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08.11.2019 04:32
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Vivek Ranadive has made a fortune in the software industry by betting on the right people. The new owner of the Sacramento Kings is now betting big on DeMarcus Cousins. The Kings signed Cousins to a four-year maximum contract extension worth a reported $62 million Monday, saying the 23-year-old centre is the foundation the franchise will build on to lead a struggling team into a new era. Sacramento hasnt had a winning season since 2006, but the new Kings management is comfortable investing in a player considered one of the NBAs best young big men but who also has drawn multiple suspensions from both the team and the league for his behaviour. "From my perspective, it isnt really that much of a leap of faith," said Ranadive, whose purchase of the team from the Maloof family was approved by the NBA in May. "Im just doing what I do in my business every day, just betting on the best. And he represents the best." The fifth overall selection of the 2010 NBA draft, Cousins led the Kings last season with averages of 17.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.4 steals and also averaged 2.7 assists. He ranked ninth among the leagues leading rebounders. But the Kings once again finished among the worst teams in the Western Conference at 28-54, Sacramentos fifth consecutive season with fewer than 30 victories, and Cousins was reprimanded several times for his conduct. The 6-foot-11 veteran said those problems are behind him and he accepts the accountability that comes with his lucrative new deal. "Ive got big shoulders, so I can handle that," Cousins said. "I consider myself a leader on this team, so I take all the responsibility that comes with it. Ive had pressure from the beginning, so I dont have a problem with it. I was doing it in the beginning, so I definitely dont have a problem doing it now." Cousins tumultuous 2012-13 season was marked by several incidents during which his behaviour and discipline came into question. Cousins was suspended one game by the Kings on Dec. 22 for "unprofessional behaviour and conduct detrimental to the team" after an incident involving then-coach Keith Smart in the locker room during a loss at the Los Angeles Clippers. He was suspended by the NBA for one game without pay for striking O.J. Mayo in the groin during a loss at Dallas on Dec. 10. Following a loss at San Antonio on Nov. 9, the league suspended Cousins two games without pay for confronting Spurs announcer Sean Elliott in a "hostile manner." But Ranadive began his push to make Cousins a centerpiece of Sacramentos future as soon as he became owner. The Kings had until Oct. 31 to come to terms on an extension to prevent Cousins from becoming a restricted free agent next summer. "I consulted people way smarter than myself and there was never a doubt in my mind that he was going to be the foundation of this franchise moving forward," Ranadive said. "People have said a lot of things about DeMarcus, but hes a fine young man. I think of DeMarcus as really the prototypical, 21st century player. Hes one of the most talented big men in the business and has an understanding of the game that is truly unique." Cousins already is working on improving his image. He will donate $1 million from his new deal to "the families and community of Sacramento," he said. Cousins also will donate money to several organizations launched by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. "Thats something I have to get better at," Cousins said. "I mean, Im the type of guy, if I know you dont like me, Im not going to just be able to smile in your face and say everything is cool. But Im blessed to be in this situation, I believe in this organization and Im glad they gave me this chance to prove it to them and this team." The Kings will begin their first training camp under a new regime that includes coach Michael Malone and general manager Pete DAlessandro with their first practice Tuesday morning on the UC Santa Barbara campus. The team will train there for a week before it begins the preseason Oct. 7 against the Golden State Warriors. The signing of Cousins came hours before the Kings annual media day at the teams practice facility in Sacramento. With a new downtown arena set to open in 2016, and NBA great Shaquille ONeal now on board as a minority owner and new mentor for Cousins, Ranadive said Cousins new deal is the latest example of the teams recent progress. "Its a good day for the new-era Sacramento Kings," he said. "We always knew this is where we were heading, so we are exactly where we want to be. Now we head off to training camp, and weve tied a bow on this (deal) and were excited to move forward." Cheap Air Max For Sale . Napoli hit two home runs, Jonny Gomes and prized rookie Xander Bogaerts also connected, and the Red Sox kept up their dizzying scoring spree at Yankee Stadium by bashing New York 13-9 Saturday for a fifth straight win. Air Max Sale . Seth Smith hit a towering drive for a tying homer leading off the eighth and Chris Denorfia singled home two runs to give the Padres a 3-1 