Armon Gilliam and his son, Jeremiah, take part in a jersey retirement ceremony… (Jae C. Hong / Associated…)
Armen Gilliam, who was part of the UNLV basketball team that made a run to the Final Four in 1987 and played for several NBA teams died at 47. The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office said Wednesday that Gilliam died Tuesday night at the LA Fitness gym in Bridgeville, Pa., while playing basketball. The office said an autopsy was pending.
The Phoenix Suns drafted Gilliam as the No. 2 overall pick in the 1987 NBA draft. In addition to the Suns, Gilliam played for the Charlotte Hornets, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, Milwaukee Bucks and Utah Jazz. He retired in 2000.
Gilliam, who was nicknamed "The Hammer," was the leading scorer on the 1987 UNLV team coached by Jerry Tarkanian.
In a statement released by UNLV, Tarkanian, who coached the Rebels from 1973 to 1992, called Gilliam one of the best players in school history.
"In my ratings, I had Larry Johnson No. 1 and Armen No. 2. He was such a great person. Everybody loved him and he loved everybody," Tarkanian said. "He was such a gentle person and such a caring guy. I am all shook up over it. I think the world of him and am just really shocked."
Australian cyclist Carly Hibberd was killed while training in Italy. Australia's department of foreign affairs and trade said Hibberd, a 26-year-old from Queensland state, died after she was struck by a car Wednesday. The accident reportedly occurred when she was riding between Appiano Gentile and Lurato Caccivio, north of Milan, with Colombian rider Diego Tamayo. Tamayo was not hurt.
Players' union doubts NBA claims of losses
The NBA players' association maintains that there is an "adequate basis" for doubting the NBA's losses, citing the inaccurate financial projections the league made in 2009-10. The union's assertion came a day after a report questioned whether the league indeed lost money two seasons ago.
Though the NBA says it lost $340 million in 2009-10, a New York Times blog post Tuesday called the league "fundamentally a healthy and profitable business" with an estimated operating income of $183 million that season.
Union spokesman Dan Wasserman said the NBA projected a decline in revenues that season but that they actually rose, so the final losses should have been much less than the league said.
Because of the projected losses, the league forecast a steep drop in the salary cap for the 2010-11 season, saying it could fall as low as $50.4 million. Instead, it was set at $58 million after the higher-than-expected revenues.
The Times story was based on estimates prepared by Forbes and Financial World magazines. NBA spokesman Mike Bass said Tuesday that the information was inaccurate, saying Forbes "does not have the financial data for our teams and the magazine's estimates do not reflect reality."
Frank Vogel was officially introduced as the Indiana Pacers' coach Wednesday. Vogel took over for Jim O'Brien in the middle of last season, went 20-18 to close the regular season and led the team to its first playoff berth since 2006.
Pacers President Larry Bird made Vogel the favorite to get the job from the beginning of the search, then took his time making the decision official.
"As I stated after the season, I was in no hurry regarding the coach, mainly because I knew I had a good candidate in Frank," Bird said. "But we wanted to get through the draft, and I wanted to have numerous conversations with Frank about a staff that will cover all areas."
Police said Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley was ticketed for possessing marijuana and speeding in the Minneapolis suburb of Minnetonka last week. The possession charge is a petty misdemeanor that carries a fine of $128.
Toni Katic scored 21 points, leading Croatia to an 87-85 victory over the United States at Riga, Latvia, in the second round of the under-19 world basketball championship. Jeremy Lamb of NCAA champion Connecticut had 25 points for the U.S. (5-1), which had already clinched a berth in the quarterfinals.
Stanford Coach Johnny Dawkins signed a two-year contract extension that takes him through the 2015-16 season with the Cardinal.
Lawyers for the NFL and the players' association are again sorting out contract language and details that could speed the process in reaching a new collective bargaining agreement. A person with knowledge of the situation told the Associated Press that attorneys met for a second straight day Wednesday at a Manhattan law firm's headquarters. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because a judge has directed that details of the court-ordered mediated negotiations not be disclosed.
The Ducks signed left wing Jean-Francois Jacques to a one-year contract, a two-way deal that would pay $650,000 in the NHL and $105,000 in the AHL. Jacques, 26, appeared in 51 games for the Edmonton Oilers last season, scoring four goals and finishing with five points and 63 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-4, 217-pound winger ranked fifth on the Oilers with 111 hits.