Biting the bullet, the Orlando Magic announced Grant Hill would undergo a second ankle surgery, ending his season at four games. "We signed Grant under the 95% [chance] that he'd heal," General Manager John Gabriel said. "It's just unfortunate he fell into that 5% that didn't heal. He will still have many great days, years and games here as an Orlando Magic player." Just not soon.
It's the usual turmoil in Washington, where Rod Strickland made his annual "I love New York" announcement, missed a practice--then complained when he didn't start the next game, blaming "management" for it, presumably team President Jordan. Making things worse, Coach Leonard Hamilton, suggested he was siding with Strickland, telling reporters, "Ask management." Strickland then blew off another practice and Jordan suspended him.
Friends say Hamilton, who left Miami University for a five-year, $10-million deal, already regrets it. For his part, Jordan probably wishes he'd never heard of the Wizards, either.
For What It's Worth Dept.: Nugget owner Stan Kronke, who kept silent after his players mutinied, finally said Coach Dan Issel will finish the season-- after the Nuggets went on a 5-1 run. "I didn't feel bad about our team," Kronke said. "I just felt there were times when people weren't communicating. You've got to work at it." In other words, Issel's still in trouble.