Kings suspend Cousins
The Sacramento Kings have suspended DeMarcus Cousins after the temperamental power forward demanded a trade, the team said on Sunday. Cousins did not appear for the Kings in their 96-80 victory over the New Orleans Hornets and coach Paul Westphal revealed prior to the game that the player had been sent home. “DeMarcus Cousins has demanded to be traded. In the best interest of our team as we go forward, he has been directed by me, with the support of management, to stay home from the New Orleans game tonight [Sunday],” Westphal said in a statement. “When a player continually, aggressively, lets it be known that he is unwilling [or] unable to embrace traveling in the same direction as his team, it cannot be ignored indefinitely.” Sacramento’s next game is in Memphis today and the team have made no mention on the likelihood of Cousins’ availability for that contest.
LeBron engaged to Brinson
NBA superstar LeBron James is engaged to marry long-time girlfriend Savannah Brinson, who accepted his proposal at a lavish New Year’s Eve dinner party in Miami. Brinson was the high-school sweetheart of the Miami Heat playmaker and is the mother of James’ two sons, seven-year-old LeBron Jr and four-year-old Bryce. No wedding date was immediately set. The party was hosted by Dwyane Wade, James’ Heat teammate. The bash was also a birthday party for James, who turned 27 on Friday. As the clock struck midnight, Wade made a key off-court pass to James, handing over the engagement ring he had been holding until that moment. “He was just trying to catch her off-guard,” Wade said. “I thought he did a good job of catching her when she least expected it.” James then kneeled before Brinson and proposed. She accepted. “It was real cool,” James said. “It was an opportunity for me with my personal life, so it was good.”
Yi Jianlian signs with Mavs
Chinese star forward Yi Jianlian has agreed to a one-year NBA deal with the reigning champion Dallas Mavericks, according to reports on Sunday on ESPN and in Dallas area newspapers. Yi, who suffered a knee injury while playing for the Guangdong Southern Tigers, will report to the Texas Legends developmental-league squad to improve his conditioning before joining the Mavericks. The Legends are coached by Del Harris, who guided China’s 2004 Olympic squad to an eighth-place showing in Athens. In four NBA seasons with Milwaukee, New Jersey and Washington, Yi has averaged 8.5 points and 5.3 rebounds in 24 minutes of playing time a game. Last season, he averaged 5.6 points and 3.9 rebounds for Washington. Yi, 24, was a free agent after helping China qualify last year for a berth in the London Olympics. He averaged 16.7 points and 10.3 rebounds in three Chinese league games, but was hurt after a teammate fell on him during a game.
Cole suspended after check
St Louis Blues defenseman Ian Cole has been suspended for three games for delivering an illegal check to the head of Detroit Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader, the NHL said on Sunday. The infraction occurred midway through the first period of Detroit’s 3-0 triumph Saturday at Joe Louis Arena. Cole was assessed a minor penalty on the play. Cole, who will miss games against Phoenix, Edmonton and Colorado, will be eligible to return on Tuesday in Montreal. He will lose more than US$21,000 in salary because of the suspension, the league said.