Jordan: Super teams not super for NBA
Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan says that NBA stars ganging up and playing for super teams will hurt competitive balance.
Last year, Kevin Durant left the Thunder to join the already loaded Golden State Warriors. This year, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George landed with RussellWestbrook in Oklahoma City, creating another socalled super team with tremendous star power.
In an interview with Cigar Aficionado, Jordan said, “I think it’s going to hurt the overall aspect of the league from a competitive standpoint. You’re going to have one or two teams that are going to be great, and another 28 teams that are going to be garbage. Or they’re going to have a tough time surviving in the business environment.’’ SURGERY FOR HEAT’S MC
GRUDER » Miami small forward Rodney M cG ruder will have surgery nextweek to repair a stress fracture in his leg. It’s likely keep him sidelined at least three months.
NADAL, FEDERER ADVANCE
INSHANGHAI » Rafael Nadal won his 14th straight match to reach the Shanghai Masters quarterfinals, beating Fabio Fognini of Italy 6-3, 6-1.
Roger Federer, seeded second toNadal, alsowasnot detained for long as he defeated Ukrainian qualifier Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4, 6-2.
Nadal will play sixthseeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, who got past SamQu er rey of the U.S. 6- 3, 7- 6 (3). Federer will play Richard Gasquet. Juan Martin del Potro and Marin Cilic also advanced.
SLOW START FOR THOMAS IN MALAYSIA » Justin Thomas collected the Jack Nicklaus Award as U.S. PGA Tour player of the year a couple of days before heading to Malaysia in a bid towin his third successive CIMB Classic.
Little wonder, then, that the two- time defending champion was slightly off his game in the first round in Kuala Lumpur, managing only a 2-under-par 70 to sit six strokes behind leader Cameron Smith of Australia.
Smith opened with a blemish-free 8-under 64.
Keegan Bradley, Xander Schauffele and Poom Saksansin of Thailand were tied for second at 7 under. PARK LEADS LPGA TOURNEY » Sung Hyun Park of South Korea birdied her last two holes for a 6-under 66 and a share of the lead in the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship in Incheon, SouthKorea.
Parkwas tied for the firstround lead with Min- Sun Kimand Minjee Lee. Cristie Kerr was among those at 67. MOLINARI OPENS STRONG AT ITALIAN OPEN» Defending champion Frances co Molinari was among six players who shared a onestroke lead after the opening round of the Italian Open in Monza, Italy.
Jamie Donaldson, Kiradec hA phi barn rat, Eddie Pepper ell, Matt Wallace and Alex and e rB jork also shot7-u nd er64s. George Coetzee and An Byeong-hun were both one stroke back.
CALL FOR ACTION ON RUSSIAN DO PING» The leader of the U.S. Olympic Committee called on his international counterparts to act immediately on allegations of Russian doping, with less than fourmonths until the start of theWinter Games.
“The time for action is now,” Scott Blackmun, CEO of the USOC, said in an address to theUSOC Assembly in Colorado Springs.
Blackmun said “it is beyond frustrating” that no action has been taken on the now-15-month- old McLaren Report, which documented a Russian doping system that tainted the Sochi Games in 2014.
Blackmun noted that, so far, not a single Sochimedal has been forfeited nor a single Winter Olympicsbound athlete sanctioned.
PORTLAND REGAINS INDYCAR RACE » Portland International Raceway is back on the IndyCar Series schedule in 2018, replacing Watkins Glen, N.Y.
The Sept. 2raceonthe1.967mile permanent road course will be IndyCar’s first trip to the Oregon track since races were held from 1984-2007.
USC PLAYER INPLEADEAL » A suspended USC football player accused of sexual assault inUtah pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in a deal with prosecutors.
The agreement carries no possible state prison time for 20-year-old OsaMasina, but he could be sentenced to three years in county jail and probation.
Masina initially was charged with rape and two counts of forcible sodomy, all felonies, in the 2016 case. Thewoman testifiedMasina assaulted her after edible marijuana and alcohol left her nearly unable to move.
Attorney Greg Skordas said his client believed the encounter was consensual but didn’t take into account the woman’s clear impairment.