Klein to learn sensitivity
Australian tennis player Brydan Klein will undergo a racial sensitivity course after accepting a six-month ban from the ATP Tour for racially abusing a South African opponent. The 19-year-old Klein, the 2007 junior Australian Open champion, was handed the suspension and fined US$10,000 for the slur against Raven Klaasen during a qualifying match at a grass-court tournament at Birmingham, England, on June 13. The ATP said Klein was also given a 10,000 euro (US$14,000) penalty on site during the tournament. Klein has been suspended from the ATP World Tour and Challenger events for six months, although two months of that will be served in probation should he successfully complete the racial sensitivity course.
Raptors claim Turkoglu
The Toronto Raptors claimed their top offseason target by finalizing the acquisition of Turkish forward Hedo Turkoglu on Thursday. The 209cm Turkoglu hit the market when the Orlando Magic acquired Vince Carter from New Jersey. Turkoglu opted out of his contract and was close to a deal with the Portland Trail Blazers last Friday before Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo swooped in. Technically, Turkoglu re-signed with Orlando and was traded to Toronto as part of an eight-player, four-team deal.
Pistons hire another coach
The Detroit Pistons confirmed Cleveland Cavaliers assistant John Kuester as their sixth coach in 10 years on Thursday. Joe Dumars, the team’s president of basketball operations, hasn’t been known for showing patience with head coaches, but he insisted that would change with the hiring of Kuester. Kuester “might have the most job security of anyone in the NBA,” Dumars said. “Bless you, Joe,” Kuester said with a laugh. Kuester replaces Michael Curry, who was fired on June 30 after going 39-43 in his first season and being swept by Cleveland in the first round of the playoffs.
Bruce Smith convicted
NFL great Bruce Smith was convicted of drunken driving on Thursday by a judge who rejected his claim that old injuries, not alcohol, were responsible for his poor performance on field sobriety tests. Smith declined to answer reporters’ questions after his trial in Virginia Beach General District Court. He promptly appealed the verdict to Virginia Beach Circuit Court, which set a hearing in the case for Aug. 27. Smith was also convicted of speeding and refusing to take an alcohol breath test. Judge Teresa McCrimmon gave Smith a 90-day suspended jail term and fined him US$350 for drunken driving. She also suspended his driver’s license for a year for refusing the breath test and fined him US$90 for speeding. The appeal is scheduled less than three weeks after Smith’s Aug. 7 induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Fans elect Victorino, Inge
Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino and Detroit Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge were elected by fans to the Major League Baseball All-Star game in record-shattering Internet voting on Thursday. Victorino received 15.6 million votes on MLB.com and the individual club sites, and was followed by San Francisco’s Pablo Sandoval, Arizona’s Mark Reynolds, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp and Washington’s Cristian Guzman. The game is on Tuesday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.