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Police say Bryant hospitalized after assault accusation

An investigator in the case involving Kobe Bryant said Wednesday the NBA star was taken to a hospital hours after he was accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman at a mountain resort.

Doug Winters, a detective with the Eagle County sheriff's department, refused to say why Bryant was taken to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs early July 2.

"If we make contact with a suspect with any type of case that requires further investigation, then we would transport them at any time," he said.

Winters said Bryant was free to go because he had not been charged. He said Bryant was picked up by a taxi.

Vail taxi driver Terry O'Brien, 38, told the Orange County Register he picked up Bryant and three bodyguards from the emergency room of the hospital about 2:30 a.m. July 2.

Bryant, 24, is accused of attacking the woman at a hotel June 30. Officials at the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera in Edwards, 40 miles east of Glenwood Springs, say Bryant was a guest June 30-July 2.

Prosecutors are expected to decide by the end of the week whether the Lakers guard will be charged.

NETS: With San Antonio's wooing of Jason Kidd complete, New Jersey will get one final shot at keeping the biggest prize on the free-agent market.

Nets president Rod Thorn did not comment on contract talks with the perennial All-Star point guard. Kidd led New Jersey's transformation from also-ran to two-time defending Eastern Conference champion in just two seasons with the team.

Kidd seemingly wants his unrestricted free agency resolved as soon as possible. The earliest he can sign is Wednesday.

The Record of Bergen, N.J., reported that one factor might be Kidd's private displeasure with coach Byron Scott, and that he is believed to have brought up Scott's job status during a Tuesday meeting with Nets officials.

Agent Jeff Schwartz said in a statement Kidd will try to make his decision by Monday.

PACERS: Two days after forward Jermaine O'Neal canceled trips to Dallas and San Antonio, president Donnie Walsh said the team is nearing agreement on a seven-year deal worth $120-million with its franchise player.

SONICS: First-round draft pick Luke Ridnour signed a three-year contract. Ridnour, 22, was the 14th overall choice in last month's draft.

An MRI disclosed Ridnour sustained a slight fracture in his pelvis during predraft workouts. He will not play for Seattle's entry in the Southern California Summer Pro League, but is expected to be ready for training camp.


HOUSTON: Forward Tina Thompson will not play in Saturday's All-Star game after spraining her left ankle in practice this week.

Thompson, selected by fans as a starter for the West, was injured in the closing minutes of a Comets workout Monday. She'll be out seven to 10 days. San Antonio's Marie Ferdinand was selected as her replacement on the roster.