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NBA Talks Take Weekend Off

October 31, 1998| From Staff and Wire Reports

The sense of urgency that was so prevalent in the NBA labor talks a few days ago seemed to be gone Friday as the opposing sides announced they wouldn't meet again until Monday.

"In our view, clearly the owners are slowing things down. We're not sure why," said Jeffrey Kessler, the lead outside attorney for the players' union. "Maybe they think they went too far, or maybe they think the extra time will create pressure that will help them."

Monday's meeting will be among attorneys only, and the full negotiating committees won't meet again until Wednesday--a day after the regular season was to begin.


Cuban Sports Minister Humberto Rodriguez raised the possibility that Cubans who live on the communist island might be allowed to play in the major leagues.

Mark McGwire, who broke Roger Maris' record and went on to hit 70 home runs, was chosen player of the year by his peers and presented the Players Choice Award. . . . The deadline for Albert Belle to decide whether to return to his Chicago White Sox contract has been extended from Nov. 25 to Dec. 2. . . . Wade Boggs will remain with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays when he continues his quest for 3,000 hits--he ended last season with 2,922--as the American League club exercised its option to retain him. . . . Catcher Sandy Alomar (knee) and pitcher Dwight Gooden (hernia) of the Cleveland Indians had successful surgery this week, the team said. . . . The Milwaukee Brewers re-signed right-handed pitcher David Weathers to a one-year contract.


Pete Sampras got some unexpected help in his drive to stay atop the tennis rankings for an unprecedented sixth year in a row.

Sampras' opponent in the Eurocard Open quarterfinals at Stuttgart, Germany, quit their match because of injury, and Sampras' closest rival in the rankings, No. 2 Marcelo Rios, also dropped out because of an injury.

Sampras was leading, 4-1, and preparing to serve when Jan-Michael Gambill retired because of a back injury.

Mary Pierce stayed on course for her second tournament championship in as many weeks, reaching the final of the Seat Luxembourg Open with 6-1, 7-5 victory over Elena Likhovtseva of Russia. Pierce's opponent in the final will be Silvia Farina of Italy, who ousted top-seeded Nathalie Tauziat of France, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.

Nathalie Dechy of France ended the surprising run of American Alexandra Stevenson in the Bell Challenge at Quebec, beating the 17-year-old amateur, 6-2, 7-6 (7-1), to reach her first semifinal. . . . Xavier Malisse, an 18-year-old qualifier from Belgium, beat Juan-Antonio Marin of Costa Rica, 6-3, 7-5, to reach the semifinals of the Mexican Open at Mexico City.

Names in the News

Citing Christopher Reeve as an inspiration, a 17-year-old Chinese gymnast who suffered a broken neck at last summer's Goodwill Games was discharged from a New York City hospital, vowing to someday walk again. "I shall never give in," Sang Lan said as she left the Mount Sinai-New York University Medical Center in Manhattan.

Despite falling on an attempted triple lutz, world bronze medalist Maria Butyrskaya of Russia won the women's short program in Skate America at Detroit. American Angela Nikodinov was in second after skating a clean program that included a triple lutz-double toe combination.

Tony Stewart became the first driver since Jeff Gordon in 1992 to win both NASCAR Busch Grand National poles at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, turning a fast lap of 152.544 mph. Matt Kenseth, who passed Stewart in the final turn to win the GM Goodwrench Service Plus 200 in February, will start on the outside of Stewart in today's 197-lap ACDelco 200. Kenseth qualified at 152.341 mph.

Gary Scelzi (top fuel), Cruz Pedregon (funny car) and Kurt Johnson (pro stock) were qualifying leaders in the Matco Tools Supernationals at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas.

Former New York Giant linebacker Lawrence Taylor, who returned to a drug rehabilitation center this week, filed for personal bankruptcy, in part to avoid a possible foreclosure on his $605,000 home in Upper Saddle River, N.J., his attorney said.


The World Boxing Council voted to consider recognizing women's boxing, setting up a committee to study rules and regulations.

Frank Klopas' goal in overtime lifted the Major League Soccer champion Chicago Fire to a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Crew in the U.S. Open Cup final at Chicago.

The second-ranked UCLA men's water polo team, 12-2 overall and 4-0 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, plays No. 4 Stanford (14-4, 5-1) today at noon at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center before the UCLA-Stanford football game. . . . The West Coast Conference cross-country championships begin today at Santa Clara. . . . The Big West cross-country championships begin today at Denton, Texas. . . . The Pacific 10 Conference cross-country championships are today at Eugene, Ore. . . . The Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference cross-country championships will be held today at Prado Regional Park in Chino.

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