- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 21, 2002

Seen and heard last night at the Palace of Auburn Hills (Mich.):

HOOPS IMITATES LIFE Wizards coach Doug Collins sees the NBA imitating life in the United States, where the middle class seems to be growing smaller and smaller. Collins views the NBA trade deadline, today at 6 p.m., in the same light.

"What you are getting now is sort of like life," Collins said referring to players' salaries. "You're getting the haves and the have nots, and very little middle path in the NBA in terms of salaries. You have the well-to-dos and really very little middle class. That's why it's so very difficult to make a trade because you've got to be able to match up salaries."

The Wizards aren't likely to make a deal today unlike last year when they were involved in a huge seven-player swap but if the right offers comes down the pike Collins says the Wizards would be open to making a move.

In the meantime, he understands the uneasiness that comes with a player having his named tossed around in trade rumors.

FASHION TREND For the first time all season the Wizards followed a growing trend of wearing a similar item, in this case socks that reached their knees, as a symbol of unity.

However, "symbols of unity" are usually the tools of beleaguered teams, and right now the Wizards don't come under that category.

John N. Mitchell

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