NBA fines floppers
NEW YORK (AP) — Miami’s LeBron James and Indiana’s David West and Lance Stephenson were all fined $5,000 by the NBA on Thursday for violating the league’s anti-flopping policy.
James and West were penalized for the same play during a messy Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals. James spun and fell and West tumbled toward the baseline during what looked like a poorly choreographed dance routine as the NBA’s MVP defended the Indiana forward.
Stephenson was fined for exaggerating the contact after a slight elbow from Ray Allen following his basket, staggering back toward the sideline after making a short jumper.
• OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A person familiar with the decision said the Sacramento Kings have reached an agreement with Golden State Warriors assistant Mike Malone to be their head coach.
Brett named interim coach
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Hall of Famer George Brett was appointed the Kansas City Royals’ interim hitting coach as part of a shake-up aimed at pulling the struggling team out of its skid.
Brett has helped the Royals in spring training for years, but has turned down full-time job offers — including opportunities to manage — because he didn’t want to deal with the daily grind.
• ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers placed slumping All-Star center fielder Matt Kemp on the 15-day disabled list because of a right hamstring strain.
Kemp was injured while running down a double in right-center by Mike Trout in a 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night.
Sanchez plans to be Jets’ starter
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Mark Sanchez is “planning on starting” this season as the New York Jets’ quarterback despite being in what’s expected to be a tight competition with rookie Geno Smith.
Sanchez, entering his fifth season, insisted he hasn’t thought about the possibility of being on the bench in Week 1 when the Jets open against Tampa Bay. He adds that he doesn’t “plan on that happening.”
U.S. shot putter to get gold
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — American shot putter Adam Nelson will get the gold medal from the Athens Olympics in 2004 that was stripped from a Ukrainian rival because of doping. Nelson finished second behind Yuriy Bilonog.
Judge cancels soccer friendly
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A judge canceled Brazil’s soccer friendly against England scheduled for Sunday at Rio de Janeiro’s newly renovated Maracana stadium, saying the venue is unsafe.
The state government of Rio de Janeiro said it will appeal the cancellation by Judge Adriana Costa dos Santos. The government said the stadium meets all the safety standards required.
The government said the problems were due to a “bureaucratic error,” and said a report showing the stadium is safe wasn’t delivered to the proper authorities.
The cancellation would be a blow to Brazil and its plan to organize the Confederations Cup — which opens June 15 — and raises questions about the South American nation’s ability to organize next year’s World Cup and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
• KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Italian club AS Roma will try to follow in the footsteps of Manchester United when it takes on the best players in Major League Soccer this summer.
Man U dominated MLS players in two of the league’s annual all-star games, winning by a combined score of 9-2. But the top domestic league in the U.S. has never lost to another international club since it adopted its current all-star game format a decade ago.