Sports in Brief

Jordan, Ali on List Of Century's Greats

Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali made the list of the 25 outstanding sports people of the century compiled by the International Association of Sports Writers.

Other Americans on the list were swimmer Mark Spitz and track stars Jesse Owens and Carl Lewis.

Wayne Gretzky was the only hockey player to make the list.

Pele was included along with other soccer players Franz Beckenbauer of Germany, Bobby Charlton of Britain and Ferenc Puskas of Hungary.

Among the women included were Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci and Australian swimmer Dawn Fraser.

No one from golf, baseball or football was included among the top 25. The voting was done by representatives from 53 countries.

Basketball

Baker a Free Agent

SuperSonics forward Vin Baker has decided to terminate the remainder of his contract by opting for free agency July 1.

Baker, 27, a four-time all-star coming off his worst season, will be free to sign with any club as of Thursday but has said his first choice is to remain with the Sonics.

He could lose more than $20 million by signing with another club. The only ones with enough room under the salary cap to sign him are Toronto, Chicago and the Los Angeles Clippers. . . .

Two-time defending champion Yugoslavia overcame sloppy play to run its winning streak to four at the European Championship, beating Slovenia, 71-66, in Pau, France.

Also in Pau, guard Antoine Rigaudeau sank three late three-pointers and led France to a 74-57 victory over Spain.

Russia defeated Israel, 93-84, in overtime. Guard Odesh Katash sank a three-pointer to tie the game at 76 with 10.1 seconds left but made just 2 of 5 free throws in overtime.

In Le Mans, France, Lithuania rolled to a 74-48 victory over Turkey behind forward Arturas Karnisovas's 19 points and 10 rebounds. Arvydas Sabonis, the Portland Trail Blazers center, added 12 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists.

Croatia trounced the Czech Republic, 86-64, in Le Mans, with guard Damir Mulaomerovic scoring 20 points. Toni Kukoc of the Chicago Bulls had 17 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds in Croatia's victory.

Track and Field

Pedroso Goes Long

Ivan Pedroso of Cuba had the best long jump of the year, soaring 28 feet 2 3/4 inches at the City of Padua track meet in Italy.

Thursday, Spaniard Yago Lamela had established the year's best, 28-1, at a meet in Turin, Italy. Lamela did not compete in Padua.

Namibian sprinter Frankie Fredericks won the 100-meter dash in an unimpressive time of 10.31 seconds.

Boxing

Smith to Retire

James "Bonecrusher" Smith will announce his retirement because of a shoulder injury.

The 46-year-old Smith dislocated his right shoulder in a bout with Joe Bugner in Australia July 4, 1998, and had to stop the fight after the first round.

He once again encountered shoulder problems in his Legends of Boxing heavyweight bout against Larry Holmes in Fayetteville, Ark., June 18, and finally signaled his corner to halt the fight two minutes into the eighth round.

Smith has a career record of 43-16-1 with 31 knockouts. He stopped Tim Witherspoon in the first round at Madison Square Garden Dec. 12, 1986, for the WBA title.

Smith has announced his retirement before, but this is the first time such a decision has been based on physical reasons. . . .

Ukrainian Vitali Klitschko knocked out defending WBO titlist Herbie Hide in the second round yesterday to become the first fighter from the former Soviet Union to win a version of the world heavyweight championship.

The unbeaten Klitschko floored Hide after 34 seconds at the London Arena and delivered a chopping right to knock the champion out at 1 minute 27 seconds. The former world military heavyweight champion has won all his 25 fights as a pro. . . .

Polish heavyweight Andrew Golota used a stiff jab and sharp counter-punching to stop Quinn Navarre in the sixth round in Warsaw, continuing his bid for another world title bout.

Fighting in his homeland for the only the second time as a professional, Golota, 31, improved to 34-3 with a strong performance over the smaller, overmatched Navarre, a 32-year-old American who fell to 21-7-1.

Auto Racing

R. Petty Recovering

Former stock car star Richard Petty is recuperating from an attack of bleeding ulcers that put him in a hospital earlier this week, according to his son, Kyle.

Kyle Petty, who is competing in today's Save Mart-Kragen 350 Winston Cup race, said a family friend had stopped by to visit his father.

"He said, 'I don't feel so good,' and by the time he said 'I don't feel so good,' he just fainted."

The friend got him to a hospital in Greensboro, N.C., where it was determined he had lost 40 percent of his blood. Kyle Petty said doctors stabilized the bleeding Thursday.

CAPTION: After rough hole during charity golf tournament, Michael Jordan, included on International Association of Sports Writers' list of 25 outstanding sports people of the century, gets ribbing from Jerry Rice, who did not make list.