Moses Malone is a free agent againMoses Malone, the...

Sports briefly

July 02, 1991

Moses Malone is a free agent again

Moses Malone, the seventh player in NBA history to score 25,000 points, is a free agent again.

Malone, who signed big free-agent contracts with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1982 and Atlanta in 1988, had his Hawks' career officially ended yesterday when the club traded for Denver Nuggets center Blair Rasmussen and put him on the roster in Malone's place. The Hawks thus made Malone an unrestricted free agent ineligible to return to the Hawks for a year.

Malone, who played with the Washington Bullets for two seasons (1986-88) during a 15-year career, lost his starting job early in the 1990-91 season and averaged a career-low 10.6 points. He led NBA reserves with 8.1 rebounds per game.

In return for acquiring Rasmussen, the Hawks sent the rights to ** first-round draft pick Anthony Avent of Seton Hall to Denver, which immediately traded his signing rights to Milwaukee for the rights to Bucks first-round pick Kevin Brooks. The Nuggets also got the Hawks' second-round draft pick in 1993.

In another deal, guard Spud Webb, 5 feet 7, was traded to the LTC Sacramento Kings for Travis Mays, along with a second-round draft selection in 1994.

* Rick Mahorn is a free agent because Philadelphia decided not to sign him to the $1.6 million option year in his contract.

"The decision will allow us greater flexibility, but does not preclude us from signing Rick at a later date," said general manager Gene Shue.

The 76ers spent last month shopping Mahorn around the league, but found little interest. Mahorn started his NBA career for the Bullets in 1980 before being traded to the Detroit Pistons in 1985.

Tennis

French Open champion Jim Courier and runner-up Andre Agassi will lead the defending champion U.S. Davis Cup squad into the semifinals against Germany on an indoor red-clay court in September, the United States Tennis Association announced.

Rick Leach and Jim Pugh, who have a 6-0 Davis Cup record in doubles, complete the U.S. team for the Sept. 20-22 World Group semifinal in Kansas City, Mo.

The German team is expected to include three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker, ranked second in the world, and seventh-ranked Michael Stich.

The United States never has beaten a Becker-led team. But Becker has never won a clay-court tournament and was beaten by fifth-ranked Agassi in this year's French Open semifinals. Courier, ranked fourth in the world after winning the world's foremost clay-court event, defeated Stich in the other semifinal.

* Reed Cordish (Gilman) beat Kenn Large of Titusville, Fla., 6-3, 6-1, in the round of 32 of the USTA Florida Open boys 18 singles in Fort Myers, Fla.

Colleges

The NCAA has charged the Nevada-Las Vegas basketball program with rule violations stemming from the recruitment last year of Ed O'Bannon, a standout at Lakewood (Calif.) Artesia High.

The charges are outlined in a supplemental letter of official inquiry from the NCAA that UNLV received Friday.

The university has responded to a letter of official inquiry from the NCAA describing allegations in 29 areas, many focusing on the recruitment of former New York high school star Lloyd Daniels in 1986 and 1987.

* Florida State officially joined the ACC, an addition that will boost the Seminoles' basketball prestige and give the league a new football power.

School officials handed the ACC a $500,000 check to cover the league's entry fee during a ceremony before 250 guests at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee. Florida State is expected to generate many times the amount of the check because of its football program.

Senior Olympics

Elsa Mattila of Edgewater, competing in women's swimming for athletes in the 80-84 age group, took the gold in both the 100-meter and 200-meter backstroke events in the U.S. Senior Olympic Games in Syracuse, N.Y. Mattila finished the 100 in 2 minutes, 38.69 seconds and won the 200 in 4:58.56.

Boxing

The Australian National Boxing Federation has lodged an official protest over Jeff Fenech's controversial draw with Ghanian Azumah Nelson in Las Vegas on Friday.

The federation said it is not prepared to accept the decision where just one of the three judges had Fenech winning the World Boxing Council super-featherweight title bout at the Mirage Hotel.

One gave Fenech a slight edge, another favored Nelson, 116-112, and the third scored the 12-round fight even. Nelson retained his title on the draw, but many at ringside believed that Fenech had won nine of the rounds.

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