Magic offers $1 million if James does dunk contest
NEW YORK (AP) — Magic Johnson is giving LeBron James a million reasons to consider the slam dunk contest.
The Hall of Famer says Friday during ESPN’s pregame show that he will put up $1 million if James finally enters the marquee event of All-Star Saturday night.
James has always refused to enter the contest, but he’s recently been putting on a dunking show before Miami’s games, reigniting interest in seeing him take part.
Johnson says: “Please LeBron, get in the dunk contest. I’m going to put up a million dollars. A million dollars to LeBron. Please get in the dunk contest. I go every year. I want to see you out there. A million to the winner.”
The NBA currently pays $100,000 to the winner and $50,000 to the runner-up.
Clark captures 6th US Open halfpipe title
VAIL, Colo. (AP) — Kelly Clark has won her sixth halfpipe title at the U.S. Open snowboarding championships on Saturday, the most in the history of the competition.
Clark’s electric opening run earned a score of 84.45 points and she edged Hannah Teter by 2.32. Arielle Gold, an up-and-coming 16-year-old from Steamboat Springs, Colo., finished third.
The last rider of the competition, Clark had the win locked up, but didn’t hold back. She was in the middle of a thrilling run when she wiped out. Hardly missing a beat, she entertained the crowd with a few more tricks before gliding to a stop at the finish.
Clark is from Vermont, where the event was held for 30 years before relocating to Vail this season.
Earlier, Shaun White captured his fifth halfpipe title.
Spurs’ Parker out about a month with ankle sprain
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker will be out for about a month with a left ankle sprain.
Parker, the team’s leading assist man, injured the ankle in the third period of Friday night’s win over the Sacramento Kings.
The team announced Saturday afternoon that an MRI showed Parker had a Grade 2 left ankle sprain, and will be out for “approximately four weeks.”
The 30-year-old Parker closed out February averaging 26.1 points and 8.3 assists and had shot 54 percent from the field.
On Friday night, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Parker was “playing better than any other point guard in the league” this year, and that the team would miss him.
Trout’s contract renewed by Angels for $510,000
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels renewed the contract of AL Rookie of the Year Mike Trout for $510,000, prompting an angry response from the outfielder’s agent.
Craig Landis said his client was disappointed with the decision announced Saturday. The salary is $20,000 above the major league minimum.
“During the process, on behalf of Mike, I asked only that the Angels compensate Mike fairly for his historic 2012 season, given his service time,” Landis said in a statement. “In my opinion, this contract falls well short of a ‘fair’ contract and I have voiced this to the Angels throughout the process. Nonetheless, the renewal of Mike’s contract will put an end (to) this discussion.”
Trout has 1 year, 70 days of major league service and is likely to be eligible for arbitration after the 2014 season and for free agency after the 2017 World Series. Teams can renew the contracts of unsigned players on their 40-man rosters from March 2-11
“Mike, himself, does not wish to comment on this matter,” Landis said. “As when he learned he would not be the team’s primary center fielder for the upcoming season, Mike will put the disappointment behind him and focus on helping the Angels reach their goal of winning the 2013 World Series.”
Speedy Peter Bourjos is set to be the Angels’ primary center fielder, flanked by Trout in left and 2010 AL MVP Josh Hamilton in right.
Trout had a $482,500 salary last year, when he finished second to Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in AL MVP voting. Trout hit .326 with 30 homers and 83 RBIs, and led the majors with 129 runs and 49 steals.
He also earned a $10,000 bonus for winning Rookie of the Year.
Los Angeles also agreed to one-year deals with 21 players, including Bourjos and Mark Trumbo.
Gate placement a concern for NASCAR after crash
AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) — NASCAR will look at the placement of gates at its tracks after a Nationwide Series car crashed through the fence at Daytona and injured more than two dozen fans.
The fans were injured during the 12-car crash last Saturday when pieces of rookie Kyle Larson’s car ripped through the fence, including a section where a gate connects the grandstand and the track.
“I think because of where it came through and having pieces that did get through and it being a gate area, that’s really going to be the focus for us to look at,” Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s Senior Vice President, Racing Operations said Saturday from Phoenix International Raceway. “We’re certainly going to look at fencing in general, but I think that particular area, that it was a gate, did impact it. We know the gate was locked, but does that provide as much stability as the rest of the fencing we believed it did? We’ve now got to look at that impact.”
The crash occurred on the final lap of the Nationwide race the day before the Daytona 500, when leader Regan Smith tried to block Brad Keselowski and triggered a chain reaction. Larson’s car went airborne during the wreck and slammed into the fence, sending debris into the stands.
O’Donnell said two injured fans remain at the hospital, but everyone else has been released.
The crash has forced NASCAR to take a closer look at its safety measures, particularly fencing around its tracks.
O’Donnell said NASCAR mostly leaves fencing up to the individual tracks, but may look at being more involved, similar to what it did requiring impact-absorbing SAFER barriers along concrete walls.