Wimbledon is considering a move to the first two weeks of July to take advantage of drier weather in the month than it gets in June and to give players more time to adjust to grass courts, the Guardian newspaper reported yesterday.

A change cannot be made in the next two years because of scheduling conflicts, but the newspaper said it could happen by 2002.

Chris Gorringe, chief executive of the All England club, told the Guardian the move would allow more time between the French Open and Wimbledon, which are two weeks apart. The players must retool their games from clay to grass courts, and some bypass Wimbledon because they can't adapt.

Basketball

Money, Money, Money

The number of NBA players making between $1 million and $2 million increased almost 50 percent during the 1999 season, according to figures released by the players' union. The average NBA salary increased to $2.64 million from $2.37 million, and the median salary increased from $1.4 million to $1.68 million, the union said.

The players' share of basketball-related income increased from 57 percent in 1997-98 to 59 percent in 1999. Salaries increased 17 percent as a whole. . . .

Minnesota Timberwolves assistant Randy Wittman will be hired as coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers today, according to media reports in Minneapolis and Cleveland. Wittman, who has been with Minnesota for five years, was a first-round draft pick of the Washington Bullets in 1983 . . .

Gregg Popovich signed a four-year contract extension, 11 days after coaching the San Antonio Spurs to their first NBA title. . . .

Sheryl Swoopes was the top vote-getter in the final fan balloting for the WNBA All-Star Game in New York on July 14.

Olympics

Athens Head Quits

The chief organizer for the 2004 Olympics quit after repeated accusations that Athens was not aggressively preparing for the Games.

Stratis Stratigis, a 65-year-old lawyer and professor, spent 18 months on the job. His departure comes at a time of reported friction between the government and Olympic organizers. Kostas Vernikos, spokesman for Athens 2004, said Stratigis was leaving for personal reasons.

A replacement is expected to be appointed in several days by Premier Costas Simitis. Stratigis could not be reached to comment.

Courts

Judge Tosses Part of Suit

A judge yesterday threw out part of a $30 million civil rights lawsuit filed against the city of Lubbock, Tex., by the women's basketball coach of Hampton University, her husband and an assistant coach.

The suit, filed April 19, alleges police racial bias in the wrongful arrest of the three last Nov. 16 outside a Wal-Mart.

Hampton was there for a basketball game against Texas Tech, but the game was canceled because of the incident.

U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings dismissed two of three claims that assistant coach Vanetta Kelso, who was pregnant, received inadequate medical care at University Medical Center.

Cummings also ruled that the city of Lubbock is immune to claims of slander, libel, defamation and emotional distress. But the judge said individual police officers and paramedics cited in the lawsuit have no such immunity.

Golf

Nicklaus Skips Open

The U.S. Senior Open went 1 for 2 with its big names. Arnold Palmer made it. Jack Nicklaus did not.

Nicklaus, 59, withdrew to continue resting his aching left hip. Palmer, 69, the 1981 Senior Open champion, has been bothered by a pulled muscle in his rib cage but arrived yesterday morning to a big welcome from fans. . . .

A professional caddie group wants the PGA Tour to improve on-course working conditions after one of its members collapsed during the third round of the Western Open on Saturday.

Caddies should have the option of wearing shorts and carrying lighter bags on days when the heat index, a gauge of temperature and humidity, rises above 98 degrees, said Dennis Cone, founder of the Orlando-based Professional Caddies Association Worldwide.

"Weather is not the way it used to be and we need to be able to adjust to the changes," Cone said.

On Saturday, Garland Dempsey, who caddies for PGA Tour player John Maginnes, collapsed after his heart stopped while he was walking off the 15th tee.

While the exact cause hasn't been determined, Dempsey is listed in fair condition at a Chicago area hospital.

CAPTION: Houston Comets' Sheryl Swoopes holds an oversized WNBA All-Star Game ballot celebrating her as the top vote-getter. The inaugural game is July 14.