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Pro Basketball | CLIPPER REPORT

Batiste and Stith Waived

October 29, 2002|Elliott Teaford | Times Staff Writer

The Clippers waived forward Mike Batiste and guard Bryant Stith, then put forwards Melvin Ely, Tremaine Fowlkes and Lamar Odom on the injured list Monday, trimming their roster to the required 12 active players.

Batiste had made a strong showing in eight exhibitions, leading the Clippers in scoring for a time. Coach Alvin Gentry said he had no doubt Batiste, from Long Beach Wilson High and Arizona State, would soon join another NBA team.

"It was a tough, tough decision because he's going to be an NBA player," Gentry said. "He has those kinds of skills. I think he will hook on with somebody. Mike Batiste is a classy kid. He's a hard-working kid. I think he'll be on an NBA roster."

Stith did not participate in training camp after undergoing off-season arthroscopic knee surgery. In the end, Stith was nothing more than a throw-in player in the Clippers' off-season trade that brought point guard Andre Miller from the Cleveland Cavaliers.


Wang Zhizhi has a Chinese nickname that sounds vaguely like "Dodger" in English. Wang doesn't know much about baseball but has told his Clipper teammates he likes to be called Dodger.

While he played with the Dallas Mavericks the last two seasons, team owner Mark Cuban and others referred to Wang as "Z" or "the Big Z."

"We've totally Americanized him," Gentry said of Wang, who became the first Chinese player in the NBA when he appeared in five games with the Mavericks in 2000-01. "He's Dodger to us."

In an attempt to better bridge the language barrier, Gentry and the coaching staff wrote out 20 useful basketball terms for Wang. So far, Gentry hasn't had any problems getting his points across to Wang, who speaks limited English and has a full-time translator, Simon Chan, with him this season.

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