NBA commissioner expects changes

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LAS VEGAS (AP) - NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is certain that changes are coming to the league.

Speaking after the NBA's Board of Governors meeting, Silver said he thinks the league is ready to scrap the rule requiring players to be out of high school for a year before becoming eligible to enter the draft. That one should be relatively simple to move forward now, while notions such as how to find more competitive balance are still a puzzler to the league and its commissioner.

Silver said he loves 'where the league is right now,' but believe there cold be a better system. Part of that, he thinks, will be reverting back to the policy that will allow players to go into the league right out of high school - something that should be in place in time for the 2021 NBA Draft, though that timeline has not been formally announced.

Any change to the rule will require that the league's Collective Bargaining Agreement will have to be amended..


NEW YORK (AP) - The NFL Players Association filed a grievance with the league challenging its national anthem policy.

The union says that the new policy, which the league imposed without consultation with the NFLPA, is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on players' rights. The filing met a statute of limitations deadline and will be heard by an independent arbitrator.

In May, the NFL approved its national anthem policy at its owners meetings in Atlanta. The policy allows players to protest during the national anthem by staying in the locker room, but forbids them from sitting or taking a knee if they're on the field or the sidelines. Teams will be subject to fines if players don't comply and will have the option of punishing players.


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - The Tampa Bay Rays unveiled an elaborate plan for a new domed stadium that would take them across Tampa Bay to the Ybor City section of Tampa at a cost of nearly $900 million.

The 30,842-seat stadium would be the smallest in Major League Baseball and would be covered by a fully enclosed and translucent roof, not a retractable dome.

Stuart Sternberg, principal owner of the Rays since 2005, called the plan "a dramatic break from the past" and explained the blueprint as the franchise's latest attempt to make a long-term commitment to the region.

The Rays have consistently ranked near the bottom in attendance at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, about 20 miles away from the proposed new site.

No plans were revealed about financing.


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Nikita Kucherov to an eight-year contract extension worth an average of $9.5 million in salary and annual bonuses.

The 25-year-old would have been a restricted free agent next summer with one year left on a deal that will pay him nearly $4.8 million for the 2018-19 season. Now he will be under contract through the 2026-27 as the team's highest-paid player once the extension kicks in after next year.

The two-time All-Star had 39 goals and 100 points last season.

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