Brees hopeful of deal with Saints
NEW YORK — New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees is confident that he and the Saints will agree on a long-term contract.
With the start of training camp about a month off, the two sides still have “a ways to go” to close the gap, the 2010 Super Bowl MVP said Tuesday.
Nonetheless, he said, “I’m confident, and always have been, that we’ll get a long-term deal accomplished.”
Brees acknowledged that the NFL’s bounty investigation into the Saints has slowed down negotiations.
And when it comes to that bounty probe, Brees is adamant that the league has not proved money ever changed hands in a pay-to-injure scheme.
“How can everybody think that when there’s been no proof that’s been put forth thus far?” he said. “There’s been an investigation; there’s been a lot of stuff put in the media as to what was going on. But is there any proof to back that up? No, there’s not. Not yet.”
Report: Larry Bird leaving Indiana Pacers
INDIANAPOLIS — David Morway resigned Tuesday as general manager of the Indiana Pacers amid reports that Larry Bird is on the way out, too.
Morway was hired by the Pacers in 1999 and had been GM since 2008. The Indianapolis Star reported Tuesday that Bird is expected to leave the Pacers, citing an unidentified person with direct knowledge of the situation. The Pacers and owner Herb Simon declined comment.
“I think change is great. I really do. New ideas, new creativity, new vision and new energy — I think all of that is important for a franchise,” Morway said. “However Mr. Simon decides to do this, I think is going to be good for the franchise. I’m sure he’ll make a good decision because he’s a terrific owner.”
The 55-year-old Bird was Pacers coach from 1997-2000, taking the team to its only NBA Finals appearance that last year, before returning to the front office in 2003. He took full control of basketball decisions after the 2007-08 season, when Donnie Walsh left to become the New York Knicks’ president.
This year, Bird was the NBA Executive of the Year after building a tough, young team that lost to eventual champion Miami in six games. He is the only person in league history to win that award, the MVP award and Coach of the Year.
Matt Dobyns leads PGA Professional
SEASIDE, Calif. — Matt Dobyns had a hole-in-one and holed out for eagle from a greenside bunker on the final hole Tuesday to increase his lead to six strokes in the PGA Professional National Championship.
The 34-year-old Dobyns, the PGA head professional at Fresh Meadow Country Club in Lake Success, N.Y., had a 3-under 69 on the Bayonet course to reach 11-under 205.
On the 200-yard 14th hole, his 7-iron shot bounced off the right fringe and tracked to the hole for his eighth career ace.
“First of all, an ace is not about skill, it’s about luck,” said Dobyns, who won a golf cart from tournament sponsor Club Car. “I’m just trying to keep the ball on the green, and the ball bounces, and it goes into the hole. Sometime it looks like it’s going to go in, and it doesn’t, and this particular one did.”
After a bogey on No. 15 and pars on 16 and 17, he holed the bunker shot on the par-5 18th for the finishing eagle.
Reds 3B Frazier honored by Dr. Heimlich
CINCINNATI — Dr. Henry Heimlich presented Cincinnati Reds third baseman Todd Frazier with a life-saving award on Tuesday before a game against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Frazier used the Heimlich maneuver on a choking restaurant customer during a series in Pittsburgh in late May. Heimlich, who moved to Cincinnati in the 1960s, went on the field and gave Frazier a certificate and a plaque for saving a life.
The 92-year-old Heimlich has an institute in Cincinnati.
Frazier and teammate Ryan Ludwick were eating dinner at a Pittsburgh restaurant when they noticed a customer choking. Frazier used the maneuver to dislodge a piece of meat from the man’s throat. The next day, Frazier had two hits and drove in two runs in an 8-1 win over the Pirates.
Celtics get a Thunder pick in trade dispute
NEW YORK — The NBA has awarded the Boston Celtics a 2013 second-round pick of the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of a trade disclosure dispute ruling involving Jeff Green, who sat out this season after heart surgery.
Commissioner David Stern determined Tuesday there was no evidence of bad faith or intent to withhold information on the part of the Thunder, but that their cardiologists had knowledge about Green that was not shared with their own team management and should have been disclosed to the Celtics.
Boston acquired Green at the 2011 trade deadline in a deal that sent Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City.
NBA teams are required to disclose to each other in connection with trades a player’s past history that could affect his ability to play in the future.
Wolves trade 18th pick for Budinger
MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Timberwolves were in the market for a capable perimeter shooter, ideally a veteran with experience in coach Rick Adelman’s system to help balance a frontcourt-heavy roster. The Houston Rockets could be looking for something much, much bigger.
The teams made a move to address both needs on Tuesday, just two days before the NBA draft: The Timberwolves acquired swingman Chase Budinger from the Rockets in exchange for the 18th overall pick in the draft.
Houston went 34-32 last season and missed the playoffs for the third straight year. The Rockets now have the 14th, 16th and 18th selections in a draft that many scouts think is one of the deeper classes in years, a load of ammunition that could help them make a play for one of the stars who could be available, including Orlando center Dwight Howard or Atlanta forward Josh Smith.
Sakic, Sundin among four selected for Hockey Hall
TORONTO — Twelve-time All-Star Joe Sakic was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Tuesday in his first year of eligibility, joining Mats Sundin, Pavel Bure and Adam Oates as the newest class of inductees.
The four former NHL stars were chosen by the Hall’s 18-member selection committee. The induction ceremony will be held Nov. 12.
Sakic had 625 goals and 1,016 assists in his 20-year NHL career, all with the Colorado Avalanche franchise dating to 1988 when it was the Quebec Nordiques. He won two Stanley Cups (1996, 2001), earning the Conn Smythe Tropy in 1996 and the Hart Trophy in 2001.
Sundin, also selected in his first year of eligibility, had 564 goals and 785 assists in his 18 seasons — including 13 with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He spent four years with Sakic and the Nordiques before being traded to Toronto before the 1994-95 season, and holds Maple Leafs records for points (567), goals (420), 20-goal seasons (13), 30-goal seasons (10), game-winning goals (79) and regular-season overtime goals (14). He also led Sweden to the gold medal at the Turin Olympics in 2006.
Oates, hired as coach of the Washington Capitals earlier in the day, is sixth on the NHL career assists list with 1,079 and also scored 341 goals in 19 seasons with seven teams.
Man convicted of killing wife after TV dispute
PITTSBURGH — A western Pennsylvania man faces life in prison after being convicted of killing his wife following an argument over a Pittsburgh Penguins game two years ago.
Jurors in Allegheny County convicted 42-year-old Robert Abrams on Tuesday of first-degree murder, arson, and reckless endangerment.
Authorities said Abrams beat 44-year-old Jeanette Abrams with a hammer and stabbed her in their South Fayette Township home in April 2010, then set fire to the house and jumped out a window.
Police said the two had argued over the late hour of the Penguins’ triple-overtime playoff loss to the Ottawa Senators in Game 5 of their first-round matchup.
Abrams faces a mandatory term of life in prison without possibility of parole. Common Pleas Judge Donald Machen said sentencing would be in 90 days.
By wire sources