tampabay.com

Jay Williams signs, will try out with Nets

Compiled from Times wires
Published September 29, 2006


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Three years after a motorcycle accident put his fledgling career in jeopardy, Jay Williams is getting a chance to return to the NBA with the Nets.

The former Duke guard signed a contract with New Jersey on Thursday, giving him the right to attend training camp and try out for the team. The deal is not guaranteed.

"I would love for it to happen here," Williams said. "I pray to God it does. But if it doesn't, I'll have to go from there."

With Jason Kidd being the starting point guard and Marcus Williams, the team's first-round draft pick, expected to be his backup, Williams is a bit of a long shot to make the team.

"I think there are a lot of things in my game that a lot of people don't realize," Williams said. "Over the past 2½, three years, I really found the passes, so I can still (pass) the ball and make everyone around me look great, too. My jump shot has gotten a lot better. I just have to keep working hard."

KNICKS HIRE GRUNWALD: Former Raptors general manager Glen Grunwald is returning to the NBA as the New York Knicks' executive vice president for basketball operations.

TENNIS

Blake reaches quarters

Top-seeded Ivan Ljubicic outlasted Benjamin Becker 7-6 (8-6), 7-5 to reach the quarterfinals of the Thailand Open at Bangkok's Impact Arena.

Third-seeded James Blake, a Tampa resident, also advanced with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Benjamin Balleret.

Earlier, seventh-seeded Robby Ginepri dominated crowd favorite Danai Udomchoke 6-3, 6-3 to reach the final eight. The American had 14 aces.

FORTIS CHAMPIONSHIPS: Venus Williams was upset by Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 6-0 in Luxembourg, losing in her second match back after missing nearly three months with a wrist injury.

DAVIS CUP DRAW: Switzerland will host Spain in the first round of next year's Davis Cup. The draw has the United States traveling to the Czech Republic for the first-round matches

SOCCER

Ads on MLS jerseys

In the spring, Major League Soccer will be the first major sports league in the United States to showcase ads where viewers can't miss them: on the fronts of player jerseys.

Aside from NASCAR, no major American sports league permits prominent advertising on team jerseys, though the practice has long been accepted in Europe, Asia and Latin America. The MLS deal allows clubs to sell their own jersey rights and keep a majority of the revenue, a marked change for the 11-year-old league.

No advertiser has officially signed on to sponsor an MLS jersey yet, but the Los Angeles Galaxy is in discussions for a "multimillion dollar" deal, the Wall Street Journal reported.

SPANISH LEAGUE: FC Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o will be out five months after surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, the club said.

ET CETERA

CYCLING: Floyd Landis, accused of doping during his Tour de France victory in July, had right hip surgery. Landis, who has asserted his innocence, hopes to be ready to train for next year's Tour.

TECHNOLOGY: ESPN is closing down its cell phone company for sports fans after less than a year, planning instead to forge deals in which it provides content to other wireless operators. The planned shutdown of Mobile ESPN marks the first major bust in a rush of specialized wireless ventures targeting niche audiences.

HONORED: Morgan Wootten, the Hall of Famer who coached at DeMatha High in Springfield, Mass., for 46 years, will be honored by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame with an award in his name. The award, which will be presented starting in 2007, will honor a boys and girls high school coach.

BOXING: Mike Tyson will fight in a series of four-round exhibitions. Tyson, who last fought in June 2005, losing to Kevin McBride, plans to return to the ring Oct. 20 in Youngstown, Ohio, for a pay-per-view event against former sparring partner Corey "T-Rex" Sanders.