Sports Extra


Gasol and the Grizzlies awarded for their defense

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol won his first NBA Defensive Player of the Year award after anchoring the league’s stingiest defense.

Gasol received 212 points and 30 first-place votes to edge Miami’s LeBron James, who had 149 points and 18 first-place votes, the NBA announced Wednesday.

The 7-1 Spaniard averaged 1.7 blocks and 1.0 steals for a Memphis defense that allowed a league-best 88.7 points per game. The five-year veteran ranked 12th in the league in blocks.

Memphis became the first team to hold opponents below 90 points per game in a season since 2005-06 when both the Grizzlies (88.5) and San Antonio Spurs (88.8) accomplished the feat.

Cavaliers admit ‘mistake’ and rehire Brown as coach

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio – Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert said he made a mistake by firing Mike Brown three years ago as Cleveland’s coach and is thrilled to be able to hire him again.

Brown was reintroduced by the team Thursday, reuniting with a team he led to five consecutive playoff appearances before he was fired in 2010. Gilbert said “Yeah, it was a mistake; sure it was a mistake” to fire Brown, who guided the Cavs to the NBA Finals in 2007.

College Football

Cowboys Stadium gets first new national championship

PASADENA, Calif. – The first championship game in the College Football Playoff will be held at Cowboys Stadium.

A person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press that Arlington, Texas, beat out Tampa, Fla., in bidding to be the site of the first title game in the new playoff system.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because a formal vote by the BCS conference commissioners was scheduled for later Wednesday, then a formal announcement after that.

The game is Jan. 12, 2015.

The final three sites for the semifinal rotation also will be announced later. Cowboys Stadium, home of the Cotton Bowl, is expected to be among them. The other two will be the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta and the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.

The Rose, Orange and Sugar bowls already are part of the six-bowl semifinal rotation. The Rose and Sugar will host the first semifinals Jan. 1, 2015,


Mets announce a few more amenities for All-Star game

NEW YORK – Baseball’s best players will parade past Grand Central Terminal, and a convention center will be transformed into a baseball theme park as part of the festivities for the first All-Star game at the Mets’ new stadium.

The party plans include five days of fanfare, including All-Star players parading along 42nd Street on a massive red carpet, player appearances and baseball clinics at the Javits Center convention facility, and of course, the annual home run derby at Citi Field.


Wiggins turns his attention from the Tour to the Giro

MANCHESTER, England – Bradley Wiggins will lead Team Sky in next month’s Giro d’Italia.

Wiggins looks to follow up his victory in last year’s Tour de France with success in the second-biggest race in cycling.

The Olympic road-race champion has made the Giro his priority this year. He’s likely to ride in support of fellow Briton Chris Froome in the Tour later this summer.

The 33-year-old Wiggins said he’s watched the Giro since he was young and saw his “idols win it, which makes it even more special.”

Froome will not ride in the Giro, which will take place May 4-26.

Chris Froome won the prologue of the Tour de Romandie on Tuesday, then held on to first place overall after Stage 1 on Wednesday in Renens, Switzerland.

Fort Lewis College alumnus Tom Danielson currently is ninth overall, 17 seconds behind Froome.

Associated Press

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