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Archive for Friday, March 2, 2001

NBA briefs

March 2, 2001

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Strickland released by Washington

Washington Veteran guard Rod Strickland is getting his wish to leave the Washington Wizards in the midst of a stormy season.

Strickland, who has played in only four games since late December, was released by the team on Thursday.

The Washington Post and The Washington Times reported that Strickland was waived after agreeing to a $2.5 million buyout of the final year of his contract.

He would have earned $10 million next year.

The move comes after a stormy period with the Wizards in which Strickland was fined nearly 20 times this season for violating team rules.

He also was suspended once and charged three times with drunken driving. Because the release was dated before Thursday's deadline, Strickland becomes a free agent and can sign and play for another team this season.

The move is the latest for the restructuring Wizards, who last week traded Juwan Howard to Dallas in a multiplayer deal.

Cavs' Gatling appeals hefty $10,000 fine

Cleveland Chris Gatling of the Cleveland Cavaliers was apologetic, but appealed a $10,000 fine by the NBA on Thursday for making derogatory and inappropriate comments toward a member of the Toronto Raptors public relations staff.

The 33-year-old Gatling sent a letter of apology for questioning the presence of a Raptors female employee gathering locker room quotes after a 101-89 loss Tuesday night at the Air Canada Centre.

"I think there should be no fine, actually," the forward said Thursday after a 101-99 overtime loss to Seattle.

"I said I was sorry.

"The statement was not directed at anybody in particular. I was just trying to liven up the team after a loss with a little joke.

"I said that I thought there was a double standard that women are allowed in men's locker rooms and men are not allowed in women's locker rooms.

"I apologize to her, my teammates and the fans. But I am going through with the appeal."

Jim Paxson, the Cavaliers' senior vice president and general manager, briefly addressed the incident.

"You as the media have the right to do your job whether you are male or female," Paxson said.

"We all have to respect that and deal with it accordingly."

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