The Utah Jazz were fined US$15,000 by the NBA for a skit that ridiculed Karl Malone and teammate Kobe Bryant during a timeout in the Los Angeles Lakers' game at Utah last week. \nNBA vice president Stu Jackson levied the fine, issuing a two-paragraph statement Friday saying the Jazz were penalized for "performing a mascot skit that ridiculed opposing players." \nDuring a timeout last Saturday, Jazz mascot "Bear" answered a fake call that was broadcast over the loudspeakers. The caller imitated Malone's voice and identified himself as "Mail," saying he wanted to come "home," LA fans were "mean" to him and the Lakers don't pass him the ball. \nThe call ended with the impersonated voice saying, "I guess it could be worse. I could be Ko...," stopping short of saying Kobe. \nBryant had spent the previous day in Colorado, where he's facing trial on a sexual assault charge. \nThe skit continued during a later timeout, this time with Jazz owner Larry Miller -- sitting courtside -- accepting a call from the Malone impersonator, hanging up and throwing the phone to the floor. \n"After 18 years, for them to stoop to that kind of level, that's no class," Malone said. "And that's something I'll never forget." \nThe Jazz later issued an apology to the Lakers organization. \nMalone said Friday night that he doesn't accept Utah's apology. \n"It's not sincere," he said. "The guy who was involved, who they put the blame on, apologized and I accept his because he's sincere. Other people there, no. I forgive, don't get me wrong, but I don't accept it because it's not real." \nKobe gets cut \nLakers star Kobe Bryant was placed on the injured list because of a severe cut on his right index finger that will keep him out of action for at least a week. \nThe Lakers said Bryant needed nine to 10 stitches to close the wound. He was injured Thursday night when he accidentally put his hand through a glass window while trying to move boxes in his garage. \n"I'm doing something where I'm leaning on a window. It doesn't hold me up. I guess I'm too strong," Bryant said. "Hand went through and I cut myself." \nGriffin takes a break \nNew Jersey Nets forward Eddie Griffin plans to enter the Betty Ford Center next week for six weeks of alcohol abuse treatment, his lawyer told The New York Times. \n"Eddie feels he needs further help with his drinking problem," Rusty Hardin said Friday. "He's very disappointed. But he's thankful for the way the Nets have reacted to his request for further treatment. He realizes these are problems he's created." \nHardin said Griffin's agent, Arn Tellem, has arranged for the player to fly to Southern California to enter the center Wednesday. \nGriffin took a leave from the Nets on Wednesday, three weeks after signing with the team. \nGriffin is currently in Houston, where he was recently convicted of marijuana possession. Griffin also faces a separate charge of felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. \nThe Nets signed Griffin after he was released by the Rockets.
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on