Friday, December 5, 2003

Seen and heard last night at the Pyramid in Memphis, Tenn.:

LOOKING UP — Although the Wizards have yet to give a timetable for the return of injured players Jerry Stackhouse (knee) and Gilbert Arenas (abdominal strain), the two are making progress, according to coach Eddie Jordan.

“From what I do know, I believe they are both ahead of schedule,” Jordan said.

HAPPY TO HAVE YOU — Memphis’ Bonzi Wells, acquired from Portland in a trade earlier this week, said the Grizzlies “rescued” him from the troubled Blazers, where earlier this season he had been suspended for two games for conduct detrimental to the team.

This season it got so bad for Wells in Portland that he cursed coach Maurice Cheeks — the same guy who sang the national anthem with the little girl last season when she forgot the words — and flipped off Portland fans, too.

That said, no-nonsense Memphis coach Hubie Brown maintains that this is not a problem. “We never judge people before they come here and play for us,” Brown said. “We start from Day One. These are the rules. You either abide by the rules or you sit down. We run a no-nonsense ship.”

However, Brown indicated that there is no room for any of the foolishness that went on back in Portland. “The only thing that can mess this up is what his attitude will be when things get tough,” Brown said. “That you never know. But he’s on a honeymoon, saying all the right things, doing all the right things. What you have to do is see how guys handle things when they are under duress. We have a good young team, and this guy will be a major part of it.”

John N. Mitchell

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