In Brief | Sports


Rivers welcomes fresh start with LA Clippers

LOS ANGELES — Even Doc Rivers got weary of the two-week saga of his move to the Los Angeles Clippers. He thought the unusual deal was dead several times, and he insists he really didn’t mind the prospect of returning to the Boston Celtics.

“I felt like I was the only guy in all this that was in a win-win,” Rivers said.

The Clippers think they’ve got plenty of winning in store after landing one of the NBA’s most respected veteran coaches.

The Clippers formally introduced Rivers at their training complex Wednesday after dealing a first-round pick to the Celtics. Rivers was simply grateful to end his self-described “strange ordeal” ever since the Celtics floated the possibility of moving the NBA’s highest-paid coach to a talented team determined to replace Vinny Del Negro with a topflight leader.

Larry Bird returning to Pacers front office

INDIANAPOLIS — A year away from basketball has rejuvenated Larry Bird.

Now he wants to win a championship.

Bird, the former NBA star who left his job last season after rebuilding the Indiana Pacers and winning the league’s executive of the year award, will be reintroduced to the media Thursday morning as the president of basketball operations. That’s the same job Bird held from 2003-12.

“The year off gave me a chance to reflect, to rest, to take care of some health issues and it re-charged me,” Bird said in a statement issued by the team.

The move is hardly a surprise.

He reportedly met earlier this month with Sacramento about becoming that team’s general manager and had become a regular in recent weeks as the Pacers held public draft workouts, making his imminent return one of the worst kept secrets in Indy.

A-Rod, Cashman clear the air after uproar

NEW YORK — Brian Cashman wouldn’t change the message, just the way he delivered it.

On Wednesday, the Yankees general manager said he regretted using an expletive in reaction to Alex Rodriguez taking to Twitter to announce he’d been medically cleared to play in games — something Cashman still characterized as inaccurate.

“I think we’re both at fault,” said Cashman, adding that, “We want Alex back as soon as we possibly can. That’s not an issue.”

At issue was a violation of agreed-upon club protocol.

In the Yankees’ view, Rodriguez jumped the gun by proclaiming that Dr. Bryan Kelly, who performed his hip surgery in January, had provided “the green light to play games again!” as per Tuesday night’s tweet.

Kelly is no longer is supervising Rodriguez’s rehab.

And Cashman reacted angrily, telling ESPN New York, “When the Yankees want to announce something (we will). Alex should shut the (bleep) up.”

By Wednesday evening, Rodriguez and Cashman had concluded a 30-minute “constructive, healthy conversation” according to Yankees spokesman Jason Zillo. “Everyone is on the same page,” Zillo said. “We are all going to communicate and work together to get Alex back as quickly as possible … we’re all back on track.”

By wire sources