Director unanimously ousted by the players’ union
HOUSTON – Billy Hunter unanimously was ousted as executive director of the union by NBA players who said Saturday they will “no longer be divided, misled, misinformed.”
Players’ association president Derek Fisher said it was a day of change for the union, which has seemed inevitable since a review of the union last month was critical of Hunter’s leadership and urged players to consider whether they wanted to keep him.
Fisher said a new executive committee was elected, and he will remain as president. The Spurs’ Matt Bonner is vice president, Miami’s James Jones is secretary-treasurer, and the Nets’ Jerry Stackhouse is the first vice president. The Clippers’ Chris Paul, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Denver’s Andre Iguodala, the Hornets’ Roger Mason, Jr. and the Clippers’ Willie Green are vice presidents.
Harvick wins Speedweeks opener before Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Kevin Harvick won the exhibition Sprint Unlimited race by dominating the final two segments of Saturday night’s Speedweeks opener.
It was Harvick’s third win in the last five years in the nonpoints race at Daytona International Speedway. He held off challenges from Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle on the final lap to win in his Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.
It’s a strong opener for what’s going to be Harvick’s final year with RCR. He’s already signed on to drive for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014.
Biffle finished second, and Joey Logano was third in his Penske Racing debut. Stewart was fourth and Matt Kenseth fifth in his Joe Gibbs Racing debut.
Patrick turns the fastest laps in Daytona 500 practice
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – If two practices are any indication, Danica Patrick is a solid candidate to win the pole position for the Daytona 500.
Patrick turned the fastest lap Saturday in a pair of practice sessions focused solely on qualifying for the Daytona 500. She went 196.220 mph around Daytona International Speedway in the second practice session and said she’s eyeing the top starting spot in “The Great American Race.”
The front row for the Feb. 24 season-opening Daytona 500 will be set in Sunday’s time trials. The rest of the field will be set next Thursday after a pair of qualifying races.
Tour de France runner-up wins the Tour of Oman
MUSCAT, Oman – Tour de France runner-up Christopher Froome won the Tour of Oman on Saturday, holding off Alberto Contador and Cadel Evans to claim his first stage-race victory.
Froome, a Team Sky rider who grabbed the lead after the fourth stage, protected his 27-second lead over Contador, the two-time Tour de France winner who rides for Team Saxo.
Evans, the 2011 Tour winner, was 39 seconds back in third.
French national champion Nacer Bouhanni won the 89.5-mile sixth stage, which started in Hawit Nagam Park southeast of the capital, in 3 hours, 24 minutes, 20 seconds.
Without Olympic wrestling, wrestling president resigns
PHUKET, Thailand – The president of the international wrestling federation quit Saturday in the wake of the IOC’s decision to remove the sport from the 2020 Olympics.
Raphael Martinetti’s resignation was announced at the FILA executive committee meeting in Phuket. The Swiss had been in the position since 2002.
FILA member Nenad Lalovic will serve as interim president.
On Tuesday, the executive board of the IOC dumped wrestling from the list of sports guaranteed a berth in future Summer Olympics, meaning it must compete with other fringe sports for a spot on the program.