John Elway has teamed with a pair of businessmen in a bid to buy the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche and their future arena, the Denver Post reported yesterday.

The former Broncos quarterback has joined an effort launched by businessmen Lars Erik Borgen and George Gillette to buy the basketball and hockey teams and Pepsi Center from Ascent Entertainment Group Inc., the newspaper reported, citing an unnamed source.

Two other bidders have reportedly submitted formal bids to Ascent's board of directors.

The Post said one of them is Denver businessman Donald Sturm and the other an out-of-state party.

Borgen is a Denver mutual fund entrepreneur.

Gillette owns Vail-based Booth Creek Ski Holdings Inc. and is a former owner of the Vail and Beaver Creek ski resorts. Sturm is a millionaire real estate investor and owns the Bank of Cherry Creek.

Ascent, a publicly held corporation based in Denver, agreed in March to sell the Nuggets, Avalanche and Pepsi Center to Bill Laurie and Wal-Mart heiress Nancy Walton Laurie for $400 million.

That deal was sidelined after Ascent shareholders filed lawsuits asserting that the price was below market value and that former chairman Charlie Lyons sacrificed the interests of shareholders in negotiating a sweetheart deal for himself.


Coach, Sir, or Sir Coach?

Manchester United Coach Alex Ferguson was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his contribution to British soccer.

Ferguson, 57, is the most successful manager in Premier League history and capped off United's League and FA Cup double last season with a come-from-behind win over Bayern Munich to snare the European Champions Cup.

"The queen told me she doesn't think it will ever be achieved again--and she's right," he said.


Stevenson Joins Team

Wimbledon semifinalist Alexandra Stevenson was selected to replace Brie Rippner on the U.S. women's team at the Pan American Games. Rippner withdrew from the event because of a herniated disk.


Draft Choices Sign

Denver Nuggets top draft choice James Posey has agreed to a three-year contract. The 6-foot-8, 215-pound forward from Xavier was the 18th overall pick in the June 30 draft. . . .

Quincy Lewis, a 6-7 guard-forward from Minnesota and the Utah Jazz's top draft choice, agreed to a three-year contract. The team has an option for two more years. Lewis, the 19th player taken, was the first of Utah's three first-round picks.


Tiger Earns Tie

Tiger Woods eagled the 18th hole to give the American-British team a 6-6 tie against the Nordic All-Stars in the SAS Invitational match play tournament in Rungsted, Denmark.

Woods's spectacular finish on the par-5 hole enabled him to finish even with Denmark's Thomas Bjorn.


Capitals Add Winger

The Washington Capitals signed right wing Glen Metropolit, who spent the past two seasons with Grand Rapids of the International Hockey League.

In 77 games last season, the 6-foot, 185-pounder led the Griffins in goals (28) and assists (53).


Unitas in Hospital

Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas was hospitalized after complaining of chest pains.

Unitas, 66, was listed in good condition at University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.

A hospital spokeswoman said Unitas will go home today.

CAPTION: Alexandra Stevenson will represent the United States at the Pan American Games.