CLEVELAND The Cleveland Cavaliers executed a monster trade Thursday to unite two superstars, acquiring Shaquille O'Neal from the Phoenix Suns in hopes he can help LeBron James deliver this seemingly sports-cursed city its first major pro championship in 45 years. The deal creates a tandem that instantly rivals any in sports today and calls to mind some of the great duos in NBA history: Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob Cousy and Bill Russell, Shaq himself and Kobe Bryant.
More important, if Cleveland's gamble works and the 37-year-old O'Neal delivers a title, it could keep James around.
Warriors trade Crawford
ATLANTA The Atlanta Hawks got some insurance heading into free agency, acquiring guard Jamal Crawford from the Golden State Warriors for little-used guards Acie Law and Speedy Claxton.
Crawford, who had his differences with Golden State coach Don Nelson, provides the Hawks with depth and flexibility at a may need it. The 29-year-old Crawford averaged 19.7 points, 4.4 assists and 3.0 rebounds last season, but he wasn't in the Warriors' plans.
Magic trades for Carter
ORLANDO, Fla. The Orlando Magic's blockbuster formula for winning the NBA Finals now involves shooting guard Vince Carter as the go-to-guy and very likely not small forward Hedo Turkoglu, who probably will move on after turning down an offer from the club.
Magic General Manager Otis Smith said that Thursday's acquisition of Carter an eight-time all-star from the New Jersey Nets will make re-signing Turkoglu a longshot. Carter, 32, is two years older than Turkoglu, who can be courted by teams as a free agent beginning July 1.
The Magic traded starting shooting guard Courtney Lee, point guard Rafer Alston and power forward Tony Battie for Carter and power forward Ryan Anderson, a rookie like Lee.
Venus hobbling, winning
WIMBLEDON, England Venus Williams ambled onto sun-splashed Court 1 at Wimbledon, a slight hitch in her step and an odd-looking wrap around her left knee. White tape here, brown tape there.
Good thing the five-time Wimbledon champion didn't need to run to hit serves, huh? Powered in part by her big-as-can-be deliveries, Williams overwhelmed 73rd-ranked Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine 6-3, 6-2 in the second round to stretch her All England Club winning streaks to 16 matches and 27 sets.
Afterward, Williams was coy about the bandaging, saying it was "just for support."
Andy Roddick, twice a Wimbledon runner-up, got to the third round with a 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 win over Igor Kunitsyn of Russia.
Only one seeded player departed, No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro, and while his 6-3, 7-5, 7-5 loss to a man ranked 56th might ordinarily count as an upset, it wasn't necessarily all that shocking when you consider that man is Lleyton Hewitt.
Gay shines at nationals
EUGENE, Ore. As defending world champion in two events, the 100 and 200 meters, Tyson Gay needed only to compete in one round of any event at the U.S. Championships to claim his place in both at the World Championships in August. Gay chose the 100 and ran Thursday's first round in a substantially wind-aided 9.75 seconds, fastest in the world this year under any conditions.
A pair of Stanford distance runners competed at the national meet Thursday. Lauren Centrowitz qualified for the 800-meter final, placing third in a semifinal Heat in 4:16.05. The Cardinal's Garrett Heath just missed the final. He was third in his semifinal Heat in 3:41.83. The top two in each of four heats, plus the top four others, advanced.
Quakes cut pair
SAN JOSE The San Jose Earthquakes cut defender Eric Denton and midfielder Kelly Gray. Denton appeared in 10 matches this season after starting 26 games at left back last season. Gray appeared in eight games this season. The Bay Area native came to San Jose in a trade with the Colorado Rapids last year.