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Wednesday, September 1, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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NBA

Notebook: Miles will return to Blazers

PORTLAND — The Portland Trail Blazers agreed to terms with forward-guard Darius Miles, a restricted free agent, yesterday.

Details of the contract were not immediately released, but ESPN reported it is a six-year deal for a total of $48 million.

Miles, 22, was acquired by Portland last season in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers for guard Jeff McInnis and seldom-used center Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje.

The 6-foot-9 Miles provided a boost to the Blazers on the court and in the locker room, turning around his image in Cleveland as a player who had failed to reach his potential.

With the Blazers, Miles averaged 12.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in 42 games.

Miles, who made $4.1 million last season, was drafted out of East St. Louis (Ill.) High School by the Los Angeles Clippers with the third pick in the 2000 draft.

Portland general manager John Nash has faith in Miles, a budding actor who had a role in the film "The Perfect Score."

"If he had gone to college, Darius would be a senior right now," Nash said. "Due to his youth, he has an opportunity to continue to grow."

Bobcats add Knight

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Point guard Brevin Knight signed with the Charlotte Bobcats, making him the most experienced player on the expansion team.

Knight, 28, has averaged 7.2 points, 6.1 assists and 1.8 steals per game in seven seasons. He played for Phoenix, Washington and Milwaukee last season.

"Brevin brings the natural, innate qualities needed for a point guard and he owns a great feel for the game," said Bernie Bickerstaff, general manager and coach of the Bobcats.

"He is a competitor and he will bring that intensity to the younger players on our team."

Report: Bryant wanted to pay off accuser

EAGLE, Colo. — After he was accused of sexual assault, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers told detectives in Colorado he knew the accuser wanted to have sex with him because of the look on her face — but he would pay her off to get the matter dropped, according to a report.

Bryant reportedly made the comments July 2, 2003, during a 75-minute interview with two Eagle County sheriff's detectives who taped the conversation surreptitiously.

Defense lawyers fought to get the statements barred. The judge ruled prosecutors can use them against Bryant at trial, which began Friday with jury selection.

Sports Illustrated obtained a copy of the investigators' report.

Bryant, 26, told the sheriffs he was worried the accusations would poison his marriage and career and said he would pay to make the allegation disappear, the report said.

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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