Compiled from wire reports
Kings give Cousins 4-year extension
•?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 center is the foundation the franchise will build on to lead a struggling team into a new era.
Sacramento hasn’t had a winning season since 2006, but the new Kings management is comfortable investing in a player considered one of the NBA’s best young big men but who also has drawn multiple suspensions from both the team and the league for his behavior.
•?The 2016 NBA All-Star game is heading to Toronto, and the Raptors are looking to one of the music industry’s biggest stars to help revamp the franchise in time for the festivities. NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver made the announcement Monday, marking the first time Toronto will hold the league’s annual showcase. Canadian rap star Drake and Mayor Rob Ford were among those at the news conference. The Raptors also announced that Drake will be their “global ambassador” and have a voice in the team’s rebranding. Tim Lieweke, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, said the team is in the process of planning a major face-lift that will include a new look and new colors. Drake will be heavily involved in the effort, which is expected to take the next two seasons.
Azarenka knocked out in first round
•?Defending champion Victoria Azarenka was knocked out in the first round of the China Open on Monday in Beijing, losing 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 to Andrea Petkovic. The second-ranked Azarenka double-faulted 15 times and was broken five times by Petkovic, who reached the final here in 2011. It was the second tournament in row in which Azarenka lost her first match, having been beaten by Venus Williams in Tokyo last week.
Penguins’ Vokoun, Letang put on list
•?The Pittsburgh Penguins placed defenseman Kris Letang and goalie Tomas Vokoun on the injured list and sent forward Beau Bennett to the minors on Monday. Letang will be out at least until Friday with what coach Dan Bylsma called a lower-body injury. The Norris Trophy finalist went down in practice last Friday and was re-evaluated in Pittsburgh on Monday. Vokoun is out indefinitely due to blood clots discovered in his pelvic region two weeks ago. Bennett, who impressed Bylsma during the preseason, was sent to Wheeling of the ECHL. He will likely be recalled to Pittsburgh before the season opener against New Jersey on Thursday.
Florida’s Easley will enter NFL draft
•?Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley, who sustained a season-ending knee injury last week, will enter the NFL draft. The 6-foot-2, 285-pound senior from Staten Island, N.Y., could apply for a medical redshirt and receive another year of eligibility. But coach Will Muschamp says Easley “is definitely going to the NFL next year.” Easley, one of the most disruptive linemen in the Southeastern Conference, tore the anterior cruciate ligament and medial meniscus in his right knee during practice last Tuesday. He tore the ACL in his left knee in November 2011.
— From wire reports