In Minneapolis, Jerry Zgoda cites a source as saying that G Ricky Rubio has "signed an NBA contract" to join the T'Wolves next season after the team selected him with the No. 5 pick in the '09 NBA Draft. A news conference announcing the deal "will be held when Rubio's European season ends later this month." Rubio signed his contract on Tuesday, the "last day he could secure a contract for next season" under terms of the league's CBA. Zgoda writes bringing Rubio to the U.S. is a "major achievement" for T'Wolves President of Basketball Operations David Kahn (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 6/2).
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON: Lakers Owner Jerry Buss on Tuesday said that he "was hurt and confused by criticism of his son," Lakers Exec VP/Player Personnel Jim Buss, for his "handling of the hiring of new coach Mike Brown." Jerry Buss said, "I could not understand that. ... Jim and I and (GM) Mitch Kupchak made that decision jointly. We were all at every meeting from the beginning to the end, and suddenly it was on Jim's shoulders. Mitch didn't get accused, I didn't get accused, where that all came from I have no idea, nor does he." He added, "I'm a father and anybody criticizes any of my children, it's hard for me to take" (ESPNLA.com, 5/31).
A GIANT STEP: The MLB Giants yesterday released a PSA for the anti-homophobia "It Gets Better" campaign, two weeks after the club said that it "would become the first professional sports team" to do so. Giants P Barry Zito, who appears in the spot alongside fellow Ps Matt Cain and Sergio Romo, CF Andres Torres and hitting coach Hensley Meulens, said the five of them "speak for the entire Giants organization when we say that there is no place in society for hatred and bullying against anyone" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 6/1).
DROPPING THE HAMMER: West Ham United has "dismissed a claim on Twitter" by F1 Team Lotus Owner Tony Fernandes that he "has made an offer" to buy the relegated EPL club. Fernandes tweeted, "For all you West Ham fans an offer has gone to the present owners of West Ham. Let's see if they accept." His alleged bid was "greeted with scepticism because buyers rarely make their intentions known publicly," and West Ham was "quick to knock down the story." Fernandes "has claimed in recent weeks that he was also interested in buying" Norwich City, which will join the EPL next season (LONDON TIMES, 6/2).