy holdout.
"He has expressed that he would like to renegotiate and we have expressed again that we feel he has a contract with two years left that we expect him to fulfill those obligations," Smith said.
Both sides have valid arguments.
Jones-Drew signed his deal in 2009, before rushing for at least 1,300 yards in three consecutive seasons. Not only has he seemingly outperformed his contract, MJD is the face of the franchise and probably the only player on the roster known outside small-market Jacksonville.
The Jaguars, meanwhile, paid him based on the expectation that he would flourish as a starter after spending the first three years of his career splitting carries with Fred Taylor. And they don't want to set a precedent of renegotiating with players who have two years remaining on lucrative deals that included big signing bonuses.
Jacksonville also might not be enamored with paying a running back into his 30s, especially one who takes as many pounding hits as Jones-Drew does.
"Guys are going to try and posture themselves to have an advantage because this career is short, especially for running backs — their shelf life is seen as short — so there's points that can be made on both sides and they're both perfectly valid," guard Uche Nwaneri said. "He's the face of the franchise, no doubt. But the NFL is a business.
"Just like coaches got to make tough decisions, GMs got to make tough decisions and players have to make tough decisions. It's tough for him to make that decision that I'm not going to be show up here and be with my teammates and be out here working and learning this new system. That's a tough thing to do. ... We want everything to end up being resolved."
The Jaguars have missed the playoffs each of the last four years, but with new ownership, a revamped coaching staff and added playmakers on the NFL's worst offense, they feel they are close to turning things around.
And Jones-Drew is a key to getting it done.
"The unfortunate thing is that he's not here," cornerback Rashean Mathis said. "We know he's getting his work in. We know he's working hard, but to be with the team is the main thing. Whenever he gets here, we will greet him with open arms."
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