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Grizzlies in the Dark on Francis

AROUND THE NBA

August 26, 1999|From Associated Press

Stu Jackson doesn't know what announcement brooding draft pick Steve Francis has to make Friday, nor does the Vancouver Grizzlies' general manager really care.

"I'm going to wait, but I'm not going to wait with bated breath," Jackson said Wednesday in Vancouver, Canada. "I don't know what he's going to announce. But I'll tell you this, any announcement that he has isn't going to lever us one way or the other.

"We're going to do what's in the best interest of our club when we feel we have to do it."

Speculation of Francis' uncertain future with the Grizzlies took another turn this week when the New York-based Edelman Public Relations firm said Francis scheduled a news conference for noon EDT Friday in his hometown of Takoma Park, Md.

Francis, a point guard selected second in the NBA draft, has made clear his reservations about playing for the Grizzlies.

Jackson acknowledged that there were personal issues raised by Francis during contract talks. And Jackson admitted that he has made numerous attempts to deal Francis to another team.

Failing a trade, however, Jackson doesn't know what else he can do to convince Francis to play for the Grizzlies this season.

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Free-agent center Will Perdue, a member of three of Chicago's NBA championship teams, signed a contract with the Bulls rather than return to league champion San Antonio. Terms were not disclosed.

Perdue was traded to San Antonio in 1995 for Dennis Rodman.

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Spur forward Sean Elliott was released from a San Antonio hospital, nine days after having a kidney transplant because of a rare illness.

Elliott, 31, will embark on months of recuperation that probably will determine whether he plays in the NBA again.

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