Michael Phelps removes his cap after winning in the men's 100-meter… (Kim White / Reuters )
Michael Phelps continued his inconsistent year Friday, easily winning the 100-meter butterfly but finishing second in the 100 freestyle at the Santa Clara International Grand Prix.
The 14-time Olympic gold medalist and world record holder handled the competition in the butterfly. Australia's Nicholas D'Arcy was second and Davis Tarwater third.
"The fly, I felt good. I was able to connect my stroke a little bit more and get my hips into it," Phelps said. "At the end of the day, I was kind of bummed about the finish. I thought I was kind of long on the finish. But it's a good time. I can't really complain. I feel like I had a lot of pop on the first 50 than I did earlier in the year. So I think that's a lot better."
The strong showing in one of Phelps' signature events was outshined only by a slow start in his only other race of the night.
Phelps nearly chased down Park Tae-hwan of South Korea in the 100 free before finishing a close second.
Santa Clara is the last stop on USA Swimming's grand prix series and the final tuneup for next month's world championships in Shanghai.
The 100 free was not one of the events Phelps raced in route to a record eight gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The addition is one of a few small changes Phelps is trying to make as he grows older — at least by swimming standards. He turns 26 at the end of the month.
Phelps will compete in two other events this weekend: the 200-meter backstroke Saturday and the 200-meter butterfly Sunday.
Eleven-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin won the women's 100 free in 54.1 seconds, but was disqualified for staying underwater too long. Melissa Franklin was awarded first with a time of 54.33 seconds.
Ricky Rubio looks forward to playing for Timberwolves
Ricky Rubio is making his long-awaited move to the NBA, and will join the Minnesota Timberwolves next season, he announced at a news conference in Barcelona.
The highly touted 20-year-old Spanish guard ended two years of speculation Friday, saying "I have finally decided to start the journey" to the NBA.
"It is my dream and I want to fulfill it," he said. "After thinking about it a lot, the time has arrived."
The Timberwolves chose Rubio with the No. 5 pick in the 2009 NBA draft, but his $6 million buyout clause at Barcelona — of which an NBA team could pay only $500,000 under league rules — made him stay in Spain until it came down to a more manageable $1.4 million.
Since his debut in the Spanish league with Joventut when he was 14, Rubio has won numerous titles in Europe and also helped Spain reach the 2008 Olympic final, a loss to the United States.
"I think all that I have won here gives me strength to go," Rubio said.
But Rubio is coming off perhaps the most disappointing season of his career. His dropped to 6.5 points per game and even lost his starting spot on the Barcelona team.
The Timberwolves also have the second pick in next week's draft and they should be able to add another skilled player to help make Rubio's transition easier.
NBA owners give some ground in talks
NBA owners have relaxed their insistence on non-guaranteed contracts in a new collective bargaining agreement, but players cautioned that isn't enough because the league is still seeking a hard salary cap.
Even so, the proposal Friday by the owners during a 41/2-hour meeting was perhaps their most significant movement yet as the sides try to agree to a new deal before the current one expires June 30.
The sides will meet again Tuesday.
Former Westchester High basketball standout Dwayne Polee will transfer to San Diego State. He played last season as a freshman at St. John's.
— Eric Sondheimer
Jaromir Jagr considers a return to NHL
Former NHL All-Star Jaromir Jagr confirmed to ESPN.com that he is considering a return to the league next season. The 39-year-old has spent the past three seasons playing with Avangard Omsk in Russia's KHL, but said he'd return if there was an NHL team willing to take him.
The NHL's Minnesota Wild said it has hired 37-year-old Mike Yeo to coach the team, and the Dallas Stars announced they have hired Glen Gulutzan, 39, as their head coach.
Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. was a no-show for a court-ordered deposition in Las Vegas on Friday in a federal lawsuit alleging he defamed rival fighter Manny Pacquiao, Pacquiao's lawyer said.
Attorney Daniel Petrocelli said Mayweather violated a court order by not appearing to answer questions about repeatedly saying Pacquiao has used performance-enhancing drugs. Petrocelli said he plans to ask a federal judge to rule in Pacquiao's favor as a result.