Sports Briefs

Posted: Friday, September 01, 2000

Blazers trade O'Neal to Pacers for Davis

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A day after acquiring Shawn Kemp, the Portland Trail Blazers beefed up their front line some more Thursday, getting Dale Davis from the Indiana Pacers in exchange for unhappy Jermaine O'Neal.

Indiana also gets Joe Kleine, the Blazers' 38-year-old backup center. Kleine was signed to a three-year contract, with the first year guaranteed. On Wednesday, Portland acquired Kemp from Cleveland in a three-team deal that sent Brian Grant to Miami.

With Davis, the Blazers clearly got the best of the swap of 6-foot-11 players.

Davis, who helped lead the Pacers to the NBA Finals against the Lakers, averaged 10 points and 9.9 rebounds, leading Indiana in rebounding for the seventh straight year and making his first All-Star team.

O'Neal, who came into the NBA out of Eau Claire (S.C.) High School, has contributed virtually nothing in his four pro seasons. He averaged just 12.3 minutes, 3.9 points and 3.3 rebounds last season and couldn't crack the rotation playing behind forwards Rasheed Wallace and Brian Grant.

''I just don't think he was as talented as the guys who were playing in front of him,'' Blazers coach Mike Dunleavy said.

When O'Neal did get into games, usually as a backup to aging center Arvydas Sabonis, he showed promising shot-blocking and rebounding skills at the defensive end, but almost no touch on offense.

Lindland replaces Sieracki on U.S. Olympic team

DENVER -- A dispute between two wrestlers bidding to represent the United States at the Olympics has taken a plot twist along the lines of the WCW meets Mike Tyson.

Matt Lindland was placed on the Greco-Roman team for Sydney on Thursday after the International Olympic Committee said he could be substituted for rival Keith Sieracki as ordered by a federal judge.

While awaiting a ruling from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Sieracki drove from Colorado Springs to Denver with a videotape that appeared to show Lindland biting Sieracki's ear during their 167 1/2-pound qualifying match at the Olympic trials two months ago in Dallas.

Though not conclusive, the tape, viewed by The Associated Press, showed Lindland making a deliberate move toward Sieracki's right ear as the two wrestlers jostle for leverage. Sieracki immediately jumped back in protest, and close-up footage showed a small amount of blood coming from the ear.

Sieracki, a military police sergeant stationed at the Fort Carson Army post, won the match 2-1 on a referee's decision. USA Wrestling committees upheld that decision, but an arbitrator ordered a rematch after Lindland claimed he was illegally tripped. Lindland won the rematch 8-0.

''I didn't hook the legs,'' Sieracki said. ''It was incidental contact. On top of that, he bit my ear and should have been disqualified. The ear bite is a lot more apparent compared to the leg call.''

Elliott to play one more season with Spurs

SAN ANTONIO -- Saying he feels great a year after a kidney transplant and wants the challenge of basketball in his life, Sean Elliott announced Thursday that he will return to the San Antonio Spurs for at least one more season.

The 32-year-old forward, who made an unprecedented comeback by rejoining his team last March, said he's just not ready to retire.

''I love the challenge. I need something to challenge me,'' said Elliott, a standout perimeter player who helped the Spurs win their first NBA title in 1999. ''I think a lot of guys are like that. We just love to go out there and play the game.

''I'd say a majority of the people in this league retire because they can't play anymore. I can still play.''

The 6-foot-8 Elliott, who is entering his 12th NBA season, reportedly will earn $5 million this year, the final year of his contract. He said he has made no decisions about playing beyond this year.

Elliott become the first professional athlete in a major sport to return to competition following a kidney transplant when he came back for the final weeks of last season, but never regained top form. He averaged six points and 2.5 rebounds in 19 games, well down from his career averages of 14.7 points and 4.4 rebounds.

Barron shoots 65 to share first-round lead

SURREY, British Columbia -- Doug Barron, bothered by a neck injury, shot a 6-under-par 65 on Thursday for a share of the lead in the Air Canada Championship.

''A lot of times, when people get hurt, they seem to play well because it gets your mind off your game,'' Barron said. ''I think I did it sneezing. I just couldn't turn my neck, so I went to my chiropractor and he screwed it up worse.''

Dave Stockton Jr., Jason Buha and New Zealand's Grant Waite also opened with 65s on the Northview Golf Club course.

Barron had six birdies, including a 20-foot downhill putt on the 18th hole.

''I'm trying to get into position for Sunday and that's what we're all trying to do,'' Barron said.

Sweden's Jesper Parnevik, the leading money-winner in the field at No. 5, overcame an inflamed hip to top a six-player group at 66.

Defending champion Mike Weir, who last year became the first Canadian to win a PGA Tour event on home turf since 1954, was another stroke back at 67 along with 1997 winner Mark Calcavecchia.

Waite, who won the 1993 Kemper Open for his lone tour title, scrambled for birdies after hitting into the rough on the final two holes.

''To hit two poor drives on the last two holes and make birdies from them just shows you what kind of game we play,'' he said.

Stockton holed a 45-foot putt to key a five-birdie spree on the front nine.

''It died right in the middle of the hole. You don't expect to make putts like that and it got me pumped up,'' he said.

Buha had nine birdies and three bogeys.

Spanish star Sergio Garcia, coming off a victory over Tiger Woods on Monday in a made-for-TV match, shot a 68. He recovered from a double-bogey 6 on No. 10 with birdies on four of the last seven holes.

''You don't beat the No. 1 golfer every day,'' he said. ''It gives you confidence.''

Parnevik used a putter given to him last week by Pierre Lacroix, general manager of the NHL's Colorado Avalanche. They played a round when Parnevik visited Montreal for a wedding.

''He'd had it ever since he started playing,'' Parnevik said. ''He didn't pay more than 20 bucks for it, I would bet. I just put it in my bag and it's worked nice.''

Weir is 32nd on the money list, but hasn't had a top-10 finish since May.

''It was one shot better than my start last year so it was good to go out there and have a nice, solid round,'' he said.

''It seems like the last few tournaments I've played I've just been sporadic. I'll get going good for a few holes and then hit a shot that costs me a lot.''

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