National Sports Briefs
Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 10, 2011
ORLANDO, Fla. ó Dwight Howard wants out of Orlando, putting one of the NBA’s most dominant big men on the block at the start of training camp.
Magic general manager Otis Smith confirmed Saturday that Howard has formally requested a trade. A team spokesman said earlier in the day that the team had granted New Jersey, Dallas and the Los Angeles Lakers permission to talk to Howard’s agent, Dan Fegan, to discuss possible trades.
The All-Star is eligible to opt out of his current contract in July 2012.
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. ó The Detroit Pistons have signed former N.C. State and Georgia player Damien Wilkins. The 31-year-old Wilkins is the son of former NBA player Gerald Wilkins and the nephew of former Atlanta star Dominique Wilkins.
GREENBURGH, N.Y. ó Tyson Chandler joined the New York Knicks on Saturday, in the belief that joining, Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire means he’s not done competing for championships.
The Knicks have long needed a defensive presence, and Chandler plans to provide it.
ANAHEIM, Calif.ó Every time Albert Pujols got close to the metal crowd-control barriers, fans shrieked and shoved forward for autographs and high-fives. With his new red cap shielding his eyes from the brilliant Southern California sun, Pujols soaked in the cheers and the rays on his first day in his new home.
Baseball’s most feared slugger has arrived in Southern California, and his staggering new paychecks aren’t the only reason he left St. Louis for the Los Angeles Angels.
Pujols made his first public appearance Saturday at a raucous pep rally under the two giant hats outside Angel Stadium.
Pujols pulled on his new white No. 5 jersey to adoring chants of “We got Albert!”
“It was really emotional,” Pujols said of his decision-making process, which moved quickly over 36 hours earlier this week. “But when you feel there’s somebody out there that wants you really bad and was doing everything he could to bring you to the ballclub, it’s pretty special.”
NEW YORK ó National League MVP Ryan Braun has tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance, a case still under appeal. If Braun’s appeal is denied, the Milwaukee Brewers star would be subject to a 50-game suspension.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates ó Top-ranked Luke Donald is on the verge of becoming the first golfer to win the European and American money titles, shooting a 6-under 66 Saturday in the third round at the Dubai World Championship to trail leader Alvaro Quiros by four strokes.
While Donald climbed the leaderboard, Rory McIlroy headed the other way to all but end his chances of overtaking the Englishman for top spot on the European money list. The U.S. Open champion had a shaky 1-under 71 to drop into a tie for eighth.
PITTSBURGH ó The attorney for a Maine man who claims former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine molested him on a team trip to Pittsburgh in 2002 said he filed a lawsuit Thursday to rebut comments by Fine’s attorneys and a prosecutor that the man isn’t credible.
The lawyer, Jeffrey Anderson, said he would have preferred to sue the 65-year-old ex-coach after federal prosecutors in New York finish their investigation.
Two former ballboys have accused Fine of molesting them in the 1980s and Anderson’s 23-year-old client, Zachary Tomaselli, contends the same thing happened to him inside a Pittsburgh hotel room on Jan. 21, 2002. Tomaselli, who was 13 at the time, said Fine allegedly arranged the trip for the boy to watch Syracuse play the University of Pittsburgh.
Fine, who was fired, has denied the men’s allegations. His attorney, Karl Sleight, did not respond Thursday to e-mails and calls for comment on the lawsuit.
On Wednesday, Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said the ballboys are credible but that the crimes they allege were too old to prosecute.