Lions Wide Receiver Breaks Arm in Crash
Allen Park, Mich. — Two days after a victory that for this franchise was downright historic, the Detroit Lions are facing another dose of adversity.
Receiver Nate Burleson broke his arm in a single-car accident early Tuesday after he reached over to keep two pizza boxes from falling off the front passenger seat, authorities said. Coach Jim Schwartz stopped short of writing off the rest of Burleson’s season, but surgery is scheduled for today.
Burleson’s car hit a center median wall on a highway in suburban Detroit and he was taken to a hospital. Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw said there were no indicators of alcohol on the scene or on Burleson’s person after the crash at 2:25 a.m.
The team didn’t say which arm was broken.
Burleson has a team-high 19 catches — 10 for first downs — and his 239 yards receiving is second to Calvin Johnson on the Lions. The 11-year veteran had six receptions for 116 yards, his highest total since 2007, on Sunday to help Detroit win at Washington for the first time in franchise history.
Ex-LSU Coach, Dies
New Orleans — Paul Dietzel, who led the LSU Tigers to their first football national championship, died early Tuesday. He was 89.
Funeral arraignments were incomplete, said LSU sports spokesman Kent Lowe. He said Dietzel died after a brief illness, but did not provide any other details.
The family posted a noticed online saying Dietzel died 19 days after his 89th birthday and one day before the 69th anniversary of his wedding to Anne Dietzel.
Dietzel coached LSU from 1955 until 1961, leaving for Army and South Carolina. He also broadcast Southern Conference football games and helped create Samford University’s athletics department before returning to LSU as athletics director from 1978 until 1982.
Dietzel was the last living member of the staff that guided LSU to an undefeated season and national championship in 1958. The Tigers beat Clemson in the 1959 Sugar Bowl.
Pacers Keep Forward
Indianapolis — Paul George wanted to keep playing in Indiana. Larry Bird made sure he wasn’t going anywhere.
The Pacers star forward agreed Tuesday to a long-term contract, according to a person with knowledge of the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity because it won’t be officially announced until today. Terms were not immediately available, but he is eligible for a five-year deal worth between $80 million to $90 million, depending on the salary cap.
George’s rookie deal was set to expire after next season and the 23-year-old All-Star almost certainly would have been one of most attractive players on the free-agent market. There was speculation the Los Angeles area native might return to California and team up with Kobe Bryant to restore the luster to the Lakers proud franchise.
N.Y. Gets All-Star Game
New York — The 2015 NBA All-Star weekend will be split between two New York arenas, with Madison Square Garden to host the game, two people with knowledge of the plans said Tuesday.
Barclays Center in Brooklyn will host the Saturday skills events, the people confirmed to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the plans were to be announced at a news conference today.
The game last came to Madison Square Garden in 1998 and has gone exclusively to warm-weather cities in recent years. Now it will come back to New York a year after the city hosts the Super Bowl and show off two top arenas.
Shaq, Kings Unite
Sacramento, Calif. — Shaquille O’Neal has apologized to all Sacramento Kings fans for his verbal jabs during his playing career and is promising to restore the franchise to its winning ways as a minority owner.
Declaring the new name of the city “Shaqramento,” O’Neal took several steps to explain his past swipes at his introductory news conference Tuesday. He said he was only trying to rile up people and market the game when he called the franchise the “Sacramento Queens” while winning three titles with the Los Angeles Lakers.
O’Neal also offered insight into his role with the Kings and the vision of new majority owner Vivek Ranadive. He says he’ll be a mentor to center DeMarcus Cousins and help the team build the NBA’s first “indoor-outdoor arena.”
Leafs’ Kessel Suspended
Toronto — The Maple Leafs had suspended forward David Clarkson in their lineup Tuesday night for a preseason game against the Ottawa Senators, but will be without Phil Kessel.
Clarkson received an automatic 10-game suspension from the NHL — that doesn’t begin until the regular season — for leaving the bench to join a fight.
Clarkson is allowed to play in preseason games, including Tuesday night’s home game.
The Maple Leafs caught a bit of a break on Tuesday when the NHL suspended Kessel only for Toronto’s final three preseason games for slashing Buffalo Sabres tough guy John Scott.
Kessel had a telephone disciplinary hearing on Tuesday regarding his actions in Sunday’s game.