The Detroit Pistons shook the NBA in a big way yesterday - landing former Most Valuable Player Allen Iverson from the Denver Nuggets. The Pistons gave up All-Star point guard and former NBA Finals MVP Chauncey Billups, top reserve Antonio McDyess and project Cheikh Samb. Iverson is in the final year of his contract, making $20.8 million this season. He could debut with the Pistons tomorrow night at Toronto. Billups is in the second season of a four-year deal worth a guaranteed $46 million with a $14 million team option for a fifth year. Billups and the Pistons won the 2004 NBA title, but Detroit has been looking to overhaul the team after the Pistons exited from the Eastern Conference finals for the sixth straight time last spring. Iverson was the league MVP in 2001 and is a nine-time All-Star. He has averaged nearly 28 points for his career. Billups, 32, is a three-time All-Star who has averaged nearly 15 points and 5 1/2 assists for his career. With the Nuggets' roster growing to 14 after the trade, Denver waived former Wizards forward Juwan Howard.
MORE PISTONS: : All-Star guard Richard Hamilton agreed to a three-year extension worth about $34 million, a basketball official told the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced. The officials said two years of the contract are guaranteed and the third is partially guaranteed. His current $62 million, seven-year deal was signed five years ago.
RESULTS: : The host Philadelphia 76ers built a 20-point halftime lead en route to a 125-91 victory over the winless Sacramento Kings. ... Dwight Howard had 22 points and 15 rebounds to lead the host Orlando Magic past the Chicago Bulls, 96-93. ... Marc Gasol had 27 points and 16 rebounds as the host Memphis Grizzlies beat the Golden State Warriors, 90-79. ... Hamilton scored 19 and visiting Detroit beat the Charlotte Bobcats, 101-83, to improve to 3-0. ... LeBron James scored 29 to send the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers to a 100-81 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
Quarterback Derek Anderson has been benched by the Cleveland Browns, who will start popular backup Brady Quinn on Thursday night against the Denver Broncos. Anderson, who has been inconsistent this season, threw a costly interception that was returned for a touchdown in the final minutes of Sunday's 37-27 loss to the visiting Ravens. Also, wide receiver Joe Jurevicius, forced to sit out the 2008 season because of a serious staph infection in his surgically repaired right knee, plans to return next season for the Browns.
Texans: : Quarterback Matt Schaub has an injured knee ligament and will be out at least two weeks. ... Long snapper Bryan Pittman met with NFL officials in New York to appeal a possible suspension after testing positive for a banned diuretic.
Et cetera: : Former Pro Bowl quarterback Daunte Culpepper said his contract with the Lions would be for two years and that he would sign it after taking a physical. ... Saints defensive end Charles Grant will miss the rest of the season because of a triceps injury. The team re-signed defensive tackle Hollis Thomas. ... Bears quarterback Kyle Orton underwent more tests on his right ankle to determine the extent of his injury he suffered Sunday against the Lions.
Closer F. Rodriguez files for free agency
Record-setting closer Francisco Rodriguez and shortstops Rafael Furcal, Omar Vizquel and Edgar Renteria were among 19 players who filed for free agency. Pitchers Brandon Lyon and Paul Byrd also joined the list. Of the 179 players eligible for free agency, 149 have filed. Rodriguez went 62-for-69 in save chances for the Los Angeles Angels, breaking the record of 57 saves set by Bobby Thigpen in 1990.
Brewers: : Milwaukee opened up the bidding for free-agent pitcher CC Sabathia. General manager Doug Melvin said that the team made a contract offer to Sabathia over the weekend, but declined to elaborate. ... Milwaukee exercised its $10 million option on center fielder Mike Cameron's contract for next season.
Et cetera: : A federal judge who is weighing whether to throw out a defamation lawsuit filed by Roger Clemens said he is "agonizing" over the status of the case leveled against Clemens' former personal trainer, Brian McNamee, who accused the pitcher of using performance-enhancing drugs. U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison made the comment after a nearly two-hour hearing in Houston. ... Ruben Amaro Jr. signed a three-year contract to become general manager of the world champion Phillies, replacing retiring Pat Gillick, who will remain with the team as an adviser. ... Orioles left-hander Alberto Castillo has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk, the team said. Castillo, 32, was 1-0 with a 3.81 ERA in 28 games last season.
Massachusetts Twisters are NISL's fifth team
After weeks of acrimony between two halves of the old Major Indoor Soccer League and the surprise withdrawal of the Orlando Sharks 10 days ago, the National Indoor Soccer League is set to launch its maiden season with a new addition, the Massachusetts Twisters. Blast owner Ed Hale announced the inclusion of Massachusetts as a fifth league franchise along with a revised league schedule that does not include any notable date changes for his team. The Twisters, formerly of the American Indoor Soccer League, will play in Springfield and begin their season Nov. 15 at the Philadelphia KiXX. They join the Blast, Monterrey La Raza, KiXX and Rockford (Ill.) Rampage.
College football: : Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer has been forced out as coach after 17 years that included a national championship. Fulmer, 58, announced that he will step aside at the end of the season. Fulmer had a 150-51 record with the Vols, including the national title in 1998. He is the nation's third-winningest active coach among coaches with 10 years of experience, trailing Florida's State's Bobby Bowden and Penn State's Joe Paterno. But Tennessee is 3-6, including 1-5 in the Southeastern Conference.
College basketball: : Maryland forward Jin Soo Kim has been ruled eligible by the NCAA Clearinghouse to play this season. The 6-foot-8 freshman will begin to practice tomorrow. Coach Gary Williams last week called Kim "probably the best shooter we have." ... North Carolina forward Tyler Hansbrough made the AP's preseason All-America team for his record third straight year as its leading vote-getter. For the first time he was a unanimous selection.
Elsewhere: : Alex Ovechkin, the NHL's reigning MVP, returned to the Washington Capitals after leaving for a week to visit his ailing grandfather in Russia. ... Chris Campoli had his first two goals in nearly a year, the second coming 3:13 into overtime, as the New York Islanders overcame a blown three-goal lead in the third period to beat the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets, 4-3. ... Rafael Nadal, the world No. 1 in tennis, pulled out of the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai, citing fatigue and the need to prepare for the Davis Cup final this month. ... A second runner died after completing Sunday's New York City Marathon. The identity and cause of death were not disclosed.
From Sun staff and news services