In Brief

BASKETBALL

NBA owners, players to renew
labor negotiations today

NBA players and owners will resume talks today, two people with knowledge of the plans said Tuesday. This comes a week after the sides vowed to meet more frequently in hopes of reaching a new collective bargaining agreement.

The session will be just the third between top negotiators since the lockout started July 1. But with the opening of training camps less than a month away, both sides said they recognized the urgency to pick up the pace.

The meeting — expected to be a small group — will be in New York. The site hasn’t been disclosed.

No new proposals were exchanged last week during a meeting that lasted about six hours. Neither side shared many details, saying they preferred to keep the nature of the talks private.

Commissioner David Stern said afterward there was still “clearly enough time” to make a deal that would allow the regular season to open as scheduled on Nov. 1. However, a gap remains between the financial changes owners are seeking and what players have been willing to accept.

“I could see it going either way,” two-time Most Valuable Player Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns told The Canadian Press on Tuesday. “It looks like right now, we probably won’t start on time.

“Hopefully, as we start to get into the time of year where everyone is missing basketball, we can all start to concede on some points that each other are looking for and find a middle ground. That would be the best of both worlds.”

Also: Former San Diego State basketball standout Kawhi Leonard will mix it up again with ex-Brigham Young star Jimmer Fredette after agreeing to serve as captain of the opposing team in two exhibition games during the NBA lockout.

The games are set for Sept. 21 at the Maverik Center in Salt Lake City and Sept. 22 at Provo’s Marriott Center.

Leonard was the 15th overall pick in July’s NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs. Fredette was college basketball’s player of the year last season and the 10th overall pick by the Sacramento Kings.

SOCCER

New U.S. coach Klinsmann falls
to 0-2-1 with loss to Belgium

The U.S. national soccer team lost to Belgium 1-0 in Brussels, leaving Jurgen Klinsmann without a win in three games since he was hired as the Americans’ coach.

This was the first road game for the United States since Klinsmann came aboard. The Americans earlier tied Mexico and lost to Costa Rica.

Nicolas Lombaerts’ half volley in the 55th minute was the only goal in an exhibition game dominated by the Belgians on a rain-soaked field.

“It was an interesting game for both sides,” Klinsmann said. “For the first 25 minutes, the U.S. had a good passing game going, but then the individual Belgian class started to show. The players have learned a lot from the game.”

Also: Mexico club team Santos Laguna said former U.S. national coach Bob Bradley is in the running to become its coach. The team fired Argentine Diego Cocca over the weekend.

Bradley led the United States to the round of 16 at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. He was dismissed in July after the U.S. lost 4-2 to Mexico in the final of the Gold Cup, the regional championship for North and Central America and the Caribbean.

MISCELLANEOUS

Capitals’ Ovechkin vows to be
in better shape this NHL season

Alex Ovechkin is promising to be in better shape and be a better leader for the Washington Capitals this season.

Ovechkin said he changed his offseason workout program after scoring a career-low 32 goals last season.

Capitals owner Ted Leonsis said Ovechkin spent last season working his way into shape during the regular season in order to be peaking during the playoffs. The move backfired as the team captain was slowed by a nagging injury.

Ovechkin also said the Capitals have to take a more serious attitude during the playoffs. Washington has won four straight division titles but has yet to advance past the second round during that stretch.

Also: Calling sprinter Usain Bolt “the Muhammad Ali of athletics,” Sebastian Coe predicts the Jamaican will steal the show again at next year’s London Olympics.

Coe, the former middle-distance running great, heads the organizing committee of the 2012 Games. He was in Daegu, South Korea, for the world championships, where Bolt won the 200 meters and anchored Jamaica to a world record in the 4×100 relay.

Coe said in his column in The Daily Telegraph, “there really is an Ali-like aura about this guy that is now transcending all sports.”

Double-amputee runner Oscar Pistorius cut short a BBC radio interview after he was asked whether he could be viewed as an “inconvenient embarrassment” to track and field officials for competing in able-bodied competitions.

The South African 400-meter specialist took part in the world championships in Daegu, South Korea, and hopes to run in next year’s London Olympics.

Pistorius was asked on BBC’s “Today” program whether he might be considered an “inconvenient embarrassment to South African authorities and the IAAF because, effectively, you’re taking them into uncharted ethical waters.”

“I think that’s an insult to me and I think this interview is over,” Pistorius responded.

Scott Gafforini and Robert Ewing finished 1-2 in the first featured race, and the two reversed positions in the second race in NASCAR Super Late Model racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s three-eighths-mile Bullring on Saturday.

Other winners were Mike Herda in ASA Speed Trucks, Jason Kaiser in Bombers, Don Sargent in Chargers, Josh Fultz in Legend Cars and Kayli Barker in Bandolero Bandits.

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