When he crashed on his week-old motorcycle in a residential Chicago neighborhood last Thursday evening, Bulls guard Jay Williams. Official details of the accident and his injuries have not been released, but Williams reportedly sustained a broken leg and nerve damage, which could place his career in jeopardy. Williams had surgery on his pelvic area, and Bulls G.M. John Paxson said he "would have to assume" that Williams will miss next season. A star at Duke, Williams, 21, last year's second overall pick, had an uneven rookie season but finished strong, averaging 14.7 points on 60.6% shooting in his last seven games. There was speculation that Williams or the Bulls' other point guard, Jamal Crawford, might be traded. "It's just really hard to talk about," said Paxson. "All you think about is Jay and how he's doing."
As title sponsor of NASCAR's premier series, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Last week Nextel Communications Inc. signed a 10-year, $700 million contract with NASCAR that takes effect next season and ends RJR's 33-year run. (The company decided to end its sponsorship because of the uncertain economic climate of the tobacco industry.) Along with the name change (the Winston Cup Series will be the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series), the most significant fallout is that Nextel will aggressively market NASCAR to a demographic group that RJR couldn't touch-kids—due to legal restrictions placed on tobacco products. Nextel and NASCAR see winning over the younger crowd as a way to trigger a growth spurt in the sport. "This is a big step forward," says NASCAR chairman Bill France Jr. "Now we'll be able to become a truly national sport."
And charged with misdemeanor assault, Mike Tyson. The former heavyweight champ was arrested last Saturday, the same day promoters had wanted him to fight Lennox Lewis. But Tyson turned the bout down because he felt he wasn't prepared. Instead Lewis fought Vitali Klitschko, and Tyson fought two tourists outside a Brooklyn hotel. A pair of overzealous, and allegedly drunk, autograph seekers reportedly instigated the fight by harassing Tyson. According to a police spokeswoman, the two men took "a rather heavy object, a kind of stanchion, and menaced Mr. Tyson with it." Tyson punched one of the men in the head, knocking him out cold. The men were charged with menacing and harassment, both misdemeanors.
Of injuries sustained in a one-car accident, Orlando Predators coach Fran Papasedero, 34. Papasedero was driving alone in Orlando last Thursday night when his car overturned; the cause of the accident has not been determined. After a five-year career as an Arena football lineman, Papasedero joined coach Jay Gruden's staff in Orlando in 1997 When Gruden returned to the field as a quarterback before last season, the Predators promoted Papasedero, who led the team to a 12-4 record,
At age 31, 1996 Wimbledon singles champ Richard Krajicek. Raised in the Netherlands, the rangy Krajicek used what John McEnroe called "the best serve I've ever seen" to become a star. Though unseeded, Krajicek aced his way through the field at Wimbledon in '96, upsetting defending champ Pete Sampras along the way. Knee, foot and elbow injuries plagued him, and last week, after he lost in the first round of a tournament in the Netherlands, the man with more than $10 million in earnings had had enough. "For the past few years I've been fighting my body, and I lost," Krajicek said.