Tuesday's Sports In Brief


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Wearing his practice shorts and a sweatshirt, Kobe Bryant looked as if he was ready to return action.

After the Los Angeles Lakers signed the fourth-leading scoring in NBA history to a two-year contract extension, Bryant said he can't wait to play.

''The Lakers came up with the structure - a system and a plan they thought was a win-win for everybody involved. From my perspective, it was very easy to accept it,'' Bryant said.

In what he says will probably be his final contract, Bryant says there was no negotiation.

Bryant's new deal is reportedly worth $48.5 million, and it takes him into his 20th season with the Lakers.

He hasn't played this season while recovering from surgery in April on a torn Achilles tendon. He won't play on this three-game road trip, but he's looking forward to three practices in the four days off that precede Los Angeles' game in Sacramento on Dec. 6 as a possible return.

''Those three days when we get back are going to be huge,'' Bryant said. ''I need some more practices to measure it and test it.''

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Timberwolves finalized the trade that sends Derrick Williams to Sacramento for Luc Mbah a Moute.

Williams was the No. 2 overall draft pick in 2011. But he wasn't a good fit for Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman's system and had played sparingly through the first 16 games this season.



NEW YORK (AP) - Alex Rodriguez's lawyers updated his lawsuit against Major League Baseball and Bud Selig, adding new criticism of the commissioner for not testifying in the union's grievance to overturn the 211-game suspension given to the New York Yankees star last summer.

The lawyers filed a 33-page amended complaint in federal court in Manhattan, expanding on the suit originally filed Oct. 3 in New York Supreme Court.

NEW YORK (AP) - Four-time Cy Young Award winner Greg Maddux, two-time winner Tom Glavine and two-time AL MVP Frank Thomas are among 19 newcomers on this year's Hall of Fame ballot, joining steroid-tainted holdovers Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.

Mike Mussina, Hideo Nomo, Kenny Rogers, Jeff Kent, Moises Alou and Luis Gonzalez also are among the players eligible to be voted on for the first time by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

The 36-player ballot will include Armando Benitez, Sean Casey, Ray Durham, Eric Gagne, Jacque Jones, Todd Jones, Paul Lo Duca, Richie Sexson, J.T. Snow and Mike Timlin, the Hall said Tuesday.

Players elected along with choices announced Dec. 9 by the expansion era committee (1973 and later) will be inducted July 27 at Cooperstown.

NEW YORK (AP) - Representatives for free-agent second baseman Robinson Cano met with the New York Yankees, and the gap between the sides remains wide, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized. The person adds the sides may meet again Wednesday.

Cano, a five-time All-Star, was not at the session. His agents asked earlier this year for a 10-year deal worth in excess of a record $300 million, and the Yankees repeatedly have said they have no interest in a contract of that length or total.



INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Colts owner Jim Irsay issued a wake-up call to his team in a series of Twitter posts.

He called on Indianapolis to find a way to win the division title, accentuate the team's strengths, limit the weaknesses and ''get our heads out of r butts-WAKE UP!''

The comments came two days after the Colts lost 40-11 at Arizona. Two weeks earlier, St. Louis handed Indy its worst home loss in two decades, 38-8.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Aaron Rodgers is tossing the football around again for the Green Bay Packers. But don't expect to see him play when Green Bay visits Detroit in a critical NFC North game on Thursday.

Returning to practice for the first time since fracturing his left collarbone Nov. 4, Rodgers was mostly an unofficial assistant quarterback coach. He was formally declared ''limited'' on the injury report.

RENTON, Wash. (AP) - The Seattle Seahawks will go into their showdown against New Orleans on Monday night short-handed in the secondary after starting cornerback Walter Thurmond was officially suspended by the NFL for the team's next four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Eagles named quarterback Nick Foles their starter for the rest of the season.

Coach Chip Kelly made the announcement as the team returned from its bye week and began preparations for the Arizona Cardinals (7-4) on Sunday.

The Eagles (6-5) are tied for first place in the NFC East with the Dallas Cowboys.

''Nick will be our starter,'' Kelly said. ''And hopefully we get Mike (Vick) back through a full week of practice and he'll be able to be the No. 2 guy.''

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A man who has been the Kansas City Chiefs' mascot for more than two decades was in stable condition after being seriously injured this weekend while rehearsing a zip line routine at Arrowhead Stadium. His attorney said his injuries appear to be caused by human error.

Dan Meers, 46, has played the KC Wolf since the mascot's inception in 1989. He was seriously injured Saturday while practicing for Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers. No description of Meers' injuries was available, but a longtime friend said Meers suffered a serious back injury.

''The injuries appear to be related to the manner in which a third-party company secured the riggings,'' his attorney, Tim Dollar, said. ''However, an investigation is pending.''

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco hates his team's use of the wildcat formation, and he let everyone know just how much.

He wasn't happy with coach John Harbaugh's decision to employ backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor in the wildcat Sunday in an effort to enhance the Ravens' running attack against the New York Jets. Taylor took five snaps - running four times and throwing an incomplete pass - in addition to lining up as a receiver on seven other plays.

''I don't like that stuff,'' Flacco said. ''I think it makes you look like a high school offense. That's just my opinion.''



BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) - Florida Atlantic withdrew Carl Pelini's resignation as football coach and fired him instead, saying they had cause to do so because he failed to report certain conduct of a member of his staff.

The letter, dated Tuesday and sent to Pelini's home address by FAU Interim President Dennis Crudele, does not cite drug use as a reason for the firing.

Pelini resigned Oct. 30 after FAU athletic director Patrick Chun said Pelini and former defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis acknowledged using illegal drugs.



LAS VEGAS (AP) - O.J. Simpson faces at least four more years in prison after a judge rejected his bid for a new trial in his Las Vegas armed robbery and kidnapping conviction.

''All grounds in the petition lack merit and, consequently, are denied,'' Clark County District Judge Linda Marie Bell said in her ruling.

Simpson's lawyer Patricia Palm said she spoke briefly with the former football star from prison, and said he was disappointed but would appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court. Simpson's new defense team argued that his original lawyers botched his case.



BEAVER CREEK, Colo. (AP) - Lara Gut of Switzerland felt right at home on the new Beaver Creek downhill course, turning in the fastest training time in an event Lindsey Vonn elected to skip to rest her injured right knee.

Gut finished in a 1 minute, 43.42 seconds, 0.48 seconds faster than Anna Fenninger of Austria.