T.J. Ford retires from NBA
San Antonio Spurs guard T.J. Ford announced his retirement from the NBA on Monday, saying his departure was for the best after the latest in a series of neck and spine injuries. Ford, who turns 29 next week, averaged 3.6 points, 3.2 assists and 1.3 rebounds a game in limited playing time over 14 games with the Spurs this season, his eighth in the NBA. Ford, who played collegiately at the nearby University of Texas, has been nagged by neck injuries, the most recent coming last Wednesday in a victory over New York. He began his NBA career with the Milwaukee Bucks as the eighth overall selection in the 2003 NBA Draft, but midway into his rookie season suffered a spinal injury that forced him to miss the entire 2004-2005 season. He played the following season for the Bucks and the next two with Toronto, before joining Indiana in 2008 and having his best season, averaging 14.9 points, 5.3 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 74 games with the Pacers. Ford spent three seasons at Indiana before joining the Spurs this season. For his NBA career, Ford averaged 11.2 points, 5.8 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.16 steals in 27.7 minutes a game over 429 appearances.
Marbury denies hitting fan
Former NBA star Stephon Marbury has denied hitting a fan after a testy playoff loss in a Chinese Basketball Association game. The 35-year-old and his Beijing Ducks teammates were trapped in their team van after their 102-100 away loss on Sunday to the Shanxi Brave Dragons, Marbury’s original team when he joined the league in 2010. A newspaper photograph showed fans pounding on the windows of the van. Marbury was quoted yesterday by the China Daily as saying he and the fans had been separated by guards. Marbury scored 25 points in the ill-tempered game that was interrupted for 10 minutes as Shanxi fans threw water bottles onto the court. Shanxi’s win tied their best-of-five series at 2-2, with the final game in Beijing today. The winner goes to the finals.
Ficcadenti back at Cagliari
Serie A strugglers Cagliari on Monday confirmed the return of Massimo Ficcadenti as coach to replace Davide Ballardini, who was dismissed in the wake of Friday’s 6-3 defeat to Napoli. Ficcadenti coached the Sardinian side between August and November last year, before making way for Ballardini. However, he remained under contract as in Italy, while coaches are frequently replaced, they are rarely officially sacked. Ballardini becomes the 15th coach to be stood down in the Italian top flight this season, while Cagliari president Massimo Cellino has now overseen three coaching changes since last summer. Cellino appointed Ficcadenti for a first spell at the helm in place of Roberto Donadoni in August last year.
Brett Holman to join Villa
Aston Villa announced that Australia international midfielder Brett Holman has agreed to join the Premier League club at the end of the season when his contract with Dutch leaders AZ Alkmaar expires. The 27-year-old has spent a decade in the Netherlands, having initially signed for Feyenoord, before spells with Excelsior and NEC Nijmegen. Villa manager Alex McLeish said Holman is “a very intelligent player ... who is recognized in the game as a nonstop, committed, wide midfield player.” Holman has played 53 matches for Australia. Holman said he is pleased to be joining a club with “a long and prestigious history in English football.”
WEEKEND MATCHES: While Tatung FC made good on their chances early on, Taiwan Steel rallied to win the game 2-3 and move to the top with Taichung Futuro Sunday’s action saw Taichung Futuro, Taipower FC and Taiwan Steel tied for first place on 30 points in the Taiwan Football Premier League, while Hang Yuan FC picked up a point to take the No. 4 spot on 25 points after holding Taipower to a scoreless draw. In Taoyuan, Tatung FC hosted Taiwan Steel. It was an exciting matchup, as the visitors rallied from 2-0 down to take the game with three goals. Tatung made good on their chances early on. Honduran midfielder Elias Argueta opened the account 15 minutes into the game with a low shot from the right. Three minutes
Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday, ending Chinese star Ding Junhui’s world championship dream. The mercurial 44-year-old Englishman won an enthralling high-quality second-round encounter 13-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams. When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, the Briton, who turned professional in 1992, said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen
Max Verstappen informed his Red Bull team that he would not be driving “like a grandma” in Formula One’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday — and he was as good as his word. The Dutch 22-year-old seized his opportunity at Silverstone, ending dominant Mercedes’ run of four successive wins this season and moving up to second place overall, 30 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen’s confidence shone through early on, after slotting into third place behind the two Mercedes, when he was told by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to take care of his tires. “Mate, this is the only chance of being
FULL GAME: Henry Sosa pitched nine innings for the Guardians, allowing only six hits all night, while the Monkeys’ offense were also shut out of their game Outfielder Lin An-ko carried a big bat this week — before his Uni-President Lions ran into the Fubon Guardians last night — blasting four home runs, including a grand slam as his side won four games in a row and moved into second on the CPBL table. However, the Lions could not sustain their super-charged offense for the whole week, as they were shut out 4-0 by the Guardians in New Taipei City. Fubon’s rookie catcher, Jhang Jin-de, took a page from Lin’s playbook. With two men on, Jhang smacked a three-run homer in the sixth inning. Henry Sosa of the Dominican Republic