<h4>New 'faces' with Suns </h4>
Matt Rich, and his son, Micah Rich, 8, pose with cutouts of the Suns' team Thursday at the NBA All-Star Jam Session in Phoenix.
PHOENIX – While Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner hits the talk-show circuit this week, his agent, Mark Bartelstein, has entered discussions with the Cardinals about a new contract for his client.
Bartelstein said Thursday he had spoken to Cardinals General Manager Rod Graves by phone a couple of times this week and that the two will “probably get together next week.”
Bartelstein stopped short of saying Warner has ruled out retiring but said, “I think he would like to play. He loves to compete.”
Warner will turn 38 this summer. He’s due to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the month and has said for weeks that one factor in his decision will be gauging how interested the Cardinals are in re-signing him.
“In a perfect world, he would love to play and be part of a team that could compete for the Super Bowl again,” Bartelstein said. “He’s excited about what Rod Graves and coach Ken Whisenhunt have done.”
Warner appeared on Thursday’s “Ellen DeGeneres Show” and will do the “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on Friday night along with Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald. On “Ellen,” Warner opened with some dance steps to show how mobile he’s become in recent years.
Phelps probe questioned
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Even if a South Carolina sheriff is successful in building a marijuana case against swimming superstar Michael Phelps, it might be hard to make the charges stick, defense attorneys say.
The case took a turn Thursday when lawyers for two people said their clients were among eight arrested last week and questioned at length about the November party near the University of South Carolina where Phelps was photographed smoking from a marijuana pipe. At the time, the men were renters at the house.
The effort to prosecute Phelps on what would be at most a minor drug charge seems extreme compared with similar cases, lawyers said, and has led some to question whether the sheriff is being overzealous because he’s dealing with a celebrity.
“The efforts that are being made here are unlike anything I’ve ever seen before,” said Jack Swerling, a defense attorney in South Carolina.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott has made fighting drug crimes a central plank of his career. He rose from patrol officer to captain of the narcotics division in the early 1990s and was well-known in the county for wearing stylish suits like the drug agents on “Miami Vice” and driving a Porsche seized from a drug dealer. He was elected sheriff in 1996.
The Associated Press
Spotlight’s on Phoenix
PHOENIX – Knock knock, nation. It’s Phoenix again – you know, that desert city you keep hearing about.
The nation’s fifth-largest city has been in the national spotlight in recent years, mostly because of high-profile sporting events. The latest is the NBA All-Star game in Phoenix on Sunday, airing in 215 countries in 44 languages.
“Vignettes of blue skies and majestic mountains and swaying palm trees will be played out in all of these broadcasts,” said Ray Artigue, executive director of the MBA Sports Business program at Arizona State. “That’s a postcard for the (area) and the state that all the collective chambers of commerce couldn’t afford to buy. It’s tremendous exposure.”
And that’s just the actual game. Dozens of glitzy events kicked into high gear Thursday and will continue throughout the weekend.
Among them are a party hosted by the Phoenix Suns’ Amaré Stoudemire on Thursday night, a Playboy magazine party Friday and a celebrity charity dinner hosted by the Suns’ Steve Nash on Friday at $13,000 a plate.
Plenty of celebrities are in town, and pop singer Katy Perry, rapper Snoop Dogg, and DJ Jazzy Jeff, among others, are set to perform. Sporting events outside Sunday’s game include a celebrity basketball game Friday and a slam-dunk contest Saturday.
The Associated Press
Player’s brother freed
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The brother of a Providence basketball player who ran onto the court to confront a referee has been released from jail after 16 days behind bars.
Jonathan Xavier admitted Thursday to a Superior Court judge that he broke the terms of his probation on drug charges by rushing onto the court Jan. 16 against Marquette. Xavier was sentenced to time served.
Xavier was upset that no foul was called after his brother, Jeff Xavier, was hit in the face by a defender’s arm.
The Associated Press
'We don't know what we're doing next year with respect to Seattle. It's all rumors.'
KEN GRIFFEY JR.,
who played at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, on reports Thursday saying the 39-year-old free agent would return to Seattle, where he spent his first 11 years.
Tribute to Lute draws yeahs, nays
Re: UA to honor Lute Olson during halftime of March 5 game
• Great coach, yes. But he left the program in shambles. The record and recruiting show it. But I hope he’s happy. 2998
• He deserves it. Even the haters who hate this guy can’t say he didn’t do anything for this program. This guy deserves all the credit in the world for taking a (bad) team and turning it into one of the best programs in the nation. We all should show class, respect, and a debt of gratitude for what he did. JUST A FAN
• Olson built it and he did his best to tear it down. Just get out! Or is it time to come back again? OCOTILLO SUNSET
• Twenty-five years, Hall Of Fame, Pac-10 and a national championship, good guys up in the NBA, solid graduates, good family man, heck of a nice guy. He is one of the best ever. Now for those of you who have never shaken his hand, or sat with him for even a few minutes, put your comments where the Sun Devil doesn’t shine. 3829
• Good to see something planned. Then let’s move on. The future will be different but comparisons to “Lute this” and “Lute that” will cripple the program. 5940
ON THIS DATE
1994: Tommy Moe wins the men’s downhill over Kjetil Andre Aamodt at the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.
1995: Connecticut is voted No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 and joins the school’s women’s team at the top. It is the first time teams from one school were ranked No. 1 in the men’s and women’s college basketball polls.
1999: Steve Jaros rolls the 13th televised 300 game in PBA history en route to winning the Chattanooga Open.
2003: Teresa Phillips becomes the first woman to coach a men’s Division I team, but Tennessee State loses for the 17th straight time, 71-56 at Austin Peay.