NBA commissioner David Stern congratulated LeBron James on his decision. He just wishes it came without “The Decision.”
Stern said Monday he would have advised James to tell the Cleveland Cavaliers of his choice to leave for the Miami Heat earlier than he did, and that the two-time MVP’s public announcement shouldn’t have come in a made-for-television special that attracted nearly 10 million viewers.
The commissioner said James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh violated no league rules in discussing free agency among themselves and that the league isn’t investigating how the Heat managed to land all three. That doesn’t mean Stern didn’t take issue with certain elements of free agency, particularly James’ decision to say he was leaving Cleveland on ESPN.
Haslem staying put
Miami — Udonis Haslem is staying with the Miami Heat.
Haslem signed a five-year deal Monday worth around $20 million, more than $10 million less than he could have gotten had he accepted offers from the Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets.
Chandler to Raptors?
Charlotte, N.C. — Charlotte Bobcats center Tyson Chandler says he’s been told he’s being traded to the Raptors amid a report Toronto is also poised to send Hedo Turkoglu to Phoenix.
The Toronto Star reported the Suns would get Turkoglu and send guard Leandro Barbosa to the Raptors, then move guard Jose Calderon and forward Reggie Evans to Charlotte for Chandler and forward Boris Diaw. The report said the deal is pending league approval.
Milicic signs with Minnesota
Minneapolis — The Minnesota Timberwolves have announced the signing of free-agent center Darko Milicic.
The former second overall pick was planning on returning to play in Europe before a February trade to Minnesota energized his career.
Beasley trade finalized
Minneapolis — Michael Beasley’s off-the-court issues were well-documented. So were his on-the-court talents.
In the end, Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn felt the latter far outweighed the former.
The Timberwolves and Heat completed their trade Monday, sending Beasley north to Minnesota for two second-round picks and cash considerations.
“We had to do this,” Kahn said Monday night in a conference call from Las Vegas, where the Timberwolves are playing in the summer league. “It just made too much sense.”
Source: Magic, Richardson agree
Orlando, Fla. — The Magic agreed to a deal with free-agent Quentin Richardson on Monday, a person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been officially announced. Terms of the contract were not immediately known.
NHRA driver dies
Seattle — The King County Medical Examiner says an NHRA driver who crashed after crossing the finish line died of severe injuries to his head, neck and torso.
Mark Niver, 60, of Phoenix, died Sunday at the NHRA Northwest Nationals. He was competing in the Top Alcohol dragster class in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing series. The parachutes on his car ripped away after they were deployed, and Niver couldn’t stop his dragster before it slammed into the protective netting at the end of the runway.
Favre shows some speed
Hattiesburg, Miss. — Brett Favre looks like he’s getting along just fine on that surgically repaired ankle.
Favre worked out with youngsters at Oak Grove High School in Hattiesburg, Miss., on Monday, then eluded reporters looking to ask him about his future by running to his truck and driving away.
The 40-year-old quarterback has yet to tell the Minnesota Vikings if he will return for a 20th season in the NFL, but many expect him to be back. He had arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle in May and has been throwing to receivers at the high school for a few weeks.
Viewership rises in U.S.
New York — World Cup television viewership rose 41 percent over four years ago for English-language telecasts in the United States, with Spain’s 1-0 overtime victory over the Netherlands setting a record.
Serena will miss WTT season
Serena Williams will miss the entire World TeamTennis season after cutting her foot.
The WTT said Monday she was to have played four matches for the Washington Kastles, but she hurt the bottom of her foot late last week and needed stitches.