Former Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce and longtime player, coach and broadcaster Doug Collins lead the first-time nominees announced Tuesday for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2021.

Also making their debut as candidates are Michael Cooper, Howard Garfinkel, Lou Henson, Val Ackerman, Yolanda Griffith and Lauren Jackson. Finalists are scheduled to be announced at NBA All-Star Weekend in February, and those elected would be unveiled at the NCAA Final Four.

The Class of 2021 Enshrinement ceremony is scheduled to take place in Springfield next September. The Class of 2020 ceremony, headlined by Lakers star Kobe Bryant, was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and has been rescheduled for May 13-15 in Uncasville, Conn.

WNBA: The Los Angeles Sparks extended Coach Derek Fisher’s contract and appointed him the team’s general manager.

Fisher has guided the Sparks to a 37-19 record in his two years with the team and Los Angeles has reached the postseason both years. Five of the 12 teams in the league have a coach also serving as the franchise’s general manager.


MLB: The New York Mets and Noah Syndergaard agreed to a $9.7 million, one-year contract for next season, when the injured right-hander hopes to return from Tommy John surgery.

Syndergaard had reconstructive right elbow surgery in March, shortly after spring training was suspended by Major League Baseball because of the coronavirus. He missed the entire regular season but should be on track to return in the middle of the 2021 season.


NHL: Edmonton defenseman Oscar Klefbom will miss the upcoming season because of a lingering shoulder injury.

Klefbom had five goals and 29 assists in 34 games last season and was fifth in ice time in the NHL, averaging 25 minutes, 25 seconds per game.

Washington signed winger Conor Sheary to a $735,000, one-year contract.

Sheary, 28, played for Buffalo and Pittsburgh last season, finishing with 10 goals and 13 assists in 63 games. He could start this season on Washington’s third line, replacing Ilya Kovalchuk.


DOPING LAW: A bill to ban race-day doping of horses and set national medication and track-safety standards for the horse-racing industry is nearing the finish line. Lawmakers gave final approval to the bill late Monday as part of the massive legislation on spending and pandemic relief.

President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill in the next few days.

Passage of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act comes after a series of doping scandals and a rash of horse fatalities in recent years. More than two dozen people were charged last March in what authorities described as a widespread international scheme to drug horses to make them run faster.

The House approved the bill by voice vote in September, sending it to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell co-sponsored similar legislation. The measure was eventually folded into the larger spending package.

McConnell’s home state of Kentucky boasts some of the country’s top breeding farms and Churchill Downs, site of the Kentucky Derby, the first leg of the fabled Triple Crown.

“Kentucky’s cherished horseracing traditions deserve to be protected. I’m proud the Senate agreed to my legislation to preserve our signature racing industry and the 24,000 workers who support it,” he said in a statement.

The new law should “better protect every competitor and give each of them a fair shot at the winner’s circle,” McConnell said.


REYNA HONORED: Gio Reyna was voted the U.S. Soccer Federation’s Young Male Player of the Year after a breakthrough season that included debuts with Borussia Dortmund and the American national team.

The midfielder made his national team debut in an exhibition at Wales on Nov. 12, the day before his 18th birthday, and four days later against Panama became the third-youngest scorer in U.S. national team history.

The son of former U.S. captain Claudio Reyna and former U.S. midfielder Danielle Egan, Reyna made his Bundesliga debut on Jan. 18 at Augsburg and has five goals and seven assists in 39 matches.

ENGLAND: Second-division Brentford beat Newcastle 1-0 in the League Cup quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals of a major cup competition for the first time in the southwest London club’s 131-year history.

• Manchester City kept alive its bid to win the League Cup for a fourth straight season with a 4-1 win at Arsenal.


MEN’S WORLD CUP: Henrik Kristoffersen turned in an explosive second run to beat a fellow Norwegian, Sebastian Foss-Solevaag, in a night slalom in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy.

In the traditional last race before Christmas on the floodlit Canalone Miramonti course, Kristoffersen was 1.25 seconds behind in 12th place after the first run but charged ahead in the second to beat first-run leader Foss-Solevaag by 0.33.

Alex Vinatzer of Italy was 0.34 behind in third, edging Austria’s Manuel Feller by one-hundredth.


COST ESTIMATE RISES: The official cost of the postponed Tokyo Olympics has increased by 22%, the local organizing committee said in unveiling its new budget on Tuesday.

In an online news conference, organizers said the Olympics will cost $15.4 billion to stage. This is up from $12.6 billion in last year’s budget. The added $2.8 billion is the cost of the one-year delay. Expenses come from renegotiating contracts and measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Olympics are to open on July 23. The Paralympics follow on Aug. 24.

Audits by the Japanese government over the last several years, however, show the costs are higher than officially stated and are at least $25 billion. Tokyo said the Olympics would cost about $7.5 billion when the IOC awarded the games in 2013. A University of Oxford study this year said Tokyo is the most expensive Summer Olympics on record.

“The Tokyo Olympics are operating in a very tough environment,” Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the organizing committee, said when asked about the record costs. Muto suggested the games should be looked at as an investment rather than a cost.

Japanese government entities are responsible for all of the costs except for $6.7 billion in a privately funded operating budget.

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