Injured when he crashed on his week-old motorcycle in a
residential Chicago neighborhood last Thursday evening, Bulls
guard Jay Williams. Official details of the accident and his
injuries have not been released, but Williams reportedly
sustained a broken leg and nerve damage, which could place his
career in jeopardy. Williams had surgery on his pelvic area, and
Bulls G.M. John Paxson said he "would have to assume" that
Williams will miss next season. A star at Duke, Williams, 21,
last year's second overall pick, had an uneven rookie season but
finished strong, averaging 14.7 points on 60.6% shooting in his
last seven games. There was speculation that Williams or the
Bulls' other point guard, Jamal Crawford, might be traded. "It's
just really hard to talk about," said Paxson. "All you think
about is Jay and how he's doing."
Replaced as title sponsor of NASCAR's premier series, R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Company. Last week Nextel Communications Inc.
signed a 10-year, $700 million contract with NASCAR that takes
effect next season and ends RJR's 33-year run. (The company
decided to end its sponsorship because of the uncertain economic
climate of the tobacco industry.) Along with the name change (the
Winston Cup Series will be the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series), the
most significant fallout is that Nextel will aggressively market
NASCAR to a demographic group that RJR couldn't touch--kids--due
to legal restrictions placed on tobacco products. Nextel and
NASCAR see winning over the younger crowd as a way to trigger a
growth spurt in the sport. "This is a big step forward," says
NASCAR chairman Bill France Jr. "Now we'll be able to become a
truly national sport."
Arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault, Mike Tyson. The
former heavyweight champ was arrested last Saturday, the same day
promoters had wanted him to fight Lennox Lewis. But Tyson turned
the bout down because he felt he wasn't prepared. Instead Lewis
fought Vitali Klitschko, and Tyson fought two tourists outside a
Brooklyn hotel. A pair of overzealous, and allegedly drunk,
autograph seekers reportedly instigated the fight by harassing
Tyson. According to a police spokeswoman, the two men took "a
rather heavy object, a kind of stanchion, and menaced Mr. Tyson
with it." Tyson punched one of the men in the head, knocking him
out cold. The men were charged with menacing and harassment, both
Died of injuries sustained in a one-car accident, Orlando
Predators coach Fran Papasedero, 34. Papasedero was driving alone
in Orlando last Thursday night when his car overturned; the cause
of the accident has not been determined. After a five-year career
as an Arena football lineman, Papasedero joined coach Jay
Gruden's staff in Orlando in 1997. When Gruden returned to the
field as a quarterback before last season, the Predators promoted
Papasedero, who led the team to a 12-4 record.
Retired at age 31, 1996 Wimbledon singles champ Richard Krajicek.
Raised in the Netherlands, the rangy Krajicek used what John
McEnroe called "the best serve I've ever seen" to become a star.
Though unseeded, Krajicek aced his way through the field at
Wimbledon in '96, upsetting defending champ Pete Sampras along
the way. Knee, foot and elbow injuries plagued him, and last
week, after he lost in the first round of a tournament in the
Netherlands, the man with more than $10 million in earnings had
had enough. "For the past few years I've been fighting my body,
and I lost," Krajicek said.