In the news:
Newly-hired Doc Rivers likes Clippers’ talent
Coach says he was in ‘win-win’ situation
Rivers glad to complete ‘strange ordeal’ to Clippers
Even Doc Rivers got weary of the two-week saga of his move to the Los Angeles Clippers. He thought the unusual deal was dead several times, and he insists he really didn’t mind the prospect of returning to the Boston Celtics.
“I felt like I was the only guy in all this that was in a win-win,” Rivers said.
The Clippers think they’ve got plenty of winning in store after landing one of the NBA’s most respected veteran coaches.
The Clippers formally introduced Rivers, 51, at their training complex Wednesday after dealing a first-round pick to the Celtics. Rivers was simply grateful to end his self-described “strange ordeal” ever since the Celtics floated the possibility of moving the NBA’s highest-paid coach to a talented team determined to replace Vinny Del Negro with a top-flight leader.
“The reason I wanted this when it was made available was because of what we have,” said Rivers, who also will be the Clippers’ senior vice president of basketball operations. “I clearly think this is an extremely talented basketball team. There were times last year they were the best team. I like the talent we have here.”
Colangelo steps down as Raptors co-president
Bryan Colangelo abruptly stepped down from his role with the Toronto Raptors, ending their brief experiment as co-presidents of the squad.
“Having had a better chance to reflect on things for the past several weeks, I have concluded that stepping away from my position is the best course of action for the organization and everyone involved,” Colangelo said in a news release.
The Raptors said Colangelo will remain as a consultant with the team and with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd.
The 48-year-old Colangelo lost his job as general manager in May, after the Raptors went 34-48 and failed to make the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season. He remained as president in a non-basketball role, while Masai Ujiri was hired as general manager and president of basketball operations.
Bird will return to Pacers’ front office
Larry Bird, the former NBA star who left his job last season after rebuilding the Indiana Pacers and winning the league’s executive of the year award, will be reintroduced to the media Thursday morning as the president of basketball operations. That’s the same job Bird, 56, held from 2003-12.
“The year off gave me a chance to reflect, to rest, to take care of some health issues and it recharged me,” Bird said in a statement issued by the team.
Lakers extend offer to Sacre
The Los Angeles Lakers have exercised their contract option on guard Jodie Meeks and extended a qualifying offer to center Robert Sacre.
Sacre is a restricted free agent after the Lakers made their qualifying offer. The 7-foot Canadian from Gonzaga was the final pick in last summer’s draft, and he averaged 1.3 points and 1.1 rebounds in 32 games for Los Angeles last season.
Boston forward Bergeron has punctured lung
Patrice Bergeron has a punctured lung and is at a Boston-area hospital for observation.
The Bruins forward was admitted Monday night, after Boston lost to Chicago, 3-2, in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden — a defeat which ended the season.
“He played through all of this, and he was a warrior,” Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said. “I can’t say enough about his performance and what he did while being injured.”
• The newly reconstituted Big East Conference has hired former WNBA president Val Ackerman, a 53-year-old member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, as its commissioner. The Big East begins official operations July 1. Terms of the deal were not announced.
• Paulinho scored on a header from Neymar’s corner kick in the 86th minute, and Brazil beat Uruguay 2-1 to reach the Confederations Cup final as anti-government protesters clashed with police near Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
• Dwayne De Rosario’s tiebreaking second-half goal helped D.C. United to a 3-1 victory over New England in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal.
Also, Darlington Nagbe had a goal and an assist to lead Portland to a 3-2 victory over host FC Dallas in another quarterfinal.
• Elena Delle Donne scored a career-high 26 points and Sylvia Fowles had 19 points and 14 rebounds as the Chicago Sky rallied from an early deficit for an 87-74 victory over the New York Liberty.
• Brigham Young has lined up a spot in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego for 2015 — if the Cougars are eligible for the postseason — and agreed to a three-game regular-season series with USC, hosting the Trojans in 2019 and visiting Los Angeles in 2021 and 2023.
The Cougars also announced they had agreed to a new contract with coach Bronco Mendenhall that runs through the 2016 season.
• Ryan Lochte and Missy Franklin each won national titles in the 200 freestyle and 200 backstroke in Indianapolis with times that ranked among the top five in the world this year.
• Air Force men’s basketball coach Dave Pilipovich has agreed to a five-year contract.
Times news services