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$10,000 penalty for Barkley

Houston forward Charles Barkley was fined $10,000 by the NBA on Friday for directing profanities and obscene gestures at a single Utah fan in Salt Lake City during the Rockets' victory over the Jazz on Thursday night.

"It doesn't bother me," Barkley told Houston television station KRIV. "I've said from the beginning if a fan says something to me, I'm going to say something back. That's my rule."

SUNS: A day after winning the Sixth Man Award, F Danny Manning had knee surgery.

Surgeons reconstructed the anterior cruciate ligament in Manning's right knee and also replaced a torn lateral meniscus.

Manning, who averaged 13.5 points and 5.6 rebounds, was the first NBA player to come back from two ACL operations, which he had in 1989 and 1995.

HEAT: A year ago, Ed Pinckney was wearing a Miami uniform. He remembers the night the Knicks' Charlie Ward went for P.J. Brown's knees, causing all hell to break loose. He speaks fondly of coach Pat Riley.

Pinckney's picture appears in the Heat media guide. He's still connected with the team _ but not allowed to go to practice. All because he traded his uniform for a microphone and a job as radio analyst.

To Riley, Pinckney is another member of the media prohibited from practice. Pinckney laughed as he considered what a difference a year makes.

"Yeah, it was kind of strange," Pinckney said. "I also do work on the TV side (he hosts the pregame show when Miami is on the road), and it was weird to have to interview guys I played with at their homes. Initially I got easy access, but after a few times they were saying, "Ed, come on, how many times do we have to do this?'

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_ TIMES WIRES

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