Anthony eyes free agency
Carmelo Anthony is to opt out of the final year of his contract with the New York Knicks and become an NBA free agent, according to media reports on Sunday. Anthony has said that he planned to make the move and had a deadline yesterday to notify the Knicks. The 30-year-old, seven-time NBA All-Star said he wants to test free agency. Knicks president Phil Jackson had hoped Anthony would consider playing out the last year of his contract, worth US$23.3 million, and testing free agency next year. Anthony, according to unnamed sources in USA Today and ESPN reports, is interested in the Chicago Bulls. Houston, Miami and the Los Angeles Lakers are among those said to be interested in Anthony, as well as the Knicks.
Padres drop Byrnes
The San Diego Padres, struggling with the worst run production in Major League Baseball, fired general manager Josh Byrnes on Sunday. At 32-43, the Padres stood 12.5 games behind National League West division leader San Francisco, their record the third-worst in the major leagues ahead of only Arizona and Tampa Bay. San Diego managed only 224 runs over 75 games and the team is batting just .215. “This ownership group is committed to fielding a team that consistently competes for post-season play,” Padres president Mike Dee said. “Thus far this season, the results on the field have been mixed at best and clearly have not lived up to expectations. After a lengthy evaluation of every facet of our baseball operations, we have decided to make this change.” Byrnes got the general manager post in 2011; the Padres responded with 76 victories in each of the next two seasons. General manager duties are to shared on an interim basis between senior vice president of baseball operations Omar Minaya and assistant general managers A.J. Hinch and Fred Uhlman.
Cordoba end top-tier drought
Cordoba earned promotion to Spain’s first division for the first time since 1972 after scoring a last-gasp goal for a 1-1 draw at UD Las Palmas on the Spanish Canary Island of Gran Canaria on Sunday, following a premature pitch invasion by home fans. With Las Palmas winning 1-0, and less than two minutes of stoppage-time left, several dozen home fans invaded the pitch, which forced the game to be delayed for about 10 minutes. When play restarted, Cordoba made one last push that ended with Ulises Davila scrambling the ball into the net and sending his team into the top flight on away goals. After the match, TV images showed clashes among Las Palmas fans, with some blaming the result on those who had invaded the pitch. “It was a minority [of fans who invaded], but because of them Las Palmas lost something that it had in its grasp,” Las Palmas president Miguel Ramirez said. Cordoba join promoted SD Eibar and RC Deportivo de La Coruna.
Ledecky resets 800m record
Katie Ledecky sliced 2.86 seconds off her 800m freestyle world record on Sunday, clocking 8 minutes, 11 seconds at a meet in Texas for her second world record in four days. The 17-year-old American improved on her own previous 800m free world record of 8:13.86 set at the World Championships in Barcelona in August of last year. On Thursday night, Ledecky had shattered her previous record in the 1,500m free with a time of 15:34.23, improving on the mark of 15:36.53 she had set in Barcelona.