- The Washington Times - Monday, March 29, 2004

Seen and heard last night at Arco Arena in Sacramento, Calif.:

BLAKE UPDATE — Point guard Steve Blake is wearing a soft cast, the result of a thumb injury he suffered in the Wizards’ 103-94 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.

“It’s a day-by-day thing,” Blake said. “If the pain goes away, then I can start playing again.”

Blake, who has appeared in 67 games and been a starter in 12, is averaging 5.9 points and 2.7 assists.

DUELING COUSINS — Games against the Kings are a family reunion of sorts for Wizards forward Kwame Brown.

Brown and Sacramento reserve center Jabari Smith are cousins. They grew up in Georgia, with about 90 miles separating them, and they have known each other — though not that well, according to Brown — since “I was about 7.”

“He lived in Atlanta, so he didn’t come down very much,” said Brown, who lived in Brunswick. “We didn’t see each other a whole lot. I think by the time I turned 12 we had seen each other about four times.”

The hectic travel of the NBA — plus the three-hour time difference — makes it hard for the two to talk during the regular season.

“It’s funny, but we still don’t get to talk that much,” Brown said. “I think it would be different if we had grown up in the same town and come up together, but we didn’t. He’s like me. I’m hard to catch up to because I don’t always answer the phone. He’s the same way.”

STILL WAITING — The Kings were expecting the return of last year’s winner of the sixth-man award, Bobby Jackson, against the Wizards. However, Jackson (abdominal strain) decided he wasn’t ready. Jackson has been on the injured list since Feb.21.

PLUGGED UP — Arco Arena, what with the cowbells that pop up in the playoffs, is easily one of the loudest buildings in the league. That explains why ear plugs — the yellow ones worn by airport personnel — can be purchased for $1.

John N. Mitchell

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