Around the Nation (July 16): Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd placed on interim probation for DWI

Associated Press Published:

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Nets coach Kidd gets probation for DWI

HAMPTON BAYS, N.Y. -- Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd pleaded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor drunken driving charge and was placed on interim probation a year after he smashed his Cadillac SUV into a utility pole on eastern Long Island.

In exchange for the guilty plea, Kidd agreed to speak to Long Island high school students about the dangers of drunken driving. If he fulfills his community service, his plea will be reduced to a violation, driving while ability impaired, when he returns to court Sept. 30.

Kidd, who retired as an NBA player after last season, was recently hired to coach the Nets -- the team he took to two NBA Finals as a player when the franchise played in New Jersey.

Kidd was returning from a charity function before the crash, defense attorney Ed Burke Jr. said. A Southampton Town Police report noted the 10-time NBA all-star and Olympic gold medalist was unsteady on his feet, smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot and glassy eyes.

The judge asked him at the plea hearing how much he'd consumed before his arrest. "A couple of drinks, three or four," Kidd replied in a soft voice.

"You could have killed yourself. You could have killed someone else," Town Court Judge Andrea Schiavoni said. "I hope you wake up every day happy to be here."

Kidd nodded in response.

Heat designate Miller as amnesty player

MIAMI -- The Miami Heat are designating Mike Miller as their amnesty player, a move that may save more than $30 million in luxury tax payments over the next two years.

Miller spent three seasons in Miami, helping the Heat win two titles and playing big roles in each playoff run. He started the last four games of this year's NBA Finals and made seven 3-pointers in Miami's title-clinching Game 5 win over Oklahoma City in 2012.

Miller was due $12.8 million over the next two seasons, which he still gets. But his salary will not count against Miami's cap, nor factor into a luxury-tax hit that would have exceeded $30 million in 2014.

Miller tells The Associated Press he understands the move, though he's disappointed to leave a championship club.

Bucks waive Gooden by amnesty clause

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Bucks waived forward Drew Gooden and designated him as their amnesty player.

Gooden had two years and about $13.4 million remaining on his contact. He still receives the money, but it doesn't count against the Bucks for salary cap purposes.

Gooden, who played for the Cavaliers from 2004-08, signed with the Bucks in 2010, and the 11-year veteran averaged 11.3 points and 5.9 rebounds in 107 games.

Just as Knicks get World Peace, they lose Smith

NEW YORK -- Just as they got Metta World Peace, the New York Knicks lost J.R. Smith.

So the enthusiasm over landing a player that general manager Glen Grunwald says could be the Knicks' "missing piece" was tempered by the news they could start next season without one of their key contributors.

Smith dealt with knee pain all season and wanted the chance to deal with it his way in the summer.

When it wouldn't get better, he agreed to surgery that could have him on the sideline when next season opens.

Billups excited for return to Detroit backcourt

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Chauncey Billups is back with the Detroit Pistons, and he's eager to be more than just a mentor.

The Pistons brought Billups back on a two-year deal for $2.5 million each year. The five-time All-Star turns 37 in September.

Billups tore his left Achilles tendon during the 2011-12 season, when he was limited to 20 games with the Los Angeles Clippers, and he played 22 games for them last season.

Billups helped Detroit to the 2004 NBA title. The Pistons dealt him to Denver on Nov. 3, 2008, and they are almost 100 games under .500 since making the unpopular move.

Detroit formally re-introduced Billups at a news conference Tuesday.

Top Mavs pick Larkin has surgery on broken ankle

DALLAS -- Mavericks rookie guard Shane Larkin has undergone surgery to repair his broken right ankle.

The team says Drs. T.O. Souryal and Richard Levy performed the surgery at Texas Sports Medicine in Dallas on Tuesday. Recovery time is expected to be about three months.

The former Miami point guard was the 18th pick in last month's draft. He was injured Friday in the last practice before the team flew to Las Vegas for summer league games.

The son of Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin is expected to battle for the backup job behind Jose Calderon, who signed with Dallas as a free agent.

Pendergraph signs 2-year deal with Spurs

SAN ANTONIO -- The San Antonio Spurs have agreed to a two-year contract with forward Jeff Pendergraph.

Pendergraph made the announcement on Tuesday before a workout at Arizona State, his alma mater.

The 6-foot-9 Pendergraph spent the past two seasons at Indiana, mostly in a reserve role. He averaged 3.9 points and 2.8 rebounds per game last season with the Pacers, who reached the Eastern Conference Finals.

Pendergraph was drafted out of Arizona State by Portland in 2009 and played one season for the Trail Blazers before missing the 2010-11 season with a torn right ACL.

He should added frontcourt depth to the Spurs, who lost to Miami in the NBA Finals this past season.

Brewer's back as a sign of turning-over T-wolves

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Timberwolves have turned over their roster many times since Corey Brewer was selected in the first round in 2007.

Now Brewer himself has been traded away -- and re-signed.

The Wolves brought the swingman back last week on a three-year, $15 million contract. After a productive season for a playoff team in Denver, Brewer became a free agent.

He considered Milwaukee and Sacramento, but when Minnesota expressed interest the decision was easy. He developed a fondness for the fans, if not the cold weather, during his first stint here. His appreciation for the organization was reinforced in recent days when owner Glen Taylor called him to encourage him to sign.

And Brewer saw legitimate potential in the group being assembled by new boss Flip Saunders.

AUTO RACING

NASCAR crew member Dodson reinstated

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR has reinstated former Sprint Cup crew member Jackson L. Dodson II after he completed its "Road to Recovery" policy.

NASCAR announced the move Tuesday.

Dodson was a mechanic on Clint Bowyer's car when he was indefinitely suspended from NASCAR on May 9 for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy. Michael Waltrip Racing fired Dodson upon learning he'd failed a drug test.

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