One by one, the Association’s superstars are missing serious playing time due to slugging Mardy Collins injuries.  Along with such icons as Shaquille O’Neal, Steve Francis and Paul Piece, consider the latest admissions to the infirmary :

1) Rashard Lewis.

Last night’s finger snare in the netting in the first quarter against the Mavs might cost the Sonics 1-2 months worth of Lewis’ services.

2) Marcus Camby

The Nuggets C/F broke a finger on his hand during last night’s loss to Washington. On the bright side, Marcus suffered no ill effects from the post-game riots that followed UMass’ football loss to Appalachian State

3) Ron Artest

According to the Sacramento Bee’s Sam Amick, the Tru Warier gave Eric Musselman all of 30 minutes advance notice before last night’s game with Washington that he was suffering from previously undiagnosed knee pain.

Amick quotes Kenny Thomas as quipping “I don’t want to say something I’ll regret.” Good thing, too, as Soundscan is sometimes weighted unfairly against indie hip hop, so there’s no point in bringing up those low sales figures again.

The New York Post’s Peter Vescey
is less than convinced the pairing of George Karl and Allen Iverson will prove fruitful, based as much as anything, on the coach’s track record.

Karl swears he has no problem with players “as long as they bring it every night and don’t cheat the game or their team.” What a crock! Other than Next Town Brown, no pro coach majors in the minors like Karl.

It’s needless to waste space on documenting how conflict-ridden George’s futile stopovers were while at Cleveland and Golden State, so let’s start with Seattle:

He warred with Gary Payton over every imaginable infraction before and after guiding the Sonics to The Finals in ’96.

He warred with Ray Allen in Milwaukee, branding him “soft” in front of the whole team and pledging to trade him if it were the last thing he did.

He warred with Anthony Mason in Milwaukee almost from the moment he talked owner Herb Kohl into signing the free agent insurgent to a multi-year guarantee.

And last season in Denver, Karl warred with Kenyon Martin, because he couldn’t/wouldn’t practice all-out following the dreaded micro-fracture knee surgery. Meanwhile, Grand Kenyon was willing to play hurt (see what that got him, another operation, probably because he was overcompensating for the injured area) and hard in games.

See above babble in quotation marks courtesy of Karl.