Jeff Gordon, with a nagging back injury, a young family he wanted to spend more time with and a phenom waiting in the wings at Hendrick Motorsports, knew midway through last season that he had one more year in him.
NEW YORK (AP) - The NFL has fined Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch $20,000 for making an obscene gesture during last Sunday's NFC championship game, a person with knowledge of the fine told The Associated Press on Thursday.
LA QUINTA (AP) - Phil Mickelson got most of the attention in his return to competition after a four-month break. Blake Adams got a lot more out of his comeback round.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The University of California's governing board tabled a policy on Thursday that would have made the public college system the nation's second to tie bonuses awarded to winning athletic coaches to how well their players do in the classroom.
OAKLAND (AP) - Stephen Curry got involved in a rare altercation before finishing with 22 points and 10 assists, and the Golden State Warriors held off the Houston Rockets 126-113 on Wednesday night for their franchise-record 17th straight home win.
SAN JOSE (AP) - Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski scored power-play goals to send the San Jose Sharks into the NHL All-Star break on a winning note with a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - Brook Lopez had 22 points and six blocks and the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Sacramento Kings 103-100 on Wednesday night for only their second win in the last 10.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Second baseman Marco Scutaro was designated for assignment by the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday as he recovers from back surgery.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Andre Ward wrote out his retirement speech a few times in the last two years. With his usual fastidious style, the super middleweight champion laid out every reason he felt he had to end his unblemished boxing career in his prime.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - An agitated Roger Federer spat out the question that Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova easily could have asked the players who pushed them to the limits in the second round of the Australian Open.
PHOENIX (AP) - The NFL is taking its extra-point experiment to the Pro Bowl.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - The New England Patriots are brushing off and even finding humor in questions about whether they used under-inflated footballs in the game that put them in the Super Bowl.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - As a first-time dad with a baby at home, Novak Djokovic could see merits in the tale of Serena Williams' mid-match espresso that has been brewing in the lead-up to the Australian Open.
The Chicago Bears hired Vic Fangio as their new defensive coordinator Tuesday, hoping the veteran coach who spent the last four seasons with San Francisco can breathe some life into the once-storied unit.
ALAMEDA (AP) - Jack Del Rio picked the same offensive coordinator to start his tenure in Oakland as he did more than a decade ago in Jacksonville.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Hector Sanchez's physical on Wednesday was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. local time. But maybe Sanchez, excited as he was to be at spring training on the day the world champion San Francisco Giants began reporting, was simply eager to receive a clean bill of health and get back to being behind the plate.
DALLAS (AP) - Amare Stoudemire is signed and set for his debut with the Dallas Mavericks.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - The San Francisco Giants roll in even years, winning the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014.
BERKELEY (AP) - Amber Orrange keyed a decisive second-half run and finished with 19 points, and No. 18 Stanford used a dominant second half to hold off California 59-47 on Wednesday night in the first of two meetings between the rivals in a five-day span.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - In hindsight, 2002 might have been an omen of how heartbreaking the Daytona 500 would be for Tony Stewart.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - That old, familiar baseball refrain made famous by fans of the Brooklyn Dodgers took on an entirely different meaning for the Kansas City Royals this offseason.
PHOENIX (AP) - Larry Fitzgerald is staying with the Arizona Cardinals, the only home he's known in his 11-year NFL career.
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Quinn Cook scored 22 points and No. 4 Duke beat No. 15 North Carolina 92-90 in overtime on Wednesday night.
BOSTON (AP) - Former Boston and San Francisco third base coach Wendell Kim has died.
NEW YORK (AP) - The East was a two-team race at last year's trade deadline, and Larry Bird made the move he thought would win it.
NEW YORK (AP) - It appears the only place Alex Rodriguez might detail his drug use is on a witness stand.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Pekka Rinne made a season-high 42 saves, and the Nashville Predators extended their winning streak to a season-high six straight games by beating the San Jose Sharks 5-1 Tuesday night.
Washington's star-studded rotation reports to Florida. Matt Harvey continues his comeback with the New York Mets. Joe Maddon takes over the Chicago Cubs, and Russell Martin gets a closer look at Toronto's pitching staff.
OAKLAND (AP) - Left-hander Barry Zito is returning to the Oakland Athletics with a minor contract that includes an invitation to major league spring training, two people with knowledge of the agreement said Tuesday.
Promoter Bob Arum was uncharacteristically silent Tuesday, amid indications that the next few days will determine whether Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao share a ring together May 2.