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NEWSWIRE

From Staff and Wire Reports

Meanwhile, NBA players plan to make their own “final” offer, hoping it will end the lockout before time runs out to save the season.

“I have called David Stern and requested an opportunity to present it to the owners’ labor committee as soon as they’re available, and certainly before the Jan. 7 date that Stern has set as the owners’ deadline,” Hunter told players Wednesday.

In Houston, a federal court judge rejected an injunction sought by Nick Van Exel, Marcus Camby and Reggie Slater for unconditional letters of clearance from the NBA and USA Basketball. The three want to play the rest of the season in Europe--even if the lockout ends.

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Even though it has folded, the American Basketball League still hopes to stage an all-star game Jan. 24 at San Jose.

Miscellany

A record 326 major league baseball players made $1 million or more last season, topped by Dodger outfielder Gary Sheffield at a single-season record $14.9 million, according to a study by the Associated Press. Sheffield, boosted by a $5-million bonus he received for agreeing to a midseason trade from the Florida Marlins, smashed the record of $10 million, set in 1997 by Albert Belle with the Chicago White Sox. Eight players made more than the entire roster of the Montreal Expos ($8,317,500). Sheffield, whose exact earnings were $14,936,667, also made more than the Pittsburgh Pirates ($13,695,000) and fell just short of the final roster of the Marlins ($15,141,000).

With some claiming organizers had 24 hours warning of potential danger before a massive storm turned deadly, two inquiries will be held into this week’s yacht race off Australia. The government of New South Wales ordered a coroner’s inquiry, and the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, the race organizer, also will investigate the disaster.

The family of Susan Gutweiler filed a wrongful death lawsuit against St. Louis Ram linebacker Leonard Little, claiming he was drunk when his vehicle killed her two months ago.

Defender Paul Caligiuri will return to the Galaxy for the 1999 season, after being waived by the Major League Soccer team Oct. 31 for salary-cap reasons, the league announced.


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