Rivers will en­ter free agency af­ter 16 sea­sons

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - SPORTS -

COSTA MESA >> Philip Rivers’ 16-year ca­reer with the Charg­ers has come to an end. The fran­chise an­nounced Mon­day that Rivers will en­ter free agency and not re­turn for the up­com­ing sea­son. Gen­eral man­ager Tom Te­le­sco said in a state­ment that as they talked through var­i­ous sce­nar­ios with Rivers, it be­came ap­par­ent it would be best for both “to turn the page on what has truly been a re­mark­able run.”

Rivers was drafted fourth over­all by the New York Gi­ants in the 2004 draft but was traded to the Charg­ers in a draft day deal for Eli Man­ning. Rivers went on to set 30 fran­chise records with the Charg­ers. His 224 con­sec­u­tive reg­u­lar-sea­son starts are sec­ond-most among quar­ter­backs in NFL his­tory and his 123 wins are ninth. He is one of six quar­ter­backs to eclipse 50,000 ca­reer yards and his 397 touch­downs are sixth.

Los An­ge­les was 5-11 last sea­son and has the sixth pick in April’s draft.

Olympics

LEBRON JAMES AMONG 44 US OLYMPIC BASKETBALL TEAM FI­NAL­ISTS >> LeBron James is con­sid­er­ing a re­turn to the Olympics. James — a two-time gold medal­ist and three-time Olympian — is among 44 play­ers an­nounced by USA Basketball on Mon­day as fi­nal­ists for the team that will play in the Tokyo Games this sum­mer. James played in 2004, 2008 and 2012, help­ing the U.S. win gold in his most re­cent two ap­pear­ances.

The pool in­cludes 19 play­ers who have won a to­tal of 31 gold medals in ei­ther Olympic or World Cup com­pe­ti­tion for the Amer­i­cans — in­clud­ing nine play­ers who cap­tured the Olympic ti­tle for USA Basketball in Rio de Janeiro four years ago.

Part of the in­ter­est in par­tic­i­pat­ing this sum­mer is to have the chance to play for U.S. coach Gregg Popovich of the San An­to­nio Spurs. There will be no try­outs. USA Basketball will pare the list down to a 12-per­son Olympic team by early June, those de­ci­sions to be made by a se­lec­tion com­mit­tee — and to be based in part on player avail­abil­ity and health. Train­ing camp will start in early July, po­ten­tially as lit­tle as two weeks af­ter the end of the NBA Fi­nals. The Olympics start July 24.

Col­lege basketball

BAY­LOR STAYS NO. 1 IN QUIET WEEK FOR TOP 25; MICHI­GAN ST OUT >> Bay­lor re­mains atop The As­so­ci­ated Press men’s col­lege basketball poll in a largely static week among the top 10. The Bears re­ceived 48 of 64 first-place votes from a me­dia panel in the poll re­leased Mon­day to stay at No. 1 for the fourth straight week.

No. 2 Gon­zaga had 15 first­place votes and No. 3 Kansas one.

San Diego State and Louisville rounded out the top five. Pre­sea­son No. 1 Michi­gan State dropped out of the poll from No. 16 fol­low­ing a three­game los­ing streak. The Spar­tans are the first pre­sea­son No. 1 to drop out of the rank­ings since Ken­tucky did it twice in 201314.

Se­ton Hall was the only change among the top 10 af­ter mov­ing up two spots to No. 10.

No. 13 Penn State had the big­gest jump of the week, mov­ing up nine spots for its high­est rank­ing since reach­ing No. 9 in 1995-96.

NO. 4 NC STATE WOMEN HAVE BEST RANK­ING IN 20 YEARS >> North Carolina State jumped to No. 4 in The As­so­ci­ated Press women’s col­lege basketball poll, its best rank­ing in 20 years.

The Wolf­pack, who moved up three places on Mon­day, have their high­est spot in the AP Top 25 since Jan. 10, 2000, when they were third. N.C. State has a huge game against No. 9 Louisville on Thurs­day night, when a win would give the Wolf­pack a two-game lead in the At­lantic Coast Con­fer­ence.

South Carolina re­mained No. 1, re­ceiv­ing 27 first-place votes from a 30-per­son me­dia panel. Bay­lor stayed No. 2, get­ting the other three first­place votes. Ore­gon was a solid third.

UConn, de­spite suf­fer­ing its worst home loss in 15 years in a game against the Ducks a week ago, ex­tended its streak of top­five ap­pear­ances, com­ing in fifth. The Huskies have been a top-five team for a record 253 con­sec­u­tive weeks dat­ing to Fe­bru­ary 2005.

MLB

YAN­KEES’ TANAKA FEELS CHEATED OUT OF 2017 WORLD SE­RIES >> Masahiro Tanaka feels cheated by the Hous­ton Astros. Tanaka’s Yan­kees lost to the Astros in a se­v­engame AL Cham­pi­onship Se­ries in 2017.

Baseball Com­mis­sioner Rob Man­fred found the Astros broke rules against elec­tronic sign steal­ing in 2017, in­clud­ing dur­ing the post­sea­son. Hous­ton won all four home games against the Yan­kees in the play­offs, when the Astros play­ers had the ad­van­tage of the sign-steal­ing sys­tem, and lost all three in the Bronx. The scores of the first two games were both 2-1.

CHAR­LIE RIEDEL — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Los An­ge­les Charg­ers head coach An­thony Lynn stands next to quar­ter­back Philip Rivers (17) dur­ing the sec­ond half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo.

RICH PEDRONCELL­I — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Los An­ge­les Lak­ers for­ward LeBron James goes to the bas­ket against the Sacra­mento Kings dur­ing the first quar­ter of an NBA game in Sacra­mento on Satur­day.

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