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CLIPPERS REPORT

Gentry Would Love Game in Mexico

April 12, 2001|LONNIE WHITE

It's not official, but there's a good chance that the Clippers will play an exhibition game in Mexico in the fall.

If so, the Clippers will face Orlando. Coach Alvin Gentry said that he believes it will be a good experience for his young players.

"I was coaching with the Miami Heat when we played a game in Mexico City several years ago," he said. "It was wild. They have seven million people commuting in and out of there every day. It would be great for our team because it would give us a chance to play in front of another group of people in another country."

With the NBA's first live regular season Internet broadcast scheduled for Friday night between Dallas and Sacramento, Gentry said this is only the start of things to come for the league.

"The game is definitely going global," said Gentry, who worked with the league's first foreign assistant coach in Igor Kokoskov this season. "From our first game on the Internet to international cable, everyone is going to be familiar with the NBA."

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Billy Hunter, the executive director of the NBA players union, has discussed the possibility of having the union grade officials because of numerous complaints this season about inconsistent officiating.

If it happens, don't expect any protest from the Clippers, who have had numerous run-ins with officials this season. The latest involved backup center Sean Rooks, who had to be restrained by teammates and coaches after his ejection in the fourth quarter of Tuesday's overtime loss at Sacramento.

"That would be awesome," veteran shooting guard Eric Piatkowski said. "But I don't know what good it would do, because I don't believe officials give a hoot about what we think.

"Grading [officials] would only work if we put it to some kind of positive use. It would have to be an anonymous deal because I can't imagine an official not holding grudges."

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