Nets got taken in Bradley-Coleman deal

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Less than a week after the six-player deal in which the New Jersey Nets sent Derrick Coleman to the Philadelphia 76ers for Shawn Bradley, both players made their debuts with their new teams on Wednesday. And, really, is anyone surprised at the result?

Coleman, playing his first game of the season, scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to help the Sixers end an 11-game losing streak against Dallas. And Bradley scored seven points and grabbed five rebounds in New Jersey's loss to Minnesota.

Let's face it: the Nets made one of the worst trades ever. They dealt one of the most gifted players in the league (Coleman) for a 7-foot-6 project who has yet to prove he can compete at this level.

Sure, Coleman was a problem with his disruptive ways. But Bradley, while probably a nice guy, frustrated Sixers coach John Lucas by not putting in the added work to improve his game. Bradley, called "Stickman" by 76ers fans, can block shots as he showed with nine in Wednesday's debut.

But so could Manute Bol.

"He did not get better," Sixers owner Harold Katz said of Bradley. "This season, outside of one game, he got worse."

Bradley feels he's gotten a new lease on his career with the trade.

"[In Philadelphia] I was straight up honest with everybody. I said, 'Look, I haven't done this for two years.' They expected what they expected," said Bradley, who went on a two-year Mormon mission after his second year at Brigham Young. "Now I'm in a situation where the scoring is spread throughout the team; it takes some of the pressure off me."

It might wind up being less pressure. But Bradley appears destined to join the likes of Benoit Benjamin, Yinka "Stinka" Dare and Dwayne Schintzius on a growing list of bad New Jersey centers.

All's not J-OK with Mavs

On the cover of the Mavericks' media guide there's a photo of the three "J's" -- Jamal Mashburn, Jim Jackson and Jason Kidd -- standing side by side. With those three playing in unison last season, the Mavericks were able to make a 23-game improvement from the 1993-94 season, and were still in the playoff hunt in the final week of the season. A promising future was expected.

But this season the Mavericks have been torn apart by a tiff between Mashburn and Jackson.

Apparently the dispute comes down to shots, with both Jackson and Mashburn wanting to be go-to guys. With communication between the two broken down, the Mavericks have dropped 10 of their last 11 games.

"They're polarizing the team," Dallas coach Dick Motta said of the two. "They won't pass to each other, won't speak to each other. They can get in a fetal position and go back to Mama, or they can come back and be pros."

Around the league

Sam Bowie, who retired from the Los Angeles Lakers after last season, has been invited to work out for the Chicago Bulls. "I think he can truly add a lot to this team the way he plays," Michael Jordan said. . . . The Indiana Pacers continue their struggle, losing three of four during a recent West Coast trip and allowing more than 100 points in seven straight games -- the first time that has happened in Larry Brown's three seasons there. (That streak ended with a 108-91 win over Philadelphia on Tuesday). "The mystique is gone," said point guard Haywoode Workman. "Before, we demanded respect. Now, we're expecting people to give it to us."

Quote of the week

From Boston Celtics coach M. L. Carr, following a fight on Monday when Miami Heat rookie Kurt Thomas punched Celtics forward Pervis Ellison in the face when he wasn't looking.

"There's no place in the game for that and I used to do it."

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