Jim Jackson Says He Won't Play For Mavs
DALLAS - The Dallas Mavericks, off to a franchise-worst 1-14 start, received more bad news yesterday when holdout first-round draft pick Jim Jackson said he will not play for the team under any circumstances.
Jackson made the statement in a letter he sent to The Dallas Morning News and the TNT cable network. His agent, Mark Termini, read the statement on TNT last night.
"I do not feel that the Dallas Mavericks have dealt with me in the same way other top NBA picks were dealt with," Termini said, reading from the statement.
"I now feel it is necessary to publicly stop all speculation that I might at some time be willing to sign with Dallas. I will not under any circumstances, or at any time, play basketball with the Dallas Mavericks."
Team officials said they did not receive a copy of the letter.
Jackson has asked Dallas for a six-year contract, but the team has offered only a four-year deal.
Mavericks General Manager Norm Sonju last night said the club has prepared two six-year proposals that have not yet been presented. The two sides last spoke on Wednesday, he said.
"If we were able to get them talking on a six-year model, no matter what words have been said, things could change," Sonju said. "Maybe I'm naive, but I'm hoping good things can still happen."
In the statement, Jackson also said he has re-enrolled at Ohio State, where he starred before becoming the fourth overall pick in this year's draft.
Sonju said he and team owner Donald Carter, who has been handling the negotiations, were surprised but not angered by Jackson's comments.
"We're not holding it against him," Sonju said. "He was sincere and polite in the way he said it. He meant every word of it and I don't blame him for being frustrated."
NOTES -- Michael Jordan ($5,000) and Scottie Pippen ($3,000) of the Bulls were fined by the NBA for derogatory comments about the officiating after Chicago's 123-114 loss to Atlanta Tuesday. -- Phoenix knew exactly what it was doing in fouling Orlando's Shaquille O'Neal twice in the final seven seconds of a one-point victory last night. "Absolutely, we wanted to foul Shaq," said Suns Coach Paul Westphal of the 7-foot-1 rookie who's tearing the league apart but hitting just a little more than half of his free throws. "We'd rather him make two (free throws) from 15 feet than one (field goal) from one inch. The worst he could do is make them both and tie the game. If you don't foul him, he's going to the basket." -- That talk about the Dallas Mavericks breaking the Philadelphia 76ers' 9-73 all-time futility record isn't idle speculation any more.
With last week's impressive string of losses to all comers, including the 23-point blowout to the toothless Minnesota Timberwolves in Reunion Arena, the Mavericks dropped to 1-14, a .067 percentage that compares unfavorably to the 1972-73 Sixers' .110.
Meanwhile, the Mavericks invited holdout No. 1 draft choice Jim Jackson to cut a deal with another team, providing only that he gets more than the four-year $10.8 million contract Dallas has offered (easy) and the Mavericks can agree on a trade (forget it). Jackson has enrolled again at Ohio State, vowing to go back into the draft. At this point, anything is possible. -- He's back. Detroit's Dennis Rodman, who didn't start a game until the season was two weeks old, leads the league again after five consecutive 20-rebound games. "I can't say I'm totally happy," said the subdued Rodman, "but I'm not displeased to be here."
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