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Monday's Sports in Brief

Monday's Sports in Brief

SEATTLE (AP) Nearly five years after their colors, banners and history were packed away into storage and their franchise relocated, the SuperSonics are one significant step closer to returning to Seattle.

And the Kings are on the verge of leaving Sacramento.

All that appears to stand in the way now is approval by NBA owners.

The Maloof family has agreed to sell the Kings to a Seattle group led by investor Chris Hansen, the league confirmed in a statement Monday morning. The deal is pending a vote by the NBA Board of Governors.

A person familiar with the decision said that Hansen's group will buy 65 percent of the franchise, which is valued at $525 million, and move the team to Seattle and restore the SuperSonics name. The deal will cost the Hansen group a little more than $340 million. The Maloofs will have no stake in the team.

CLEVELAND (AP) - Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao will miss the rest of the season because of a blood clot in his lung.

The team said that he is expected to fully recover but will need to take blood thinners for about three months. Varejao has been in the hospital since Thursday and will likely remain there for several more days of treatment.

The 6-foot-11 Brazilian was averaging career highs of 14.1 points and 14.4 rebounds this season

COLLEGES

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) - Two former Miami assistant coaches have been told they will be charged with ``unethical conduct'' when the NCAA presents the Hurricanes' athletic department with its notice of allegations, two people familiar with the situation said.

The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the NCAA or Miami has announced the contents of the long-awaited letter, which the Hurricanes may receive at any time. The people say the coaches will be cited for violating NCAA bylaw 10.1, a broad rule that covers conduct and cooperating with investigations. One of the coaches has been told to expect arrival of an actual copy of the allegations on Tuesday, one person told the AP.

Parties who are named in the notice of allegations are entitled to a copy, though it is unclear if all will receive the letter simultaneous to its delivery at Miami. It's unknown how many current and former coaches and staff members will be charged with wrongdoing.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Community residents have scheduled a vigil Tuesday to remember former Penn State coach Joe Paterno a year after his death.

A family spokesman says the family won't be involved and intends to remain in privacy. Paterno died of lung cancer on Jan. 22, 2012, at age 85, two months after being fired by the school in the aftermath of the child sex abuse scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

PRO FOOTBALL

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning will get a chance to be teammates after all - at Sunday's Pro Bowl.

Luck earned his way to the game when New England's Tom Brady pulled out with an undisclosed injury.

He'll be joined by teammates Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis in Hawaii and Manning, the quarterback who preceded Luck in Indy.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - Tom Brady's foot-up slide in the AFC championship game did not sit well with Baltimore Ravens strong safety Bernard Pollard.

During the final minute of the first half, Brady slid to the ground to end of an impromptu run. The quarterback's upraised leg hit onrushing Ravens free safety Ed Reed, who emerged from the play without injury.

But Pollard believes Brady should be disciplined by the NFL, which levies fines on defensive players for helmet-to-helmet hits.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Former Browns coach Pat Shurmur is joining Chip Kelly's staff with the Philadelphia Eagles, a person familiar with the hiring told The Associated Press on Monday.

Shurmur is expected to be Philadelphia's offensive coordinator, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the Eagles haven't announced any coaching moves.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - Jim Caldwell will remain the Baltimore Ravens' offensive coordinator next season.

Caldwell moved from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator on Dec. 9 after coach John Harbaugh fired Cam Cameron.

With Caldwell directing the offense, the Ravens have won three straight playoff games to advance to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 2000 season. This is the first time Caldwell has ever served as an offensive coordinator at any level

TENNIS

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Maria Sharapova continued her dominating form at the Australian Open with a straight-set win over Ekatrina Makarova on Tuesday, conceding only nine games in five matches en route to a semifinal against Li Na.

No. 2-ranked Sharapova had a 6-2, 6-2 quarterfinal win over fellow Russian Makarova on Rod Laver Arena and has spent just 5 hours, 15 minutes on court so far in the tournament.

