WOLVES FINALIZE SIGNING OF RUSSIAN GUARD SHVED: MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The latest European addition to the Minnesota Timberwolves will be able to use a deep backcourt to ease his transition to the NBA.
That's the view of Timberwolves general manager David Kahn, who in announcing Alexey Shved's signing Wednesday took pains to make clear the 23-year-old Russian will not be asked to be a consistent producer for the team during his rookie season.
"This year in particular I think it's important to not put too much pressure on him," Kahn said.
Though point guard Ricky Rubio is recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, the Wolves still have Luke Ridnour and J.J. Barea at point guard, plus Malcolm Lee and whoever else is acquired over the rest of yet another active offseason. The 6-foot-5 Shved is a shooting guard first, but he can move to the point guard spot, too. Kahn, who first saw Shved play last year, was taken by Shved's creativity with the ball.
Shved spent the last six seasons playing professionally in Russia and for his country's national team. Most recently, he scored a game-high 22 points to go with six assists to help Russia beat Nigeria for a spot in the London Olympics tournament. The Summer Games begin this weekend.
But the NBA is always where he's wanted to ultimately be. On a conference call with reporters, using his agent as a translator, Shved said he's played the sport since he was 6 or 7 years old, remembering his coach and father, Victor, bringing home VHS tapes of NBA games for him to watch.
SIRIUS XM RADIO TO DEDICATE CHANNEL TO OLYMPICS: NEW YORK (AP) — Sirius XM Radio will dedicate a channel on the satellite system to the Olympics during the London Games starting Friday.
The programming will include event highlights, commentary and live play-by-play broadcasts of basketball and soccer. The men's basketball coverage will feature all the U.S. team's matchups and the gold medal game. The men's soccer semifinal and gold medal match will be broadcast, as will the gold or bronze medal games for women's basketball and women's soccer if the Americans advance to that stage.
The coverage will be presented in association with Dial Global, which is providing live radio coverage of the London Games in partnership with NBC.
POLICE: CAL RIPKEN'S MOM ABDUCTED, NOW SAFE: ABERDEEN, Md. (AP) — Cal Ripken Jr.'s 74-year-old mother was found with her hands bound in the back seat of her car Wednesday after she said she was kidnapped at gunpoint a day earlier at her home outside Baltimore and driven around blindfolded by her abductor, police and neighbors said.
Investigators do not know the kidnapper's motive and there was no ransom demand for Vi Ripken's release, Aberdeen Police Chief Henry Trabert said at a news conference.
The gunman forced Ripken into her silver Lincoln Continental between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Tuesday, police said. She was found bound and unharmed but shaken about 6:15 a.m. Wednesday near her home in Aberdeen, about 30 miles northeast of Baltimore.
When asked if police believe the kidnapper knew who he was abducting, Trabert did not answer, saying investigators don't know the motive or if the suspect has any ties to the Ripken family.