Saturday, December 7, 2013
Former No. 1 draft pick Oden returns to NBA after long absence
Greg Oden has taken his physical, done a bit of house hunting in south Florida and signed on the dotted line.
Nearly four years after he last played, he's officially back in the NBA.
The No. 1 overall pick in 2007 signed his contract with the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat on Wednesday, the last in a series of formalities that needed to be completed before the team could finally announce the move. Oden announced late last week that he was accepting Miami's offer, one that will pay him about $1 million this coming year and includes a $1.1 million player option for the 2014-15 season.
Heat president Pat Riley said the team will take a cautious approach with Oden, who has been through the cartilage-repair procedure known as microfracture surgery three times.
• Minnesota Timberwolves president Flip Saunders said the team "fully supports" the decision to send first-round draft Shabazz Muhammad home from the NBA's rookie transition program due to a rules violation.
Muhammad was sent home after bringing a female visitor to his hotel room Tuesday night. Players are required to get approval for guests from program officials. Muhammad also will be fined for the infraction. He will have to go through the program again next summer.
Muhammad was chosen 14th overall by the Timberwolves in June after one season at UCLA.
• The Dallas Mavericks signed free-agent center DeJuan Blair, giving them a full roster of 15 players.
Blair figures to be the third option behind Samuel Dalembert and Brandan Wright, but he once was a starter for Coach Gregg Popovich in San Antonio before falling out of the rotation.
nForward Ryan Gomes signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Gomes last played in the NBA during the 2011-12 season with the Los Angeles Clippers, who then waived him via the amnesty clause. He spent last season playing professionally in Germany.
AMERICA'S CUP: Italy's Luna Rossa rolled over Artemis Racing rounding the first mark and sped away to victory to take a 2-0 lead in the challenger trials on San Francisco Bay. Thursday is an off day before the best-of-seven series resumes Friday and Saturday.
NHL: Terry Gregson is retiring as the NHL's head of officiating.
Stephen Walkom will leave his job as an on-ice referee to take over as senior vice president and director of officiating.
ROGERS CUP: Andy Murray made a successful return in his first match since winning at Wimbledon, beating Marcel Granollers 6-4, 7-6 (2) in the second round at Montreal.
Rafael Nadal also opened with a victory, routing Canada's Jesse Levine, 6-2, 6-0. Nadal was playing for the first time since a first-round loss at Wimbledon.
• American Sloane Stephens advanced to the third round in Toronto, beating Germany's Mona Barthel, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
FCBL: Brian Doran singled home Shane Bussey with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift the Old Orchard Beach Raging Tide (24-27) to a 4-3 win over the Torrington Titans (21-28) at The Ballpark.
-- From staff and news services