Tuesday's Sports in Brief

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PRO BASKETBALL

Point guard Jrue Holiday is being traded from New Orleans to Milwaukee, which is aiming to give two-time reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo the improved roster that he seeks with the decision on his supermax contract extension looming, a person with knowledge of the situation said.

The Pelicans are getting Eric Bledsoe, George Hill and a package of future first-round draft picks from the Bucks, the person told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no deal had been finalized.

— By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds

NEW YORK (AP) — The 2020-21 NBA schedule will feature a play-in tournament and an NBA Finals that could run all the way until July 22 — keeping some players from competing in the Olympics.

The league’s 75th season, delayed and shortened because of the coronavirus pandemic, will begin Dec. 22 and look like none other. The NBA announced how it will make up the 72-game schedule, which won’t be entirely known until well after it’s started.

Teams will play 42 intraconference games, with each club facing the others within its conference three times apiece. Teams will play the remaining 30 games against the opposite conference — one at home and one on the road in a return to cross-country travel and playing in arenas after completing last season in a “bubble” environment.

When that’s finished, the play-in tournament, approved by the board of governors on a one-year basis, follows involving the teams with the seventh through 10th-best records in each conference. They will play for the final two playoff spots in the East and the West.

TORONTO (AP) — The Canadian government is reviewing a proposal from the NBA and the Raptors to play in Toronto amid the pandemic.

A spokesman for Health Minister Patty Hajdu said officials have been in contact with the Raptors and will continue to engage with them “in the coming weeks.” Raptors general manager Bobby Webster told Sportsnet television the team needs to know “in the coming days."

The Raptors and the NBA need an exemption to a requirement that anyone entering Canada for nonessential reasons must self-isolate for 14 days. The U.S.-Canada border remains closed to nonessential travel.

CLEVELAND (AP) — All-Star center Andre Drummond has told the Cleveland Cavaliers he will exercise his $28.7 million contract option and stay with the team this season. Drummond was acquired in a surprising trade from Detroit in February. But now that he’s under contract for 2021, he could be packaged by the Cavs in a trade because he has an expiring deal.

BASEBALL

CHICAGO (AP) — Theo Epstein, who transformed the long-suffering Chicago Cubs and helped bring home a drought-busting championship in 2016, is stepping down after nine seasons as the club’s president of baseball operations.

The team announced Epstein is leaving the organization, and general manager Jed Hoyer is being promoted to take his place.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall resigned following an investigation into allegations of verbal and physical abuse, ending a tenure that soared to the Final Four and crashed on the eve of the upcoming season.

Marshall came under scrutiny when former player Shaq Morris claimed he’d been struck twice by his coach during an October 2015 practice. Morris also claimed that he’d seen Marshall choke assistant coach Kyle Lindsted, who soon departed to become an assistant at Minnesota. Marshall denied the claims.

The school said Marshall agreed to a settlement of $7.75 million to be paid over the next six years.

HOCKEY

The Florida Panthers hired Brett Peterson as an assistant general manager, making him the first Black executive to hold that position in the NHL. The 39-year-old Peterson has a background as a player agent just like GM Bill Zito and fellow assistant Paul Krepelka.

SOCCER

Philadelphia Union coach Jim Curtin was chosen Major League Soccer’s Coach of the Year. Curtin led the team to its first Supporters’ Shield as the Union finished the coronavirus-shortened season with a league-best 14-4-5 record.

SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Sounders have added Hall of Fame baseball player Ken Griffey Jr. to the club’s ownership group. Griffey’s ownership stake was finalized earlier in the year, but the announcement had been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team said.

TENNIS

LONDON (AP) — Dominic Thiem mastered the tiebreakers again to get the better of Rafael Nadal, and defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas also won on Day 3 of the ATP Finals.

Thiem beat the 20-time Grand Slam champion in straight sets and secured his spot in the semifinals when Tsitsipas outlasted tournament newcomer Andrey Rublev in the evening match at an empty O2 Arena.

Thiem clinched a 7-6 (7), 7-6 (4) win on his fifth match point in his first meeting with Nadal since the Australian Open quarterfinals in January, when the Austrian player prevailed after winning three tiebreakers in a tight four-set match.

The U.S. Open champion opened group play in the season-ending event with a three-set victory over Tsitsipas on Sunday and qualified for the semifinals when Tsitsipas won 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (6), handing Rublev his second defeat.

PRO FOOTBALL

The NFL will have an all-Black officiating crew for the first time in league history when the Rams play the Buccaneers on Monday night.

The crew consists of referee Jerome Boger, umpire Barry Anderson, down judge Julian Mapp, line judge Carl Johnson, side judge Dale Shaw, field judge Anthony Jeffries and back judge Greg Steed.

Five members of the crew work together regularly. Johnson and Steed will join the group for this game. The crew has a combined 89 seasons in the league and has worked six Super Bowls.

The NFL has assigned crews based on geography this season to limit travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.

OLYMPICS

DENVER (AP) — U.S. Olympic hopefuls will be able to cut their own deals with the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s marketing partners under a first-of-its-kind plan that has potential to shift the top-heavy sponsorship model that rules the Olympic world.

The USOPC unveiled a program called AMP — Athlete Marketing Program — which will give potential Olympians three ways of connecting with the federation’s sponsors.

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