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PRO BASKETBALL DAILY REPORT : AROUND THE NBA

Rodman Out Until Playoffs

March 27, 1997|Associated Press

The Chicago Bulls' Dennis Rodman is out for the rest of the regular season because of a sprained ligament in his left knee. He is expected to return for the playoffs.

The NBA's leading rebounder was injured during the final seconds of the Bulls' victory over Dallas on Tuesday.

"He'll be on crutches, he'll be in a brace the next couple of days. We'll limit his activities the next couple of days and start therapy a couple of days from now. We'll take every precaution with it," General Manager Jerry Krause said.

Chicago is expected to activate Toni Kukoc, who has been on the injured list and has sat out 12 games because of an arch problem in his right foot.

But Coach Phil Jackson said, "Right now Toni is not ready to step back in at the load level we'd like him to."

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The NBA, punishing non-game related speech for the first time in league history, fined New Jersey Net Coach John Calipari $25,000 and Miami Heat broadcaster David Halberstam $2,500 Wednesday.

"Discipline . . . has historically been limited to comments about the game," Commissioner David Stern said. "However, the recent statements by [Calipari and Halberstam] have forced us to reexamine this role and our responsibility. This is uncharted territory for an NBA commissioner."

Calipari was fined for calling reporter Dan Garcia of the Newark Star-Ledger "a [bleeping] Mexican idiot" during an argument last Thursday. The coach since apologized.

Halberstam, Miami's announcer for five years, was fined for remarks he made last Wednesday while broadcasting a game against Golden State.

Remarking on a pass thrown by guard John Crotty, Halberstam said:

"Thomas Jefferson would have been proud of that pass. When Thomas Jefferson was around, basketball was not invented yet, but those slaves working at Thomas Jefferson's farm, I'm sure they would have made good basketball players."

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Larry Bird, a Boston Celtics special assistant, said in a published report that he would probably be willing to coach any team in the NBA except the Celtics, although he did not give a reason.

"I'd never coach the Celtics," Bird said in a Boston Globe story. "I just couldn't. But I'd do it for anyone else in the league."

The Celtics (13-58) set a franchise record for losses this season.

"I am probably as close as I've ever been or ever will be [to expanding basketball activities]. If it's not next year, then soon I will be doing something," Bird said. "Retirement is for people over 65. I'm too young for this."

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The Golden State Warriors are raising ticket prices substantially to pay for renovations to their home, the Oakland Coliseum Arena.

The price hikes range from a few dollars for seats in the far reaches of the arena to $20-$30 for most seats, with prime locations near courtside jumping as much as $140, from $60 to $150-$200.

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