Sports Extra

MLB

McCourt’s run officially ends with $2B Guggenheim sale

LOS ANGELES – The $2-billion sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers was finalized Tuesday, ending the tumultuous era under former owner Frank McCourt, who took the team into bankruptcy and made his private life public through a nasty divorce battle with his ex-wife.

The closure of the deal was announced in a terse statement. The Dodgers were sold to Guggenheim Baseball Management, a group that includes former Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson.

Mark Walter, chief executive officer of the financial services firm Guggenheim Partners, will become the controlling owner, and the team will be run by former Atlanta Braves President Stan Kasten.

McCourt met with Dodgers’ employees Tuesday, expressing his appreciation.

NBA

Popovich puts another trophy on his mantlepiece

SAN ANTONIO – Gregg Popovich was selected as the NBA’s Coach of the Year on Tuesday after leading the San Antonio Spurs to 50 wins and the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference in the lockout-shortened season.

Popovich also won the award in 2003 when San Antonio won its second of four championships, and he might be headed for a fifth ring if the Spurs keep this up. No longer able to simply lean on Tim Duncan and defense, Popovich nonetheless has molded another contender with a surprising supporting cast of rookies and former NBA no-names.

After a bumpy 12-9 start, the Spurs lost only seven more games the rest of the season.

Popovich received 77 first-place votes. Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau was second (27), Indiana coach Frank Vogel was third (7), and Memphis coach Lionel Hollins was fourth (6). Boston’s Doc Rivers and Denver’s George Karl each received a vote.

Soccer

Hodgson gets 4 years to run England’s ‘Impossible Job’

WEMBLEY, England – England’s national team is back in the hands of an Englishman – although one who spent the biggest part of his coaching career abroad.

Roy Hodgson was hired Tuesday to coach England and end its 46-year title draught, with the Football Association hoping his international experience and homegrown heritage will be a perfect mix.

Hodgson is one of the best-traveled coaches England has produced, having spent the bulk of his career in obscurity honing the technical expertise that earned him a four-year deal.

The avuncular 64-year-old Londoner is the oldest manager to be handed the pressure-packed role often dubbed “the Impossible Job,” where expectations usually exceed reality.

But there is no time for Hodgson to relax in his new Wembley office, having to pick a European Championship squad within two weeks. England then has two exhibitions before the first Euro 2012 match against France on June 11.

Hodgson is the first England manager with previous experience in charge of an international side as he completes a nomadic 36-year coaching career in Europe and the Middle East to replace Fabio Capello, the Italian who quit three months ago in a dispute over captain John Terry’s firing.

As well as coaching national teams of Switzerland, Finland and the United Arab Emirates, Hodgson has had stints in club soccer in England, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland and Italy, where he twice was in charge of Inter Milan.

Hodgson won eight league titles in two countries with three clubs, but delivering another title for England has eluded some of the best soccer minds in England since 1966, plus foreign imports Sven-Goran Eriksson of Sweden and Capello.

Associated Press