Lakers’ owner dies: report
Jerry Buss, the Los Angeles Lakers owner who transformed the team into the glamor franchise of a revitalized NBA, died on Monday at the age of 80, the Los Angeles Times reported. Buss had been reported to be in hospital last week fighting an undisclosed form of cancer. Buss purchased the Lakers, their former Forum arena, the Los Angeles Kings National Hockey League team and a 5,200-hectare Kern County ranch from Jack Kent Cooke for US$67.5 million in 1979. When Buss bought the Lakers, they had won one championship in the previous 25 seasons. Buss made the Lakers one of the biggest draws in Los Angeles with a combination of shrewd personnel moves on and off the court and a feel for show business glamor. The Lakers have the highest payroll in the NBA at US$100 million, but they were recently valued by Forbes magazine as being worth US$1 billion — second in the NBA only to the New York Knicks. Buss’ 10 championships as an owner are the most in NBA history and he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.
Bloody golf brawl probed
Former Indian athlete Milkha Singh is under investigation by police for his alleged involvement in a brawl on a golf course in the northern city of Chandigarh, a report said yesterday. Milkha, whose son Jeev Milkha Singh is a professional golfer, was among two groups of players who clashed violently at the Chandigarh Golf Club on Saturday, the Times of India said. The brawl “left the 16th tee blood-splattered and three senior club members wounded,” the paper said, adding that the incident happened after an argument over which group would tee off first. One group accused the other of “raining blows with their driver clubs,” while another player said he was repeatedly assaulted with golf sticks, the paper cited the complaint to the police as saying. Milkha, 77, one of India’s finest runners, who narrowly missed a medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics, denied he was involved in the fight. “I have been dragged into it because of my name,” he told the Times of India. “This is a shameful episode for our club. I condemn such violence.”
Jayawardene to miss series
Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene was yesterday ruled out of the forthcoming home series against Bangladesh because of a finger injury, the cricket board said. Jayawardene, 35, dislocated a finger in his left hand while fielding during a domestic first-class match in Colombo on Sunday. Scans of the injury have been sent to Australia for further analysis, Sri Lanka Cricket said in a statement, adding that the batsman could be out of action for four to six weeks.
Tackle earns Savea ban
Promising young Wellington Hurricanes flanker Ardie Savea, who has drawn comparisons with All Blacks great Michael Jones, will miss the first four matches of the Super Rugby season after being banned for a dangerous tackle. The teenager, brother of All Black winger Julian, joined the Hurricanes for this season after winning rave reviews for his performances in New Zealand’s provincial championship. The 19-year-old will now have to wait until March 17 to make his Super Rugby debut after being found guilty of a tip tackle on Waikato Chiefs halfback Augustine Pulu in a pre-season match on Saturday. “The tackle was clumsy with elements of recklessness,” said a New Zealand Rugby Union media release detailing the ruling of yesterday’s judicial hearing.