Kings release injury-prone Sampson
The Sacramento Kings bought out the remaining two years on Ralph Sampson's $2 million per year contract yesterday, releasing the injury-prone center to become a free agent.
Sampson, 31, described his two years with the Kings as "very difficult." During that time, the former All-Star played only 51 games. Last season, he played in a career-low 25 games and started four.
He said he hoped to join another NBA team as a player or coach.
The Kings acquired Sampson in September 1989 from the Golden State Warriors for forward-center Jim Petersen.
* Doc Rivers ended his three-week holdout from the Los Angeles Clippers without a renegotiated contract. Rivers, 30, is scheduled to be in uniform tonight when the Clippers play the San Antonio Spurs in an exhibition game at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
* Denver Nuggets guard Todd Lichti will undergo arthroscopic surgery next week to check for further damage after he tore the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in a preseason game Tuesday night, the team announced. A Nuggets spokesman initially said Lichti probably would not play for at least two months, but he later said team officials did not know how long Lichti would be on the injured list.
Pete Sampras was extended to three sets by a Swedish qualifier before joining fellow Americans Richey Reneberg, Jim Courier and Aaron Krickstein in the quarterfinals of the Stockholm (Sweden) Open.
Sampras, seeded No. 7, overcame David Engel, 6-7 (1-7), 6-2, 6-4, to set up a meeting with defending champion Boris Becker, who advanced with a 7-6 (7-3), 6-1 victory over Goran Prpic, a Croatian who refuses to play for Yugoslavia.
Earlier, top seed Stefan Edberg extended his match winning streak to 19 with a 6-2, 6-3 win over American Brad Gilbert.
* Third seed Zina Garrison, suffering from a stomach virus, managed a 6-4, 6-4 victory Ros Fairbank-Nideffer in the Midland Bank Championships in Brighton, England, to advance to the quarterfinals. Second seed Katerina Maleeva also won, 6-4, 6-4, beating Jo Durie.
The British Equestrian Team, getting another strong performance from Tina Cassan, captured the Nations' Cup competition at the Washington International Horse Show at the Capital Centre in Landover. Cassan toppled only one fence in two tours of the 15-obstacle course in the Nations' Cup competition. Each of the four British riders turned in at least one clean ride, enabling the team to defeat the U.S. team with relative ease.
Seve Ballesteros has accused American Paul Azinger of lying during a rules dispute at last month's Ryder Cup.
Ballesteros was discussing an incident during a foursomes match on the first morning, when Azinger and Chip Beck admitted changing to a different compression ball on the seventh tee, in violation of the one-ball rule.
"Azinger didn't cheat, but he lied," the Spaniard said. "He said it [the change of ball] happened once, but we know it happened three times."
* Ollie Williams posted a 6-over-par 77, and led 52 players in the annual Baltimore County Senior Open tournament at Longview Golf Course. Bernie Allowatt and Gil Navy both had 78s. Williams won the 61-65 division, and the winners in four of the other five age groups were within two strokes of Williams, including Allowatt (50-55 division) and Navy (71-75 division).
* Buddy Sass, head professional at Ocean Pines Golf Club, shot 3-under-par 34-3569 at The Beach Club, and took a one-stroke lead over Joe Greenawalt of Northwest Park GC, 34-3670, after the first round of the 36-hole Ocean City Invitation tournament. Also breaking par were John McNaney, Country Road DR, and Jimmy Hayes, Redgate GC, with 71s. The concluding round today will be at Ocean City Yacht & CC.
Indiana coach Bill Mallory has been suspended by the Big Ten for one game because he criticized game officials and conference personnel. Mallory said he will skip tomorrow's game against Wisconsin rather than pay a $10,000 fine that would have been levied against the school's television revenue.
* Marvin Jones of top-ranked Florida State is among 10 semifinalists for the Butkus Award, presently annually to the top linebacker.
The list, released by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando, Fla., also includes Michigan's Erick Anderson; Notre Dame's Demetrius Dubose; Miami's Darrin Smith; East Carolina's Robert Jones; Ohio State's Steve Tovar; Georgia Tech's Marco Coleman; Michigan State's Chuck Bullough; Florida's Tim Paulk; and Clemson's Ed McDaniel.
The list will be trimmed to three finalists on Nov. 21. The winner will be announced during the Butkus Award banquet on Dec. 7.
George Foreman, 42, will resume his heavyweight boxing comeback Dec. 7 in Reno, Nev., against Jimmy Ellis, 27. The 10-round fight will be the main event on a card at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center that also will feature two-time world champion Roger Mayweather taking on Rafael Pineda for the vacant International Boxing Federation junior welterweight title.
* Pro boxer and former New York Jets defensive lineman Mark Gastineau pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of harassment for punching a patron in a Long Island bar last May. Gastineau, 35, was fined $200 and given a conditional discharge.
Bobby Labonte won the pole for Sunday's Winston Classic in Martinsville, Va., the season finale that will determine whether Labonte or Kenny Wallace wins NASCAR's 1991 Busch Grand National championship and its $100,000 bonus. Labonte leads Wallace by 19 points and can win the title if he finishes third or better.