- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 23, 2003

Seen and heard last night at New Orleans Arena:

ALEXANDER ZINGS COLLINS Before the Wizards traded Courtney Alexander to New Orleans for the 17th pick in the draft (which turned out to be former Maryland star Juan Dixon), it was clear that Alexander's relationship with coach Doug Collins was strained.

However, Collins doesn't like to talk about his relationships with players, and Alexander usually didn't say much on the subject. Until now.

"It was terrible, man," Alexander said of his relationship with Collins. "I didn't have the know-how in terms of how you deal with a personality like that. I have my own opinions about Doug; he has his own about me. I'm professional, and I'm not going to say them to you. But I wish I just knew how to deal with the situation better."

Said Collins of the relationship: "It was good."

Alexander, who spent his first two years in the league with the Wizards, did not play against them due to a groin injury.

Alexander does not regret being traded from Washington, where he averaged 12.1 points in just under two seasons. In fact, he was somewhat relieved after the trigger was pulled on the deal.

"It happened for a reason, and I'm glad it happened," Alexander said. "It was just a situation where we all needed a change."

STEPPING DOWN Michael Jordan isn't the only member of the Wizards who won't return next season. Also stepping down will be assistant coach John Bach, hand-picked by Jordan and Collins to join the staff when Jordan came out of retirement in 2001.

"It's time to leave the bench," said Bach, who is in his 50th season as a coach. "It's time to try and do something else."

Bach, in his 23rd NBA season, won three championships with the Bulls as a member of the coaching staff.

John N. Mitchell



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