Kobe soon to be single
The wife of Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant has filed for divorce after more than a decade of marriage. Vanessa Bryant filed papers in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana, California, citing “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the divorce from the NBA superstar. The couple have two daughters, ages 5 and 8, and have been married for more than 10 years. “The Bryants have resolved all issues incident to their divorce privately with the assistance of counsel and a judgment dissolving their marital status will be entered in 2012,” a representative for the couple said in a statement. Vanessa stuck with her husband after he was charged with sexually assaulting a Colorado woman eight years ago.
NBA pre-season begins
The Chicago Bulls opened the pre-season on Friday with a 95-86 win over the Indiana Pacers behind 16 points each from MVP Derrick Rose and Luol Deng. The game was a rematch of last season’s NBA first-round playoff series and one of four games on Friday that kicked off the post-lockout exhibition schedule. C.J. Wilson scored 15 points for Chicago, who won the playoff series over the Pacers four games to one. Tyler Hansbrough finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Paul George had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Indiana. Danny Granger scored 12 points and Indianapolis native George Hill had three points in his first game as a Pacer after being acquired from the San Antonio Spurs.
NFL upholds Harrison’s ban
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison’s appeal of a one-game suspension for a dangerous helmet-to-helmet hit on Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy has been denied, the league said on Friday. Harrison will miss tomorrow’s key game between the Steelers and the NFC West Division-leading San Francisco 49ers because of the suspension. On-field appeals official Ted Cottrell upheld NFL executive vice president Ray Anderson’s suspension of Harrison for the hit in the Steelers’ 14-3 victory over the Browns last week, the league said in a statement. McCoy suffered a concussion on the play and will likely be out of the starting lineup today when the Browns visit the Arizona Cardinals. Harrison was penalized for roughing the passer, but the NFL added a one-game ban because of his previous indiscretions. The four-time Pro Bowler was fined four times between 2009 and last year for illegal hits on quarterbacks.
Bears to waive Sam Hurd
The Chicago Bears said on Friday they will cut wide receiver Sam Hurd from the team following his arrest on federal drugs charges. Team spokesperon Scott Hagel said in an e-mail that Hurd, 26, “will be waived today,” meaning he will be dropped from the team. Hurd, who signed a three-year contract with the Bears in July after five seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, was arrested and charged earlier this week with conspiracy to distribute large quantities of cocaine and marijuana. He allegedly wanted to set up a drug distribution operation in Chicago and told an undercover law enforcement agent that he wanted to buy 5kg to 10kg of cocaine at a price of US$25,000 per kilo weekly, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.
FA makes Olympic call
England players called up for next year’s European Championship tournament will not be selected to represent Britain at the London Olympics, the Football Association (FA) said on Friday. Britain’s head coach Stuart Pearce allayed the fears of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and his Premier League counterparts, who were worried that players could burn out if they took part in the Olympics and Euro 2012. Euro 2012 is scheduled for June 8 to July 1, while the Olympic soccer tournament runs from July 25 to Aug. 11. Britain is fielding a team at the Games for the first time since 1960 and Pearce said he would soon notify the players who could be called up, most of whom will be under the age of 23.