Sonics guard Brent Barry said this about former coach Pat Riley's intensity. "I don't know if it's the Branch Davidians," he said. "I don't think it's that insane, but it borders on it."
If you think Kevin Garnett's current contract is lucrative, consider this: When he becomes a free agent after the 2003-04 season, he could demand as much as $282 million under the current rules. That would be about 31/2 times what owner Glen Taylor paid for the franchise five years ago, and about three times what Michael Jordan earned in salary his entire career.How cocky were the Blazers before their current skid? Here's guard Bonzi Wells: "We like to make people taste victory and then take it out of their mouths."
Kings backup center Scot Pollard on why he doesn't work harder on developing an offensive game: "I'm playing behind Vlade (Divac), and he'll be a better player dead than I'll ever be."
The Hornets have been reluctant to pay maximum bucks to star players in the past, but they're reportedly considering doing just that for guard Eddie Jones. If it happens, former Hornet Alonzo Mourning predicts Charlotte fans will turn on Jones. "He'll be labeled greedy -- like Shaq was greedy or Michael Jordan was greedy," Mourning said. "When he comes back here and plays, he'll be booed. It's just ridiculous."
When the Wizards' mascot tossed a T-shirt into the skimpy crowd during a blowout loss to the Suns last week, a disgruntled fan threw it back onto the court.
Golden State's Donyell Marshall, after averaging 19.6 points and 17.4 rebounds in a five-game stretch, said, "I read the other day where I'm still an overpaid player. But look at the points and rebounds I'm averaging. What more do you want?" (How about doing it for 82 games?)
When Portland won its 45th game, a $3 million contract incentive kicked in for Scottie Pippen.
Laker coach Phil Jackson asked Kobe Bryant to stop doing 360s on drives and dunk shots, for fear Bryant might get injured. "He said the body isn't meant for that," Bryant said. "I said, 'Your body isn't meant for that.' "
Toronto's Tracy McGrady doesn't lack for confidence. "I'm 20 years old and I think I'm capable of doing it all," he said. "Five, six years down the road I see championships, I see Most Valuable Player awards, the whole thing. I know it's going to happen."
Mavs owner Mark Cuban said Dennis Rodman may not be the last bad boy he signs. "As long as he can help us win, I don't care if a guy got into some trouble five years ago or that he has every orifice pierced," he said.
One of the NBA's nicer guys, Spurs' guard Avery Johnson, is having a tough season. Former teammate Chucky Brown, after being cut by San Antonio, accused Johnson of engineering his departure. And then Johnson learned that the Spurs tried to trade him to Charlotte for David Wesley.
Boston coach Rick Pitino went nuts after a home loss to the Raptors. "You're the people being negative," he accused the media. "And some of the fans. Larry Bird is not walking through that door. Kevin McHale's not walking through that door. Robert Parish is not walking through that door. And if you expect them to walk through the door, they're going to be gray and old . . . People don't realize that, and as soon as they realize those three guys are not coming through that door, the better this town will be for all of us because there are young guys in that (locker) room playing their (butts) off."
Here's how far Shawn Kemp has fallen: Cavs coach Randy Wittman said his team doesn't have a go-to guy. "We don't have a player here who's going to say, 'Get on my back, I'm going to carry you the rest of the way,' " Wittman said.
Pacers' free-agent-to-be Jalen Rose is having his best season, and he's leaving himself an out as far as staying in Indiana. "This is where I want to be, but we're going to have a new coach and that means more uncertainty," he said.
Asked whether he'd choose to sign with Orlando or Chicago if a free agent, Seattle's Horace Grant, who played in both cities, said, " I had a great five years in Orlando. It's a class organization. I'm still making it my home, and I would never say one bad thing about anyone down there . . . Whoever gets the chance to go there will be very happy."