National Sports Briefs: Celtics to meet Bush to celebrate title
BOSTON ó The Boston Celtics will visit the White House to celebrate their 17th NBA championship with President Bush.
The team will attend a ceremony this afternoon with the president. The Celtics plan to give him a personalized jersey and an autographed basketball.
Boston beat the Los Angeles Lakers in six games in June to win its first championship in 22 years.
On Thursday, fans lined up at the Connecticut state Capitol to see the championship trophy and former UConn star Ray Allen.
Celtics guards Tony Allen and Rajon Rondo, team president Rich Gotham and former player JoJo White also were in attendance.
– NEW YORK ó Miami Heat rookie Michael Beasley was fined $50,000 by the NBA on Thursday after acknowledging that he was involved in an incident involving teammate Mario Chalmers and Memphis’ Darrell Arthur at the Rookie Transition Program this month.
– WASHINGTON ó Gilbert Arenas had a third operation on his left knee Wednesday, putting the Washington Wizards in spin mode as they face another season of uncertainty concerning their franchise player.
Team president Ernie Grunfeld said might be the only person who can say that with a straight face. The star player who signed an $111 million contract in July seems almost certain to miss the early part of the regular season at a minimum, dousing the team’s hopes of having a healthy campaign.
DAVIDSON ó After coming within a missed 3-pointer of the Final Four, Davidson has beefed up its schedule.
Gone are games against sub-Division I teams. But missing is a matchup with local rival Charlotte.
The schedule released Thursday includes appearances in the NIT Season Tip-Off, Jimmy V Classic and the Wooden Tradition. Davidson will also play North Carolina State in Charlotte on Dec. 6 and visit Duke Jan. 7.
After a dispute over a playing date, Davidson and Charlotte will not play for the first time in 30 years.
The Wildcats open Nov. 17 against James Madison in the NIT at Norman, Okla. A win would likely mean a matchup with Oklahoma.Davidson will play West Virginia on Dec. 9 in New York and Purdue on Dec. 20 in Indianapolis.
SAN ANTONIO ó Welterweight boxer Oscar Diaz has awakened from a coma, two months after he was seriously injured during a bout in his native San Antonio.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. ó Natasha Kai scored in the 72nd minute and the U.S. women’s soccer team beat Ireland 1-0 at Giants Stadium in the second game of a post-Olympic tour.
ATLANTA ó John Smoltz is going back to the postseason after all.
The Atlanta Braves right-hander, who had season-ending shoulder surgery on June 10, will be part of the TBS team of broadcasters for the network’s postseason coverage.
Smoltz will work as an analyst for TBS after spending time this season in the broadcast booth for Braves games.