The Sacramento Kings were fined $30,000 by the NBA yesterday for showing derogatory images of Detroit on video screens before their home opener against the Pistons.

When the Pistons were introduced Nov. 8, the Arco Arena scoreboard flashed pictures of abandoned buildings, burned-out cars, piles of rubble and other negative images of Detroit. The Pistons won the game, 102-88.

The Kings apologized that night and owners Joe and Gavin Maloof bought full-page ads that ran in the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press, expressing "great respect for Detroit's long and rich tradition as a landmark American city and the incredibly positive impact the Motor City has made over the course of our country's history." . . .

America West Arena will become US Airways Center sometime in January.

The name change, announced yesterday, follows the merger of America West Airlines and US Airways, completed Sept. 27.

The downtown building, home to the NBA's Phoenix Suns, has been called America West Arena since it opened in 1992. The exact date of the official name change was not announced.

The arena recently underwent a $70 million facelift.

America West Airlines was founded in Arizona, and the merged airline will continue to have its headquarters in nearby Tempe. The name change coincides with a new 10-year agreement between the merged airline and the arena's owner and operator.

The city of Phoenix owns the arena, which is managed by Suns Legacy Partners, a subsidiary of the group that owns the Suns.

This is the second time US Airways has had its name on an NBA arena. The Washington Bullets played in Landover, at US Airways Arena, which has since been demolished.

The name change is the second in recent months for a major downtown Phoenix sports facility. Bank One Ballpark, a block east of the Suns' arena, changed its name to Chase Field in September. That move followed the acquisition of Bank One by JP Morgan Chase & Co.

-- From News Services