THE SONICS are serious about making Gary Payton curb his disruptive behavior. "His point to me was, 'I'm the same guy I've always been,' and I don't disagree," says G.M. Wally Walker, who suspended Payton for a game last week after he barked at teammate Ruben Patterson during an 89-80 loss to the Suns, then got into a shouting match with coach Nate McMillan afterward. "My point was that we're doing things differently now. Gary is too smart and too good for us to accept this kind of thing any longer."...Rik Smits has decided not to return to the Pacers this season. The 34-year-old center has also canceled plans to rejoin the Dutch team this month....Even after their overtime loss to the Raptors on Sunday, in which Allen Iverson scored 51 points, the 76ers were 5-2 this season when he scored 40 or more-yet another indication of his value as a shooting guard. When he was a rookie, in 1996-97 Philadelphia lost all five games in which he scored 40 or more,
but Iverson was playing the point then....Even though he's living in Seattle, Detlef Schrempf still has a locker at the Rose Garden in Portland. The Blazers are paying the second year of his $2.2 million contract, but Schrempf, who has been on the injured list this season because of a pinched nerve in his neck, doesn't intend to return to action even if the condition of his neck improves. "The team's playing well right now," he says. "I'm planning on staying out of the way."
Heat swingman Dan Majerle
"MY SOPHOMORE year at Central Michigan, I had a blister on my foot. The trainer told me to wear the sock inside out, that it would cut down on friction or whatever. I'm telling you, the blister was almost the size of the bottom of the foot, but I didn't want to miss any games, so I did what he told me to do. I just wore it like that, then I never turned it around again."