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Rick Pitino Making a Play for Derrick Coleman?
October 14, 1997
Rick Pitino mentioned yesterday that he'd still like to add a scoring big forward to the team. Does Derrick Coleman fill that need?
If he does, Pitino said, forget it. He dismissed a recent suggestion by Sixers basketball henchman Billy King that the Celtics had offered Dee Brown and Dana Barros for the Philly power forward. King said he needed a nanosecond to reject the offer.
"I don't think they have any interest in dealing him," Pitino said. "And we're not interested in going after him."
Ah, coach, but did you go after him, as King suggested?
"Our interpretation is something other than what he said," Pitino said. The coach added that he has countless "what if" discussions with other clubs and, if something gets serious, the Boston brain trust will thrash it around.
Coleman has a buyout at the end of this season, which is why the Sixers likely will keep him. Had Philly made the deal, the Sixers would have taken on players with three (Brown) and four (Barros) years left on their respective deals.
Ellison bulks up
For those of you who might be wondering, yes, Pervis Ellison is bigger in the upper body. How much? Ellison said yesterday he has put on 25 pounds and is now at 250. Has he ever been that high? "I've never been higher than 225," he said. "But this is the East Coast. You've got to go after the ball." Pitino thinks Ellison is "rejuvenated" and prepared to pay the price. "His knees are going to swell up," the coach said. "I've told him, when that happens, ice them down and play. We went through 2 hours and 15 minutes of practice and he was out there the whole time. I told him his knees aren't any worse than Patrick Ewing's and Patrick plays big minutes." Ellison has three years left on his contract. The only escape clause for the Celtics is if he cannot play because of knee woes . . . The Celtics had double sessions yesterday, working on defense in the morning and offense in the evening. Pitino said he would like to have as many two-a-days as possible. "Right now," he said, "I like the practices more than the games." . . . The coach said Brown will start at point guard tomorrow night in Lexington, Ky., against the Nets. Ron Mercer will start at shooting guard. Ellison, he hinted, may get the nod at center "if there are any Louisville fans there."
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