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Stockton Will Stay in Utah for 'Only' $5 Million a Year

September 18, 1996

John Stockton has agreed to a three-year, $15-million contract with the Utah Jazz.

The value of the contract is thought to be millions below what the 34-year-old Stockton, the league's all-time leader in assists and steals and an eight-time all-star, could have made on the open market. But Stockton had said the money was less important than other considerations.

Jazz owner Larry Miller said, "We're pleased things have worked out and John plans to sign what will likely be his final NBA contract with the Jazz . . . He has contributed more to this franchise than numbers alone will ever tell."

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Kenny Smith, 31, a nine-year NBA veteran who was part of two championship teams with the Houston Rockets, signed a one-year, $247,500 contract with the Detroit Pistons.

Aleksandar Djordjevic, a 6-foot-2 point guard who helped Yugoslavia win a silver medal at the Atlanta Olympics, said he will sign a contract with the Portland Trail Blazers next week. The Blazers would only confirm discussions with Djordjevic.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who will continue long jumping in track and field, will play for the Richmond Rage in the new women's American Basketball League.

Joyner-Kersee said she would play 28 to 35 games of the 40-game regular-season schedule. That would allow her to compete in the long jump and continue making public appearances.

"I'm just finishing where I started," said Joyner-Kersee, 34, who was four-year starter at forward at UCLA. "Many people don't realize that I started out playing basketball."

Auto Racing

NASCAR drivers Jimmy Spencer, Michael Waltrip and Kyle Petty were fined a total of $17,000 after nearly coming to blows Sunday in the MBNA 500 at Dover Downs International Speedway in Dover, Del.

Spencer was fined $10,000 for trying to get at Wally Dallenbach after they were involved in a multi-car accident. Petty was fined $5,000 and Waltrip $2,000 for threatening each other moments after tangling on the final lap of the race, which was won by Jeff Gordon.

Two of three drivers injured in separate crashes in Sunday's Las Vegas 500K Indy car race were released from University Medical Center.

Tony Stewart, who broke his left shoulder blade, and Mark Dismore, who broke his pelvis, were sent home. Brad Murphy, who broke his right hip, remained hospitalized.

Jurisprudence

Alvin Harrison, a 1996 Olympic gold medalist in the 1,600-meter relay, was released on bail after he was arrested on charges of assaulting a towing service security guard in Salinas with a car on Monday night. One of the two others charged is Harrison's twin brother, Calvin.

The judge presiding over the tax evasion trial of tennis player Steffi Graf's father and a tax advisor in Mannheim, Germany, does not anticipate handing out an "exorbitant" sentence if the two are found guilty.

The prosecutor accused chief judge Joachim Plass of making a deal with the defense when he tried to free Peter Graf and former family tax advisor Joachim Eckardt from jail last Friday. The pair remain in custody pending an appeal.

The judge denied any wrongdoing and said he believes the pair, who have been in custody for a year, have served enough jail time.

Golf

Ian Woosnam of Wales and American Steve Stricker filled out the 12-player field for the Million Dollar Challenge, scheduled for November in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Names in the News

Former Nebraska quarterback Tommie Frazier was released from a Montreal hospital after being treated for pneumonia, but he will likely miss the rest of his rookie season with the Canadian Football League's Alouettes. . . . Top-seeded Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria pulled out of the $165,000 WTA Tour's Warsaw Cup tennis tournament because she hurt her back during a training session. . . . Former Tulane football coach Andy Pilney died in Kenner, La., at 83.

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