LAWSUIT DROPPED: The NBA agreed to drop its lawsuit against the Oregon Lottery's basketball betting game in return for the lottery's pledge not to resume the game, a lottery official said yesterday in Salem, Ore.
Last week, the Lottery Commission voted to discontinue the NBA portion of its weekly Sports Action game because of poor ticket sales.
The commission approved a settlement between the NBA and the lottery in which the league agreed to drop its lawsuit if the lottery promised not to resurrect the game for at least five years.
The action doesn't affect the lottery's football betting game, which has had good ticket sales.
REVERSAL OF FORTUNE: The Nets will retire John Williamson's No. 23 tonight, but he's in no mood to celebrate. "My life is basically over," said Williamson, 39.
Poor financial advice and an alcohol problem drained Williamson, one of the Nets top scorers in the 1970s, of his earnings. He got sick last December after working out with his son, Maurice, a junior at Louisiana State. Blood tests revealed his kidneys were not working and he now must use a home dialysis kit four times a day to replace fluids his kidneys can no longer handle.
He, his wife Bertha and their four children have been surviving on a monthly Social Security check and Bertha's part-time job at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
Tonight, Williamson's jersey will be raised at the Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, N.J. Williamson will join Julius Erving as the only Nets to have their numbers retired. Williamson and Erving led the Nets to their 1974 American Basketball Association championship.
MOVES: The Lakers waived 6-6 G-F Tony Brown. Brown, a five-year veteran, was placed on the injured list Nov. 30 because of a bruised right knee cap. . . . The Knicks placed G Trent Tucker on the injured list with a bone bruise in his left foot and activated G John Starks, who had been on the injured list since Nov. 1 with a sprained right knee. . . . The Timberwolves rewarded Tim Leiweke with a two-year contract extension as executive VP of marketing and sales.