- The Washington Times - Friday, November 15, 2002

Seen and heard last night at MCI Center:

ON THE BALLOT: It was announced yesterday that both Michael Jordan and Jerry Stackhouse are on the 2003 NBA All-Star ballot.
Stackhouse leads the Wizards in points (24.1) and assists (4.8). Jordan, coming off the bench for the first time in his career, is averaging 16.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists.
ELDER STATESMEN: For years people have suggested to Utah coach Jerry Sloan that the Jazz should get rid of future Hall of Famers John Stockton, the league's oldest player at 40, and Karl Malone (39), the fifth oldest, and begin rebuilding.
Sloan knows the end is coming sooner rather than later, and that the two veterans who have 35 years of NBA experience combined eventually will have to move along. But Sloan still thinks the organization, which has made the playoffs 19 consecutive seasons (second to Portland's 20), did the wise thing in keeping them.
"We've made a commitment to them, and they've certainly made one to us to stay there and try to play it out," Sloan said. "You work to add the best young players that you can, and that's the way it should be to me. I look at Chicago when they let Michael and all of those guys go away, they might have won a couple more championships.
"If we had gotten rid of those guys 10 years ago, when everybody was telling us they were over the hill, I'm not sure that would have been the right thing to do. I've been in this business 30 years, and I don't think you get better that way."
NO ILL WILL: Washington's Bryon Russell was highly critical of Utah when it decided against bringing him back this season after he spent nine seasons there. Sloan, apprised of Russell's dissatisfaction with the Jazz, and him in particular, said he didn't know Russell felt that way.
"I don't have any problem with anything that Bryon says," Sloan said. "I'm just happy that Bryon's happy now. That's the most important thing. Whether he was happy or not last year doesn't matter. The most important thing for him in his career now is for him to be happy now. That's what we always try to tell players, that they need to be happy."
John N. Mitchell

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