- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 4, 2004

Seen and heard last night at MCI Center:

BAXTER ON BOARD — Lonny Baxter became the third player from Maryland’s 2002 national champions to join the Wizards when they claimed the forward off waivers.

“It’s great to just be back with [Juan Dixon and Steve Blake], who I won a national championship with,” said Baxter, a 6-8 power forward who was waived by Toronto. “They’re two of my good friends, and I’m glad to be here with them.”

However, Baxter, who was drafted in 2002, knows that if he is going to stay in the league he can’t hold on to past glories.

“I’m a banger and a rebounder, a guy who knows how to play,” the Silver Spring native said. “I plan to work hard whenever I get the opportunity.”

The 44th pick overall in the 2002 draft by Chicago, Baxter has averaged 4.2 points and 3.1 rebounds this season with Chicago and Toronto.

Said Wizards coach Eddie Jordan: “There is an opportunity for both parties. For us, we get to look at him. For him, he gets to show the league that he is the type of player that can stick in the NBA.”

Because they claimed him off waivers, the Wizards will pay the remaining portion of his annual salary ($563,670), prorated over the remaining 24 games.

LAETTNER SIGHTING — Christian Laettner, long thought to be out of the rotation, saw some playing time. Before the game, Laettner had not gotten off the bench since Feb. 22 against Milwaukee. In January, he served a five-game suspension for violating the NBA’s drug policy.

John N. Mitchell

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