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Archive for Wednesday, April 9, 2003

NBA Briefs

April 9, 2003

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Hornets moving West; Charlotte will join East

New York -- The New Orleans Hornets will move to the NBA's Western Conference by the 2004-05 season at the latest.

The league's owners approved the shift Tuesday, which will allow an expansion team in Charlotte to be in the Eastern Conference when it begins play in 2004. The Hornets left Charlotte after last season and moved to New Orleans.

Deputy commissioner Russ Granik said the Hornets had the option to switch to the West next season. The team will have to let the league know before the schedule is drawn up.

The Hornets' conference change will mean that two Western Conference teams will be east of the Mississippi -- the Memphis Grizzlies and the Hornets.

Pistons activate center, put Manning on IL

Auburn Hills, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons activated center Zeljko Rebraca Tuesday, a day after they learned All-Star Ben Wallace will miss two weeks because of a knee injury. The Pistons also placed former Kansas University standout Danny Manning on the injured list because of a lower back strain.

Rebraca has been on the injured list since Jan. 6 because of an irregular heartbeat. The 7-footer from Yugoslavia was to be in uniform for Tuesday night's game at Philadelphia.

Grizzlies put Miller, Wright on injured list

Memphis, Tenn. -- The Memphis Grizzlies put Mike Miller and Lorenzen Wright on the injured list Tuesday, ending their seasons with five games left.

The Grizzlies are out of playoff contention.

Judge dismisses suit against Iverson

Philadelphia -- A judge dismissed a lawsuit by a man who said he gave Allen Iverson the nickname "The Answer" and sought royalties for its use on merchandise.

Jamil Blackmon said the Philadelphia 76ers' star reneged on a promise that Blackmon would receive 25 percent of the proceeds from use of "The Answer." The nickname is on a line of Reebok basketball shoes and other products.

U.S. District Judge Mary McLaughlin ruled Blackmon and Iverson never entered a valid contract and the nickname wasn't novel enough to support a legal argument that Iverson misappropriated it.

"A lot of people give Allen a penny and they want back a dollar," Tom Shuttleworth, one of Iverson's attorneys, said Tuesday.

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