Basketball: James in dock over tie gesture

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The Independent Online
PAUL JAMES, the Thames Valley Tigers coach, faces a disciplinary board at the English Basketball Association on Tuesday for allegedly using his necktie to indicate what he thought of the officiating at his club's 84-77 defeat at Milton Keynes last Sunday, writes Richard Taylor.

The match officials, Rob Iliffe and Mac Callander, reported James after claiming he approached them at the end of the game, lifting the end of his tie above his head. It appears that the officials understood from this that James either felt they had choked in making decisions during the game, or perhaps that they should be hanged. The defeat was particularly galling for James, coming against the Conference's bottom club the night after Tigers had won 72-69 at the top club, Birmingham Bullets.

Newcastle Eagles face a player shortage for tonight's Northern Conference game at home to Chester Jets, the only Championship fixture scheduled on a night that England try to repair the damage from Wednesday's European Championship defeat against Switzerland in their second group game, away to Slovakia. Ian Whyte is on England duty and Charles Smith is unlikely to play because of food poisoning.

Chester, who have won their last two games, have replaced Carlos Brown - who broke his hand in last weekend's win over Derby Storm - by signing the 6ft 4in Terrence Lewis, formerly of Washington State.