Rockets re-sign Mutombo
The Houston Rockets on Tuesday found a familiar face to serve as backup for Chinese center Yao Ming, re-signing 42-year-old Dikembe Mutombo. Mutombo, second all-time in the NBA with 3,278 blocks, had contemplated retirement before deciding to return for an 18th season. Mutombo appeared in 36 games for the Rockets last season and proved valuable when Yao suffered a broken foot in February. The player from the Democratic Republic of Congo averaged 3.0 points and 5.1 rebounds last season.
Boozer needs rehab for knee
The Utah Jazz will be without top scorer Carlos Boozer for the foreseeable future, announcing on Tuesday that the two-time All-Star needs surgery on his left knee. Boozer originally suffered a strained quadriceps tendon and a bone bruise on Nov. 19 as he went up for a rebound and landed awkwardly late in the fourth quarter of a NBA victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. The injury was thought to be slight, and Boozer initially was listed as day-to-day. However, he has missed 21 consecutive games, depleting a Jazz lineup that has been plagued by injuries all season. The Jazz have not set a timetable for Boozer’s return. The Salt Lake Tribune reported on Tuesday that general manager Kevin O’Connor has said the two-time All-Star will be sidelined for at least another month. Setting things back even further is a laceration “very near the scope site” that hasn’t yet healed, pushing the date of surgery back to Jan. 9. Prior to his injury, Boozer was averaging a team-best 20.5 points and 11.7 rebounds per contest.
Pro Bowl set for Miami
Next season’s Pro Bowl will be played at the Dolphin Stadium in Miami one week before the Super Bowl is staged at the same venue, the NFL said on Tuesday. It will be only the second time the two events have been hosted in the same city and the first occasion when the Pro Bowl, the league’s All-Star game, will be held outside Hawaii since 1979. The Los Angeles Coliseum hosted the first Super Bowl on Jan. 15, 1967 and the Pro Bowl the following week. “We are looking at alternatives to strengthen the Pro Bowl,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “We will continue to work with the players to make it a great event and will evaluate this concept after the 2010 Pro Bowl.” The 2010 Pro Bowl will take place on Jan. 31, with Super Bowl XLIV set for Feb. 7. Pro Bowl games after next year are likely to rotate between the US mainland and Honolulu, Hawaii, the NFL said.
49ers fire coordinator Martz
The San Francisco 49ers have fired Mike Martz as their offensive coordinator, the NFL team said on Tuesday. “After an evaluation period, I felt it was best to go in a different direction,” head coach Mike Singletary said in a statement. “This was not an easy decision because I appreciate Mike Martz and I enjoyed working with him. He is a true professional, and I wish him the best in the future.” Singletary released Martz two days after being permanently installed as San Francisco’s head coach. He was appointed on an interim basis in October in place of the sacked Mike Nolan and guided the team to five wins in their last nine games for an overall record of 7-9. The once-powerful 49ers, winners of five Super Bowl titles, have not recorded a winning season in the last six years.