Fri, Jul 09, 2004 - Page 22 News List

Sports Briefs


■ Basketball

LA Lakers eye new coach

The Los Angeles Lakers remained without a coach late Wednesday, but the hiring of Rudy Tomjanovich appeared imminent. Tomjanovich would succeed Phil Jackson, who coached the Lakers to three NBA championships in five years. The team announced June 18, three days after losing to the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals, that Jackson wouldn't return next season. "We feel we've identified the guy that we want to hire," Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said Tuesday, adding he hoped to have a coach in place by the end of the week. Kupchak didn't identify Tomjanovich, but all indications are he's the only viable candidate remaining after Duke University coach Mike Krzyzewski, North Carolina coach Roy Williams and Miami Heat president Pat Riley decided to remain in their current positions.

■ Baseball

World Cup idea gets sunk

Japan's baseball owners have decided to reject major league baseball's World Cup concept in which the US commissioner's office and the Major League Baseball Players Association would be in charge of the tournament. "The owners object to Major League Baseball hosting the event and feel a third party like the International Baseball Federation should be in charge," said an official from the Japanese office of the commissioner, speaking on condition of anonymity. Japan's owners also object to the fact that under the proposed plan, the US commissioner's office and the Major League Baseball Players Association would split profits after expenses and payments to teams. If major league baseball owners approve the plan and deals are reached with the players' association and the International Baseball Federation, the 16-nation tournament would take place from approximately March 4-21 next year. Japan's owners also have reservations about the timing of the event.

■ Basketball

Magic signs up Howard

Dwight Howard, the overall No. 1 draft selection by the Orlando Magic, has signed with the NBA team. Howard, an 18-year-old forward who played at Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy last season, was the first of eight high school players taken in the first 19 picks of last month's draft. Andris Biedrins, a forward from Latvia who was the 11th pick in the first round, also signed Wednesday with Golden State, while Kevin Martin, the 26th pick, signed with Sacramento and David Harrison, the 29th and last pick of the first round, signed with Indiana. The rookie scale under the NBA's collective bargaining agreement calls for the No. 1 overall pick to earn a little more than US$11.2 million over the life of the contract, and almost US$3.5 million this season. Howard won the 2004 Naismith Award, given to the nation's top high school player.

■ Auto Racing

Las Vegas event added

The Champ Car World Series added a Sept. 25 race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to its 2004 schedule. The 483km event will be run as part of a Saturday night doubleheader with the previously scheduled NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. Las Vegas Motor Speedway previously hosted the rival Indy Racing League, but this will be the first Champ Car race on the 2.4km oval. Series co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven said the current deal with the Las Vegas track is for one race.

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