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Knee Problem Puts Sabonis on Sideline

BASKETBALL NOTES

October 14, 2000|From Associated Press

Portland center Arvydas Sabonis will miss at least the first few weeks of the season after arthroscopic surgery Friday revealed torn cartilage in his left knee.

Sabonis, 35, had been practicing despite being slowed by off-season surgery on his injured right foot. The knee injury apparently occurred earlier this week during a routine drill.

The Trail Blazers said that Sabonis had a small tear of the meniscus in his left knee.

The foot injury occurred in a game against Detroit on March 22. Sabonis was lightly shoved underneath the basket by the Pistons' Christian Laettner, and crashed to the floor, his right foot pinned beneath him. The foot was sprained, and Sabonis missed nine games.

Sabonis returned for the final six games, and in the playoffs he averaged 11.1 points and 6.7 rebounds as the Blazers advanced to Game 7 of the Western Conference finals against the Lakers.

The foot injury kept Sabonis from playing on the Lithuanian national team in the Sydney Olympics. Even without the 7-foot-3, 292-pound center, Lithuania lost by only two points to the U.S. in the semifinals.

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Three weeks after suffering multiple stab wounds that required emergency surgery, Boston's Paul Pierce made his full return to the team's training camp.

The Celtics also announced that they had exercised the option year on Pierce's contract for the 2001-02 season.

The 22-year-old, 6-foot-7 Pierce, who is set to begin his third season with the Celtics, had participated in light running and shooting drills since his Sept. 27 release from the hospital.

He suffered multiple stab wounds to his face, neck, back and chest in an attack during a private party in a Boston night club early on Sept. 24 and required surgery to repair a damaged lung.

Pierce, the 10th overall pick in the 1998 draft, was the Celtics second-leading scorer last season, averaging 19.5 points per game. The former Kansas and Inglewood High star scored 20 or more points in 33 games, and 30 or more points seven times. He was second in the league with 2.08 steals per game.

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Philadelphia's Toni Kukoc did not travel with the team to Mexico City because of tendinitis in his right Achilles' tendon. The 76ers play the Washington Wizards in an exhibition game in Mexico City tonight. Philadelphia then travels to Chapel Hill, N.C., for a game against Toronto on Monday.

Guard Pepe Sanchez also didn't make the trip to Mexico City because of visa problems. He'll join the team in Chapel Hill.

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New Indiana Coach and former Detroit Piston star Isiah Thomas was among those inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

Others were Bob McAdoo, Tennessee women's Coach Pat Summitt, Morgan Wootten, the coach at DeMatha High in Hyattsville, Md., Kentucky Athletic Director C.M. Newton, and the late Syracuse Nationals founder Danny Biasone, who introduced the 24-second clock.

In 1989 and 1990, Thomas led a Piston team that included Dennis Rodman, Vinnie Johnson, Joe Dumars and Bill Laimbeer that won consecutive NBA championships. Thomas led Indiana to the 1981 NCAA national championship.

The 6-9 McAdoo led the NBA in scoring from 1973-1974 through 1975-76, averaging more than 30 points in each of the three seasons. He averaged 22.1 points and 9.4 rebounds for his career. He played for seven NBA teams and helped the Lakers win NBA championships in 1982 and 1985.

Summitt has led Tennessee to six national championships in her 26 seasons at the school. Her 1997-98 team went 39-0. Summitt has a 728-150 record.

She coached the U.S. women at the Olympics when they won the 1984 gold medal.

Her reaction to joining the Hall of Fame: "I feel like a basketball angel in heaven."

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