NEW YORK (AP) Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan banned Charles Oakley from the arena, though said he was open to reconciling with the former Knicks forward.
In an interview with ESPN Radio’s Michael Kay, Dolan also confirmed a report that he had fired the Garden’s security chief, two nights after Oakley was forcefully removed from his seat and arrested at a Knicks game. Dolan said the firing of the security head stemmed from more than just the handling of the incident.
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The Knicks said Oakley was ”abusive” Wednesday even before reaching his seats in the first quarter, and on Friday distributed a witness report featuring more than a dozen witnesses who described his behavior and their interactions with him.
The team also shared with The Associated Press a 1-minute security video of moments leading up to the altercation, containing brief clips of Oakley in his seat, talking to a hostess and being confronted by Garden officials. There was no audio. Dolan said Oakley used racial and sexual overtones and that games must remain safe for fans, so he was enforcing the ban.
NEW YORK (AP) – The NBA wants its teams to avoid Twitter wars.
The reminder was issued in a memo from the league to all 30 teams on Tuesday. It comes about two weeks after Portland’s Twitter account mocked Dallas’ Chandler Parsons for airballing a 3-point attempt, a tweet that sparked a back-and-forth between Parsons and Blazers guard CJ McCollum.
Parsons later said it was all in good fun.
In the memo, NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum didn’t specifically reference that exchange but said ”recently … some teams have crossed the line between appropriate and inappropriate.”
The league urged teams to ”properly and extensively train” social-media staff members to ensure they know what’s appropriate. Examples the league cited as inappropriate included embarrassing or belittling opponents, and criticizing officiating.
MIAMI (AP) – The Kushner family, which already has close ties to the White House, may soon move into Major League Baseball.
Joshua Kushner, whose older brother is an adviser to President Trump, has a preliminary agreement to buy the Miami Marlins for about $1.6 billion, a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations said. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Marlins and owner Jeffrey Loria have not commented publicly on negotiations.
The preliminary agreement preceded due diligence by Kushner, the person said, adding the final offer could be much lower than $1.6 billion. Other parties are also interested in buying the Marlins, and Loria might reopen negotiations with them.
Kushner, 31, is a New York City businessman and investor and part of the real estate family that also includes Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and an adviser to the president. Joshua is Jared’s younger brother.
Jared Kushner, who is married to Ivanka Trump, is not believed to part of the effort to the buy team. Neither is the Kushners’ father, Charles, who ran the family real estate firm until he went to prison for tax evasion, making illegal campaign contributions and witness intimidation.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) – Tiger Woods pulled out of his next two tournaments because of ongoing back problems, a somber outlook for a 14-time major champion whose comeback barely lasted three tournaments before another setback.
Woods said on his website that he was still coping with back spasms that he attributed to his withdrawal from the Dubai Desert Classic last week.
”My doctors have advised me not to play the next two weeks to continue my treatment and to let my back calm down,” Woods said. ”This is not what I was hoping for or expecting.”
The Tiger Woods Foundation now runs the Genesis Open in Los Angeles, and Woods was expected to play Riviera next week for the first time since 2006. He also withdrew from the Honda Classic near his home in Florida.
Woods said he would still go to Riviera to support the tournament.
DETROIT (AP) – Billionaire businessman Mike Ilitch, who founded the Little Caesars pizza empire before buying the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers, won praise for keeping the professional sports teams in the city as others relocated to new suburban stadiums.
Ilitch’s family said in a statement that he died Friday at a local hospital. He was 87. No other details were provided by family spokesman Doug Kuiper.
Known simply as ”Mr. I” to most in Michigan, his family called him a visionary who set the tone for them and his company.
Ilitch founded Little Caesars in 1959 in suburban Detroit with his wife, Marian. The business – later known for its ”Pizza! Pizza!” ads featuring an animated ”Little Caesar” – eventually grew into one of the world’s largest carry-out pizza chains with several spin-off companies that now employ 23,000 people worldwide and posted revenues last year of $3.4 billion.
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) – The Oakland Raiders rewarded coach Jack Del Rio with a new four-year contract, replacing the original four-year deal he received when he took the job in January 2015.
Owner Mark Davis made the announcement by saying the initial deal had been ”torn up” after Del Rio led the Raiders (12-5) to their first playoff berth in 14 years before a loss to Houston after quarterback Derek Carr broke his right leg in the second-to-last game of the regular season.
Before Del Rio arrived in 2015, the Raiders had posted the worst record in the NFL the previous 13 years as they had a revolving door of coaches and quarterbacks. Oakland had eight coaches in that span before Del Rio solidified the job when hired by general manager Reggie McKenzie.
Del Rio led the Raiders to a 7-9 record his first season before taking a big step forward this past year with 12 wins and the playoff berth.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – The NFL sharpened its warning to Texas about a ”bathroom bill” targeting transgender people, suggesting for the first time that the football-crazed state could miss out on hosting another Super Bowl if the proposal is enacted.
”If a proposal that is discriminatory or inconsistent with our values were to become law there, that would certainly be a factor considered when thinking about awarding future events,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy said in response to an email question about the Texas bill.
Although the NFL released a statement about inclusiveness earlier this month prior to the Super Bowl in Houston, it didn’t address whether the bill could put future such events at risk for the state.
The NFL has selected future Super Bowl sites through 2021, none of which are in Texas. Dallas hosted the game in 2011 and three Super Bowls have been played in Texas since 2004, which is second only to Florida.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) – The Atlanta Falcons on Friday continued the dramatic remaking of their coaching staff following their Super Bowl loss by promoting Marquand Manuel to defensive coordinator.
The Falcons also hired Bryant Young as defensive line coach and two assistants received new titles. Raheem Morris was named wide receivers/passing game coordinator and assistant head coach, while Doug Mallory was promoted to defensive backs coach.
On Wednesday, the team said coach Dan Quinn has dismissed coordinator Richard Smith and defensive line coach Bryan Cox.
With offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Kyle Shanahan leaving to become head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, the team has two new coordinators. Steve Sarkisian was hired from Alabama to replace Shanahan.
Manuel had been the team’s secondary coach. He also coached with Quinn in Seattle when Quinn was the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator.
JOHANNESBURG (AP) – A crowd stampeded at a football stadium in Angola, leaving at least 17 people dead and dozens injured.
The accident happened in the northwestern town of Uige when hundreds of people rushed at one of the stadium gates, causing some to fall and be trampled underfoot, according to Angolan and Portuguese media.
Some of the dead were children who suffocated in the stampede, the Portuguese news agency Lusa said. Lusa and Angop, Angola’s state-run news agency, reported a death toll of 17.
Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos expressed condolences to the families of the victims, and instructed officials to assist the injured and open an investigation, Angop reported.
Spectators had gone to the stadium to watch the inaugural game between home team Santa Rita de Cassia and Recreativo de Libolo in the national Girabola competition.