At a funeral in his adopted hometown of Montreal on Monday, former junior lightweight and junior welterweight champ Arturo Gatti (above), who was found dead in a Brazilian hotel room on July 11. The 37-year-old native of Calabria, Italy, who retired in 2007 with a record of 40--9 and a reputation as one of boxing's most exciting and grittiest fighters, was vacationing with his wife, Amanda Rodrigues, 23, who was charged with murder. She was accused of strangling a drunken Gatti with her purse strap and jailed. Last Saturday the Brazilian newspaper Jornal do Comercio reported that an autopsy showed Gatti may have committed suicide. As of Monday, Brazilian authorities had not confirmed the newspaper report.
From federal custody on Monday, former Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, who had been under house arrest in Hampton, Va., the final stage of his 23-month sentence for bankrolling a dogfighting operation. Vick, 29, was released by the Falcons last month and is free to sign with any team, though he can't play until commissioner Roger Goodell lifts the indefinite suspension he handed down after Vick pleaded guilty in 2007. Goodell has said he wants to meet with Vick before deciding on reinstatement; as of Monday no date for a meeting had been announced.
In Nashville, a convicted felon who allegedly supplied Steve McNair's mistress with the gun she used to kill the former NFL quarterback and herself on July 4 (SI, July 13). Police traced the 9-mm pistol fired by 20-year-old Sahel Kazemi—who was having an affair with McNair, a married father of four—to Adrian J. Gilliam Jr., 33, of La Vergne, Tenn. According to police, Gilliam admitted selling the gun to Kazemi for $100 two days before the murder-suicide. Gilliam, who was convicted of murder and armed robbery in Florida in 1993 and released from prison in 2002, was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
By MLS fans in his return to the Los Angeles Galaxy last Thursday, David Beckham (near right). The Galaxy beat the New York Red Bulls, 3--1, in East Rutherford, N.J., but Beckham, who spent six months with AC Milan earlier this year and tried to orchestrate a permanent move to the Italian club, contributed little to the victory. The English midfielder appeared winded and was behind the play for most of the match; the crowd of 23,238—roughly half the attendance when Beckham and the Galaxy visited the Red Bulls last year—had plenty of wind. "It's to be expected," said Beckham, who was also booed in his home season debut, on Sunday. "It's sometimes nice to get the boos. It gives you some inspiration."
July 26, 2009
By the Rockets, that center Yao Ming will have surgery on his broken left foot this week and likely won't play until the 2010--11 season. The 7'6" seven-time NBA All-Star will undergo a bone graft and realignment of the bones in the arch of his foot, a procedure that is expected to sideline him until training camp starts in the fall of 2010. Yao suffered a hairline fracture in the foot during a May 8 playoff game; initially it was thought he'd need two or three months to recover, but the injury did not heal as expected. Last month Houston, anticipating that Yao would miss next season, applied for a disabled-player salary cap exception, a move that allowed the team to sign free-agent forward Trevor Ariza.
To play by the International Tennis Federation, Richard Gasquet, after a 2½-month ban for testing positive for cocaine. The Frenchman flunked a urine test at a tournament in Key Biscayne, Fla., in March, and the ITF suspended him when the result was announced in May. The ITF sought a two-year ban, but in a hearing before an independent antidoping tribunal Gasquet said that he had ingested the cocaine inadvertently when he kissed a woman he met at a nightclub. The tribunal bought the argument and last week ruled that the ITF must reinstate him. Gasquet, who missed the French Open, saw his world ranking drop from 23 to 32 during his suspension.
Of a heart attack at age 24, French tennis player Mathieu Montcourt, who in May was sanctioned by the ATP for betting on matches. Montcourt, the 119th-ranked player in the world, allegedly wagered a total of $192 on 36 matches—none of them his own—in 2005. The ATP fined him $12,000 and banned him from playing for five weeks beginning on July 6. Montcourt was found dead by his girlfriend in the stairwell of his Paris apartment the next day.
At age 82, Hall of Fame offensive lineman Lou Creekmur. A second-round pick by the Lions out of William & Mary in 1950, Creekmur anchored Detroit's line until '59, mostly at left tackle. He helped the club win NFL titles in 1952, '53 and '57—the Lions haven't won a title since—and was selected to eight straight Pro Bowls. He was finally elected to the Hall of Fame in 1996. "I kept falling through the cracks," Creekmur told the Detroit Free Press at the time. "So I started writing to board members.... I think it got to the point where they got sick and tired of hearing it, so they put me in the Hall."
THEY SAID IT
Indians manager, on what makes Mariners ace Felix Hernandez (left) so effective: "He has a special arm, and he's pitching with it."
Pairs of sneakers the Pistons' Charlie Villanueva will donate to children in the Dominican Republic, after losing a bet with the Raptors' Chris Bosh to see who could reach 50,000 Twitter followers first.
Twitter followers for Shaquille O'Neal, the most popular athlete on the site.
Age of Zac Sunderland of Thousand Oaks, Calif., the youngest sailor to make a solo trip around the world.
Days it took Sunderland to complete his 28,000-mile trip; he departed Marina del Rey, Calif., on June 14, 2008, and returned last Thursday.
Games it took the Phillies' Ryan Howard to reach 200 home runs, beating Ralph Kiner's record of 706.
Age of Hershel McGriff, who on Sunday became the oldest driver to compete in a NASCAR-sanctioned event, the Camping World West Series race in Portland.
Finish for McGriff, who raced on NASCAR's top circuit from 1950 through '93 and had four wins in 85 starts.