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Thu, Oct. 17

Phoenix Suns to host NBL’s New Zealand Breakers for exhibition
Sports in Brief

NEW YORK — Six NBA teams will host teams from Australia’s National Basketball League for 2018-19 preseason exhibition games.

The NBA and NBL announced the plans Tuesday for five Australian teams to visit the U.S. for games from Sept. 28-Oct. 5. It’s the second straight year the Australian league will send teams for games.

The Philadelphia 76ers, with Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons of Australia and coached by former Australian national team coach Brett Brown, will host the Melbourne United on Sept. 28.

The Utah Jazz, featuring Australians Joe Ingles and Dante Exum, will host two of the games.

The other games:

—Utah hosts the Perth Wildcats on Sept. 29.

—The Los Angeles Clippers play former NBA player Andrew Bogut and the Sydney Kings on Sept. 30 in Honolulu.

—The Phoenix Suns host the New Zealand Breakers on Oct. 3.

—Denver welcomes Perth on Oct. 5.

—Toronto meets Melbourne at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena on Oct. 5.

—Utah hosts the Adelaide 36ers on Oct. 5.

Wild hire former Coyotes front office director Tom Kurvers as assistant GM

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Wild have hired Tom Kurvers as assistant general manager.

The Wild announced Kurvers’ hiring on Tuesday. He joins the team after spending the last 10 seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning, where he was senior adviser to Tampa Bay’s general manager the last seven years.

Before joining the Lightning, Kurvers spent 11 seasons with the Phoenix Coyotes, including three as director of player personnel.

The former University of Minnesota Duluth defenseman won the 1986 Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens.

He totaled 421 points (93-328) and 350 penalty minutes in 659 career NHL games during 11 seasons with Montreal, Buffalo, New Jersey, Toronto, Vancouver, the New York Islanders and Anaheim. He was selected by the Canadiens in the seventh round of the 1981 NHL Entry Draft.

Shaq on his

Hollywood plans: ‘I want to be the next Rock’

NEW YORK — Shaquille O’Neal is already known by many names. Superman. The Diesel. The Big Aristotle. But he would like to add another to the list: Movie Star.

In “Uncle Drew,” which opens Friday, he plays one of the former basketball stars (all of them real pros under heavy old-man makeup) reunited by Kyrie Irving’s titular character (first created for a TV ad) to compete in a street-ball tournament at Harlem’s Rucker Park. Shaq’s character, known as Big Fella, is found running a martial arts dojo.

But post-NBA life has been far more successful for the four-time NBA champion.

He’s an analyst on TNT’s “Inside the NBA,” a popular pitchman and an active entrepreneur and investor. He has dabbled in everything from professional wrestling to law enforcement. He’s even a voice setting on the Waze navigation app. This summer he will tour under the name DJ Diesel.

“Uncle Drew” is just one of the projects that the 46-year-old O’Neal has going. Among his favorites is a TBS show he’s developing with Ken Jeong. Comparing their chemistry to Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan, O’Neal says it will be “’Seinfeld”-epic-ish.”

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