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Barkley Fined $10,000 for ‘Gutless’ Remark

Associated Press

The NBA fined Houston Rocket forward Charles Barkley $10,000 Monday for calling referee Jack Nies “gutless” after Barkley was ejected from a game against the Orlando Magic.

“I stick by what I say,” Barkley told KRIV-TV of Houston. “I don’t care about $10,000. The money goes to a good, worthy cause. So I look at it in a positive light. I got my money’s worth. I definitely got my money’s worth.”

Barkley was thrown out of Friday night’s game for incurring his second technical foul with nine minutes remaining and the Rockets trailing by 18 points. He got the first for protesting the lack of a call in the second quarter, then got the second technical after complaining that he was held while going after a pass.

Barkley didn’t think his actions called for his ejection.

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“I didn’t say anything, I got tossed for dropping a ball,” Barkley said. “I always take my punishment like a man. I’m not going to gripe. Whatever they do, I felt would be fine.”

The Rockets lost the game, 100-75.

After the game, Barkley said, “I’d like to say one thing about Jack Nies, I think he is a gutless official who holds grudges.

“For him to toss me for no reason . . . since we had our altercation. I’ve always thought he was gutless. He did nothing to dispute that tonight.

“Y’all print that because I want the NBA to call me.”

The ejection--Barkley’s sixth of the season--also carries an automatic $1,000 fine.

Barkley did not attend the Rockets’ workout Monday because he was being treated for an injured shoulder.

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The Philadelphia 76ers have signed center Benoit Benjamin for the rest of the season.

Benjamin originally signed two 10-day contracts as a replacement for injured forwards Scott Williams and Derrick Coleman, then stayed with the team after they had returned.

He has averaged 4.8 points and 4.1 rebounds in nine games.

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The Atlanta Hawks will be without forward Christian Laettner and guard Steve Smith when they play at New Jersey tonight.

Laettner sprained his right ankle in Sunday’s 118-95 victory over the Detroit Pistons. He is expected to miss as many as seven games.

Smith had fluid drained from his right knee Monday. He is expected to miss only the one game.


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