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Nets owner calls off effort to trade for Carmelo Anthony

Mikhail Prokhorov has told the team to stop trade talks, saying he's unhappy with how the negotiations have played out in public.

January 19, 2011|Wire reports
  • New Jersey owner Mikhail Prokhorov said at a press conference Wednesday that the Nets are no longer pursuing Denver's Carmelo Anthony.
New Jersey owner Mikhail Prokhorov said at a press conference Wednesday… (Jim O'Connor / U.S. Presswire )

The megadeal to bring Carmelo Anthony to the New Jersey Nets is dead.

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov told the team to end trade talks with the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, saying he was unhappy with how negotiations played out in public, that they took too long, got too expensive and cost the team games.

The Russian billionaire also canceled a planned meeting with Anthony on Thursday and said there was no chance the trade would be resurrected.

"There comes a time when the price is simply too expensive," Prokhorov said in a news conference before the Nets' game against Utah. "I have instructed our team to walk away from the deal."

New Jersey had offered to ship six players and at least two first-round draft picks to Denver in a three-team deal that would have sent Anthony to the Nets along with former Pistons teammates Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton.

Prokhorov decided Tuesday to end talks with the Nuggets, and General Manager Billy King said he informed them via a text message as Prokhorov was speaking Wednesday.

"Really, I am not happy with the way this deal has gone until now," Prokhorov said. "It has taken too long … and I believe it has cost us several games."

The Nets have lost six straight, including all four on a just-completed West Coast trip that ended at Golden State on Monday.

Prokhorov said the Nets received permission from Denver to talk with Anthony on Monday night, but he never spoke to the all-star forward.

Longhorns strike lucrative deal with ESPN

The University of Texas, which already has one of the wealthiest athletic programs in the country, is lining up for even more money.

Texas and ESPN announced a 20-year, $300-million deal for a 24-hour television channel that will broadcast Longhorns sports, including at least one football game and eight basketball games per season, plus other sports and academic content.

"We want to define what it means to be 'the' public university," Texas President William Powers said. "The challenge is to create new sources of revenue to support our mission."

The deal includes Texas' licensing and marketing partner IMG College, with more than 80% of revenue set to go to the university. It will not replace existing television deals between the Big 12 Conference and both ESPN-ABC and Fox.

ESPN will handle distribution of the unnamed channel via cable or satellite in Texas and other states, and it has already had preliminary conversations with Time Warner Cable and Comcast Corp.

The channel is scheduled to launch in September and will broadcast at least 200 Texas sporting events per year. Football will include at least one live broadcast and multiple replays from other networks, the annual spring football scrimmage and pregame and postgame coverage.

Steinbrenner ordered Soriano deal, Yankees' Cashman says

In a move mirroring those of his famous father, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner overruled General Manager Brian Cashman in giving a $35-million, three-year contract to Rafael Soriano.

Distancing himself from the decision after a news conference to introduce Mariano Rivera's new setup man, Cashman said he didn't think it was worth playing closer money for a pitcher the team plans to use in the eighth inning.

And the general manager didn't want to lose his first-round pick in June's amateur draft, which will go to Tampa Bay as compensation.

"I think it's certainly a sign that at times if Hal feels that he wants to go in a different direction, that could happen," Cashman said. "I think that's certainly the case. This is their team. Does that happen often? Will it happen a lot? I just think it depends on the circumstances."

Twins, Pavano agree on two-year contract

Carl Pavano and the Minnesota Twins agreed on a $16.5-million, two-year contract. The right-handed starter went 17-11 with a 3.75 earned-run average and seven complete games last season to help the Twins win the American League Central title.

Padres, Qualls agree to deal

The San Diego Padres and reliever Chad Qualls agreed to a $2.55-million, one-year contract. The Padres also agreed to a minor league deal with catcher Gregg Zaun that includes an invitation to spring training.

Qualls split last season between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Rays, going 3-4 with a 7.32 ERA in 70 appearances. He converted 12 saves in 16 opportunities for the Diamondbacks before he was traded to the Rays on July 31.

Armstrong brushes aside report

Lance Armstrong was content once again to avoid all the trouble in the Tour Down Under in Australia. He hasn't been nearly as fortunate when he gets off his bike.

The seven-time Tour de France winner missed three crashes in the final few miles to finish in the main pack during the second stage of the race, won by Britain's Ben Swift. Armstrong is 60th overall in what he has said will be his final international race.

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