Durant to return to Nets
Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets are staying together. A trade request that jolted the franchise and dominated NBA headlines has been removed. The Nets will return next season with their All-Star forward in uniform -- and with their championship hopes intact. The Nets said Tuesday that the team's leadership met a day earlier with Durant and business partner Rich Kleiman in Los Angeles and "agreed to move forward with our partnership," General Manager Sean Marks said in a statement. Marks attended the meeting along with Coach Steve Nash and owners Joe and Clara Wu Tsai. "We are focusing on basketball, with one collective goal in mind: build a lasting franchise to bring a championship to Brooklyn," Marks said. That is certainly more likely by keeping Durant, who remains one of the best scorers in the NBA. He is set to begin a four-year extension he signed last summer, and the possibility of him being traded had been the biggest story in the NBA this summer. It's unknown exactly why he sought a trade, which came at the end of a turbulent year in Brooklyn. A championship favorite before last season began, the Nets barely made the playoffs and then were bounced by Boston in four games in the first round. The Nets then refused to give a contract extension to Kyrie Irving, Durant's close friend, forcing him to pick up his option for next season, the final year of his deal. With Durant, the Nets can still be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. He averaged a franchise-record 29.9 points per game last season, and the Nets were bidding for the top spot in the East before he suffered a knee injury that sidelined him for 21 games. With Durant, Irving and Ben Simmons, who is expected to return after not playing for the Nets last season following his trade from Philadelphia, the Nets will have a top trio. Joe Harris also will be back after the two-time NBA leader in three-point percentage was limited to just 14 games because of left ankle surgery.
Fernando Tatis Jr. apologized privately to his San Diego Padres teammates for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug, then publicly expressed remorse for the 80-game suspension that will keep him off the field well into next season. "There's no other one to blame than myself," Tatis said Tuesday. "I'm really sorry for my mistakes. My dreams have turned into my worst nightmares." The star shortstop helped make baseball fun again in San Diego with a youthful swagger and flashy talent in his first three big league seasons. But his suspension just as he was about to return from a broken wrist has been a damper as the Padres scrap to hold onto a wild-card playoff spot, and has even led to some fans turning against him. "It's going to be a very long process to gain everybody's trust again, to gain that love back that I have stabbed straight to the heart," he said. Looking and sounding downcast, Tatis spoke in the Padres' dugout while sitting next to General Manager A.J. Preller. "Sorry fans, good baseball fans, and I'm learning. I'm maturing," he said.
Buehler has surgery
Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star pitcher Walker Buehler underwent Tommy John surgery for the second time in his career Tuesday, leaving Los Angeles to head into the postseason and likely next year without a key member of the rotation. The team disclosed earlier this month that the 28-year-old right-hander would be having season-ending elbow surgery. At that time, the team did not say Buehler would have the Tommy John surgery. The typical recovery time for the ligament-replacement procedure is 12 to 18 months. Buehler was 6-3 with a 4.02 ERA this season. He had 58 strikeouts in 65 innings pitched over 12 starts. He was shut down in June because of a flexor strain and also had a bone spur removed. The prognosis called for him to recover in 10 to 12 weeks, and the Dodgers were hopeful he would be back for the postseason.
New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton took live batting practice against Luis Severino on Tuesday afternoon. He also ran the bases.He then went out to the bullpen to track pitches. These were the final hurdles for Stanton before he can come off the injured list and rejoin the Yankees lineup. Barring any late setbacks on the off day today, Stanton, who was dealing with Achilles tendinitis, will play Thursday against the Oakland Athletics. "I said make sure we get through the rest of the day," Manager Aaron Boone said before Tuesday's game against the New York Mets. "Now he's going to go through and do outfield work and stuff during BP and assuming that goes right, I plan on him being activated for Thursday's game." In 80 games this season, Stanton is hitting .22 with an .807 OPS, 24 home runs and 61 RBI. Stanton said he occasionally still feels the tendinitis in the mornings when he wakes up, but it's manageable for the rest of the season. Since he went on the injured list July 24, the Yankees have gone 10-17.
Angels for sale?
Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno said Tuesday he is exploring the possibility of selling the franchise, a move that surprised superstar slugger Mike Trout. Moreno purchased the team for $184 million in 2003, a year after it won its first World Series championship. The club was then known as the Anaheim Angels, a name that Moreno changed in a move that drew ire in the Orange County city. The Angels haven't made the postseason since 2014 and they haven't had a winning season since 2015, even with the likes of Trout and Shohei Ohtani. "I'm still trying to process it," Trout said before the Angels played at Tampa Bay on Tuesday night. "Looking back, I've been here my whole career. Had some great times with Arte. He took care of me, my family. I appreciate all he has done for me. I guess he's moving on." Moreno, a 76-year-old Mexican-American born in Arizona, is the only non-white controlling owner in Major League Baseball. The Angels are the second MLB team currently for sale, joining the Washington Nationals. Longtime Angels fans were on board with Moreno early in his tenure as the team won five division championships. But the current state of the moribund franchise has hurt attendance and turned off many supporters, who at times have been vocal about wanting Moreno out as owner.
Sofia Kenin advanced to the quarterfinals of a WTA event for the first time since January, beating Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3, 6-2 at Tennis in The Land in Cleveland on Monday night. Kenin, the 2020 Australian Open champion, had lost eight straight matches prior to receiving a wild-card entry into the U.S. Open tuneup in downtown Cleveland. She beat qualifier Dalayna Hewitt in the first round. The 23-year-old American converted all four break points against the fifth-seeded Begu, continuing her comeback from a series of injuries that have plagued her since claiming the title in Melbourne. Seventh-seeded Aliaksandra Sasnovich rallied past Sara Sorribes Tormo 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, and eighth-seeded Alize Cornet defeated Clara Tauson 6-3, 7-6 (1) in other round-of-16 matches.