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The Celtics keep their “Big Three” together as Ray Allen re-signs

compiled from staff, wire, Boston Celtics and NBA news

Ray Allen has agreed to a two-year, $20 million contract to return to Boston, which means the “Big Three” of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Allen will have a chance at another NBA championship.

Ray Allen Boston (NBA)

With Garnett under contract, Paul Pierce on the verge of a new deal for four-years and Doc Rivers also returning, Boston will keep together the core of the 2008 NBA championship team for at least two more seasons.

After the recently completed NBA Finals, it was rumored that Doc Rivers would move on, Kevin Garnett would retire and Ray Allen would leave, but the key pieces remain intact.

Kevin Durant re-signs with Oklahoma City Thunder

compiled from staff, wire, Oklahoma City Thunder and NBA news

Kevin Durant has made it clear where he’ll play the next five years; for his current team the up-and-coming Oklahoma City Thunder.

The deal that Durant will get is the maximum contract of $85 million over five years.

Kevin Durant Oklahoma City (nba)

Durant was the number 2 overall pick in the 2007 draft and won the Rookie of the Year award.

Last season, he was selected to the All-Star team for the first time and averaged 30.1 points per game to become the youngest player to lead the league in scoring. He led the Thunder to a 50-32 record; a 27-game improvement in wins over the previous season and the first round of the playoffs.

Los Angeles Clippers hire Vinny Del Negro as head coach

compiled from staff, wire, Los Angeles Clippers and NBA news

The Los Angeles Clippers introduced Vinny Del Negro as their new coach on Wednesday, two months after he was fired by Chicago.

Del Negro takes over a team that went 29-53 last year and missed the playoffs for the 15th time in 17 years.

Vinny Del Negro LA Clippers (nba)

He replaces interim coach Kim Hughes, who finished the season after Mike Dunleavy stepped down in February to focus on his general manager duties before finally leaving the organization for good in March.

Del Negro coached two seasons in Chicago, going 82-82. He feuded with Bulls president John Paxson and the two had a postgame altercation on March 30.

U.S. WOMEN’S OPEN begins today in Oakmont, Pennsylvania

compiled from staff, wire and LPGA reports

Oakmont, Pennsylvania, is the home of Arnold Palmer, one of golf’s greatest players of all-time.

It is the home of the 2010 United States Women’s Open, today through Sunday, at the Oakmont Golf Club, which is 6,598 yards and a par 71.

The Winners share is unavailable at this time, but was $585,000 in 2009. The total purse, also unavailable, was 3.1 million in 2009.

Cristie Kerr is an Open favorite (LPGA)

Television coverage will be on two networks. ESPN2 will broadcast Thursday and Friday from 3-7 p.m. and NBC will take over on Saturday and Sunday from 3-6 p.m.

Cristie Kerr is one of the favorites this year. She has been on a hot streak and has won two tournaments and is number 1 in women’s golf. She is the 2007 U.S. Women’s Open champion at Pine Needles.

If an American golfer can win this championship, once almost an automatic certainty, now would be a surprise. Cristie Kerr is the only American to win in the past five years and since 1995, there have been more South Korean champions (4) as U.S. winners (5).

If you go back further, Americans won every tournament but five Open’s from 1946 t0 1994.

The problem with the LPGA Tour over the years with sponsors and fans, is that other than Michelle Wie, there have been very few if any American golfers coming on tour. It seems yearly that golfers are coming over from South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Thailand to join the tour.

The LPGA Tour which stands for Ladies Professional Golfers Association has recently been known as the Let’s Play Globally Association of the Ladies Professional Global Association because of the 27 tournaments in 2010, down from as many as 40 in years past, less than 13 are played in the United States. The reason is due in part because of dwindling sponsorship money and a lack of big-name American golfers because there is no Nancy Lopez, Jan Stephenson around to carry the torch.

The 2011 tournament will be played at the Broadmoor in Colorado.

There are golfers from 30 countries entered in the tournament with the LPGA fielding most of the entries.

ENTERTAINMENT FOR WEDNESDAY JULY 7, 2010: Almanac and Celebrity Birthdays

compiled from staff, wire and Entertainment news

DAILY ALMANAC

Today is Wednesday, July 7, the 188th day of 2010. There are 177 days left in the year.

HIGHLIGHTS IN HISTORY

* On July 7, 1846, U.S. annexation of California was proclaimed at Monterey after the surrender of a Mexican garrison.

* In 1898, the United States annexed Hawaii.

* In 1930, construction began on Boulder Dam which later became Hoover Dam.

* * In 1969, Canada’s House of Commons gave final approval to the Official Languages Act, making French equal to English throughout the national government.

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS

83 Doc Severinsen, bandleader for The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson.

70 Ringo Starr, aka Richard Starkey, drummer for The Beatles.

64 Joe Spano, actor on NCIS.

51 Billy Campbell, actor in Once and Again.

42 Jorja Fox, actress of CSI (Crime Scene Investigation).

30 Michelle Kwan, Olympic figure skating medalist.

28 Gabbie Nolen, country singer of Almost There.

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