Nets point guard Deron Williams during the second half of an NBA game against… (Darren Abate / Associated…)
Turkish basketball team Besiktas said it is close to reaching a deal with locked out NBA All-Star guard Deron Williams.
Besiktas Manager Murat Murtezaoglu told the Associated Press on Thursday that talks are under way with the New Jersey Nets player and U.S. Olympian.
Coach Ergin Ataman told the state-run Anatolia news agency that a deal was close. He also told the New York Times that an agreement had been reached.
Jeff Schwartz, Williams' agent, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
The Nets were not able to comment because the NBA has told teams not to talk about players during the lockout, which the owners initiated last week after the collective bargaining agreement expired.
Ataman said "our negotiations with this player are continuing. If he does come, it would be an even greater transfer than that of Allen Iverson."
Iverson, the NBA's most valuable player in 2001, joined Besiktas after no NBA team offered him a contract. His time in Besiktas was cut short because of an injury.
Quarterback Collins retires
Quarterback Kerry Collins announced his retirement after 16 years in the NFL. The 38-year-old said in a statement released by his agent that the last few months have brought "much introspection." He said he found he still wants to play but no longer is willing to commit to the preparation needed to do so.
Collins passed for 40,441 yards and 206 touchdowns in 195 career games. He was the fifth overall pick by the Carolina Panthers in the 1995 draft after playing at Penn State. He also played for the New Orleans Saints, New York Giants and Oakland Raiders.
NFL team owners and players' association leaders met for another long negotiating session in New York, hoping to end a lockout that has lasted more than 16 weeks. As Commissioner Roger Goodell and union chief DeMaurice Smith joined in the sixth set of recent talks between the sides, a regularly scheduled conference call involving players in a lawsuit against the league was planned, a person with knowledge of the situation told the Associated Press.
The person, who said the call was not related to Thursday's labor negotiations, spoke on condition of anonymity because the two sides are not announcing details of the talks. The pressure on both sides was turned up another notch by the New York attorney general's office, which this week launched an investigation into whether the lockout violates state antitrust laws. The players' lawsuit, filed in federal court in Minnesota, also is an antitrust case.
Busch wins truck series race
Kyle Busch picked up his fifth NASCAR truck series win of the season, roaring from the back row to win the 225-mile race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.
Busch was ordered to the rear of the field at the start of the race for missing driver introductions, but he had little trouble picking his way through traffic. He held off Parker Kligerman during a green-white-checkered finish and won by 0.302 of a second.
Top-seeded John Isner reached the semifinals of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships at Newport, R.I., with a 7-6 (5), 6-4 win over No. 5-seeded Alex Bogomolov. Isner had 21 aces — four in the tiebreak and three in the final game — and became the first top-seeded player to reach the semifinals at Newport since Andy Murray in 2006. Isner next faces eighth-seeded Tobias Kamke, who beat Edouard Roger-Vasselin, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3, in the other quarterfinal Thursday. … Juan Monaco and Juan Martin del Potro won their matches in straight sets, giving host Argentina a commanding 2-0 lead against Kazakhstan in the Davis Cup quarterfinals at Buenos Aires. Monaco defeated Andrey Golubev, 6-3, 6-0, 6-4, then Del Potro made short work of his first Davis Cup match in two years by beating Mikhail Kukushkin, 6-2, 6-1, 6-2. … Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic reached the Swedish Open semifinals after beating second-seeded Flavia Pennetta of Italy, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3, at Bastad, Sweden. Fourth-seeded Lourdes Dominquez Lino of Spain also lost, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 to Johanna Larsson of Sweden.
The Ducks signed veteran right wing Brian McGrattan to a two-way contract worth $600,000 in the NHL and $105,000 in the American Hockey League. McGrattan, 29, finished last season with the Ducks' Syracuse (N.Y.) farm team and is likely headed back there. He had six goals, 10 points and 56 penalty minutes in 20 games with Syracuse. In 182 NHL games he had three goals, 14 points and 395 penalty minutes. … The Philadelphia Flyers agreed to terms with right wing Wayne Simmonds on a multiyear contract extension. Simmonds, 22, was acquired from the Kings on June 23, along with center Brayden Schenn and a draft pick, for center Mike Richards.