Sports Beat

August 08, 2004

NBA guard Quentin Richardson scored twice last week when he
signed a six-year, $42.6 million contract with the Suns and also
closed the deal with erstwhile Cinderella Brandy by proposing
with an 11 1/2-carat diamond ring. Richardson, 24, reportedly
popped the question at the Century Club in L.A. among family and
friends. No wedding date has been set, but the couple won't have
to wait for her to get divorced. Two weeks ago Brandy's first
"husband," music producer Robert Smith, said that they were never
married but had kept up appearances to maintain the singer's
image because she was pregnant with their child, Sy'rai, now two.
Brandy, 25, conceded that they shared only a "spiritual union."
That's something the Suns want Richardson to find as well--with
Steve Nash.

--Former pirates pitcher Kris Benson blew his debut with the Mets
last Saturday (he gave up seven runs in five innings), but his
wife, Anna (left), still plans to make a big splash in New York
City. The former Penthouse pinup and aspiring actress talked to
the city's newspapers about her plans to invest in a raunchy Off
Broadway play and her hopes of starting a cosmetics line and
opening a boutique in New York. Another of Anna's stated goals is
to have sex with Kris in every city that he plays in. "We have a
ways to go, but that's what we want to do," said Anna, 28, who
already has three kids with her hubby. For photo galleries of
Anna, as well as a list of her favorite nail care products, go to
annabenson.net.

--Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios put the bad in producer Jerry
Bruckheimer's annual Bad Boys of Hockey weekend in Vegas when he
was kicked out of a restaurant at the Bellagio hotel. Chelios,
42, was dining with Bruckheimer, Jennifer Capriati, Cuba Gooding
Jr. and NHL colleagues Sergei Fedorov and Marty McSorley when,
for no apparent reason, he started throwing plates a la My Big
Fat Greek Wedding. His agency, FIX, said that Chelios "explained
to management that it was O.K. because he was Greek, but it
didn't fly."

--In the wake of The Bachelor's successful season with New York
Giants quarterback Jesse Palmer passing out the roses, producers
pitched the idea of starring on the show to another jock: Marlins
ace Carl Pavano. The 28-year-old righthander, who recently split
with Charmed star Alyssa Milano, nixed the idea, saying, "It was
flattering, but [I was] not interested." Pavano's teammates are
glad he said no. "He would have been calling us every night,"
said pitcher A.J. Burnett. "'I need help! Help me! Which one
should I pick?'"

--After learning that an ad in Playboy would cost $25,000, L.A.
Sparks director of tactical marketing Heather La Bella decided
that instead of paying the fee, she would pose in the magazine to
promote the team. The editors took her up on the offer, and the
August issue features a topless photo of La Bella, 32, under the
heading Employee of the Month. "I always wanted to be in
Playboy," said La Bella. "I show that women in high profile jobs
can be beautiful, sexy as well as intelligent." ... Hall of Fame
golfer Nancy Lopez and her husband, former Mets third baseman Ray
Knight, are launching Back in Full Swing, an educational campaign
designed to combat heart disease. Lopez's father, Domingo, died
of heart disease two years ago, and Knight, 51, suffered a heart
attack during a hunting trip last year. His recovery kept him
away from his duties as a broadcaster.

B/W PHOTO: (c) EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE/COURTESY OF LAURENCE MILLER GALLERY, NY (PICTURE THIS) PICTURE THIS Everything old is nude again. Today's aerodynamic, sweat-wicking fabrics have nothing on the outfit worn by the hammer thrower in this 1887 collotype by Eadweard Muybridge, the British-born photographer who spent his life (1830-1904) studying human and animal motion. This and other work celebrating the rebirth of the Olympics in 1896 is on exhibit at the Laurence Miller Gallery in New York City. COLOR PHOTO: FREDERICK M. BROWN/GETTY IMAGES (BENSON) COLOR PHOTO: ALLEN KEE/WIREIMAGE (SPIKES)

THIS WEEK'S SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
A South African soccer referee shot and killed a coach during an
argument over a call.

THEY SAID IT TAKEO SPIKES
Bills linebacker on preseason training: "Man, you start sweating
before you even get to camp, just thinking about going."

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)