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Thursday Sports in Brief

February 11, 2022 GMT

PRO FOOTBALL

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A four-time MVP, three Super Bowl players and the beginning of a brother act. The Associated Press 2021 NFL awards had a bit of everything, starting with Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers becoming the fifth player to repeat as Most Valuable Player.

Tennessee’s Mike Vrabel is Coach of the Year, while Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow (Comeback Player) and receiver Ja’Marr Chase (Offensive Rookie) also got awards. So did Rams wideout Cooper Kupp (Offensive Player), Steelers edge rusher T.J. Watt (Defensive Player) and Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons (Defensive Rookie).

Rodgers earned 39 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the NFL. Not even one of Tom Brady’s best performances — in his final season — came close in the MVP race, with the Buccaneers quarterback getting 10 votes.

Only Peyton Manning with five MVP awards is ahead of Rodgers.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The long wait to be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is finally over for several deserving candidates.

In a year with no sure-fire first-ballot candidates, the panel of voters opted to choose five players who have waited years — or even decades — for the honor, with offensive lineman Tony Boselli, linebacker Sam Mills, defensive back LeRoy Butler, and defensive linemen Bryant Young and Richard Seymour all getting the nod.

The five had all come up short as finalists in previous years and been out of the game for between the last nine and 24 seasons, but that didn’t diminish the remarkable accomplishments that will send them to Canton for induction on Aug. 6.

PRO BASKETBALL

In swapping James Harden for Ben Simmons, the Brooklyn Nets decided they needed to act now as they slide down the standings.

The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t do the same.

A number of deals were made before the NBA’s trade deadline, topped by the blockbuster between the Nets and Philadelphia 76ers. Just 13 months after acquiring Harden, Brooklyn sent him to a division rival.

Kristaps Porzingis was also on the move, going from Dallas to a Washington team that was busy before the trade deadline. Serge Ibaka got a place in defending champion Milwaukee’s frontcourt after a four-team trade.

Seth Curry gives Brooklyn outside shooting it has missed with Joe Harris out following ankle surgery. Big man Andre Drummond could start or play a key role off the bench.

The blockbuster deal adds even more intrigue to the already jumbled playoff race in the East, where Brooklyn was mired in a 10-game losing streak and 6 1/2 games out of first after losing to Washington.

Hours before visiting Phoenix for an NBA Finals rematch, the Bucks acquired Ibaka from the Los Angeles Clippers in a four-team deal that included Sacramento and Detroit.

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The Bucks sent forwards Rodney Hood and Semi Ojeleye to the Clippers and guard Donte DiVincenzo to Sacramento, which sent former No. 2 pick Marvin Bagley III to the Pistons.

The NBA-leading Suns also made moves, acquiring Torrey Craig and cash from the Indiana Pacers for forward/center Jalen Smith and a 2022 second-round draft pick. They also acquired guard Aaron Holiday from the Washington Wizards for cash.

The Wizards were one of the busiest teams. On the day injured star Bradley Beal had wrist surgery, the Wizards broke apart a roster that had gotten off to a promising start this season. Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans were traded to Dallas in the deal for Porzingis.

Washington also dealt Montrezl Harrell to Charlotte for veteran backup point guard Ish Smith, second-year forward Vernon Carey Jr. and a future second-round draft pick.

Also, the Toronto Raptors got veteran forward Thaddeus Young from San Antonio, sending Goran Dragic and a first-round pick to the Spurs.

HOCKEY

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Edmonton Oilers fired coach Dave Tippett with the star-studded team scrambling to secure a playoff spot.

Jay Woodcroft, the 45-year-old head coach of the Oilers’ AHL affiliate in Bakersfield, California, will take over behind the bench. He will be joined by assistant Dave Manson, who replaces Jim Playfair.

After beginning the season 16-5-0, the Oilers have gone 7-13-3 in a head-scratching performance for a team led by stars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Edmonton (23-18-3) stands fifth in the NHL’s Pacific Division, five points out of a wild-card spot.

The firing is the seventh coaching change in the NHL this season and second in the past two days after Martin St. Louis replaced Dominique Ducharme in Montreal.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — The Vancouver Canucks hired Hall of Famer Cammi Granato as an assistant general manager.

Granato, 50, moves to the Canucks from the Seattle Kraken, where she has served as a scout since 2019.

Granato captained the U.S. women’s hockey team that beat Canada to win gold at the 1998 Nagano Olympics. She also won silver at the Salt Lake City Games in 2002.

In 2010, she and Canadian Angela James became the first women to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

GOLF

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Sahith Theegala crashed golf’s biggest party.

Playing in the last group off the 10th tee in his first WM Phoenix Open start, Theegala was 7 under with two holes left when the round was suspended because of darkness. K.H. Lee was second after a 6-under 65.

TENNIS

DALLAS (AP) — Second-seeded Reilly Opelka advanced to the quarterfinals of the inaugural Dallas Open with a straight-sets win over Cedrik-Marcel Stebe.

Opelka, a two-time ATP Tour winner ranked 23rd in the world, won 7-6 (3), 7-6 (8) in his second meeting with Stebe. The first was at Wimbledon in 2019.

The 24-year-old American will face fifth-ranked Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, who beat Yoshihito Nishioka, 6-3, 6-1. Fourth-seeded Jenson Brooksby also advanced to the quarterfinals with 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win over Italian Andreas Seppi.

HORSE RACING

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — Knicks Go won Horse of the Year and older dirt male horse honors at the Eclipse Awards. His trainer, Brad Cox, won for the second straight year as best trainer in a ceremony at Santa Anita.

Winner of the Pegasus World Cup and Breeders’ Cup Classic, Knicks Go received 228 out of a possible 235 first-place votes for Horse of the Year. The Maryland-bred gray owned by Korea Racing Authority won five races in seven starts as a 5-year-old last year.

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