After opening with pair of 6-0, 6-0 wins, Sharapova trounced seven-time major winner Venus Williams 6-1, 6-3 in the third round and Belgian Kristen Flipkens 6-0, 6-1 in the fourth. Nobody has conceded fewer games on the way to the semifinals at the Australian Open.

The 30-year-old Li advanced to her third semifinal in four years at Melbourne Park with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Agnieszka Radwanska, ending the Pole's 13-match winning streak.

In the men's bracket, No. 4-seeded David Ferrer survived a match point the third set and two more in the fourth when No. 10 Nicolas Almagro was serving for the match, holding firm to finally advanced to his fourth semifinal in six Grand Slam events with a 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4), 6-2 win Tuesday.

CYCLING

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - Oprah Winfrey believes Lance Armstrong can be a hero again.

And she thinks people will be willing to forgive him.

Winfrey said that the hardest thing Armstrong has done in his life is confess in an interview with her last week that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win his seven Tour de France titles.

``If he is willing to do the work ... he can be a real hero,'' Winfrey said during a lecture in Edmonton, the first stop on a speaking tour through Western Canada.

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - Baseball players urged that Marvin Miller be put in the Hall of Fame as they spoke during a memorial for the union leader.

In an auditorium filled with Hall of Famers, dozens of retired and current players, baseball officials, agents and labor lawyers, 13 speakers praised the former baseball union head, who helped players gain free agency in the 1970s and created the path to multimillion-dollar salaries. Miller died in November at 95.

``It is a travesty he is not in the Hall of Fame,'' former major league player and manager Buck Martinez said during the two-hour program.

SOCCER

CARSON, Calif. (AP) - Landon Donovan will return to the Los Angeles Galaxy for the upcoming MLS season, but exactly when he resumes playing hasn't been decided yet.

Donovan wasn't at the team's first practice on Monday, when coach Bruce Arena said the Galaxy captain has been given more time off.

Arena says Donovan is ``definitely playing this year.''

AUTO RACING

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - Texas Motor Speedway will offer some frontstretch tickets at its lowest prices in 15 years for NASCAR Sprint Cup races at the track.

The track will offer about 8,000 frontstretch seats for $49 for each of its two Cup races, and has lowered prices on about 7,400 other seats.

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Three reasons why it made sense for Ravens to add LT Long

Three reasons why it made sense for Ravens to add LT Long

Jake Long was once a premier left tackle in the NFL, but he is projected to be Ronnie Stanley’s backup after agreeing to a one-year deal with the Ravens.

Here are three reasons why the Ravens felt they needed to sign Long, who will join the team for Thursday’s first full-team practice pending the outcome of his physical:

1. The Ravens needed insurance in case Stanley is injured or struggles.

Early reviews on Stanley have been good. But we’ll learn more about Stanley as he faces veterans on a consistent basis during training camp and the preseason.

The Ravens relied on James Hurst as their backup left tackle the past two seasons, but they wanted more security. Even after recent knee injuries, Long is simply more talented than Hurst.

2. Long can be a veteran mentor for Stanley.

As the first overall pick in the 2008 draft, Long knows the pressure and expectations Stanley is dealing with. When Stanley has questions, Long will be a go-to guy.

3. With quarterback Joe Flacco returning from a serious knee injury, the Ravens can’t take chances protecting his blindside.

If Flacco suffers another season-ending injury, all the talent upgrades they made this offseason won’t matter.

There’s a chance Flacco’s mobility may be hindered, especially early in the season. Adding Long makes the Ravens feel more confident about keeping Flacco healthy.

RELATED: FIVE QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE TRAINING CAMP STARTS

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Five questions to ask as Ravens open training camp

Five questions to ask as Ravens open training camp

Veterans report to Ravens training camp Wednesday, with the first full-squad practice Thursday morning. Here are five questions to ask as the Ravens try to bounce back from a 5-11 season.

