Stan Van Gundy expects to finish season
ORLANDO, Fla., April 6 (UPI) -- Orlando Magic Coach Stan Van Gundy, responding to reports that he might be fired, said he will finish the season coaching the team.
Van Gundy, who said early Thursday that center Dwight Howard had asked for him to be fired, met later in the day with Howard and General Manager Otis Smith, the Orlando Sentinel reported Friday.
"Look, we've been together all year this year," Van Gundy said. "We've been together for five years. So we know each other very well and Dwight will go out and play and I'll coach and that's the understanding. We know that."
Howard declined to comment on the meeting or his relationship with the coach.
"I don't want to talk about it," Howard said prior to Thursday's 96-80 loss to the New York Knicks -- Orlando's fifth straight defeat. "It has nothing to do with the game tonight."
The Magic have 11 games remaining in their regular season.
Duerson family wants suit in federal court
CHICAGO, April 6 (UPI) -- The family of late Chicago Bears player Dave Duerson filed a motion to move a wrongful death lawsuit against the NFL to federal court.
The family filed a motion Thursday to move the lawsuit, which accuses the NFL of hiding the harmful effects of concussions Duerson suffered while playing for the Bears, from Cook County Circuit Court to federal court, WLS-AM, Chicago, reported Friday.
Duerson's family alleges the concussions permanently damaged the player's brain and contributed to his February 2011 death from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.
Robert Michels, one of the attorneys for the family, said the aim of moving the suit to federal court is to consolidate the case with hundreds of others filed by retired players or their families alleging the NFL concealed the effects of concussions.
Mick Fanning wins tight Bells Beach finals
BELLS BEACH, Australia, April 6 (UPI) -- Mick Fanning edged American Kelly Slater by less than one point Friday to win the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach surfing contest in his native Australia.
Slater scored a perfect 10 on one wave with a full-rotation aerial move, but it was the patient Fanning who finished on top with 18.80 points to 18.07 for Slater.
"Kelly did that Hail Mary for the 10 and I thought, 'Oh, here we go,' but I just caught [good] waves and I'm stoked it all paid off," said Fanning, who moved into third place in the early season point standings on the Association of Surfing Professionals tour.
"I knew there were going to be a lot of waves with the tide dropping out and I guess I just wanted to be on the good ones," Fanning said. "You've got to just believe in your judgment."
Slater's second place was enough to move him back into the lead in the points standings ahead of Adriano de Souza of Brazil.
Fanning made the finals by beating fellow Aussie Joel Parkinson in the semis. Slater advanced with a win over Frenchman Jeremy Flores.
Nike, NFL unveil new uniforms
NEW YORK, April 6 (UPI) -- Nike and the National Football League held a launch event in New York for the league's new uniforms, which feature lighter fabrics and a more contoured fit.
The event Tuesday at Brooklyn Navy Yard featured NFL stars including Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens, Alex Smith of the San Francisco 49ers and Wes Welker of the New England Patriots modeling the uniforms, which are comprised of four-way stretch materials, USA Today reported Friday.
The Seattle Seahawks have the most visual changes to their uniforms, with the blue jerseys being darkened and their helmets receiving a new bird logo.
Nike took over from Reebok as the official outfitter of the NFL in the spring.
"I love them," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said of the new uniforms, which received final approval from the owners of all 32 teams.