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around the Rim
Ian Thomsen
January 20, 2003
Why are the Mavericks the only team playing at a consistently high level? "Everybody's practicing less," says Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who believes that teams' unwillingness to stash players on injured reserve because of the luxury tax is hurting the league. "If you've only got 12 or 13 guys available, it's hard to have the kinds of practices that lead to good play."...
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January 20, 2003

Around The Rim

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Why are the Mavericks the only team playing at a consistently high level? "Everybody's practicing less," says Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who believes that teams' unwillingness to stash players on injured reserve because of the luxury tax is hurting the league. "If you've only got 12 or 13 guys available, it's hard to have the kinds of practices that lead to good play."...

The fans in Bologna, Italy, said goodbye to Dallas-bound Antoine Rigaudeau, 31, with a 15-minute standing ovation that left an assistant coach in tears. Rigaudeau, a 6'7" Frenchman nicknamed Le Roi (the King), has the skills to play point forward, which will make the Mavs' offense even more explosive....

The Wizards' 39-year-old Charles Oakley has become something like a baseball closer, riding the bench almost all night before being summoned for his defense in the waning minutes of tight games. "I call him our Mariano Rivera," says coach Doug Collins. "[At the end of a game] I look at him and tap my right arm."

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