- The Washington Times - Friday, March 22, 2002

Seen and heard last night at Delta Center, Salt Lake City:

STERN ON KARL NBA commissioner David Stern was amused when asked about Milwaukee Bucks coach George Karl's recent comments on Orlando coach Doc Rivers going straight from the broadcast booth to a head coaching job. Karl suggested that Rivers, who is black, was "anointed" a coach, and added that Isiah Thomas, the coach of the Pacers, who also is black, did not have to "pay dues" in order to get their jobs.

Said the smiling Stern: "George is a smart man, but I wonder what he had in his drink that day."

BRENDAN'S BACK Wizards rookie center Brendan Haywood, who sat out Wednesday's game against Denver to rest his aching left knee, returned to action.

DELTA MEMORIES The game with Utah marked the first time that Stern had visited since Jordan guided the Bulls to their sixth NBA championship when he hit his famous jumper over Bryon Russell in 1998. Wizards coach Doug Collins broadcast that game for NBC.

"It will be interesting for me to see how these fans react to him, because he broke their hearts twice," Collins said. "Everywhere else, they've loved his return. It will be interesting to see if these fans are as excited to see him as other teams around the NBA are."

When Jordan entered the game in the first quarter, he received a standing ovation. And when he dunked the basketball in the waning moments on a nice pass from rookie Kwame Brown, the cheers were as loud as at any time in the first half.

John N. Mitchell



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