New York — David Stern returned to the bargaining table Monday and said “nothing” gave him reason for encouragement.
And for that, the NBA Commissioner pointed the blame in one place.
“I don’t feel optimistic about the players’ willingness to engage in a serious way,” Stern said.
So the first meeting to include leadership from owners and players since the lockout began exactly a month ago produced nothing new — except blame.
A downcast Stern, who long maintained he was optimistic during this collective bargaining process, said that was no longer the case. He added nothing had changed since the last meeting on June 30, hours before the old deal expired, and said he doesn’t feel players are bargaining in good faith.
Players contend that although owners insist they are committed to making a deal, their proposals say otherwise.
Neither side offered a new one Monday, exactly three months before the Nov. 1 scheduled opening of the regular season that seems more in doubt than ever.
Trial starts in nanny’s lawsuit
Los Angeles — A nanny who worked for Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon and his wife testified in a wrongful-firing case Monday that the couple knew of her tumultuous life, court cases against her and a brief stint in jail but decided to keep her on their staff.
Claudia Liete claims the Simons fired her in February 2010 when they found out she was pregnant and they failed to pay wages that were due to her. She’s seeking compensatory and punitive damages but has not specified an amount.
Source: N.Y., Bradshaw agree
East Rutherford, N.J. — Running back Ahmad Bradshaw is returning to the New York Giants.
The free agent agreed to contract terms with the Giants on Monday, a source with knowledge of the negotiations told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal has not yet been announced.
Contract terms were not immediately available.
DE Taylor rejoins Dolphins
Miami — At the start of a news conference hailing Jason Taylor’s return to the Miami Dolphins, he introduced himself as a third-round draft pick from Akron — which he was in 1997.
Fourteen years later, Taylor seeks a few more sacks and that elusive first Super Bowl ring. He’ll try for them in the uniform he has worn most of his career.
The NFL’s active career sacks leader, who became a free agent when the New York Jets released him in March, signed Monday to rejoin the Dolphins.
Big Ben to restructure contract
Pittsburgh — Ben Roethlisberger is doing his part to help the Pittsburgh Steelers get under the salary cap.
The veteran quarterback has agreed to restructure his contract to help the defending AFC champions get under the $120.4 million cap.
Ryan Tollner, Roethlisberger’s agent, said the team approached the two-time Super Bowl winner about the deal, but added it would not affect the length or the money involved in the eight-year, $102 million deal the quarterback signed in 2008.
Giants refuse to rework DE’s deal
East Rutherford, N.J. — Still hoping there’s a chance he will play for the New York Giants, two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Osi Umenyiora is annoyed he is being portrayed as a bad guy for asking the team to renegotiate his contract.
In an email to the Associated Press on Monday, Umenyiora says he is frustrated some people are criticizing him because he wants the team to rework a contract that will pay him slightly more than $7 million over the next two seasons.
The Giants have refused to redo Umenyiora’s deal. They have given his agents permission to work out a trade for the 29-year-old who tied for the team high with 111⁄2 sacks and had a league-high 10 forced fumbles last year.
Raiders sign Wimbley for $48M
Napa, Calif. — The Oakland Raiders spent big to lock up one of their own key players, signing a five-year, $48 million contract with linebacker Kamerion Wimbley on Monday that gives the team more room under the salary cap and Wimbley $29 million in guarantees.
South Carolina QB reinstated
Spartanburg, S.C. — South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia is officially back on the Gamecocks — again.
Coach Steve Spurrier said Monday that Garcia had completed the obligations he was asked to do for returning to the team after the fifth suspension of his college career.
Garcia was banned for all team activities in April after displaying what athletic director Eric Hyman called “behavior that is unacceptable for one of our student athletes” during a life-skills meeting.
SEC suit targets money manager
Dallas — A money manager for college basketball coaches who committed suicide last month was part of a scheme that defrauded more than 100 investors of $39 million through the sale of bogus corporate bonds, the Securities and Exchange Commission alleged in a lawsuit Monday.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Houston, targets the estate of David Salinas and asks that it and other defendants give up funds and benefits they allegedly obtained illegally through the bond scheme and another involving two private funds. The SEC also is seeking an undetermined amount in penalties.
Giants place Zito back on DL
San Francisco — Barry Zito is headed back to the disabled list.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy told the Associated Press of the decision before his NL West-leading San Francisco team opened a 10-game homestand Monday night with the first of three games against second-place Arizona.
Jimenez to join Tribe Wednesday
Boston — Cleveland manager Manny Acta said Monday that Ubaldo Jimenez is scheduled to join the team Wednesday in Boston and make his first start two days later.
Jimenez, one of the top acquisitions at the non-waiver trade deadline, was acquired Saturday from Colorado for four minor-leaguers, including two highly touted pitching prospects.
Carrasco suspended six games
Cleveland — Cleveland Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco has been suspended six games and fined for throwing at Kansas City’s Billy Butler.
Carrasco was ejected in the fourth inning of Friday night’s game after he threw a ball at Butler’s head. Carrasco had just given up a grand slam to Melky Cabrera and took out his frustration on Butler, who managed to avoid the rising fastball.
The Indians said Monday that Carrasco will appeal his suspension and undisclosed fine and plans to start Wednesday night in Boston.
Carrasco said he was upset that Cabrera stood at home plate and admired his homer, but denied the pitch to Butler was intentional.