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Isiah Thomas says he's 'hurt' by Johnson-Bird book

In the book, Johnson says he played a role in keeping Thomas off the 1992 'Dream Team.'

October 23, 2009|Staff And Wire Reports

Isiah Thomas said a 17-year-old wound has been reopened in a new book that Magic Johnson and Larry Bird wrote with author Jackie MacMullan.

In the book, Johnson says, among other things, that he played a role in keeping Thomas off the 1992 U.S. Olympic team.

"I'm just disappointed and hurt," Thomas, now the coach at Florida International, told the Associated Press on Thursday. "I never thought it was him who kept me off the Olympic team. That hurt."

In the book, which chronicles the careers of Bird and Johnson, the former Lakers great who retired from basketball in 1991 after being diagnosed with HIV said that Thomas questioned his sexuality and that several players did not want him on the original "Dream Team" that easily won Olympic gold.

"Isiah killed his own chances when it came to the Olympics," Johnson said in the book, an advance copy of which was obtained by the AP. "Nobody on that team wanted to play with him. . . . I'm sad for Isiah. He has alienated so many people in his life, and he still doesn't get it."

The Portland Trail Blazers signed forward LaMarcus Aldridge to a five-year contract extension. The team also announced it had cut center Jarron Collins.

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COLLEGE BASKETBALL

SEC questions Wall's eligibility

Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive says there are questions regarding the eligibility of highly touted Kentucky freshman John Wall, ESPN.com reported.

ESPN.com reported Wall's issues stem from his relationship with AAU coach Brian Clifton, who was a certified agent from 2007 to 2008.

UCLA has announced that sophomore center J'mison Morgan has some swelling in his left knee but an MRI exam was negative. He will miss the next three or four practices and will continue to do daily rehabilitation.

-- David Wharton

The USC men's and women's basketball teams are holding a meet-and-greet for fans Sunday at 12:30 at the Galen Center.

The free event will be preceded by a noon fundraiser and followed by a 2 p.m. men's intrasquad scrimmage.

-- Pete Thomas

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SOCCER

Onyewu to be out for six months

American defender Oguchi Onyewu will be sidelined for six months after surgery to repair a ruptured patellar tendon in his left knee, a layoff that could jeopardize his appearance in next year's World Cup.

The U.S. Soccer Federation originally projected his recovery at three to four months. The federation issued a new estimate of six months, a day after the national team physician, Dr. Bert Mandelbaum, operated on Onyewu for one hour in Los Angeles.

Diego Maradona says he won't apologize for an obscenity-filled tirade on live TV that prompted a FIFA investigation and could result in a five-game suspension and nearly $20,000 fine for the Argentina coach.

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TENNIS

Schnyder hands Clijsters a loss

Patty Schnyder beat U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (6), to reach the quarterfinals of the Luxembourg Open. Schnyder handed the Belgian her first loss since she won the Grand Slam tournament last month.

Tsvetana Pironkova upset top-seeded Vera Zvonareva, 6-0, 6-2, in the second round of the Kremlin Cup at Moscow, sending Jelena Jankovic to the season-ending WTA Championships. In the men's tournament, Robby Ginepri of the United States advanced to the quarterfinals by beating Marcel Granollers, 7-6 (5), 6-0.

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ETC.

O'Hern takes lead by shooting a 63

Brandishing a hot putter on a warm afternoon, Australian Nick O'Hern cruised to a career-low 63 and the Frys.com Open lead at Scottsdale, Ariz.

Bob Heintz and Heath Slocum were one stroke back at 64, and D.A. Points, Rory Sabbatini, Greg Owen and Rickie Fowler shot 65s to finish two shots off the lead.

The NHL suspended Ducks forward Evgeny Artyukhin for three games without pay for slew-footing Dallas defenseman Matt Niskanen in Wednesday's game.

-- Hellene Elliott

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