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LAKER REPORT

Madsen Still Called for Steps

January 30, 2002

ATLANTA — Mark Madsen went most of his life believing he could dance, believing he looked a lot like the person across from him at his school events.

Then came the championship parade, and the footage of that, and Madsen couldn't miss it on the news, and that's when he knew.

"It helps to get a visual of something," Madsen said in all seriousness, "so you can understand where people are coming from."

Before that, he said, "People would laugh a lot. But I figured I was a little off beat."

It swelled finally to Monday, when the leader of the free world dissed Madsen's moves.

President Bush asked him to dance, and Madsen nearly did.

"You know what's funny?" he said before Tuesday night's game against the Atlanta Hawks. "I tried to dance and nothing came out. I thought, 'Oh-oh, nothing's coming. I better step back.'"

Madsen has kept his sense of humor for these seven months.

He has not danced a lot in public, but he gets a lot of requests, and he always laughs.

And, from the moment on stage after the parade, the Forrest Gump moments have kept coming.

"I had no idea what was going to happen with that," he said. I was doing what I always do at dances, which is normal."

*

Phil Jackson voted for Vlade Divac over Karl Malone for the Western Conference All-Star team. Without Divac, West Coach Don Nelson's team has one center: Shaquille O'Neal.

All-Star Dirk Nowitzki is tall enough to be a center, but doesn't play there much, and certainly not against the Lakers.

"Oh, Dallas did a whole PR bit on that, but that's BS," Jackson said.

*

In town because of business interests, former Laker great Magic Johnson attended Tuesday night's game.

TONIGHT

vs. Orlando Magic

5, Ch. 9, TNT

Site--TD Waterhouse Centre.

Radio--KLAC (570).

Records--Lakers 30-12, Magic 23-22.

Record vs. Magic --1-0.

Update--Lindsey Hunter played only 18 minutes against Atlanta because of a stiff lower back that developed late last week. Coming out after halftime, Hunter said, "I was so tight I couldn't even move." ... Derek Fisher came out of a mild shooting slump by making eight of 13 shots, including four of seven three-points attempts. He scored 20 points, 14 in the second half. ... The Lakers are 3-5 in the second of back-to-back games.

Tim Brown

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