- The Washington Times - Monday, November 17, 2003

Seen and heard last night at Philips Arena in Atlanta:

HEADED SOUTH — The NBA Board of Governors made it official, ratifying the realignment plans that will move the Wizards out of the Atlantic Division and into the newly created Southeast Division.

Beginning next season, the Wizards will join Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando.

Under the new plan the Wizards will play these four teams four times, conference opponents outside the division three or four times, and teams in the Western Conference twice.

ALL FOR NAUGHT — The NBA decided not to rescind the technical foul call or fine levied against Larry Hughes in the Wizards’ loss Saturday to San Antonio.

Hughes was fined $1,000 for being ejected from the game for what officials that night said was throwing the ball at an official after he was called for a technical foul in the second quarter.

“It’s already done now, you know,” Hughes said. “A couple dollars. I really didn’t expect them to do anything about it.”

STILL NOT BUYING THEM — Tickets for Atlanta games are perhaps the easiest to get in the league. The Hawks opened the season at home with a decent crowd (18,813) against Indiana. However, just two days later, facing a New Orleans team that likely will be in the running for the Eastern Conference title, the Hawks drew just 5,683.

They bounced back in their last home game before facing the Wizards, drawing 19,445 against the Nets.

However, some in the Hawks organization yesterday speculated the post-game concert — gospel act Kirk Franklin — was the reason for the crowd.

John N. Mitchell

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