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Arenas, Turkoglu, Richardson to Magic

December 19, 2010

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NBA
A rough patch was enough to convince the Orlando Magic that perhaps they weren’t good enough to contend in the Eastern Conference after all. They acquired troubled guard Gilbert Arenas from the Washington Wizards and Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson from the Phoenix Suns in a major roster shake-up yesterday. The Magic sent forward Rashard Lewis to Washington and Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus, and Marcin Gortat to Phoenix in separate trades. Orlando also received Earl Clark from the Suns. “We needed a little bit more punch,’’ Magic president Otis Smith said. Orlando lost to the 76ers last night, 97-89, and has dropped six of its last seven games. After losing to the Lakers in the NBA Finals in the 2008-09 season, the Magic parted ways with Turkoglu — a fan favorite who went to Toronto — and traded with New Jersey to get Carter. The decision turned out to be a disaster; Carter struggled mightily in Orlando’s disappointing exit in the East finals last season against Boston. The Wizards and Suns were happy to part ways with pieces that didn’t pan out. Arenas was suspended 50 games last season for bringing a gun into the locker room. He also faked an injury to sit out a preseason game this year, and his critical remarks were a distraction for a team now centered on No. 1 overall pick John Wall. “We’re totally in a rebuild,’’ Wizards coach Flip Saunders said. “We were in a situation where we had three of our top players play pretty much the same position in John [Wall] and Gilbert and Kirk [Hinrich].’’

League is unhappy with Karl, Miller Nuggets coach George Karl and Trail Blazers guard Andre Miller were each fined $25,000 by the league. Karl was fined for comments about the officiating after the Nuggets’ 113-112 loss to the Spurs Thursday; Miller was fined for throwing the ball into the stands after the Blazers’ 103-98 loss to the Mavericks Wednesday . . . The Grizzlies’ Rudy Gay was suspended for last night’s game against San Antonio without pay after a flagrant foul in the fourth quarter against Houston Friday . . . Kings forward Jason Thompson will miss the next three games after having stitches put into his injured right ring finger, sustained Friday against the Thunder.

Football
Favre ruled out for Chicago game Brett Favre won’t play in Minnesota’s game tomorrow night against Chicago. Favre, 41, said his sprained throwing shoulder is still bothering him and that he’s also still experiencing numbness in his hand . . . The 49ers placed linebacker Travis LaBoy and kicker Joe Nedney on injured reserve. Nedney sustained a right knee strain and a bone bruise on his plant leg Nov. 14 against St. Louis. LaBoy injured a knee Thursday against San Diego . . . A source familiar with the situation told the Associated Press that Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson is asking coach Ralph Friedgen, 63, to retire or accept a buyout.

NHL
Fehr voted head of players’ association Don Fehr is the new executive director of the National Hockey League Players’ Association. The union said the players voted overwhelmingly to appoint Fehr after the executive board’s endorsement. Fehr, 62, was executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association from 1983 until 2009. He was serving as an unpaid NHLPA consultant . . . The Penguins still don’t know when Jordan Staal will play again. Staal had surgery on a broken right hand seven weeks ago, and was told he would be out six weeks. He still hasn’t been cleared to practice, although the Penguins deny that X-rays revealed an additional break.

Miscellany
Former Sox first baseman Dropo dies Walt Dropo, who played 13 seasons in the majors and won the 1950 American League Rookie of the Year award with the Red Sox, died Friday at 87. Dropo (left) died of natural causes, the University of Connecticut said in a statement. Dropo, who lived in Peabody, was a three-sport star at UConn in the 1940s and one of the greatest athletes in school history. In 1950, Dropo beat Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford to win Rookie of the Year after batting .322 with 34 home runs and a league-best 144 RBIs in 136 games. He also made his only All-Star team that year. (Obituary, B10) . . . Phil Cavarretta, the 1945 NL MVP who led the Chicago Cubs to their last World Series appearance, died in Lilburn, Ga., of complications from a stroke. He was 94 . . . Bernard Hopkins, 45, missed a chance to become the oldest boxer to hold a major world title, fighting to a technical draw with Jean Pascal in Quebec City. Pascal kept his WBC and IBO light heavyweight titles . . . Soccer player Charlie Davies, a former standout at Boston College, is expected to play for Sochaux (France) today against Bordeaux for the first time since a near-fatal car crash 14 months ago . . . Four-time winner Ernie Els took a two-shot lead into the last day of the South African Open in Durban. Els’s second straight 65, a flawless round of 7 under par, lifted him to the top of the leaderboard at 14-under 130, two strokes clear of Retief Goosen (68).

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