SEATTLE (AP) SuperSonics owner Clayton Bennett testified Tuesday that he knew when he bought the team that it was losing money at KeyArena, but thought "perhaps we could turn that around."
Under questioning from city of Seattle lawyer Paul Lawrence, Bennett said he was a "reasonably sophisticated" investor and diligently researched the team's finances before his Professional Basketball Club bought it for $350 million in 2006.
Bennett is trying to move the team Seattle's oldest professional sports franchise to his hometown of Oklahoma City, two years before the KeyArena lease expires. The city is asking a federal judge to force the Sonics to honor their lease.
Bennett characterized the team's financial losses as "significant and ever-growing, but they would not significantly alter" his family's lifestyle. He said he understood the Sonics likely would keep losing money as long as they played at KeyArena the NBA's smallest venue but said he hoped a new arena deal would revive local interest in the team.
The team says it could lose $65 million if forced to keep playing at KeyArena for the next two seasons, but could make more than $18 million if allowed to play in Oklahoma.The city argues the new owners were aware of the monetary risks when they purchased the Sonics and that they should not now be able to claim financial hardship to break the lease and move the team.
Allen, Perkins expected to play in Game 6 vs. LA
WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) Celtics coach Doc Rivers expects Ray Allen to play in Game 6 of the NBA finals after the guard skipped the team's shootaround following his overnight flight from Los Angeles.
Boston center Kendrick Perkins participated in the workout and is likely to play Tuesday night after missing Game 5 against the Lakers with a shoulder injury.
Allen stayed behind after the team left because his toddler son was undergoing medical tests after feeling ill. The Celtics gave no details of his son's condition at Allen's request.Boston leads the series 3-2 and can win its first title since 1986 Tuesday night. Allen is second on the team in shooting and rebounding in the finals. The absence of the 280-pound Perkins helped the Lakers' inside game in their 103-98 win Sunday.
FC Dallas introduces SMU's Hyndman as head coach
FRISCO, Texas (AP) SMU's Schellas Hyndman is leaving a collegiate power to try to invigorate a struggling pro team.
FC Dallas introduced Hyndman as its new coach Tuesday, less than a month after an embarrassing 5-1 loss in front of the biggest home crowd in franchise history. Steve Morrow was fired two days after that setback.
The 58-year-old Hyndman made 30 trips to the NCAA tournament in 31 years as a college coach, including 23 of 24 seasons at SMU.The Mustangs were 368-92-35 under Hyndman and made four trips to the College Cup, the soccer equivalent of the Final Four. His overall record was 466-123-49, and he had more wins than any coach in SMU history.
High security for Olympic flame in western China
KASHGAR, China (AP) Tight security surrounded the Olympic flame Tuesday as it began its journey through China's restive Muslim western region of Xinjiang.
Security agents jogged on either side of torchbearers and hundreds of police and military watched subdued crowds as the flame wound its way through Xinjiang's capital of Urumqi. Although state media has warned of the threat from separatists they claim are linked with global terrorism, no disruptions were reported.
On Wednesday, the flame travels to the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar, where, unlike in Urumqi, immigrants from China's dominant Han ethnic group are a minority.
On Tuesday night, Kashgar's streets were largely empty. Some streets had been closed and shops along the relay route locked up early.
The Olympic flame has had a smooth run in China, undisturbed by protests over Tibet and human rights that hounded parts of its international tour. Yet the routes in Xinjiang and Tibet are the most sensitive, a fact underscored by the precautions. The dates for the Tibet relay have not been announced.Before it returns to Beijing on Aug. 6, two days ahead of the opening ceremony for the Olympics, the flame will have crossed every region and province of China. A separate flame was carried to the summit of Mount Everest last month.
Greek weightlifters suspended for doping
ATHENS, Greece (AP) Eleven Greek weightlifters have been suspended for two years after testing positive for a banned steroid.
The International Weightlifting Federation said Tuesday that Greece will still be able to send a team of four weightlifters three men and a woman to the Beijing Olympics.
The IWF said the decision was made by its executive board last Friday.
Eleven of the Greek team's 14 weightlifters tested positive for the steroid methyltrienolone during a March out-of-competition test in Athens, and the results were announced in April. The athletes have not been named.
The IWF said the Greek weightlifting federation was also sanctioned, but gave no details.
A Greek federation official said the IWF fined the federation $387,000. He was speaking on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to comment on the affair.
The official said the four Greek athletes for Beijing would be selected "in the next few days."He said the weightlifters would "definitely" include Nikos Kourtidis, 22, one of the three members of the national team who did not test positive in March.
Police: Cash taken from Javon Walker in robbery
LAS VEGAS (AP) Oakland Raiders wide receiver Javon Walker could be released from the hospital Tuesday, a day after he was beaten, robbed and left unconscious on a Las Vegas street after a night of partying, police said.
A large amount of cash and some jewelry were taken from Walker, who suffered "significant injuries," police said.
Police Lt. Clinton Nichols said detectives are retracing Walker's activities in the hours before he was found injured Monday morning on a street off the Las Vegas Strip.
"That's one of the first things we do, backtrack what he did and where he stayed," Nichols said, adding that the investigation was still in the early stages. "We knew there was a large amount of cash taken, and some jewelry."
Nichols said he believed Walker would be released after a 24-hour stay at the hospital. A hospital spokesman said he had no immediate information about Walker's condition.
A Raiders spokesman said the team was in the process of gathering information and had no further comment.Walker, 29, signed a six-year, $55 million deal with the Raiders after being released by the Denver Broncos in February.
USA Cycling adds Lea, Blatchford to Olympic roster
CARSON, Calif. (AP) Bobby Lea and Michael Blatchford have been added to the U.S. Olympic track cycling team roster, after each hit qualifying times at a team selection camp this week.
Lea will ride in the points race and the Madison at the Beijing Games; Blatchford has qualified for one of the spots on the team sprint roster.
They join Taylor Phinney a new junior world record holder as the lone American men's track cycling qualifiers for Beijing so far.
Phinney, the son of 1984 Olympic gold medalist Connie Carpenter-Phinney and former Olympian and Tour de France stage winner Davis Phinney, set a junior world mark in the 3,000-meter individual pursuit at the selection camp, which he used primarily as a training session since he already clinched an Olympic spot.
The 17-year-old Phinney finished 12 laps around the 250-meter track in 3 minutes, 16.589 seconds shaving more than 1 second off the former junior world record time set by Australia's Michael Ford in 2004.
"The performances by our athletes over the course these last couple of days are a good sign of things to come," said USA Cycling director of athletics Pat McDonough.
The additions of Lea and Blatchford to the Olympic roster mean 10 American cyclists have now secured spots. Others who previously qualified for the Beijing Games include Phinney, Kristin Armstrong (women's road), Levi Leipheimer (men's road), Sarah Hammer (women's track), Jennie Reed (women's track), Mike Day (men's BMX), Kyle Bennett (men's BMX) and Jill Kintner (women's BMX).
Some mountain bikers may clinch Olympic spots later this week at the world championships.
USA Cycling plans to announce the full rosters July 1.