Pistons Get Thorpe for Rookie Childress

From Staff and Wire Reports

In a deal that had been expected since June, the Portland Trail Blazers traded forward Otis Thorpe to Detroit Pistons on Wednesday for rookie guard Randolph Childress and second-year forward Bill Curley.

The Pistons chose Childress, from Wake Forest, with the 19th pick in the June 28 draft, but wanted to trade him for Thorpe, 33, who was unhappy in Portland.

“We are excited about getting a player of Otis’ ability and just as important, he brings championship experience to our team,” said Doug Collins, Detroit’s coach.



Hakeem Olajuwon of the Houston Rockets said during a promotional visit in London that common sense prevailed in the NBA labor dispute that ended with players supporting their union.

“After seeing what happened in baseball and hockey, both parties should compromise to make this work,” he said. . . . Bob McAdoo, who led the NBA in scoring three times, and longtime coach Scotty Robertson were hired by the Miami Heat as assistants to Pat Riley. . . . Dominique Wilkins scored 19 points in his first game in Greece, leading Panathinaikos Athens in a preseason game.

College basketball

Coach Jerry Tarkanian reportedly broke NCAA rules in his first week at Fresno State when he watched members of the team practice at a local fitness center. ESPN, citing unidentified sources, reported that Tarkanian observed Bulldogs players practicing at a health club, a violation.


Tarkanian said he was working out at the club on a stationary bike at the time. The school is investigating reports that Tarkanian and his staff held illegal off-season practice sessions. Supervised practices may not be held from April 15th to October 15th.

Ben Quillan, acting athletic director, said he has found nothing to support the claims. Tarkanian, who returned to coaching at his alma mater in April, was forced out as coach at Nevada Las Vegas in 1992 after the school was placed on probation for numerous violations.

“Everything we did was all done according to the rules,” Tarkanian said. “We didn’t hide anything. I’m disappointed that someone would start a rumor like that.”



Gov. Arne Carlson said that he still supports public aid to bring the Winnipeg Jets to Minnesota. . . . The Philadelphia Flyers traded left wing Andre Faust to Winnipeg in exchange for the Jets’ seventh-round pick in the 1997 NHL entry draft. . . . Detroit goalie Mike Vernon, who was ruled a free agent two weeks ago by an arbitrator, signed a two-year contract with the Red Wings.


Dynamo Kiev was suspended from European soccer for two years after an inquiry found the Ukrainian club tried to bribe a Spanish referee to fix a match. The match in question was a Sept. 13 Champions Cup game between Kiev and Panathinaikos of Greece which Dynamo won 1-0.

European soccer’s reserve system is illegal and must be abolished, the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice ruled in Luxembourg. Carl Otto Lenz’s proposed decision would abolish transfer fees and the limits on the number of foreign players a club may field. The European Court of Justice must approve Lenz’s decision, but it usually backs the Advocate General and is expected to rule later this year.



Boxing promoter Don King will be in New York court today to face charges that he lied to collect $350,000 in insurance money after a 1991 fight was canceled. King, one of the most powerful men in boxing, submitted a fake contract to Lloyd’s of London saying he paid WBC super lightweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez $350,000 in non-refundable training fees, prosecutors say.

King, 63, is charged with nine counts of mail fraud. Each is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He has been free on a $250,000 personal recognizance bond.

Prosecutors estimate the trial will last about six weeks. Defense lawyers say it might take more, especially if King decides to testify.


Names in the news

Sammie Smith, former Miami Dolphins running back, was denied bail after Florida prosecutors produced a videotape showing him discussing the drug business with an undercover agent.

Second-seeded Helena Sukova was upset in the second round of the Moscow Ladies Open, losing to unseeded Adriana Serra-Zanetti, 6-3, 6-2.