victory against the rival Dodgers in baseballs North American opener Sunday night. Johan Franzen had two goals and two assists, Gustav Nyquist a goal and three assists and David Legwand a goal and two assists in the Red Wings 7-4 win over the New Jersey Devils. Air Max From China .Murray has played 20 matches in five weeks, winning three titles to climb to fifth in the ATP Race.The two-time Grand Slam champion also seeks to qualify for next months ATP World Tour Finals.Murray said: I always wanted to qualify for it, but also I want to get back into the top 8 players in the world and it makes a huge difference for seedings in the major events. Cheap Real Air Max .Y. - Major League Soccers independent review panel has taken back the fine and one-game suspension it placed on Toronto FC forward Luke Moore earlier this week.LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Four months after Chael Sonnens performance-enhancing drug use got him kicked out of the octagon and off television, the ex-UFC middleweight is getting another chance to tell the world about his sport.Sonnen has joined ESPN as a mixed martial arts analyst, returning to broadcast media after he was fired by Fox and suspended from fighting by the Nevada Athletic Commission during the summer.I love to break down fights, Sonnen told The Associated Press. I love to watch them. The fact that ESPN will allow me to do that on the air in a fancy suit and call it a job, its what I would be doing at home anyway.Sonnen was dropped by the UFCs official broadcast partner last summer after he failed two drug tests in three weeks, leading to his retirement from fighting.Although Sonnen said he voluntarily walked away from Fox to avoid further drama for the network, the loquacious former fighter is eager to get back on the air with studio commentary and on-site analysis for ESPN.I had stubbed my toe pretty bad, Sonnen said. I knew it, and I was willing just to take my medicine and go away. But when the phone call (from ESPN) came in, I was very quick to answer.Sonnen will debut Friday with commentary on ESPNs coverage of UFC 180. He will appear regularly on SportsCenter and other network platforms, and he said he wont ignore his drug-tainted past while discussing the sports future stars.I wouldnt shy away from a topic, even if its one that brought me shame, Sonnen said. There are topics like that, and there are opponents Im going to have to cover that have also embarrassed themselves, but thats part of the sport, man. I cherish those moments.Sonnen did his first major broadcasting work with ESPN in 2010, and senior co-ordinating producer Glenn Jacobs said the network wasnt concerned by Sonnens checkered history or his unceremonious departure from Fox.We know Chael has made some mistakes in the past, Jacobs told the AP. Hes been honest. Hes been up-front about it. He has paid for the mistakes that he has made, and hes moving forward. ... The insights that he has on the sport and the ways he sees it, our ffans are going to be so much better from watching him on the air.dddddddddddd Theyre going to be able to watch the fight and look for totally different things than they would have otherwise.Before his two careers disintegrated, Sonnen was one of MMAs most prominent voices as a host of Fox Sports 1s UFC Tonight show and a talented fighter known as much for his prodigious trash-talking skills as his vaunted wrestling. He lost three UFC title fights during a largely successful career as the self-styled American gangster from West Linn, Oregon.Sonnen realizes he destroyed much of his goodwill with three failed drug tests in the last five years. He sounds more contrite about his decisions than he did immediately after he was caught last summer, although he still claims his downfall was partly a failure to understand the World Anti-Doping Agencys rules.I am for clean sport, Sonnen said. The rules have changed during my career. The rules have changed during this year, which landed me in a tough spot because I didnt change with them. But the reality is, the rules are good, and to have clean sport is good.There are times when you can turn to science and medicine, and that looks like a pretty seductive route. But if I had to choose one of the two, I would not choose the side that I was on. I would support the other side. We need clean sport, and weve got to follow the rules, and thats it. I accept the consequences.The 37-year-old Sonnen confirmed he has no plans to resume fighting when his suspension ends in 2016, although he has taken a renewed interest in jiu-jitsu in recent months. The former University of Oregon wrestler trains at a gym near his home — and he even entertains dreams of yet another career.Ive considered trying out for the 2016 Olympic team in Greco-Roman wrestling, Sonnen said. My goals would be different. I would not make the team, but I think I could be one of the guys. I could be right in there, top four or five. Give me a good opportunity to train and be active and still be a part of something while my body is still holding up. But no, Im done with competitive mixed martial arts. ' ' '

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