National Sports Briefs
SAINT-GIRONS, France ó Lance Armstrong is trying not to let his rivalry with Alberto Contador distract him and the rest of the Astana team at the Tour de France.
On Saturday, the status quo between Contador and Armstrong prevailed as Luis Leon Sanchez of Spain won the eighth stage in the Pyrenees, while Italy’s Rinaldo Nocentini retained the yellow jersey.
Contador eclipsed the seven-time Tour champion Armstrong a day earlier in the first Pyrenean ride, and trails the Italian, who is not seen as an overall title threat, by six seconds. Armstrong is eight seconds back.
NBADALLAS ó The Mavericks have re-signed Jason Kidd.
The team announced that free agent point guard signed on Saturday, five days after owner Mark Cuban confirmed that Kidd was returning. Kidd agreed to a three-year contract worth more than $25 million.
The 37-year-old Kidd could finish his career where it started in 1994 ó with the Mavericks. The No. 2 pick out of California returned to Dallas in a trade last year with New Jersey, where he made two trips to the NBA finals with the Nets.
The nine-time All-Star is third on the NBA’s career list in assists (10,199) and triple-doubles (103).
Kidd has averaged 13.8 points, 6.7 rebounds and 9.2 assists in 15 NBA seasons.
– NEW YORK ó First-round draft pick Jordan Hill has signed with the New York Knicks. The Knicks announced Saturday that they had signed the forward from Arizona. Hill was the eighth overall pick in the draft.
– DALLAS ó Brandon Bass is going from backing up Dirk Nowitzki to starting next to Dwight Howard.
Bass agreed to leave Dallas and sign with the Orlando Magic, the Eastern Conference champions announced.
NEWPORT, R.I. ó Monica Seles is comfortable talking about her on-court stabbing 16 years ago ó even on a day of celebration.
The 35-year-old Seles was enshrined in the International Tennis Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Newport’s grass courts Saturday. She was the world’s No. 1 women’s player for 178 weeks overall and a winner of nine Grand Slam singles titles.
It was April 30, 1993. The attack shocked the sports world. Seated during a changeover at a match in Hamburg, Germany, Seles was stabbed between the shoulder blades by a crazed fan.
“She won eight grand slams before she was stabbed,” said Donald Dell, also inducted Saturday. “Believe me, she would have won another nine.”
Seles was enshrined along with master’s player Andres Gimeno, the oldest player ever to win the French at 34 years, 10 months. Dr. Robert Johnson was inducted posthumously.
Seles, playfully, gave one more grunt. “For old, good time sakes,” she said.
INDIANAPOLIS ó Cullen Jones has broken the American record in the 50-meter freestyle at the U.S. national championships.Jones touched in 21.41 seconds Saturday night, lowering the old mark of 21.76 set by Gary Hall Jr. in 2000.
– INDIANAPOLIS ó Aaron Peirsol broke the world record in the 200-meter backstroke, beating previous owner Ryan Lochte and lowering his second world mark in three days.
BETHLEHEM, Pa. ó Former champion Cristie Kerr scrambled for a 1-over 72 Saturday afternoon to take a two-shot lead over Eun Hee Ji of South Korea after three rounds of the U.S. Women’s Open.
– SILVIS, Ill. ó Steve Stricker has vaulted into second place at the John Deere Classic, tying a course record and matching the lowest score of his career with a 10-under 61 that left him three strokes behind Darron Stiles through two rounds.IRL
TORONTO ó Dario Franchitti captured his third pole in five IndyCar Series races on Saturday for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, beating part-time Penske driver Will Power for the top spot for Sunday’s Honda Indy.
ROME ó Tyson Gay gave notice to world record-holder Usain Bolt by running the fastest 100 meters of the year in 9.77 seconds at the Golden Gala.