Bird, Celtics reportedly agree to deal
Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics have reportedly agreed on a two-year contract extension that will run through the 1993-94 NBA season. The Boston Globe quoted sources as saying the extension would be worth $4 million per year.
The extension "is something both parties would like, but at this point it's just conversations," Bob Woolf, Bird's lawyer, said. "Nothing is finalized."
The Celtics would neither confirm nor deny that an agreement has been reached.
Boston is over the NBA salary cap, and negotiators would have to find a way to fit the deal within those limits. Bird, 34, played with back pain most of last season and missed 22 games because of injury. The team was 10-12 without him.
Arbitrator George Nicolau said he would have a ruling today in the Paul Wright grievance case against the Baltimore Blast. Nicolau heard three hours of testimony from the Blast yesterday after hearing 1 hour, 45 minutes of testimony from Wright and the Major Soccer League Players Association on Friday. The MSL Players Association is asking that the midfielder be ruled a free agent because the Blast did not uphold Wright's contract from the San Diego Sockers.
The Blast says it wants Wright, whom it placed on the suspended list without pay when he failed to report to training camp last month, to join the team and have his salary start when he passes a physical.
Rick Pitino's reputation as one of the nation's more effective recruiters will be embellished even further today when Rodrick Rhodes of St. Anthony in Jersey City, N.J., announces he has given an oral commitment to Kentucky. Rhodes, a 6-foot-7 swingman considered one of the top three seniors in the country, officially will declare he has chosen the Wildcats over previously favored Seton Hall, Arizona, Ohio State and Syracuse, according to a source close to the situation.
Steffi Graf reached the second round of the Brighton, England, women's indoor tournament with a victory and said that when this event ends, she is taking two weeks off to rest her ailing left wrist. Graf came back from a 2-5 deficit in a first-set tie-breaker to defeat the aggressive serve-and-volley play of 156th-ranked American Katrina Adams, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3.
Graf said she again had a problem with her right wrist. "I will have pain in my wrist until I take some time off from playing," she said.
* Practice partners Jimmy Connors and Stefan Edberg posted straight-set victories in their opening matches at the Stockholm (Sweden) Open. Connors, playing his first major indoor tournament after his spectacular march to the U.S. Open semifinals, beat Martin Jaite, 6-3, 7-6, in a first-round match. Edberg, the world's top-ranked player, defeated fellow Swede Peter Lundgren, 6-3, 6-4, in the second round.
Charlie Briggs-Frank Ferguson made up four strokes on the father-son team of Bruce-Brian Lehnhard in the last nine holes, and won the Middle Atlantic PGA two-man team championship at Shenandoah Golf Club in Front Royal, Va. Playing 27 holes in a scramble/better-ball/alternate-shot format (nine holes each) for the second day, the winners led a 57-team field with 102-98-200.
The Lehnhards, who tied for second at 98-104202 with the other first-day leaders, Mark Guttenberg-Jon Stanley, lost their lead when they bogeyed three of the nine holes of alternate-shot play, and Briggs, assistant professional at Caves Valley GC, and Ferguson, assistant professional at Washington Golf & CC, birdied three of their last nine. A respective bogey-birdie at the 368-yard eighth hole produced a two-stroke swing.
Michael Dorman of Jamison, Pa., rode Cool Bawn to victory in the International-Open Jumper competition at the Washington International Horse Show at the Capital Centre in Landover. Dorman, a member of the U.S. team, completed the circuit and its 13 fences in a time of 55.30 seconds. He was the 14th of 30 riders to compete, and his lead held up virtually unchallenged the rest of the way.
The Tour de France will become more international next year. The world's most prestigious cycling race will go into Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg and Italy, it was announced.