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Monday Sports in Brief

February 16, 2021 GMT

NBA

Players taking part in All-Star weekend in Atlanta will largely have to remain in their hotels when not at the arena, the league told teams on Monday, and all players and coaches — whether part of All-Star events or not — will have to continue getting tested daily for COVID-19.

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association agreed on those rules, the league said in the memo laying out the health and safety protocols that will apply during the break. The league plans to announce starters for the All-Star Game on Thursday, and the reserves on Feb. 23.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Forward Anthony Davis’ injured Achilles tendon is not ruptured, and he will be reevaluated when the Los Angeles Lakers return from their road trip.

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The defending NBA champions made the announcement Monday after an MRI exam for Davis, who is out indefinitely.

The All-NBA first-teamer left the Lakers’ game at Denver in the second quarter Sunday night with an apparent aggravation of the tendonosis that has bothered his right heel for at least two weeks.

DETROIT (AP) — The Pistons are taking another step in their rebuilding process, planning to part ways with Blake Griffin.

Detroit plans to keep the star forward out of the lineup while he and the organization work out a decision on his future, a clear sign his days with the team could be numbered.

Griffin, who turns 32 next month, came to Detroit in a trade during the 2017-18 season. If Griffin is traded or leaves via a buyout, it could give the popular veteran a chance to play more meaningful games than what Detroit can offer this season.

CLEVELAND (AP) — Andre Drummond wasn’t part of the Cavaliers’ future plans. He’s not part of current ones, either.

The two-time All-Star center will be inactive for upcoming games as the Cavs, who are struggling badly after a solid start, pursue a trade for him, a person familiar with the team’s intentions told The Associated Press on Monday.

Drummond sat out Sunday night’s game — the team called it “rest” — against the Los Angeles Clippers and will continue to stay on the sideline, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the Cavs have not publicly commented on Drummond’s situation.

— By AP Sports Writer Tom Withers.

NFL

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars announced the hiring of veteran NFL executive Tom Gamble and former Florida linebacker Ryan Stamper as director of player assessment Monday.

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Gamble was named senior personnel executive and will assist general manager Trent Baalke in every aspect of the team’s front office. Stamper will work in player evaluation, assessment and culture development.

NHL

DALLAS (AP) — The Dallas Stars postponed their home game Monday night against the Nashville Predators after a request from city officials not to play because of the impact extreme winter weather had on the area.

With significant power outages in North Texas and throughout the state, the NHL said the decision to postpone the game was made by the teams, on-ice officials and the league upon the advice of Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson.

The NHL didn’t announce the postponement until just more than a half-hour before the scheduled start of the game. There was power at the American Airlines Center.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Highly touted Duke freshman Jalen Johnson is forgoing the rest of the Blue Devils’ season and declaring for the NBA draft.

The school announced Johnson’s decision on Monday night. The move was first reported by ZagsBlog.com.

The 6-foot-9, 220-pound forward was averaging 11.2 points and 6.1 rebounds, though he missed three games and significant practice time with a December foot injury in an unexpectedly bumpy season for the Blue Devils.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Central Florida hired Gus Malzahn as its football coach Monday, a little more than two months after he was fired by Auburn.

Malzahn was 68-35 in eight years with the Tigers, never having a losing season and going 39-27 in the Southeastern Conference. UCF scheduled an afternoon news conference to introduce its new coach.

UCF lost both its athletic director (Danny White) and football coach (Josh Heupel) to Tennessee last month. UCF hired Terry Mohajir as AD last week. Mohajir was the athletic director at Arkansas State during Malzahn’s one season at the Sun Belt school.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — New Tennessee football coach Josh Heupel is bringing three offensive assistants with him from the UCF staff.

Heupel, who coached UCF from 2018-20, made the announcement Monday.

Tennessee’s offensive coordinator will be Alex Golesh, who was UCF’s co-offensive coordinator and tight ends coach in 2020. He previously spent four seasons as Iowa State’s tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator.

COLLEGE ATHLETICS

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa is keeping its women’s swimming and diving program after it had been among four sports the school planned to eliminate due to budget concerns brought on by the pandemic.

Members of the women’s swimming and diving team filed a legal complaint against the school in September, arguing that a decision to eliminate their program violated a landmark gender equity law. U.S. District Judge Stephanie Rose announced in December she would grant an injunction to stop Iowa from dropping women’s swimming for the 2021-2022 school year.

Iowa officials said Monday they continue to disagree with the claims in the lawsuit, but added that “in the interests of serving our student-athletes, coaches and community, the University believes more certainty will be beneficial for the future of the program.”

TENNIS

American tennis player Nicole Gibbs announced her retirement Monday on social media and said she plans to enroll in law school this fall.

Gibbs is No. 172 in the WTA Tour rankings. The 27-year-old achieved a career high of No. 68 in 2016.

The Cincinnati native and former NCAA singles champion at Stanford recovered from a bout with oral cancer in 2019. Gibbs reached the third round at the 2014 U.S. Open and 2017 Australian Open.

POLICE

BRANDON, Fla. (AP) — Former NFL wide receiver Vincent Jackson was found dead Monday at a Florida hotel room, days after authorities spoke with him as part of a welfare check, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

A housekeeper discovered the 38-year-old’s body at around 11:30 a.m. Monday, official said.

There were no signs of trauma and the medical examiner’s office was looking into a cause of death at the Homewood Suites in Brandon, near Tampa.

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