Former NBA star Sabonis stable after heart attack

KAUNAS, Lithuania — Basketball Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis is in stable condition after suffering a heart attack.

Doctors in Sabonis' hometown of Kaunas, Lithuania, said Wednesday that the former NBA player is in intensive care, but the heart attack is not life-threatening.

The 46-year-old Sabonis was taken to a hospital Tuesday night after going into cardiac arrest while playing basketball.

Sabonis helped the Soviet Union win gold at the 1988 Olympics, beating the United States in the semifinals. The 7-foot-3 center played seven seasons for the Portland Trail Blazers between 1995-2003.

Book says Walter Payton abused drugs after retiring

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — According to a new book, Chicago Bears great Walter Payton abused painkillers in retirement and became suicidal.

In "Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton," author Jeff Pearlman says the Hall of Fame running back used a cocktail of Tylenol and vicodin in retirement, kept tanks of nitrous oxide in his garage and even obtained Ritalin from a friend whose son was prescribed pills. Pearlman writes that Payton drew the suspicion of pharmacists and a warning from the police after visiting several drugstores to have a dentist's prescription for morphine filled.

Payton's longtime agent Bud Holmes is quoted as saying "Walter was pounding his body with medication." The book goes on sale Oct. 4. An excerpt appears in this week's Sports Illustrated.

BATON ROUGE, La. — A grand jury has reduced charges against Jordan Jefferson to a misdemeanor for his involvement in a bar fight and the quarterback's attorney says his suspension from the top-ranked Tigers has been lifted.

Jefferson is now charged with simple battery. His attorney, Lewis Unglesby, says there is no way his client will be convicted if the case goes to trial.

The grand jury Wednesday also cleared reserve linebacker Josh Johns of charges.

Jefferson and Johns were arrested and booked with second-degree battery in the Aug. 19 fight, after which four men sought treatment at hospitals.

Johns' lawyer, Thomas Damico, says his client always maintained he is innocent and there was a case of mistaken identity.

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Chargers have placed Bob Sanders on injured reserve with a knee injury, ending the season for the oft-injured strong safety.

Sanders played in only two games with the Chargers before getting hurt. Coming into the season, he missed the equivalent of four full seasons due to injuries.

Compiled from wire reports

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