Barely a year removed from his best season, Jamal Mashburn's NBA career could be over.
Mashburn and the New Orleans Hornets announced Monday, a week before the opening of training camp, that the former All-Star forward's right knee injury had shown no improvement and would force him to sit out the 2004-05 season.
After an 11-year career in which he has averaged 19.1 points, Mashburn, 31, said it's possible he'll never play again. But with two years and more than $18 million left on his contract, he wasn't ready to announce his retirement.
"I have to remain optimistic," he said. "Hopefully, I can get better with rest. This is my livelihood. I have to stay positive."
Mashburn sat out all but 19 games last season after he underwent surgery to remove loose particles from his right knee.
NBA referees ratified a new five-year contract, ensuring labor peace through the 2008-09 season.
The agreement is expected to be signed this week, said Lamell McMorris, lead negotiator for the National Basketball Referees Assn. He wouldn't disclose details of the contract, saying only that it was approved "overwhelmingly."
The referees had objected to parts of the league's most recent offer, including a clause allowing the NBA to fine the union $1 million and individual referees $50,000 for any disruption of a game.
It was a response to a protest last season when some officials turned their jerseys inside-out in support of colleague Michael Henderson, who was placed on paid leave after he blew a call that determined the outcome of a Laker-Denver Nugget game.
Paul Hamm fought to keep his Olympic gymnastics gold medal in arguments before the sports world's highest court, and the panel adjourned without making a decision in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Three arbitrators from the Court of Arbitration for Sport convened to hear the appeal from a South Korean who lost the gold medal in the all-around at last month's Athens Olympics after a scoring error by the judges.
"We hope the decision will be made in the next two weeks," CAS General Secretary Matthieu Reeb said.
Yang Tae Young wants the CAS to order international gymnastics officials to change the rankings and give him the gold and Hamm the silver.
Hamm and Yang -- and their aides -- declined to comment after emerging from the hearing.
Yang, who finished with a bronze, was wrongly docked 0.10 of a point on the start value of his next-to-last routine, the parallel bars. He finished third, 0.049 of a point behind Hamm, who became the first American man to win gymnastics' biggest prize.
But add the extra 0.100, and Yang would have finished 0.051 of a point ahead of Hamm.
Vijay Singh withdrew from the American Express Championship in Thomastown, Ireland, wanting to stay home with his family in Florida and cope with the damage left by Hurricane Jeanne.
This will be only the second time a World Golf Championship does not have the No. 1 player in the world.
Former Mighty Duck and King Dan Bylsma was hired as an assistant coach for Cincinnati, the Ducks' minor league affiliate. Bylsma, 34, spent the last four seasons with the Ducks, but played in only 11 games last season after undergoing knee surgery.
Larry Rummans, a local boxing figure who worked with Joe Louis and Sugar Ray Robinson, died Sunday morning at 94 of natural causes. Rummans began his career in Des Moines in 1929 and worked as a matchmaker and manager.