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NBA FINALS: DETROIT 100, LAKERS 87 | AROUND THE LEAGUE

Cassell Undergoes Hip Surgery

June 16, 2004|From Times Wire Reports

Sam Cassell had surgery Tuesday for torn cartilage in his hip in Boston, and his agent said the point guard for the Minnesota Timberwolves will recover in time for training camp.

Cassell, 34, posted career bests in scoring (19.8 points a game) and shooting (48.8%) during the regular season and made his first All-Star team in his first season with Minnesota.

Cassell's injury flared up during Minnesota's second-round matchup with Sacramento -- causing back spasms that eventually forced him off the floor.

Cassell was in too much pain to suit up for the Timberwolves' last two games against the Lakers in the Western Conference finals and played only sparingly in the others.

A few loose particles, but no structural problems, were found during the arthroscopic procedure, said Cassell's agent, Charles Tucker.

"Everything looked great," Tucker said. "He'll be able to come back not 90%, but 100%."

*

Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo and new Toronto Raptor General Manager Rob Babcock spoke last week about the Raptors' vacant coaching job, although Izzo gave no indication that he will meet with Babcock.

Izzo told the Lansing State Journal a phone conversation he had with Babcock focused on college players who will be available in the draft. In that conversation, Izzo said, Babcock inquired about the coach's general interest in the NBA.

"He asked if I had an interest," Izzo told the Journal. "And I didn't say anything either way. ... I've learned I'm not going to say anything either way to [NBA teams] or the media.

"As for me, I have a good job and I'm focused on winning another national championship," Izzo told the Lansing paper. "Put it this way: I'm not looking. I'm not pursuing any NBA jobs."

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