Archive for Saturday, June 14, 2003

Collison, agent dispute ESPN report

Internet story claims KU All-American struggled in Chicago workout

June 14, 2003


Former Kansas University power forward Nick Collison has not suddenly turned into a 98-pound weakling.

"That's completely false," Collison's agent, Mike Higgins of SFX Agency, said Friday, responding to an ESPN Insider report that the 6-foot-10, 255-pounder was able to bench press an 185-pound bar just four times at last week's NBA draft camp in Chicago.

Collison actually hoisted the bar eight times in Chicago and lifted it 11 times in a workout with the Milwaukee Bucks, Higgins said in an interview with James Sido of 6 Sports.

Most analysts predict both Collison and former KU teammate Kirk Hinrich will be selected in the first round of the NBA draft June 26 in New York.

"General managers are coming away from workouts saying Nick and Kirk are two of the most prepared guys out there, ones capable of stepping in right away next season," Higgins said.

Collison will work out next week for the Toronto Raptors, who have the No. 4 overall pick, and New York Knicks, who hold the No. 9 pick. Collison was in the camp of the Miami Heat (No. 5 pick) Friday.

He also has worked out for the Los Angeles Clippers (No. 6 pick), Chicago Bulls (7), Milwaukee Bucks (8), Golden State Warriors (11) and Seattle SuperSonics (12).

Hinrich, who measured 6-33/4 in shoes and tipped the scales at 186 pounds in Chicago, will work out for the Bulls today, then travel to New York Monday, Toronto Thursday and Washington (No. 10 pick) on Friday.

He's already had individual workouts with the Clippers, Bucks, Warriors and Sonics.

Which way will they go?A look at where NBA Web sites project Kansas All-Americans Nick Collison and Kirk Hinrich in their mock drafts with site, selection and -- Collison: 16th/Boston -- Hinrich: 11th/Golden -- Collison: 23rd/Portland -- Hinrich: 15th/ -- Collison: 18th/New Orleans -- Hinrich: 8th/ -- Collison: NA* -- Hinrich: 10th/ -- Collison: 23rd/Portland -- Hinrich: 10th/ -- Collison: 16th/Boston -- Hinrich: 10th/Washington* does not project Collison as a first-round pick

"Kirk's been doing well at all his workouts," Hinrich's agent, Jeff Austin, said Thursday. "He's more athletic than most people thought.

"He will not fall out of the top 10." says Milwaukee will select Hinrich at No. 8, while Collison will be tapped 18th overall by New Orleans. says Washington will tap Hinrich at No. 10 while Collison will not be picked in Round One.

"That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard," Higgins said, adding that he doesn't pay attention to Internet reports, preferring to rely on his own sources, who indicate Collison will be a lottery pick.

  • Miami has correct info: Collison, by the way, checked in Friday from Miami and told KU sports information director Mitch Germann the Heat told him the official NBA report had him lifting the bar eight times in Chicago.

  • Kirk to cash in soon: Austin said he was working on endorsement deals for Hinrich with EA Sports and Topps Trading Cards and would seek a shoe deal after the draft. Collison's agent said it was too early to report endorsements.

  • Hefty buyout clause: Sports Illustrated recently ran a list of the salaries of college coaches who'd just landed new jobs and how much it'd cost for schools or NBA teams to buy out contracts. New Kansas coach Bill Self and Illinois coach Bruce Weber have $1 million buyouts in their contracts. Some other buyouts: Georgia's Dennis Felton $400,000; Clemson's Larry Shyatt, base salary of $200,000 times number of years left on contract; Washington's Dick Bennett, $50,000; South Florida's Robert McCullum $400,000. North Carolina coach Roy Williams' buyout is to be determined.

  • More recruiting names: Russell Robinson, a 6-2 high school senior-to-be from New York City's Rice High, has an early list of KU, Georgia Tech, St. John's, Florida, Connecticut and Kentucky. He averaged 18.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists his junior season.

"Kansas is one school I will probably visit," Russell told Shay Wildeboor of

  • A.J. Ratliff, 6-2 from Indianapolis, has a list of KU, Iowa, Marquette, Xavier, Illinois, Purdue, UConn and N.C. State.

"Every school but Kansas is recruiting me as a shooting guard. Kansas sees me as more of a combo guard," he told Wildeboor.

  • Kyle Lowry, 5-11, from Philadelphia's Dougherty High, has a list of KU, Syracuse, Pitt, UCLA, St. Joseph's and UConn.

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