National Sports Briefs
Published 12:00 am Friday, June 10, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO ó Mark Jackson was every bit the bold and boisterous personality on his first day as coach of the Golden State Warriors that he was as a player and a broadcast analyst.
Only time will tell if he can be equally successful.
Declaring that “the Bay Area will never be the same,” Jackson promised sweeping changes Friday to the perennially underachieving franchise. He was introduced by the Warriors at a swanky San Francisco hotel across the bay from where the team plays in Oakland that had all the flair of the area’s new coach.
The Brooklyn native and former New York Knicks point guard said the Warriors will make the area “New York City West” in NBA circles, attracting the coveted free agents the franchise has always struggled to sign. He even predicted championship banners would follow.
“When you look at the success of the teams in this area, the A’s have had theirs. The Niners have had theirs. The Giants have had theirs. The Raiders have had theirs. And now we’re looking forward to ours,” Jackson said. “So, therefore, it’s about time. Sorry it took so long, but now we’re at the party.”
Well, not quite.
The Warriors have made the playoffs just once since 1994 and haven’t won an NBA title since 1975. About the only success the franchise has enjoyed is that fans in the basketball-crazy Bay Area regularly sell out Oracle Arena and can be as vocal as any in a market saturated with sports teams.
PHILADELPHIA ó In the minutes before giving his first commencement speech, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick professed to be more nervous than before a football game.
He had nothing to worry about. A lovingly raucous crowd of several hundred cheered Vick throughout his remarks Friday to graduates of the alternative Camelot high schools at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.
The fact that he surprised a pair of students with $5,000 college scholarships didn’t hurt either.
NEWARK, N.J. ó Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt was arrested again in New Jersey, a day after appearing in court for a previous arrest on traffic charges.
Police said the former Rutgers star was charged with resisting arrest after two plainclothes officers suspected he was carrying a marijuana cigar and attempted to handcuff him at a Hoboken car wash Wednesday evening.
JOPLIN, Mo. ó The Missouri basketball team will take on Missouri Southern in an exhibition basketball game to benefit victims of the Joplin tornado.
The NCAA announced Friday that it had approved the Oct. 30 exhibition game at Missouri’s Southern’s Leggett & Platte Athletic Center.
OSLO, Norway ó Usain Bolt ran the fastest time in the world this season as he eased to victory in the 200 meters at a Diamond League meet, while Caster Semenya finished third behind Halima Hachlaf in the 800 meters.
Bolt, the Jamaican world-record holder, raced through the rain at the Bislett Games to win convincingly in 19.86 seconds.
LONDON ó Rafael Nadal was taken to three sets by Radek Stepanek before advancing to the quarterfinals at Queen’s Club. The French Open champion won 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 to join third-seeded Andy Roddick and second-seeded Andy Murray in the last eight.
NEW YORK ó Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain has a torn ligament in his right elbow, a startling injury that’s likely to require Tommy John surgery and end his season.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. ó Tennessee has announced new changes in its athletic department with a familiar face leading the transition.
The university will merge the men’s and women’s athletics departments and longtime women’s AD Joan Cronan will serve as the interim director. She was hired as the interim vice chancellor and director of athletics, overseeing all sports, Chancellor Jimmy Cheek said.
She has been an athletics director for 38 years and Tennessee’s women’s director for 28 and will be the first woman to manage men’s and women’s athletics programs in the SEC.
CHARLOTTE ó Five players on Mexico’s soccer team, including goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa and defender Francisco Rodriguez, have tested positive for a banned substance and are out of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.