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China team signs Marbury


Marbury to play in China

Former Knick Stephon Marbury, 32, will become the highest-profile American to play in the Chinese Basketball Association after he agreed to join the league's Shanxi club. Marbury, a free agent since leaving the Celtics last season, had agreed to a deal with the northern club and would arrive in Shanxi next week, the team announced on its official Web site. Shanxi owner Wang Xingjiang added that Marbury's salary would not be too high because Marbury wanted to promote his personal brand of shoes in China.

BASEBALLOfferman banned

Jose Offerman was banned for life by the Dominican winter league for throwing a punch at an umpire during an argument on the baseball field. The former All-Star, manager of the Licey Tigers, appeared to hit first-base umpire Daniel Reyburn in the face or neck with a fist during Saturday's playoff game against the Cibao Giants.

Two Hairstons for SD

The San Diego Padres have agreed to a $2,125,000, one-year deal with Jerry Hairston Jr. The deal with the former Yankees infielder-outfielder comes two days after the Padres completed a trade with Oakland to reacquire Hairston's younger brother, Scott.

BoxingBerto cancels bout

Andre Berto has withdrawn from his Jan. 30 fight with Shane Mosley, saying the strain of dealing with the earthquake that struck Haiti left him unable to fight. Berto, who represented Haiti in the Athens Olympics, said he could not train properly for what was to be the biggest fight of his career. The undefeated Berto was to defend his WBC welterweight title against Mosley in a fight on HBO. - AP

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