National Sports Briefs

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 28, 2008

Associated Press
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. ó Tennessee and Lane Kiffin have reached a tentative agreement with the former Oakland Raiders coach to lead the Volunteers, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Friday.
A formal announcement was expected early next week, said the person, who requested anonymity because the deal had not been finalized.
Kiffin, 33, replaces Phillip Fulmer, who was forced out after 17 seasons as Vols coach. Fulmer won a national championship in 1998 but had two losing seasons in the last five years, including a 4-7 mark this year.
The Vols (3-7, 2-5 Southeastern Conference) host Kentucky (6-5, 2-5) tonight in what has been dubbed “Phillip Fulmer Appreciation Day.”
The Knoxville News Sentinel first reported the deal.
Kiffin was the youngest coach in the NFL’s modern history when hired to lead the Raiders in January 2007 at age 31.
DETROIT ó Allen Iverson apparently chose family and food over practice ó and he’ll be fined for it.
Iverson was the only player who didn’t show up when the Detroit Pistons worked out on Thanksgiving.Coach Michael Curry confirmed Iverson will be fined, did not start Friday night against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Iverson apologized and insisted it won’t happen again.
– GREENBURGH, N.Y. ó The New York Knicks needed Stephon Marbury to play, then suspended him a game and docked him nearly $400,000 in salary Friday after claiming he refused.
The disgruntled guard insists he never told coach Mike D’Antoni “no” and plans to appeal.
Just another chapter in Marbury’s turbulent tenure with his hometown team.
D’Antoni made it clear he asked the point guard to play because the Knicks were short-handed.
– CLEVELAND ó LeBron James reacted strongly to Charles Barkley’s comments that the Cavaliers star isn’t showing respect for Cleveland fans and his teammates by discussing his possible free agency following the 2010 season.
“He’s stupid. That’s all I’ve got to say about that,” James said Friday night before the Cavaliers’ game against Golden State.
“If I was LeBron James, I would shut the hell up,” the Hall of Famer said on Dan Patrick’s show. “I’m a big LeBron fan. He’s a stud. I’m getting so annoyed he’s talking about what he’s going to do in two years. I think it’s disrespectful to the game. I think it’s disrespectful to the Cavaliers.”
PITTSBURGH ó Steelers running back Willie Parker practiced for the second successive day Friday despite left knee inflammation and could play Sunday at New England.
– DAVIE, Fla. ó Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter has been fined $7,500 for unsportsmanlike conduct during Miami’s 48-28 loss to New England on Sunday. Porter was fined for verbally abusing the opponent after the play was over.
ARLINGTON, Texas ó The Texas Rangers have traded pitcher Wes Littleton to the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named later or cash.