Thunder GM terms reports
of coaching change ‘rubbish’
Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti dismissed reports that 11-time NBA champion Phil Jackson or former New York Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy could be the next coach of the Thunder, saying a contract extension with Scott Brooks is a top priority.
“To me, it’s rubbish,” Presti said Sunday when asked about an ESPN report that Jackson and Van Gundy were being considered as options if Brooks couldn’t be re-signed.
Brooks led Oklahoma City to the NBA Finals this season, but his contract runs out at the end of the month. He has overseen a steady development since taking over the Thunder early in the 2008-09 season.
After winning 23 games that first season, Brooks guided Oklahoma City to the playoffs in 2010, then to the Western Conference finals in 2011 before this season’s five-game loss to the Miami Heat in the Finals.
Jackson is retired but has left the door open to returning in the right circumstances. Van Gundy is a commentator for ESPN and ABC.
Leishman fires 62, rallies past
Hoffman to take Travelers title
Marc Leishman shot an early 8-under 62 and won the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn., for his first PGA Tour title when former UNLV standout Charley Hoffman blew a two-stroke lead.
Leishman began the day six strokes behind the leaders, but made eight birdies and no bogeys, then sat in the clubhouse for more than two hours and watched. The Australian finished at 14-under 266.
Hoffman was 16 under heading to the 17th hole, but pushed his tee shot right and into the water. He made a double bogey, and bogeyed the 18th after failing to get up and down from a greenside bunker.
Hoffman closed with a 66 to tie for second with Masters champion Bubba Watson, who shot a 65.
Also: Brittany Lang captured the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in Waterloo, Ontario, for her first LPGA Tour title, birdieing the par-5 18th three straight times in a playoff.
Lang missed a birdie try on the hole in regulation, leaving her tied with Hee Kyung Seo, former Bishop Gorman High standout Inbee Park and Chella Choi at 16-under 286. Choi was eliminated on the first extra hole, and Park dropped out on the second.
Lang finished with her second straight 67, Choi had a 63, Seo a 67, and Park a 69.
Mark Calcavecchia won the Montreal Championship in Sainte-Julie, Quebec, for his second Champions Tour title, matching the course record with an 8-under 64 for a two-stroke victory.
The 52-year-old Calcavecchia had six birdies and chipped in for eagle on the par-5 15th hole. He finished at 16-under 200.
Brad Bryant shot a 65 to finish second.
Danny Willett of England won his first European Tour title after defeating Marcus Fraser of Australia in a playoff at the BMW International Open in Fulheim, Germany.
Willett shot a final-round 73 for an 11 under total of 277 to finish with a share of the lead with Fraser, who shot a 71 in rainy conditions.
Willett then sealed his first tour win in 106 starts at the fourth extra hole with a par when Fraser bogeyed.
Spain’s Alonso drives Ferrari
to emotional Formula One win
Fernando Alonso of Ferrari won an incident-filled European Grand Prix in Valencia, Spain, to become the first Formula One driver to claim two races this season, while Michael Schumacher earned a first podium finish since his comeback by coming in third.
Alonso jousted his way up from 11th on the starting grid to claim an emotional victory for the Spaniard in front of his home fans after pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull stalled on the track midway through the race.
Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus finished second, while Schumacher sneaked onto the podium after Lewis Hamilton and Pastor Maldonado collided on the penultimate lap as they fought for third place.
Also: Southern Nevada native TJ Flores continued his desert racing domination Saturday by collecting his sixth overall victory in the Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts’ annual Dusty Times 250 outside Caliente.
Driving a two-seater, Flores had a four-lap time of 5 hours, 4 minutes, 28 seconds to score an easy victory in the event that drew 81 starters.
Finishing second in Class 1 was Kevin Colan in 6:03.30, while Nils Castillo was third at 6:41.39.
Running on repaired right hip,
Gay makes U.S. Olympic team
Running with a surgically repaired right hip, 100-meter American record-holder Tyson Gay showed he was back, finishing second to 2004 Olympic gold medalist Justin Gatlin at the U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene, Ore.
Gatlin won in 9.80 seconds, but Gay, with not a trace of limp in his step following surgery on his hip a year ago, finished 0.06 seconds behind.
Joining Gatlin and Gay in London next month will be 23-year-old Ryan Bailey.
As expected, LaShawn Merritt cruised to the 400 title. So did Sanya Richards-Ross in the women’s race.
Merritt, the reigning Olympic champion, finished in a world-leading time of 44.12 seconds. Joining him on the squad were Tony McQuay and University of Southern California standout Bryshon Nellum, who has an incredible story: making the team after being shot in the legs as he left a restaurant near campus following a Halloween party in 2008.
Richards-Ross won in a meet-tying record of 49.28 seconds. Dee Dee Trotter finished in 50.02 and Francena McCorory was third in 50.43 for the other two spots on the women’s 400 team.
Also: Players SC 94 of Las Vegas captured the Under-18 boys championship of U.S. Youth Soccer’s Region IV tournament in Phoenix with a 2-1 win over WSM Premier of Oregon.
The victory earned Players SC 94 a berth in the nationals in Rock Hill, S.C., July 23 through July 29.
Meanwhile, Downtown LVSC 99 lost 4-3 to West Coast FC of Southern California in the Under-13 girls title match.
Capital Plan beat 2-1 second choice Cambina by a nose in the $100,000 Beverly Hills Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif.
Ridden by Joel Rosario, the 4-year-old filly ran 1¼ miles on turf in 2:04.21 and paid $3.80.
Cambina returned $2.80 and $2.10 while Quaintly, who was another half-length behind Cambina, paid $2.40 to show.