LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Louisville says coach Rick Pitino is not interested in returning to the NBA.
The university insists there is no truth to a Yahoo! Sports report that said Pitino had inquired about the Sacramento Kings’ vacant coaching job. Louisville spokesman Kenny Klein said Pitino was in his office Friday but did not feel it necessary to address the situation.
Pitino just finished his eighth season with the Cardinals, leading Louisville to a 31-6 record and the Big East regular-season and tournament titles.
The Cardinals lost to Michigan State in the regional finals of the NCAA tournament.
Pitino has coached two NBA teams. He went 90-74 with the New York Knicks from 1987 to 1989 and 102-146 with the Boston Celtics from 1997 to 2001.
Venus loses to Safina
ROME – Top-ranked Dinara Safina rallied to beat Venus Williams 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-4 Friday, setting up an all-Russian final with Svetlana Kuznetsova at the Italian Open.
No. 8-ranked Kuznetsova beat No. 9 Victoria Azarenka, a three-time title winner this year, 6-2, 6-4 in the other semifinal at Foro Italico.
The Russians’ clash on Saturday will be a repeat of last weekend’s Porsche Grand Prix final at Stuttgart, Germany, where Kuznetsova upset Safina in straight sets to capture her first WTA title in almost two years. Kuznetsova has won nine successive matches on clay.
Both players have been runners-up in Rome, Safina three years ago and Kuznetsova in 2007.
Beckham eying return
MILAN – David Beckham wants to return to AC Milan “as soon as possible” after the Major League Soccer season ends in November.
The former England captain will return to Los Angeles Galaxy in June, but is expected to rejoin the Italian club in January.
“I want to come back and play for Milan as soon as possible, even if it doesn’t happen quickly,” Beckham was quoted as saying in Corriere dello Sport on Friday. “I have to respect the contract I signed with Galaxy.”