NO MORE LONE WOLF: Doug West has been with the Minnesota Timberwolves throughout their mostly poor existence. The only title he ever had was that of being the franchise's only remaining original. And on Wednesday, that distinction was taken when he was dealt to the Vancouver Grizzlies for Anthony Peeler.
"He's a guy who has given so much to the organization," said Minnesota coach/general manager Flip Saunders. "He's suffered through the growing pains. It's never easy to trade somebody, especially when he's been with you from Day 1."West, a second-round draft pick in 1989, has played for five different head coaches and 69 teammates during his tenure with the Timberwolves.
Minnesota went 220-487 with West on the team and reached the playoffs for the only time just last season.
"Who would ever think that the original Timberwolf would leave?" said former teammate Kevin Garnett. "Doug West was the first person I met when I got to Minnesota . . . This stuff is more and more of a business every day."
And speaking of business, West took his time reporting to Vancouver. The deal wasn't officially completed until almost two days after the trading deadline.
"This team is worse off than we were a few years ago," West said. "For my sanity and well-being, I can't go through another season of 14 or 15 wins."
Welcome to Vancouver.
DINO IN DENVER? Nuggets interim general manager Mike D'Antoni confirmed reports he is trying to lure former Celtics forward Dino Radja to the Mile High City. Radja, a 6-foot-10 power forward who averaged 16.7 points and 8.4 rebounds over four seasons with the Boston Celtics, is currently playing in Greece. He reportedly wants to return to the NBA.
The question is how bad?
SLEEPING DOG: How important is a good night's sleep? Don't ask Lloyd Daniels. He prefers getting his rest during the day. Three days into a 10-day contract he signed with the Atlanta Hawks, the NBA vagabond was released for sleeping through practice.
"We're going to bring in another (shooting) guard," Hawks general manager Pete Babcock said. "If I can find a guy who'll come to practice."
Daniels was awakened in his hotel room by a Hawks staff member while his teammates were practicing last Sunday. His excuse? Cadillac Anderson was supposed to pick him up. Anderson, however, called in sick - and Daniels was released from his seventh NBA team.
WELCOME TO THE SHOW, KID: Raptors rookie Tracy McGrady is one 18-year-old who may have seen it all. In a 24-hour period, the NBA's youngest player saw his team get sold to the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs; his head coach Darrell Walker resign; and star teammate Damon Stoudamire get traded.
"It's just crazy," McGrady said. "I guess this is my introduction to the NBA. I'm glad to get it over with in my rookie year."
Poor kid. This may be just the beginning.
SPECIAL DELIVERY: When thieves lifted the jerseys of Vin Baker and David Wingate of the Seattle SuperSonics from the team's hotel in San Antonio last week, equipment manager Mark St. Yves placed a call to Champion, the company which makes the uniforms. The upstate New York manufacturer sent replacements by courier to the Rochester airport. The jerseys passed through Cincinnati before reaching the Alamo City less than an hour before Seattle's game with San Antonio.
AVERAGE COACH: In his annual survey of NBA particulars, former Utah Jazz public relations director Bill Kreifeldt constructed the league's average head coach. He stands 6-foot-2, weighs 188 pounds, has almost seven years of prior NBA head coaching experience and is 48-years-old. Milwaukee's Chris Ford most closely resembles the profile. San Antonio's Greg Popovich was a close second.
TOGETHER AGAIN: Joe Smith is excited about joining the Philadelphia 76ers and reuniting with Allen Iverson, once his teammate on an AAU 17-and-under national championship team. They grew up near one another in Virginia, and at one time considered attending the same college. Instead, Smith went to Maryland; Iverson, after overcoming problems with the law, opted for Georgetown, becoming the No. 1 pick in the '96 draft.
"When the season started, I told everyone I was looking for a better situation," Smith said. "Right now, I'm going to a better situation.
"With the season (the Warriors) were having, the losing, winning only nine halfway through wears you down."
Nothing going to a team with 16 wins won't fix, right Joe?
Sound bite: "Tricky business, you just have to swallow and go on, but life in the NBA goes on."
- Toronto's 350-pound center Oliver Miller on the upheaval surrounding the Raptors.