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    LeBron James sounds off on Cavaliers’ issues

    Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) reacts during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, in New Orleans. The Pelicans won 124-122.(AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)
    Jonathan Bachman/AP
    LeBron James was unhappy with this second-half call on Monday night and even less happy following the defending NBA champions’ loss to the Pelicans — their fifth loss in seven games.

    LeBron James has alluded to flaws with Cleveland’s roster all season. He got much more detailed about the cracks and crevices in the NBA champions after their fifth loss in seven games. James urged the team’s front office to do more after a 124-122 loss Monday night to the New Orleans Pelicans, who were missing star forward Anthony Davis. ‘‘We’re not better than last year, from a personnel standpoint,’’ he said. ‘‘We’re a top-heavy team . . . I just hope we’re not satisfied as an organization.’’ On Tuesday, James went on Twitter to explain that his comments weren’t directed at Cavs general manager David Griffin, or Cleveland’s coaching staff. His biggest issue is with the current makeup of the Cavs, who have been hurt most by allowing guard Matthew Dellavedova to leave as a free agent and injuries to forward Chris Andersen and guard J.R. Smith. James watched the Warriors retool after losing in last year’s NBA Finals and feels the Cavs haven’t done enough to address their biggest needs. James said he’s expressed his opinions directly to Griffin, who recently obtained Kyle Korver in a trade with Atlanta. ‘‘We need a [expletive] playmaker. I'm not saying you can just go find one, like you can go outside and see trees. I didn’t say that,’’ James said. . . . Davis (right thigh bruise) said he expects to play when the Pelicans host the Thunder on Wednesday night . . . The Grizzlies will own and run the NBA Development League’s newest team in Southaven, Miss., starting in 2017-18.

    Former ABA Virginia Aquires owner Earl Foreman, 92, died in Chevy Chase, Md. Foreman also had ownership stakes in the other professional sports teams, including NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles and the NBA’s Baltimore Bullets.


    McIlroy aims for Mexico

    Rory McIlroy is targeting the Mexico Championship in March as his return to tournament action from injury. McIlroy aggravated a rib stress fracture while finishing runner-up at the SA Open in Gauteng two weekends ago. He believes he'll be ready to play again in the first World Golf Championship of the year, from March 2-5. ‘‘I feel like I can maybe get back before that, but if I were to play [the] Honda [Classic] and then go straight to Mexico, I'd be playing two weeks in a row. I'd like to ease my way back in gently,’’ he said. McIlroy, the world No. 2, has already missed the Abu Dhabi Championship, and pulled out of the Dubai Desert Classic next week. He will also miss the Genesis Open in California and Honda in Florida next month.


    The first Italian Open golf tournament with a $7.5 million purse has been moved from the Olgiata club in Rome to the Royal Park I Roveri club outside Turin in October. The Italian Golf Federation made the announcement without explanation on Tuesday. Funding for major events in Italy has become an issue after Rome withdrew its bid for the 2024 Olympics.


    Jays, Saltalamacchia agree

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    A person with knowledge of the negotiations says the Blue Jays have agreed to a minor league contract with free agent Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The former Red Sox catcher, who played for the Tigers last season, would get a $1.25 million, one-year contract if added to the major league roster . . . The Giants agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract with Nick Hundley . . . Infielder Luis Valbuena and the Angels completed a $15 million, two-year contract . . . The Rangers signed first baseman James Loney to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training . . . The Diamondbacks agreed to a one-year minor league contract with catcher Josh Thole . . . The Marlins acquired righthander Severino Gonzalez from the Phillies for a player to be named or cash . . . Righthander Joba Chamberlain agreed to a minor-league contract with the Brewers that includes an invitation to the big-league camp . . . The Mariners will retire former designated hitter Edgar Martinez’s No. 11 jersey next season.


    Holland fined for punch

    The NHL fined Coyotes forward Peter Holland $3,611 for punching Tampa Bay’s Ondrej Palat in Saturday night’s game. The fine is the maximum allowed for punching an unsuspecting opponent . . . The Sharks traded forward Tommy Wingels to the Senators on for minor league forwards Buddy Robinson and Zack Stortini, and a 2017 seventh-round draft pick. Wingels had been a key contributor to the San Jose over the years but his role had diminished this season with the emergence of rookies like Kevin Labanc, Timo Meier, and Ryan Carpenter.


    US Davis Cup team named

    John Isner, Jack Sock, Steve Johnson, and Sam Querrey have been named to the US Davis Cup roster that will face Switzerland on Feb. 3-5 in Birmingham, Ala. . . . The University of Michigan signed contracts to pay football coach Jim Harbaugh’s top two assistants, defensive coordinator Don Brown and offensive coordinator Tim Drevno, more than $10 million combined over the next five years. Brown, a Spencer native who was head coach at Northeastern, UMass, and Yale, and a defensive coordinator at Boston College, UConn, Brown, and Dartmouth among his New England stops, will make $1 million annually in the first four years and $1.4 million in 2021. Terms of the deals were obtained by The Associated Press with a Freedom of Information Act request . . . Former Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees is returning to his alma mater as the quarterbacks coach . . . Longtime Globe sports columnist Bob Ryan will be inducted into the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame Feb. 24 at the Boston Marriott Long Wharf Hotel.