Sean Elliott was tired yesterday, three days after his kidney transplant, but he said he otherwise is doing well and may return to the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs.

Appearing in public for the first time since receiving his brother's kidney, Elliott thanked well-wishers from around the world who have sent flowers, cards and e-mail messages.

"I feel like I'm doing great. I'm a little tired. But other than that, I'm just excited," he said. "I just want to enjoy life, that's for sure."

Elliott wore a golf shirt and warm-up pants while sitting in a wheelchair beside family members as he spoke with reporters in the lobby of Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital in San Antonio.

Doctors performed the transplant at the hospital Monday.

Noel Elliott, 32, donated one of his kidneys, which was immediately implanted in Sean's body.

"It's been hard, kind of, to move. My brother gave me a giant kidney, so I've got this extra lump in here and it's a little different," Sean Elliott said. "But it's working really good."

Elliott, 31, a 10-year NBA veteran, helped lead San Antonio to its first NBA title in June. He needed the transplant because of a disease called focal segmental glomerular sclerosis. Doctors don't know what causes the illness, which prevents the kidneys from properly filtering waste from the blood.

Without the transplant, Elliott likely would have had to begin kidney dialysis in a matter of weeks. He said there is no way he can repay his brother for donating the kidney, which Elliott called "the greatest gift."

"I've just got to be the best brother I can and take care of what he's given to me," he said, joking that he probably would get his brother some tickets to Spurs games, too.

It hasn't been disclosed when the two brothers will be released from the hospital. Sean Elliott is expected to stay until about a week after the surgery. . . .

Becky Hammon scored 16 points as the New York Liberty romped over the Cleveland Rockers, 72-55, at Madison Square Garden. The Liberty raced to a 24-11 lead and never trailed. . . .

The Milwaukee Bucks traded forwards Chris Gatling and Armen Gilliam to the Orlando Magic for forward Danny Manning and guard Dale Ellis. . . .

Guard William Avery, the Minnesota Timberwolves' first-round pick, signed a three-year contract.


Rafter Wins, Withdraws

Second-seeded Patrick Rafter advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 victory over Canadian Daniel Nestor at the RCA Championships in Indianapolis, then withdrew from the tournament because of tendinitis in his right shoulder.

Rafter's withdrawal means Jan Siemerink of the Netherlands automatically advances to Saturday's semifinals. Siemerink won 6-2, 6-3 over Sweden's Magnus Larsson. Later, top-seeded Pete Sampras defeating Max Mirnyi of Belarus, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3. . . .

Monica Seles, seeking a fifth straight du Maurier Open title, beat 15th-seeded Elena Likhovtseva, 7-6 (9-7), 6-3, in Toronto to move into the quarterfinals.


Caps Re-Sign Brochu

The Washington Capitals re-signed goaltender Martin Brochu to a one-year pact.

The contract is a two-way agreement that will pay Brochu $350,000 if he plays with the Capitals or $60,000 if he plays with their American Hockey League affiliate.

Brochu, 26, lost the two games he appeared in with the Capitals last season while posting a 3.00 goals-against average. The games were his first in the National Hockey League. . . .

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Dominik Hasek had surgery in Munich to repair a slight hernia, the team said. Hasek will resume his offseason conditioning program within a week and should be ready for training camp, said Ulrike Muschaweck, who performed the 40-minute procedure Wednesday.

Auto Racing

Keller Wins Kroger 200

Jason Keller led for 130 of 200 laps in winning the Kroger 200 NASCAR Grand National race at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Keller led the first 95 laps and the last 35, winning the race under caution. Todd Bodine and Jeff Green finished second and third, respectively.


Fans Arrested

Police detained 61 unruly spectators following fights at a soccer exhibition in Minsk between Russia and host Belarus. All but one of those taken into custody were Russian.

Russian fans began celebrating and insulting opposing fans after Alexander Panov scored two minutes into the second half, giving Russia a 2-0 lead it held for the remainder of the exhibition. . . .

Bayern Munich, Germany's first-division champion, will play a benefit match against Turkey's Besiktas in Istanbul during the winter to raise money for victims of this week's earthquake.


Ali Sues Ex-Lawyer

Attorneys for Muhammad Ali have filed a lawsuit claiming a one-time personal lawyer of Ali's and an associate duped the former heavyweight boxing champion into signing away the rights to his life story.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, accused Richard Hirschfeld, a longtime friend of Ali, of taking advantage of Ali's weak condition while he was being treated for Parkinson's disease.

Ali asked the court to declare his 1988 business agreement with Hirschfeld and the associate--Ali's former manager and spiritual adviser, Jabir Herbert Muhammad of Chicago--null and void.

Columbia Pictures has announced plans, with Ali's cooperation, to make a movie about Ali, who will be portrayed by actor Will Smith. . . .

Tony Ayala Jr. returns to the ring tonight in San Antonio after serving 16 years in a New Jersey state prison.

Ayala will fight Manuel Esparza in a scheduled 10-round bout at the 162-pound weight limit.

Ayala had signed to fight for $750,000 and a world championship when, fueled by a mixture of heroin, cocaine and alcohol, he broke into a home New Year's Day 1983 and raped a woman.


Win Profits Armstrong

Lance Armstrong is cashing in on his Tour de France victory.

Armstrong has signed a contract extension with his team, U.S. Postal Service, that will pay him $2 million in 2000, four times his 1999 base salary. He also has signed a string of new endorsement deals worth as much as $6 million through the year 2004.

Armstrong, 27, has pledged to donate at least $250,000 from his 2000 salary to his Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer research.

CAPTION: Spurs' Sean Elliott appears in public for the first time yesterday after receiving a kidney from his brother Noel, right, in a transplant on Monday.