1. Does the influx of new talent make the Ravens playoff contenders again?

The Ravens were more aggressive early in free agency than usual, signing safety Eric Weddle, wide receiver Mike Wallace, and tight end Ben Watson. Then they loaded up on young talent with 11 draft picks, including left tackle Ronnie Stanley who is expected to start, linebacker Kamalei Correa who should see significant playing time, and running back Kenneth Dixon who has intriguing potential. The Ravens are a better football team, but I still question if they’re good enough to make the playoffs.  In order to make the postseason, the Ravens simply must get significant contributions from a host of new players.  

2. Is quarterback Joe Flacco ready to have a stellar season coming off knee surgery?

It’s a great sign that Flacco is ready for camp. His reps may be monitored early in camp and his preseason playing time figures to be limited. But when the regular season begins, the Ravens will need Flacco to have a solid season, maybe his best for the Ravens to make the playoffs. If Flacco has any lingering doubt about how his knee will hold up, those doubts need to be erased between now and Week 1.

3. How will key players on PUP perform once they return?

Four players currently on the PUP list are expected to play crucial roles – wide receivers Steve Smith Sr. and Breshad Perriman, and linebackers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil. Smith is 37 years old, Suggs is 33, Dumervil is 32, and Perriman has yet to play an NFL down due to knee injuries. The Ravens’ playoff prospects are better if they can squeeze another quality year out of their injured vets, and if Perriman finally plays.

4. Who starts at inside linebacker next to C. J. Mosley?

That could be the biggest question mark in the starting lineup. The Ravens are deep at running back and tight end, so who starts doesn’t matter as much. But the release of veteran Daryl Smith, now with the Buccaneers, leaves a void at inside linebacker. Zach Orr has the inside track to start, Arthur Brown is getting one more chance, and Correa could be moved inside. But if none of those players rise up, general manager Ozzie Newsome could be forced to sign a veteran.

5. How will the new-look left side of the offensive line gel?

Stanley is a rookie left tackle. They’ll be a new starter at left guard, as John Urschel, Ryan Jensen, and perhaps rookie Alex Lewis battle to replace Kelechi Osemele, who was lost to the Raiders in free agency. It’s not surprising the Ravens felt they needed to sign veteran left tackle Jake Long as insurance.  To protect Flacco and run the ball effectively, the new-look left side of the offensive line must play well.

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Report: Boldin to sign with Lions

Report: Boldin to sign with Lions

Former Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin is back for a 14th season.

Boldin, who turns 36 in October, will sign a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. In Detroit, Boldin will be reunited with Lions coach Jim Caldwell, who became the Ravens offensive coordinator during their run to the Super Bowl in the 2012 season.

The Lions had a major void at wide receiver with All-Pro Calvin Johnson's retirement.

RELATED: RAVENS AGREE TO ONE-YEAR DEAL WITH OL JAKE LONG

A former second-round draft pick, Boldin spent seven seasons with the Cardinals before the Ravens traded for him in 2010. In three seasons with the Ravens, Boldin averaged 62 catches and 882 yards. He came up huge in the 2012 playoff run, with a team-best 22 catches for 380 yards and four touchdowns. He had six catches for 104 yards and a touchdown in the Super Bowl win over the 49ers.

After that Super Bowl run, though, Boldin was traded to the 49ers for a sixth-round draft pick. Boldin led the 49ers in catches and receiving yards in each of the past three years. He had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with the 49ers in 2013 and 2014, leading many to question the Ravens decision to trade him. Last season, Boldin led the 49ers with 69 catches for 789 yards.

Boldin enters this season ranked 17th in NFL history with 13,195 receiving yards. One of the few players ahead of him is current Ravens receiver Steve Smith Sr., who ranks 11th (13,392). Boldin last season became the 13th player in NFL history with 1,000 career receptions and now has 1,009. Smith, incidentally, needs 39 catches this season join Boldin in the 1,000-catch club.

MORE RAVENS: RETURNING PUNTS KEY FOR 3 RAVENS WR'S ON BUBBLE