NBA

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 being finalized.

– By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds.

GOLF

The Ryder Cup captaincy of Henrik Stenson lasted all of four months.

Ryder Cup Europe removed Stenson as captain for the 2023 matches – still 14 months away from being played in Italy – when the Swede decided to choose the guaranteed money of the Saudi-funded rival league over the Ryder Cup.

The European tour and PGA Tour have suspended players who signed up for LIV Golf, which is handing out massive signing bonuses to go along with its $25 million prize fund in eight tournaments that feature 54 holes and no cut.

The third LIV Golf event is next week at Trump National in New Jersey. Sky Sports was among the first to report Stenson is leaving the European tour for the rival league, a move he confirmed on Wednesday.

In addition to Stenson, LIV Golf announced that world No. 36 Jason Kokrak and Charles Howell III, both three-time winners on the PGA Tour, would play the event in Bedminster, New Jersey.

TRACK AND FIELD

EUGENE, Ore. (AP)Caster Semenya finished 13th and failed to advance in the women’s 5,000 meters Wednesday at the world championships, an expected result for the South African who is barred 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 race 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 blistering 91-degree (32 Celsius) afternoon, in 15 minutes, 46.12 seconds. That was 54 seconds behind the winner of the heat, Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia, and 53 seconds outside of the fifth and last automatic qualifying spot into the final.

ESPYS

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Detained WNBA star Brittney Griner was front and center at The ESPYS on Wednesday night.

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.

TENNIS

Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka is in need of a new coach.

Wim Fissette, who began working with Osaka shortly before the start of the 2020 season, wrote on Instagram on Wednesday that he and Osaka are ending their partnership.

Fissette coached Osaka to two of her major championships – at the 2020 U.S. Open and 2021 Australian Open.

He also previously worked with players such as Victoria Azarenka, Kim Clijsters, Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber. Those four, like Osaka, have won major titles and spent time at No. 1 in the WTA rankings.

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (AP) – World TeamTennis, the mixed-gender league co-founded nearly a half-century ago by Billie Jean King, will not have a season in 2022 but plans to return next year.

WTT announced Wednesday that it is hoping to add new teams by 2023. The expansion fee is $1 million per franchise.

The league held single-site seasons during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and 2021, and intends to return to matches played at teams’ home courts.

COURTS

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges pleaded not guilty Wednesday to felony domestic violence charges filed by Los Angeles County prosecutors after he was accused of assaulting his girlfriend in front of their two children.

District Attorney George Gascon announced Tuesday that his office filed one felony count of injuring a child’s parent and two felony counts of child abuse under circumstances or conditions likely to cause great bodily injury or death.

Bridges entered not guilty pleas during an arraignment, the DA’s office said.

Bridges was arrested on June 29 by Los Angeles police and was later released on $130,000 bond.

The Hornets and the NBA both said they were aware of the charges filed against Bridges.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) – Texas A&M receiver Ainias Smith was arrested early Wednesday on charges of driving while intoxicated, unlawful carrying of a weapon and possession of less than 2 ounces of marijuana, according to Brazos County jail records.

Smith, 21, was arrested by Texas A&M police and was booked into the Brazos County jail. He posted $8,000 bond and was released later Wednesday, according to jail records. The records did not indicate if he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

Smith has been suspended from the football team per athletic department policy following his arrest, according to Alan Cannon, a spokesman for Texas A&M. Cannon added that coach Jimbo Fisher was aware of the situation and looking into it.

OBITUARY

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Charles Johnson, the former Colorado receiver who won a Super Bowl title with New England in his 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 the 1994 draft. He spent five seasons with the Steelers, two with Philadelphia, helped New England win the Super Bowl in the 2001 season and ended his career with Buffalo in 2002.

In 133 career regular-season NFL games, Johnson had 354 receptions for 4,606 yards and 24 touchdowns.

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