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PRESS BOX: Knicks' Smith draws $50,000 fine

The SportsXchange

NBA

New York Knicks guard JR Smith was fined $50,000 by the NBA on Wednesday for what it called recurring instances of unsportsmanlike conduct.

Specifically, Smith was reprimanded for untying opponent's shoes during free throws in games the past few days.

The first instance occurred Sunday during the Knicks' 92-80 win over the Dallas Mavericks in the American Airlines Center when Smith was seen bending down during a free throw and reaching for forward Shawn Marion's shoelace.

Smith received a league warning after that incident, but he did it again Tuesday night to Detroit forward-center Greg Monroe during New York's 89-85 victory over the Pistons in Madison Square Garden.

Earlier this season, Smith was fined $25,000 for directing inappropriate and hostile language toward Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings on Twitter.

--Center Andrew Bynum is expected to have a new employer by the end of the week.

After the Chicago Bulls released Bynum on Tuesday, eight NBA teams have made inquiries to his agent about signing the 7-footer, according to reports.

The Cleveland Cavaliers traded Bynum to the Bulls on Monday for forward Luol Deng and the Bulls subsequently waived Bynum in a cost-savings move.

Among the teams most likely to pursue 26-year-old Bynum are said to be the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Clippers. The Dallas Mavericks and the Brooklyn Nets also are interested, but financial concerns might take those two teams out of the running. Bynum has $6.2 million remaining on his contract this season.

Bynum, who has battled knee problems, is expected to clear waivers at 5 p.m. ET Thursday.

--In need of backup help at point guard while Chris Paul is sidelined with a shoulder injury, the Los Angeles Clippers signed Maalik Wayns to a 10-day contract on Wednesday.

The Clippers decided to bring back Wayns, a former Villanova player, after the team waived him on Monday. He missed the first 33 games of the season with a torn left meniscus.

The 6-foot-2 Wayns will give the Clippers some depth behind Darren Collison, who is starting in place of Paul.

In six games last season with the Clippers, Wayns averaged 3.3 points and 1.2 assists. His NBA experience includes 27 games with the Clippers and the Philadelphia 76ers.

--The Phoenix Suns have signed guard Leandro Barbosa to a 10-day contract, the team announced Wednesday.

The 6-foot-3, 194-pound Barbosa is a 10-year NBA veteran who played the first seven seasons of his career with the Suns, averaging 12.6 points, 2.6 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 466 games with Phoenix from 2003-10.

GOLF

The LPGA announced a new season-long points race that will feature a $1 million payout at the end of the 2014 season.

Sponsored by the CME group, the points race will represent the largest payout in women's golf. The series will begin with the season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic beginning Jan. 20 and conclude with the newly renamed CME Group Tour Championship.

On the final day of the LPGA season, the winner of the Tour Championship will receive a $500,000 first prize while the player who wins the points race will be announced as the Race to the CME Globe champion with a $1 million unofficial money payout .

All regular tournaments will hold the same 500-point values, while the five majors will carry a 25 percent increased value of 625 points.

SOCCER

Midfielder Michael Bradley, a key figure on the United States men's soccer team, reportedly is close to leaving one of Europe's fabled teams for one of Major League Soccer's worst clubs.

According to a Twitter post from ESPN's Taylor Twellman, Bradley is on the verge of a transfer from Italian giant Roma to MLS' Toronto FC.

Ron Waxman, Bradley's agent, declined comment to Sports Illustrated and FoxSoccer.com.

According to Sports Illustrated, Bradley's contract runs another 2 1/2 years and pays him $1.09 million per year. Bradley is said to be on the transfer list, and Roma reportedly is seeking a $10.9 million transfer fee.

The motivation for Bradley, 26, to make a move is likely an increase in playing time ahead of the World Cup this summer. A starter for Roma last season, Bradley is no longer a regular in the lineup.
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