National Sports Briefs: Oden eager to get career going
LOS ANGELES ó Greg Oden is itching to get his delayed NBA career going, but he’s still forbidden from any 5-on-5 action until September.
Oden’s rookie season was over before it even started when he had right knee surgery last September. Recovery can take six months or more, and the Portland Trail Blazers decided their No. 1 pick would sit out the season.
“I’m still rehabbing, but I’m ready to play,” Oden told The Associated Press on Wednesday while in Los Angeles to attend the ESPY Awards. “I can work out, I can lift, no 5-on-5, no 3-on-3. That’s where everything is going, towards me being able to play when the season starts, but I’m ready.”
He said he expects to be cleared to play again in September.
– NEW ORLEANS ó James Posey has won NBA championships with two teams. The New Orleans Hornets hope to be his third.
Posey, a 6-foot-8 forward who last season helped the Boston Celtics win their first championship since 1986, agreed Wednesday to a four-year, $25 million contract with New Orleans.
– LAS VEGAS ó Rookie of the Year Kevin Durant and No. 1 draft pick Derrick Rose were among the players chosen Wednesday for the select team roster that will scrimmage against the U.S. Olympic team next week.
Ten players were picked for the team, which will be coached again by Oklahoma City’s P.J. Carlesimo, who ran last year’s squad. Two additional players will be selected from the Las Vegas summer league, which ends Sunday.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. ó Jack Swarbrick graduated from Notre Dame the same year as the university president, yet the Rev. John Jenkins never heard of him until a few weeks ago.
On Wednesday, Jenkins stood in a room atop the Hesburgh Library with a view over Notre Dame Stadium and introduced his fellow 1976 classmate as the university’s new athletic director.
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. ó Four-time defending champion Roger Federer and Wimbledon winner Rafael Nadal lead the men’s field for the U.S. Open announced.
Former U.S. Open champions Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Roddick and Marat Safin will also be in the field for the Aug. 25-Sept. 7 tournament in New York.
Nadal, fresh off a thrilling defeat of Federer at the All England Club and a more comprehensive win at Roland Garros, has a chance to become the fifth man to win the final three majors of the season.
RALEIGH ó The Carolina Hurricanes will open the regular season at home against Southeast Division rival Florida on Oct. 10. The NHL announced the home openers for all 30 teams on Wednesday. The remainder of the 82-game schedule will be released Thursday.
– UNIONDALE, N.Y. ó The New York Islanders agreed to terms Wednesday with forwards Sean Bergenheim and Jeff Tambellini on two-year deals. Bergenheim’s deal is worth $1.725 million
FOIX, France ó Kurt-Asle Arvesen of Norway won the 11th stage of the Tour de France on Wednesday, a ride largely overshadowed by the second doping bust to mar the race this year.
Cadel Evans of Australia retained the race leader’s yellow jersey by finishing in the main pack that included his top rivals for the overall title.
Before the stage began, French police detained Spanish cyclist Moises Duenas Nevado after he tested positive for the banned blood-booster EPO following the fourth stage on July 8 in Cholet.