PHOENIX - The Suns settled a sex discrimination lawsuit by agreeing to pay $82,500 and hire women for their halftime entertainment shows.
The settlement was announced Friday by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
"To specifically exclude one sex from a position seems rather shocking in this day and age," said Mary Jo O'Neill, EEOC regional attorney.
Suns lawyer Tom O'Malley declined comment.
The EEOC suit contended that in 1999-2000, the Suns and Sports Magic Team Inc. adopted gender-restrictive hiring policies for the Zoo Crew. The crew provides entertainment during Suns games, including trampoline dunks with the team's gorilla mascot.
The suit contended that slots on the crew were limited to "males with athletic ability and talent."
BOBCATS: Maurizio Gherardini, general manager of club Benetton Treviso in Italy, was interviewed by team executives this week in Paris, Charlotte spokesman Chris Weiller said.
BUCKS: Milwaukee waived Anthony Mason after reaching a settlement with the forward. The Bucks were in talks with Mason to end his contract since Sept.29. Spokeswoman Cheri Hanson said team policy was not to release terms of the settlement.
CAVALIERS: A businessman sued LeBron James' family, contending he was not repaid a loan of more than $115,000. Akron, Ohio, businessman Joe Marsh, in a breach-of-contract suit filed Thursday, said he lent the money to Eddie Jackson and Gloria James during LeBron James' last two years at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.
CLIPPERS: Free-agent forward Glen Rice signed, returning to the city where he helped the Lakers win the championship in 2000.
JAZZ: Center Curtis Borchardt will miss 3-4 weeks with a broken finger. Borchardt collided with a teammate during Monday's practice.
TIMBERWOLVES: Guard Latrell Sprewell (sore left Achilles' tendon) will miss a preseason game against the Knicks, his former team.
WIZARDS: Guard Jerry Stackhouse missed Friday's game with a sore right knee and said he could be out for an extended period. "I'd love to say I'd be ready for the start of the (regular) season, that's in a perfect world," he said. "But in all actuality that may not happen."
Friday's preseason games
RAPTORS 98, PANATHINAIKOS 76: Vince Carter scored 21 to lead host Toronto over the Greek team in a game shortened 59.4 seconds by a power outage. Players lingered on the court for a few minutes before the decision was made to cancel the rest of the game.
GRIZZLIES 91, FC BARCELONA 80: Pau Gasol showed had no mercy against his former teammates, scoring 18 for visiting Memphis. Gasol left Barcelona two years ago to become the first Spaniard to make it in the NBA.
76ERS 103, WIZARDS 83: Allen Iverson had 23 points and six rebounds for Philadelphia in Greensboro, N.C.
HEAT 94, HAWKS 92: Rasual Butler's jumper with 1 second left capped a furious fourth-quarter comeback for Miami in Estero.
SONICS 96, ROCKETS 86: Seattle's Rashard Lewis scored 19 and Vladimir Radmanovic 14 in North Little Rock, Ark.
BULLS 90, CELTICS 77: Donyell Marshall scored 17 and Lonny Baxter 14 for host Chicago.