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Rockets' Francis Only Fined for Cursing

March 23, 2004|From Associated Press

Houston Rocket point guard Steve Francis was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Monday for cursing during a halftime television interview and for criticizing officials.

The Lakers' Shaquille O'Neal was suspended Feb. 2 for cursing in a postgame TV interview the day before, costing him about $275,000.

Francis drew his league-leading 17th technical foul, then complained about the lack of a call in the closing seconds of the first half of Houston's 100-95 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night.

When an ESPN reporter approached him for a halftime interview, Francis swore and stormed off the court. He apologized after halftime.

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An examination of Jason Kidd's left knee showed no new injuries, but the New Jersey Nets' star guard remains in pain and is sidelined indefinitely.

"What we've revealed is that there is no significant change," Net Coach Lawrence Frank said Monday of the most recent MRI exam, which still revealed a bruised bone. "It's being classified as the same. He went to see the doctor again today and we'll see what course they tell him to take. It means more what the doctors say. The good news is that the MRI results aren't worse. The bad news is that he's still in a lot of pain."

Frank said he wouldn't put a timetable on Kidd's return.

Kidd, placed on the injured list Friday, said Sunday that if he needs knee surgery, he'll wait until after the Nets are done with the NBA playoffs.

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