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PARISH SIGNS DEAL WITH CHARLOTTE

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Robert Parish's heart may still be in Boston, but the rest of his 40-year-old body likes his expected role with Charlotte.

"Coming off the bench behind a fine young center like Alonzo Mourning fits my style," said the 7-foot-01/2 Parish, the NBA's oldest player who signed a multi-year contract with the Hornets on Thursday.Arriving with three NBA championship rings, the future Hall of Famer doesn't mind taking a backup role with the Charlotte Hornets after 18 years in the league.

"Obviously, I would have liked to have finished my career in Boston, where my career got a jump start," said Parish, who will turn 41 this month.

In his last season with the Celtics, Parish averaged nearly 27 minutes a game, 7.3 rebounds and 11.7 points. He foresees himself playing about 10 to 15 minutes a night for the Hornets.

Parish expects to play sometimes alongside Mourning, the Hornets' 6-foot-10 center. But he doesn't mind subbing for him.

"My ego has been in check for a long time," said the nine-time All Star center. "I've played with Larry (Bird), Kevin (McHale) and some other great players. This isn't about ego. It's about finishing my career out in the best fashion."