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#SportsReport: James Harden agrees to two-year contract with Philadelphia 76ers

Rockets at Wizards 11/7/16
Keith Allison/KeithAllisonPhoto.com
Rockets at Wizards 11/7/16

AP source: Harden, 76ers agree on 2-year, $68 million deal

James Harden has agreed to terms on a two-year contract to stay with the Philadelphia 76ers and will make about $14.5 million less this coming season than he could have earned under his previous deal, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said Wednesday. Harden will sign a deal worth slightly over $68 million, paying him about $33 million this season and with a $35 million player option for the 2023-24 season, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the deal. ESPN first reported the agreement.

Steeplechaser Jeruto plunges into water after gold at worlds

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Steeplechaser Norah Jeruto came up with a cool way to celebrate her victory at the end of a sizzling hot day at the world championships. A pool party. Everyone was invited, too. The Kenyan-born runner who recently began representing Kazakhstan moved to the backstretch following her win and took the plunge straight into the event’s water pit. A moment later, the Jeruto was joined by her two Ethiopian competitors, runner-up Werkuha Getachew and bronze medalist Mekides Abebe. Not wanting to be left out, Legend, the mascot for these championships, jumped in, too.

Semenya finishes 13th, doesn't advance in 5,000 at worlds

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Caster Semenya finished 13th in the women’s 5,000 meters Wednesday at the world championships, an expected result for the South African who has been banned from her best event because of rules that demand she take hormone-reducing drugs to enter certain races. Semenya, who has two Olympic and three world titles in the 800 meters, has been kept out of that event in big events since 2019, after losing an appeal of a World Athletics regulation that made women with certain intersex condition ineligible for races of between 400 meters and one mile. Semenya finished the 12 1/2-lap race, held on a 91-degree day in 15 minutes, 46.12 seconds, which was 54 seconds behind the winner of the heat, Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia.

Judge, Yanks on top as baseball returns from All-Star break

CHICAGO (AP) — Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees lead the way as baseball returns from the All-Star break. The Yankees begin the second half with a gaudy 64-28 record and a whopping 13-game lead over Tampa Bay in the AL East. The crosstown Mets are on top of the NL East, looking to hold off the Braves and take the franchise’s first division title since 2015. The postseason picture is quite crowded, thanks to the addition of a third wild card in each league. Cincinnati Reds ace Luis Castillo, Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras and Washington Nationals slugger Juan Soto are the names to watch ahead of next month's trade deadline.

Rapinoe, King urge freedom for Brittney Griner at The ESPYS

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Detained WNBA star Brittney Griner was front and center at The ESPYS. Soccer star Megan Rapinoe admonished her fellow athletes for not doing enough to speak out while also encouraging them to support Griner. Griner was arrested in Russia in February after customs officials found vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her luggage. She faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. NBA Finals MVP and show host Stephen Curry joined WNBA players Nneka Ogwumike and Skylar Diggins-Smith in calling attention to Griner's plight. Griner's wife attended the show in Hollywood and applauded their comments.

Newsom wants explanation from UCLA about move to Big Ten

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom is demanding an explanation from UCLA officials about their move to the Big Ten Conference. Newsom attended Wednesday’s UC Board of Regents meeting in San Francisco. The closed-door meeting was the first since UCLA and Southern California announced on June 30 that the schools would be leaving the Pac-12 Conference for the Big Ten in 2024. USC is a private institution and not part of the UC system. Newsom — an ex officio member of the Board of Regents — is among others asking how the move will benefit all student-athletes, as well as how to mitigate the financial effects it will cause to UC Berkeley, California’s other public university in the Pac 12.

Tokyo Olympic aftermath still being untangled a year later

TOKYO (AP) — The COVID-delayed Tokyo Olympics opened a year ago on July 23, 2021. They survived the one-year postponement, soaring costs and some public opposition. The aftermath is as difficult to untangle as the Games were to pull off. The Games were to drive tourism and showcase Japanese technology. The pandemic squelched that. The official price tag is $13 billion. The Tokyo city government picked up $5.4 billion in Games expenses and it is now trying to champion post-Games uses for a half-dozen new venues. The head of the Tokyo Games says a main legacy will be using Tokyo to drive a bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics in Sapporo.

Stay or go? Ronaldo's future uncertain at Manchester United

Cristiano Ronaldo has not yet returned to preseason training with Manchester United because of what has been publicly described as “personal reasons.” It seems the reality is different. Ronaldo reportedly wants out after only one season back at Old Trafford because United is no longer in the Champions League or in shape to compete with the best teams in England. The problem is no other team appears willing to buy the Portugal superstar. He is guaranteed to score goals but his arrival would require compromises elsewhere. The current standoff with United is becoming more damaging and disruptive as the new season looms.

100 champ Kerley out for relays at worlds with hurting leg

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — World 100-meter champion Fred Kerley will not be available for the U.S. relay team later this week due to a leg injury he suffered while running the semifinals of the 200. Kerley’s agent, Ricky Simms, said the sprinter sustained a slight injury to his quadriceps during the race Tuesday night. Kerley slowed down about halfway through the race and finished second-to-last. After the race, he pulled the left leg of his shorts up above his thigh. The team initially said he’d suffered a cramp. Kerley was a 400-meter specialist who moved down in distance before last year’s Olympics. He won silver in Tokyo, then the gold in Eugene last Saturday as part of an American medals sweep that also included Marvin Bracy and Trayvon Bromell.

Charles Johnson, former Colorado, NFL receiver, dead at 50

RALEIGH. N.C. (AP) — Charles Johnson, the former Colorado receiver who won a Super Bowl title with New England in a nine-year NFL career, has died. He was 50. The university confirmed Johnson’s death Wednesday through Heritage High School, the Wake Forest school where he was an assistant athletic director. WNCN-TV in Raleigh reported Wednesday that police found a body in a hotel room Sunday during a welfare check at a Hampton Inn and Suites and that a preliminary investigation indicated no signs of foul play. Johnson was selected 17th overall by Pittsburgh in 1994 and played for the Steelers, Philadelphia, New England and Buffalo. At Colorado, Johnson was a freshman on the Buffaloes’ 1990 national championship team.