76ers sign Harden to 2-year deal
James Harden decided to grow his beard and shear his annual salary in Philadelphia.
Harden signed a deal worth slightly over $68 million, paying him about $33 million this season with a $35 million player option for the 2023-24 season. Harden, though, will make about $14.5 million less this coming season than he could have earned under his previous deal. Harden had a $47.4 million option for this coming season that he declined last month, saying he wanted to give the 76ers flexibility to improve their roster and compete for a championship.
“This is where I want to be. This is where I want to win, and I think we have the pieces to accomplish that goal,” Harden said Wednesday. “From my first day with the 76ers organization, the team and the fans have helped me feel at home here in Philadelphia.”
The Suns agreed to a multiyear contract extension for Monty Williams, the NBA’s Coach of the Year last season after leading the franchise to a team-record 64 wins in the regular season. Williams, 50, has led a quick turnaround in three seasons with the Suns, taking them to the NBA Finals in 2021 where they lost in six games to the Bucks.
Auto racing: Kurt Busch will miss Sunday’s NASCAR race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with concussion-like symptoms and be replaced again by Ty Gibbs in the Toyota for 23XI Racing. The team said Busch has not been cleared to race for a second consecutive week. He crashed in qualifying last Saturday at Pocono Raceway and missed the next day’s race. Gibbs, 19, is the grandson of NFL and NASCAR Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs, made his Cup debut last weekend as Busch’s replacement in the No. 45. He finished 16th.
Colleges: Coastal Carolina QB Grayson McCall signed an NIL deal with Darlington Raceway. Officials at the track “Too Tough To Tame” said it’s the first NASCAR facility to partner with a college athlete since students were allowed to profit off their name, image and likeness. McCall is a junior who set the NCAA mark in pass efficiency rating (207.6) last season, surpassing the mark previously held by former Alabama star Mac Jones.
NFL: Super Bowl-winning coaches Mike Shanahan and Mike Holmgren are among 24 seniors, coaches and contributors selected as finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023. Shanahan and Holmgren are joined by 10 other coaches/ contributors, including Patriots owner Robert Kraft and former Browns/Ravens owner Art Modell. The list of 12 former players includes four-time Pro Bowl QB Ken Anderson and five-time Pro Bowl WR Sterling Sharpe . ... WR Julio Jones is the latest high-profile veteran to join forces with Tom Brady in pursuit of a Super Bowl ring. The Buccaneers signed the seven-time Pro Bowler to a one-year contract.
NHL: The Kraken re-signed forward Ryan Donato to a one-year, $1.2 million deal. Donato set career highs across the board in games played (74), goals (16) and assists (15).
Tennis: Domenico Vicini, 50, became the oldest player to win a Davis Cup match. Vicini and doubles partner Marco de Rossi of San Marino beat Martin Muedini and Mario Zili of Albania 6-3, 7-6 in Group IV play in Baku, Azerbaijan.