- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 13, 2002

Seen and heard last night at First Union Center in Philadelphia:

BRING 'EM BACK Wizards coach Doug Collins wants free agents Popeye Jones and Tyrone Nesby back next season.

At the start of the season, Collins thought Nesby would have problems playing in his disciplined system. But Nesby has been a spark off the bench all season long, and on a team that is never going to be mistaken as athletic, Collins has maintained that Nesby is the best athlete on the roster.

"We want them both back," Collins said. "Nes has had a big turnaround for us. At the start of the season, I wasn't sure he was going to get to the point where we would be able to use him much. But he's been very consistent for us. He's such a good athlete, and he's committed to the team."

Collins consistently has praised Jones, and he continued to do so right up until game time, saying, "Pop, all season long, has been great for us. In fact, I think if we had gotten into the playoffs, we could have made a good argument for him for top sixth man."

MCKIE SITS OUT Philadelphia was without injured reserve Aaron McKie. McKie, last season's top sixth man, had a right corneal abrasion. McKie was poked in the eye by Washington's Courtney Alexander in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's game.

John N. Mitchell

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