- The Washington Times - Friday, November 1, 2002

Seen and heard last night at MCI Center:
OFF-CENTER: Christian Laettner's tenure as the Wizards' starting center didn't last long as coach Doug Collins switched to Brendan Haywood in the middle.
Laettner, who started Wednesday because Collins wanted an experienced man playing with Kwame Brown, scored two points in 20 minutes. Haywood said he was a little surprised that he did not start Wednesday but he "can't cry about it."
"We've got to put Brendan out there, and he's got to play," Collins said. "He's got to get himself going again. He struggled in the preseason for whatever reason, and we've got to get him back out there playing. He's our biggest presence out there defensively."
Haywood got off to a good start against the Celtics by scoring the Wizards' first three points and pulling down three rebounds in the game's first five minutes.
NO EMPTY SEATS : The Wizards extended their string of consecutive sellouts to 42 with a crowd of 20,173.
The Wizards needed a walkup crowd to sell the last couple hundred tickets, however. The Wizards have a season-ticket base of just more than 10,000.
Even with an allowance for it being Halloween, there were sizable pockets of empty seats in the lower bowl and club level, while the upper tier was largely packed.
Previously, the MCI Center capacity for basketball was 20,674, but some reconfiguring with seats on the club level lowered the official number, according to a Wizards spokesman.
TRAGEDY STRIKES Legendary rap group Run DMC was scheduled to perform at halftime. However, because of the death of Jam Master Jay (Jason Mizell), a DJ in the group who was shot and killed in a Queens recording studio Wednesday night, the group did not appear.
Breakdancing group Super Force, originally scheduled to perform with Run DMC, took the floor as scheduled at halftime after an announcement was made over the P.A. system.
Duff Durkin


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