In Brief: Clippers, Rivers Reach New Deal
Los Angeles — Doc Rivers is staying with the Los Angeles Clippers for another five years.
In Steve Ballmer’s first big move since taking over as the new owner, he gave Rivers a contract extension through the 2018-19 season.
Ballmer said Wednesday it was one of his top priorities to ensure that Rivers remains as the long-term leader of the team. Rivers was a stabilizing force for the franchise during the upheaval created by former owner Donald Sterling’s racist remarks that led to his ouster after 33 years of ownership.
“Not only is Doc one of the best coaches and executives in the game, but he continually embodies the hardcore, committed and resilient character and winning culture that the Clippers represent,” Ballmer said, repeating the “hardcore” theme he uttered during last week’s fan rally.
Interim CEO Dick Parsons testified during Sterling’s court battle with his estranged wife to keep the team, saying Rivers would quit if Sterling was successful.
League to Expand?
The NHL insists expansion is not imminent.
“Nothing has happened to change the status quo,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a telephone interview Wednesday with The Associated Press. “There continues to be interest from some markets, and we continue to be interested in discussing the possibilities, but there is no plan moving forward in terms of expansion.”
The NHL has not expanded since the 2000-01 season, when the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets became the 29th and 30th franchises in the league. After last year’s realignment, the Eastern Conference has 16 teams and there are 14 in the Western Conference.
Seattle, Toronto, Quebec City, Las Vegas and Kansas City have been mentioned as markets that might land a new team in the league.
Drone Spotted Over Panthers’ Stadium
Charlotte, n.c. — Police in North Carolina briefly detained and questioned a man who flew a drone with a camera mounted on it over a stadium during a preseason game.
Area news media outlets report that the drone was spotted during the Aug. 17 game between the Carolina Panthers and the Kansas City Chiefs at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.
The Federal Aviation Administration limits aircraft use near major sporting events, and prohibits unmanned aircraft at sites designated as “Class B” venues, which includes Bank of America Stadium.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police department spokesman Rob Tufano did not say what explanation the drone operator gave for using the prohibited aircraft. He said information obtained during questioning was turned over to the FAA, which has jurisdiction in such matters.