Bobcats coach Brown fined $60,000 by NBA

Larry Brown became the first major target in the NBA’s zero-tolerance policy toward criticizing its replacement referees.

The Bobcats coach was hit with $60,000 in fines on Wednesday, and the Charlotte organization was fined another $60,000 after Brown’s ejection from an exhibition game.

Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins was also fined $25,000 for criticism after a game Monday, as the league attempts to protect its inexperienced officials while it locks out its regular referees in a labor dispute.

Official Kevin Scott whistled Brown for two technical fouls at different times in Monday’s game in Atlanta. After the second technical, with 3:23 left in the third quarter, Brown lingered on the court instead of heading to the locker room. Scott called for security, but Brown then left on his own.

Also: The Golden State Warriors exercised the fourth-year contract option on forward Brandan Wright and the third-year option on forward Anthony Randolph.

The moves keep Wright and Randolph under contract to the team through the 2010-11 season.

The New Jersey attorney general’s office will take over the manslaughter prosecution of former NBA star Jayson Williams.

An office spokesman said it would replace the Hunterdon County, N.J., prosecutor’s office for Williams’ retrial on a reckless manslaughter count stemming from the shooting of a hired driver in 2002.

Current and former employees of the county office testified last week in a hearing to determine whether the case has been tainted by racial bias. It was disclosed two years ago that a county investigator used a racial slur to describe Williams, who is black.

Williams was convicted of covering up the shooting, but the jury deadlocked on a reckless manslaughter count.


UCLA coaching great Wooden reaches 99

John Wooden celebrated his 99th birthday.

The former UCLA basketball coach and Hall of Famer reached the landmark Wednesday. He is confined to a wheelchair after a series of minor health setbacks in recent years.

One of Wooden’s last public appearances came in July, when he gathered with current Bruins coach Ben Howland and several of his former players at a luncheon celebrating Wooden’s recognition by a national magazine as the greatest coach in American sports history.

Wooden, whose wife, Nell, died in 1985, is looked after by his daughter, son, several grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

He won a record 10 national championships at UCLA, including seven in a row.

Also: Binghamton basketball coach Kevin Broadus was placed on an indefinite paid leave of absence, just months after leading the school to its first NCAA Tournament bid.

The move comes after Friday’s announcement that Broadus admitted having contact with prospective recruits, violating NCAA regulations. Assistant coach Mark Macon will take over in the interim.

University president Lois DeFleur called for an audit of the entire athletic program after the releases last month of star basketball player Emanuel “Tiki” Mayben, who is facing drug charges, and five of his teammates.

The UNLV women’s tennis team went 13-1 combined in singles and doubles on the first day of competition in the Wilson/ITA Mountain Region Championships at Darling Tennis Center.

Kristina Nedeltcheva got a first-round bye, then rolled 6-1, 6-0 over Air Force’s Melissa Cecil to lead six Rebels into the round of 32.

All three of UNLV’s doubles teams advanced.


France Sr. leads first NASCAR Hall class

NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. headlined the five inductees into the first class of the organization’s Hall of Fame, a group that drew mixed reactions to the inclusion of France’s son instead of renowned driver David Pearson.

France, who formed the National Association of Stock Car Racing in 1947, was the first inductee announced in a ceremony that followed a lengthy voting session at the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center.

Richard Petty, a seven-time Cup champion and NASCAR’s all-time wins leader, was the second inductee revealed by current NASCAR chairman Brian France.

Next up was Bill France Jr., son of the NASCAR founder. France Jr. spent nearly 30 years at the helm of America’s top motor sports series.

The final two nods went to Dale Earnhardt, NASCAR’s other seven-time champion, and Junior Johnson, a former driver and car owner whose early days of running moonshine through backroads of North Carolina stands as a symbol of NASCAR’s start.

Also: The Wranglers made several roster moves in advance of Friday’s season opener against the Utah Grizzlies at the Orleans Arena.

Las Vegas released forwards John Morea, Jerry Pollastrone, Matt Whitehead and Dan Riedel and defensemen Jason Fredricks and Gabe Andre, and granted free agency to center Justin Taylor.

Las Vegas also added center Josh Prudden and forward Kyle Hagel. Both players saw action last season for the now-defunct Fresno Falcons, where they were tutored by first-year Wranglers coach and general manager Ryan Mougenel.

Injured Buffalo Sabres forward Thomas Vanek might not be out as long as originally expected and could miss only a few days rather than weeks.

Coach Lindy Ruff said Vanek’s upper body injury sustained in Tuesday’s win over Detroit isn’t as bad as first thought. After the game, Ruff said Vanek would be out for “some time,” referencing weeks as a timetable.

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Sami Salo will miss three to five weeks with a suspected sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee.

Jamaica soccer player Orane Simpson was fatally stabbed in the violence-wracked Kingston slum where he was raised, police said.

A brief police statement said the 26-year-old Simpson, a Jamaica national team member since 2005, was stabbed multiple times Tuesday, several hours after having a quarrel with a man.

Lance Armstrong considers the 2010 Tour de France course “tough” because of the cobblestone sections and three punishing summit finishes in the Pyrenees.

The seven-time Tour champion attended the unveiling of the route in Paris and had lunch with French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

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