Celtics’ Pierce Stabbed in Nightclub
Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics was listed in fair condition at New England Medical Center after being stabbed in the face, neck and back while in the pool room of a Boston nightclub early Monday.
The 22-year-old player underwent surgery, Boston radio station WEEI-AM said, quoting an unidentified hospital source. The medical center would not release further information.
“He’s doing fine. We’re all hoping for a speedy recovery,” Coach Rick Pitino said as he left the hospital.
Pierce, a cornerstone of the struggling team, was stabbed about 1 a.m. while at a private event at the Buzz Club in the city’s theater district, police spokeswoman Mariellen Burns said.
She added that he apparently was with several friends, including at least one teammate she did not identify. The friends drove Pierce to the hospital.
Police said they were investigating witness reports that the fight involved people connected to the rap group Made Men. There were no immediate arrests.
“We’re not sure what the altercation was about,” Burns said. “We’re not even sure Mr. Pierce and his friends were involved in what this altercation was about.”
Former Celtic standout and coach Tommy Heinsohn said Pierce had been wearing a leather jacket, which helped protect him. Burns could not confirm that.
The nightclub, which operates under different names at different times of the week, would be cited for allowing an attack on its premises, Burns said. She said there have been several other violations, including at least two assaults, at the club in the past year.
Pierce, a star player at Inglewood High and Kansas University, was to report for the start of training camp next Monday. He apparently was in Massachusetts to participate in Red Auerbach’s charity golf tournament, which was held Monday in Salem.
“He was very lucky,” said K.C. Jones, a former Celtic standout and coach. “He had the angels on his side.”
Pierce, 6 feet 7 and 220 pounds, averaged 19.5 points for the Celtics last season. He ranked second in the NBA in steals a game with 2.08.
Pierce, Boston’s most complete player, played forward and guard last season for a team trying to break a streak of five seasons without making the playoffs.
He is one of the few mainstays on a club that has undergone considerable change since Pitino became coach before the 1997-98 season. Pierce is an outstanding defender and aggressive rebounder with good shooting range.
Pierce, an All-American at Kansas, was drafted in the first round in 1998 after his junior season.
As a rookie, he was 10th in NBA three-point field goal percentage and averaged 16.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.71 steals in 34 minutes a game.
Forward Tracy Murray was traded to the Denver Nuggets by the Washington Wizards for Popeye Jones and a second-round draft choice.
The 6-foot-7, 228-pound Murray, who played at UCLA, has averaged 10.2 points a game over his eight NBA seasons.
Last season, he averaged 10.2 points and 3.4 rebounds in 80 games for the Wizards and ranked eighth in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage at .423.
“Tracy is a proven veteran who gives us another outstanding outside shooter,” Nugget president and Coach Dan Issel said. “Popeye has been a true professional since he’s been with us and we appreciate his positive influence in our young locker room.”
The 6-8, 250-pound Jones, also a forward, was acquired by Denver from Boston before the 1999-2000 season in a multiplayer deal. He averaged 2.6 points and 2.6 rebounds in 40 games with the Nuggets last season.
Souksangouane Phengsene, the man accused of killing Minnesota Timberwolves player Malik Sealy in a drunk-driving crash on May 20, pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular homicide. Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar said she would seek the four-year prison sentence under state guidelines.
Phengsene was driving the wrong way on Highway 100 when he smashed head-on into Sealy’s car in St. Louis Park as Sealy was returning home from a birthday party for teammate Kevin Garnett.
Phengsene admitted he had been drinking at a friend’s home before the crash. Authorities said he had a blood-alcohol level of .19%, nearly twice the legal limit.
Phengsene, of Minneapolis, was convicted of misdemeanor drunk driving in Des Moines, Iowa, three years ago.
Sentencing was set for Oct. 18.
Jamal Crawford, the former Michigan guard selected eighth in the NBA draft, signed with the Chicago Bulls. Under the NBA’s rookie salary scale, Crawford will receive within 20% of about $4.74 million over three seasons.
A federal judge tossed out a plea agreement expected to make former basketball tutor Jan Gangelhoff a witness against other figures in Minnesota’s academic cheating scandal.
Gangelhoff reportedly had been expected to plead guilty in return for a lighter sentence and testimony against others, including former coach Clem Haskins and former academic advisor Alonzo Newby.
Gangelhoff came forward in March 1999 to say she had completed more than 400 pieces of coursework for players. The charge she had been expected to plead guilty to was helping former player Bobby Jackson illegally obtain a federal Pell grant. Pell grants are given to students based on financial need, and Gangelhoff had been expected to admit she wrote Jackson’s papers for correspondence courses so he could be admitted to the university in late summer 1995.
Fourth-seeded Patty Schnyder of Switzerland advanced to the second round of the $170,000 WTA SEAT Open at Luxembourg with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Jennifer Hopkins.
Top-seeded Nathalie Tauziat of France and second-seeded Russian Anna Kournikova received byes into the second round.
Eighth-seeded Justine Henin of Belgium beat Cristina Torrens Valero of Spain, 6-2, 7-6 (5). Henin will play Germany’s wild-card entry Barbara Rittner, a 6-4, 6-2 winner over Sweden’s Asa Carlsson.
Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova rallied to beat France’s Virginie Razzano, 1-6, 6-4, 6-2, and earn a second-round match against Tauziat.
Name in the News
Ernie Els of South Africa, Tom Lehman of the United States and Nick Price of Zimbabwe will compete for their countries in next month’s Alfred Dunhill Cup at St. Andrews, Scotland, but tournament organizers announced that Sergio Garcia will not return for defending champion Spain. Miguel Angel Martin will take his place.
Meanwhile, Garcia, Bob May and Nick Faldo were added to the field for next month’s World Match Play championship at Virginia Water, England. Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington, Retief Goosen and Adam Scott are the other unseeded players. Colin Montgomerie is the defending champion.
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