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LeBron Pays For Media Snub

NBA commissioner David Stern fined LeBron James US$25,000 for skipping the postgame news conference after Cleveland lost to Orlando in the Eastern Conference finals.

Stern said he spoke with the Cavaliers star on Wednesday, a day after James had surgery to remove a benign growth near his jaw, and that James admitted he was wrong to not congratulate Orlando's players and coaches after the loss.

"He asked that I express to the media, the Magic and the fans his apology, and particularly the young fans, because he knows he has a responsibility to all of our fans, and that sportsmanship is appropriate whether you win or whether you lose," Stern said. The league first said James wouldn't be penalized, citing his usual cooperation with the press.

"Certainly as it related to the media, we have a rule, you guys know that we've had some interesting issues over the years with some of our coaches and the like, and it was inappropriate for me to give someone a pass here," Stern said.

Stern also defended the work of his referees, adding they will eventually be helped by expanded instant replay, and said the technical foul system in which players are suspended for a game in the playoffs after accumulating seven is working.

The NBA boss also downplayed a congressman's remarks about the league's age limitation rule, noting that there's also an age limit to be elected to Congress.


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