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Cuban fined $600K for tanking comments

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

DALLAS (AP) The NBA has fined outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban $600,000 for comments about tanking during a podcast with Hall of Famer Julius Erving.

Commissioner Adam Silver said Wednesday the fine was for "public statements detrimental to the NBA." The podcast with Erving was posted Sunday, the day the All-Star game was played in Los Angeles.

Cuban said during the 30-minute interview that he met recently with some of his players and told them "losing is our best option." Cuban said he shared the club's summer plans with the players and "that we're not going to tank again." He said by the end of the season, it will be "a year and a half of tanking."

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James opposes changing playoff format

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) LeBron James says leave the NBA playoffs alone.

The Cavaliers superstar said Wednesday he disagrees with a potential proposal to re-seed the 16 teams in the playoffs regardless of conference. The league has always had teams from the Eastern and Western Conferences compete separately in the postseason with the respective conference winners meeting in the NBA Finals.

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Mavs probe ex-president for misconduct

DALLAS (AP) The Dallas Mavericks have hired outside counsel to investigate allegations of inappropriate conduct by former team president Terdema Ussery in a Sports Illustrated report that described a hostile workplace for women.

Ussery was accused of making sexually suggestive remarks to several women. He spent 18 years with the team before going to the sports apparel company Under Armour in 2015. Ussery, who was investigated by the team over similar claims in 1998, denied the allegations in a statement to SI.

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Struggling Hornets fire GM Cho

The struggling Hornets have shaken up their front office, firing general manager Rich Cho on Tuesday.

"Rich worked tirelessly on behalf of our team and instituted a number of management tools that have benefited our organization," Hornets owner Michael Jordan said in a release. "We are deeply committed to our fans and to the city of Charlotte to provide a consistent winner on the court. The search will now begin for our next head of basketball operations who will help us achieve that goal."

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Rockets, Raptors enjoying view from top

Golden State and Cleveland are used to looking down at the rest of the NBA, though it's Houston and Toronto enjoying that view at the All-Star break.

The Rockets and Raptors are the conference leaders and will try to keep rolling when play resumes. Houston has won 10 straight to edge past the Warriors, and Toronto is two games up in the East after seven consecutive wins.

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Ill Pelicans owner Benson hospitalized

METAIRIE, La. (AP) New Orleans Saints and Pelicans Owner Tom Benson has been hospitalized with flu symptoms.

A statement released Wednesday by the NFL and NBA clubs says their 90-year-old owner is resting comfortably at Ochsner Medical Center, a hospital which also serves as a major sponsor and which owns naming rights to the teams' training headquarters.

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Pacers ink McKinney Jones to 10-day deal

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The Indiana Pacers have signed Trey McKinney Jones to a 10-day contract.

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound guard has been playing with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. He was averaging 11.4 points in 26 games with the Pacers' G-League affiliate.

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DeRozan on All-Star draft: 'Televise it'

LOS ANGELES (AP) Stephen Curry would love to be an NBA All-Star Game captain again next year, especially since the game will be in his hometown of Charlotte.

LeBron James would be OK with someone else taking his place, depending on who the top two vote-getters are, although his draft prowess led to Team LeBron beating Team Stephen 148-145 Sunday night .

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Blazers aim for another post-break surge

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) The Trail Blazers have enjoyed post-All-Star break revivals the past two seasons.

Those late-season rallies will no doubt be an ongoing theme in the congested Western Conference playoff race once Portland resumes play on Friday in Utah.

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Fergie sorry for atypical anthem version

LOS ANGELES (AP) Fergie is apologizing after trying something different with the national anthem at the NBA All-Star Game.

"I've always been honored and proud to perform the national anthem and last night I wanted to try something special for the NBA," the Grammy-winning singer said in a statement Monday. "I'm a risk taker artistically, but clearly this rendition didn't strike the intended tone. I love this country and honestly tried my best."

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