UPI NewsTrack Sports

Jan. 21, 2013 at 5:15 PM   |   Comments

NBA's Kings sold; Seattle move expected

NEW YORK, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- The NBA said Monday the Sacramento Kings have been sold to a group headed by Chris Hansen, a deal expected to result in the team moving to Seattle.

The Maloof family executed a "Purchase and Sale Agreement," a league statement said.

The deal is subject to the approval of the Board of Governors.

NBA.com said the Maloofs will be paid a reported $525 million for 65 percent of the team. Hansen has said he would try to buy the remaining 35 percent, which is held by minority stakeholders.

The new ownership would have a March 1 deadline to announce an intention to move the team and open play next season at a new location.

Hansen, the managing partner of Valiant Capital, a hedge fund company in San Francisco, has been buying land near Safeco Field, the home of the Seattle Mariners, as the site of a new basketball arena.

The Seattle SuperSonics, the most recent NBA franchise in Seattle, played at the KeyArena before moving to Oklahoma City before the 2008-09 season. The Sonics had been in Seattle since the franchise was granted in December 1966.

Seattle would be the fifth home for the Kings' franchise, which started in 1945 in New York as the Rochester Royals. The team moved to Cincinnati in 1957 and then to Kansas City, Mo., changing the nickname to the Kings, in 1972, and splitting home games for a time with Omaha.

The team was sold to investors in Sacramento in 1980 for $11 million and moved to California for the 1985-86 season.

The Kings haven't qualified for the playoffs since 2006 and are 16-25 this season.


Federer, Murray solid in wins in Australia

MELBOURNE, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- World No. 2-ranked Roger Federer and third-seeded Andy Murray posted solid straight-set wins Monday in fourth-round action of the Australian Open.

Federer lost only 12 points on serve in a 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 win over 13th-seeded Milos Raonic. Federer advanced to the quarterfinals of a major tournament for the 35th consecutive Grand Slam event.

He lost only four points serving in the first two sets, putting the first away with a 10th-game break and he didn't lose a point serving in the second-set tiebreaker. Raonic had slightly more success against Federer's serve in the third set but didn't manage a break point as Federer won the first four games of the set.

Federer ended up winning 85 percent of the points on serve. He had 14 aces -- two more than his unforced error total.

Murray dispatched 14th-seeded Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-1, 6-3, winning 70 percent of the points on serve. Murray had 12 aces and no double faults as he saved both break points he saw. Murray had 32 winners against 26 unforced errors. He lost only two points on serve in the third set.

Unseeded Jeremy Chardy is the only player outside the top 10 seeds to reach the Australian Open men's quarterfinals. He defeated 21st-seeded Andreas Seppi 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 Monday. Chardy had at least one break in each set, with two in each the third and fourth sets. Chardy won 70 percent of the points on serve in those sets.

Seventh-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga got by French countryman Richard Gasquet, the No. 9 seed, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. He also won 70 percent of the points on serve and saved all but one of the seven break points he faced.


Azarenka, Serena Williams again win easily

MELBOURNE, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Defending champion Victoria Azarenka and third-seeded Serena Williams each lost only two games Monday in sailing into the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.

Azarenka, ranked No. 1 in the world, won the first four and last six games of a 6-1, 6-1 rout of Elena Vesnina. The match took 57 minutes. Azarenka lost only eight points on serve in the first set and, even though she lost her serve in the first game of the second set, dropped just 13 points in the set.

Williams took the last eight games in rolling past 14th-seeded Maria Kirilenko 6-2, 6-0, also in 57 minutes. Williams had just six unforced errors against 22 winners and saved all three break points she faced. She also won 56 percent of the points off Kirilenko's serve.

Unseeded Svetlana Kuznetsova ousted 10th-seeded Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 with the final set taking 75 minutes, about half the match time of nearly 2 1/2 hours. Wozniacki was able to finish off just one of eight break chances in the third set and Kuznetsova had two of her five breaks in the final set,

No. 29th-seeded Sloane Stephens was on the court about twice as long as Azarenka and Williams in beating Bojana Jovanovski 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 in reaching a Grand Slam quarterfinal for the first time. Stephens had 43 unforced errors and lost her serve five times but offset that with seven breaks, including three in the final set.


NFL's Cole snubs expo because of rifle ban

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Philadelphia Eagles defensive end and hunting enthusiast Trent Cole says he is snubbing an upcoming sports exposition because of its ban on certain rifles.

The Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, Pa., was expected to draw 200,000 visitors and 1,200 exhibitors at its weeklong event in February, but "Hordes of hunting industry manufacturers and TV personalities are thumbing their noses at one of the country's largest sports show promoters because the event is taking a hard stance on, among other things, modern sporting rifles," the website deeranddeerhunting.com said.

Cabela's, a major hunting and fishing retailer, withdrew its sponsorship of the event, the website phillynews.com reported.

Cole, host of an outdoor-oriented television program called Blitz TV, said in a Twitter comment Sunday he and his program do "not support the recent decisions made by Eastern Sports Show management."

Cole had been expected to sign autographs at a Blitz TV booth during the exposition, spokesman Jim Clinton said, confirming that the player withdrew because of the rifle ban.

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