Sep 30, 2001 10:12 PM EDT
Tim Povtak of the Orlando Sentinel reports: There is a reason so many of the preseason publications devoted to the NBA turned their focus in the Eastern Conference to the Orlando Magic, thinking they can leapfrog past Miami, New York and Philadelphia.
The name recognition is unmatched, and -- on paper -- the roster looks like the strongest in Orlando since Shaquille O'Neal left town.
The trick will be turning hype into reality when training camp opens Tuesday at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
"We have the potential to be a great team," Armstrong said. "I don't think anyone can question that. But that means nothing. Look at Portland last year. Looking good on paper doesn't win games. You can scare the bad teams away, but the good teams, you better be ready to play."
Also, The Magic are expected to add center/forward Todd Fuller to their roster today.
Sep 30, 2001 5:40 PM EDT
The Arizona Republic has an interesting article on the new rules and former skeptics coming around. Perhaps the most surprising convert is Houston's Rudy Tomjanovich. Rudy T. is noted for using the isolation play with Cuttino Mobley and Steve Francis to the nth degree but even he sees some good early signs. Some others are equally optimistic that the three second restriction on defensive players camping in the key will cause better movement and cutting in the middle. Some niggling doubts are still around though. What exactly is "cleansing" (where a camper can re-stock his three seconds by picking up a cutter)? How long does the defensive player have to guard the cutter to be "cleansed"? What does the phrase "actively guarding" mean? Does growling and waiving your hands around count? All these questions and the most important of all -- will the officials be consistent? -- await the start of the real season.
Sep 30, 2001 5:32 PM EDT
While many wait for arguably the most athletic player in the NBA today to give his thoughts on the Michael Jordan comeback scenario, Vince Carter has been silent up until now. So what does he think of the attention that will soon turn to MJ? "If he wants it all, he can have it," Carter said. "I don't mind."
Carter explains that being the NBA's marquee player was fun at first, but he now is more focused on taking his focus and my mentality to another level and helping his team get further into the NBA playoffs.
Sep 30, 2001 5:23 PM EDT
When Suns coach Scott Skiles sat down at the end of last season with team chairman Jerry Colangelo and president Bryan Colangelo, one thing was clear to them.
Despite a 13th straight trip to the playoffs, something had to change.
What, exactly, needed to change wasn't so clear.
Sep 30, 2001 5:20 PM EDT
The Contra Costa Times is reporting that the feud between the Golden State Warriors and center/power forward Marc Jackson is still on the boil. Although the Warriors brass have so far been silent on the impasse which has Jackson signing an offer sheet with the Houston Rockets, Jackson says past comments are still bothering him. He feels the club did not value his contribution by letting him "marinate" and bringing in rookie Troy Murphy at his position. Rockets fans may be happy to think that Jackson is finished with Golden State but the Times is reporting that a deal may be in the works to trade Walt (Wizard) Williams for Bobby (Bad Back) Sura to compensate the Warriors for not matching Houston's offer. Aside from Sura's injury history, the length of his contract to 2004 versus Williams one year remaining makes the Jackson signing much less attractive.
Sep 30, 2001 5:09 PM EDT
OAKLAND -- This year, there will be no vote on team captain. Warriors coach Dave Cowens took that decision out of his players' hands.
Cowens told forwards Antawn Jamison and Chris Mills on Saturday they will serve as the Warriors' co-captains for the upcoming season. Last year, Warriors players voted for captain, with point guard Mookie Blaylock and Mills initially getting the same number of votes.
Blaylock wound up getting the role, but he had his captaincy stripped on Feb. 5, after he missed a practice to play golf in San Antonio. At that point, Cowens named Jamison captain for the remainder of the year.
Sep 30, 2001 5:07 PM EDT
The offseason is past, the personnel moves mostly made.
Starting center Olden Polynice, backup point guard Jacque Vaughn and backup power forward Danny Manning are all gone, sucked in by the lure of the free-agent market.
Sep 30, 2001 5:04 PM EDT
Asking Dave Fredman to summarize his 27 years with the Jazz is asking too much. It's like sizing up the '60s by saying, "Well, there was Woodstock, and then it was over."
Twenty-seven years is a third of a lifetime. It's the time it takes for a franchise to be born, flourish and even begin to fade.
There were highs, such as the two trips to the NBA Finals, and lows, such as Luther Wright's excellent adventure in the Tooele County jail. Along the way were practices, breakfasts with the coaching staff, film sessions, bumpy flights, wild cab rides, team spats, team celebrations, welcomes, farewells and lots of room service.
Sep 30, 2001 5:01 PM EDT
Sunday, September 30, 2001 - LOS ALTOS HILLS, Calif. - As Foothill College assistant basketball coach Keith Moss watched jumper after jumper go through the net, he turned to a newspaper reporter and asked, "Doesn't his shot look a lot better?"
Denver Nuggets guard Tariq Abdul-Wahad had a frustrating 2000-01 season, averaging career lows in points (3.8) and shooting percentage (.387). The four-year NBA veteran's jumper often was flat. Never noted as a great offensive player, he nevertheless got a six-year, $43.3 million contract before last season.
Sep 30, 2001 4:55 PM EDT
Sunday, September 30, 2001 - LOS ALTOS HILLS, Calif. - Several days passed before Khadija Ibn-Lahoucine finally viewed the sun again.
The still, lingering dry heat in the South Bay Area takes its toll on Ibn-Lahoucine, who dons Islamic dress that reveals only her face and hands. But the after effects of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, not the arid temperature, was the reason the wife of Denver Nuggets guard Tariq Abdul-Wahad was staying inside her nearby Los Gatos home.
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