NBA will send its champ

LONDON - The NBA champions will be going to London in October.

For the first time, the NBA will send its championship team to the McDonald's Championship - formerly known as the McDonald's Open - when the event is held at the London Arena Oct. 19-21.

The announcement was made Friday by NBA commissioner David Stern and international basketball federation (FIBA) secretary general Boris Stancovic. The statement was released jointly in London and Phoenix, site of Sunday's NBA All-Star Game.


Pippen talks trade

PHOENIX - Scottie Pippen, Chicago's disgruntled forward, said Friday he is the subject of trade talks between the Phoenix Suns and the Bulls.

Pippen said the proposed deal would send him to Phoenix for All-Star guard Dan Majerle, rookie guard Wesley Person and possible draft picks, Pippen said.

Joyner-Kersey record

RENO, Nev. - Jackie Joyner-Kersee broke her own American indoor record in the women's 50-meter hurdles Friday night in the opening event of the Reno Air Games. Joyner-Kersee, a five-time Olympic medalist, had a time of 6.67 seconds despite seeming to ease up at the end of the infrequently run event. The world record is 6.58 seconds, set in 1988 by Cornelia Oschkenat of the former East Germany.

Guard sues Oakley

NEW YORK - A restaurant security guard says he was slam-dunked by Charles Oakley, and wants the basketball All-Star to pay him $2.5 million.

Nunez's lawsuit, filed Wednesday, says he asked Oakley, who entered the restaurant without a ticket, to step out of the room, and the player "responded with abusive and derogatory language" and hit Nunez in the neck.

Carbajal sentenced

PHOENIX - Former Olympic boxer Michael Carbajal was ordered to do 300 hours of community service after pleading guilty Friday to recklessly shooting a gun outside a party.

Carbajal, 28, could also be sentenced to 30 days in prison under a deferred sentence imposed by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Reinstein. He was placed on two years probation.

Baseball expansion

NEW YORK - The preliminary thoughts of baseball's expansion committee are to have the two new teams begin play in 1998 rather than a year earlier, a member of the group said Friday.

No decisions were made when the committee discussed expansion issues Friday during a telephone conference call. Another conference call is scheduled for Tuesday.

Jeff White, the chief financial officer of the commissioner's office, gave committee members a report on the price of the expansion fee, which is expected to be between $125 million and $140 million.

Phoenix and St. Petersburg, Fla., are considered the favorites for the new franchises. Two groups in Northern Virginia and one from Orlando, Fla., also are seeking the teams.

NHL trade

PHILADELPHIA - In the second transaction between the teams in two days, the Philadelphia Flyers sent center Mark Lamb to the Montreal Canadiens for cash Friday.

The Flyers, who traded Mark Recchi and a third-round draft choice to Montreal for Eric Desjardins, John LeClair and Gilbert Dionne Thursday, also claimed a player the Canadiens had waived, center Jim Montgomery.

Nelson leaving?

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Golden State Warriors coach Don Nelson might not return to the team after the All-Star break, according to Friday's San Jose Mercury News.

His departure is "a done deal," an unnamed source told the newspaper.

New owner Chris Cohan denied Nelson's departure is set.

"I can tell you there's no done deal," he said Wednesday. "I haven't sat down and talked with him for a while. I'll see him in Phoenix. I can hardly wait to get there."

Cohan said he wouldn't be surprised if Nelson's health problems prohibited him from completing the season.

Fiesta increases payout

TEMPE, Ariz. - The Fiesta Bowl has increased the price of seats for the New Year's Day contest to help offset a 400 percent increase in the amount of its payout to the teams.

Fiesta officials said Friday they will pay each of their 1996 teams $12 million - the most in bowl history. The Fiesta paid $3 million each to Colorado and Notre Dame for their appearance Jan. 2.

Ryan speaks

ARLINGTON, Texas - Nolan Ryan thinks baseball is bigger than the players.

Ryan talked about the strike Thursday night before the Rangers mid-winter baseball banquet in Arlington. Ryan, 48, said players have always been replaceable.

"There hasn't been one player who walked out on the field that the game couldn't do without," he said.