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  • Christie to Mavs/Grant to Suns

    its easier to put 2 news articles on one page on dial up...plus im a lazy bastard

    DALLAS (August 19, 2005) — The Dallas Mavericks announced today they have signed free agent guard/forward Doug Christie. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Last Thursday, the Orlando Magic waived Christie (6-6, 205) and designated him as their amnesty player, as allowed in the new collective bargaining agreement. Christie was traded to Orlando from Sacramento in exchange for Cuttino Mobley and Michael Bradley back on Jan. 10.

    Christie appeared in a total of 52 games for the Kings and Magic last season, averaging 6.6 points, 3.8 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.54 steals in 29.3 minutes per game. Orlando placed Christie on the injured list on Mar. 5 due to bone spurs in his left ankle. He missed the final 24 games of the season with that injury after playing and starting all but four of a possible 328 games with Sacramento the previous four seasons (2000-01 through 2003-04).

    Originally selected by Seattle with the 17th overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft, Christie has played for the L.A. Lakers, New York, Toronto, Sacramento and Orlando in his 13-year career. He owns career averages of 11.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.90 steals in 31.7 minutes per game. Christie has also appeared in 58 career playoff games with 49 starts.

    Christie was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team once (2002-03) and to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team three times (2000-01, 2001-02 and 2003-04). He ranks tied with Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas and Walt Frazier for 20th on the league’s all-time steals per game list and shares the NBA record for most steals in a half with 8 (at Philadelphia on Apr. 2, 1997). Christie is also a career 82.2% shooter from the foul line. He needs 738 more points to reach 10,000 for his career.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Suns baited their hook with a family-oriented franchise, a talented core of players, a well-respected coaching staff, as well as a legitimate shot at an NBA title.

    Forward/center Brian Grant took it all – hook, line and sinker – and agreed to a free agent contract. The 11-year veteran and avid deep-sea fisherman is ecstatic about moving to Phoenix to join his fourth NBA team.

    “As a player from the outside looking in, nobody really expected Phoenix to be as good as they were," Grant said during his introductory press conference at America West Arena on Thursday afternoon. "Knowing the players that made up the team, and after playing them and getting beat by them, I realized that this team is for real. I’m just happy to be a part of it.”

    Grant is expected to bring defensive intensity, rebounding and veteran leadership to the Suns’ already formidable frontcourt. The 6-9, 254-pound big man has built a reputation as a durable competitor, strong rebounder and good teammate.

    “He’s a skilled player,” said Suns assistant coach Marc Iavaroni, who was a Heat assistant when Grant was in Miami. “He knows what the right plays are and I think he does a pretty good job of just keeping the game very simple. He knows when he’s open, he’s got to knock down the shot. He knows when he’s not open, he’s got to find the open guy. So all these years of experience, playing at high levels with quality programs, have made him into the player he is today. It’s one of those testaments here at 33, he’s in tremendous demand."

    Following a season in Los Angeles in which he saw limited action after suffering an early-season neck injury, the Lakers waived Grant as part of the NBA's amnesty program. The one-time option for clubs to rid themselves of high-dollar contracts came as a result of the collective bargaining agreement. Several teams were in hot pursuit and Grant had narrowed his choices down to Phoenix and the Bulls before agreeing to join the Suns.

    “He works it," Iavaroni added. "He gets out there and he’s willing to put his body on the line. Sometimes you can take him for granted when you have him as a player and you have to be careful of that, because he does so many things that the opposition respects.

    “When you’re the opposition, speaking from experience, you can’t penetrate his defense. It makes it very difficult to throw the ball inside against this guy. He really does a great job of using his body, putting his body on people. Anybody who comes near the basket, whether it’s to go for a rebound or to catch the ball and make a play, they are always met by Brian very early.”

    Of all the attributes that made Grant an appealing player for the Suns to pursue, his experience and will to win were at the top of the list. Appearing in the post-season six times in his 11-year career, Grant has averaged 8.9 points and 7.7 rebounds in 53 games in playoff action.

    “He runs the floor really well, he’s a rebounder, he’s a great defender and he’s a great person,” said Head Coach Mike D'Antoni. “When you sum up what a championship player is made of, he is made up of those attributes. Someone who will work hard every day and listen, try to do the best that he can do and be a good basketball player. He encompasses what it takes to be a championship player.”

    The former Xavier University star will also bring a sense of community as one of the most active and generous players in the league, founding The Brian Grant Foundation and having been honored with the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for his work in assisting underprivileged youth, seriously ill children and their families.

    A devoted family man with four children of his own, Grant is humbled by the plight of terminally ill children and his relationships with the families of those inflicted has made him appreciate his family’s good fortune and health. Naturally, he and his wife, Gina, plan to continue their charitable work in the Valley and are grateful for the opportunity to come to an organization dedicated to giving back to the community.

    “When I was in Portland I had the opportunity to work with a lot of terminally ill children,” Grant said. “Especially those three years in Portland when I went through a few relationships with those kids, going home from the hospital and seeing my own children made me very thankful to God for the blessing of having children that were healthy – the fact that I had these kids and to love them, and not take them for granted.

    “There’s nothing like going to a hospital and looking into a parent’s eyes who are looking at their sick baby, and they can’t do anything about it. They’ve just got to be there and be there for their child. That’s what’s really affecting me the most. It puts everything in perspective.”

    Gina, who sat in the front row for Thursday's introductory pres conference, is also excited to be in Phoenix and associated with a franchise that takes a family-first attitude.

    “My impression of the Suns organization has always been wonderful,” she said. “I’m attracted to the fact that they’re a family oriented organization and that was one of the main reasons why we’re so happy to be coming here.”

    As for Grant’s lifelong love affair with fishing, it began as a hobby at a young age and has grown into a full-blown obsession.

    “It started with my Papa from the time when I was a little boy,” he beamed, more animated than in response to any other subject of his long day. “When I was 4 he bought me my first fishing pole and started taking me down to the riverbank. I’ve always had passion for fishing since then. It started on the riverbanks, streams and lakes in Ohio.

    “Then once I went to Sacramento, I’d go fishing in the slews and the Sacramento River. When I went to Portland, that’s when it really took off. My landscaper and I were in a bit of an argument. He was trying to tell me that the job he was going to do wasn’t going to be good enough because I wasn’t spending enough. To make up he asked me if I fished and he took me salmon fishing. Now he and I are best buddies. We go salmon, sturgeon and steelhead fishing.

    “Then in Miami, that was the granddaddy of fishing. I got a boat, went deep-sea fishing. I actually got into free-diving and spear fishing. I just love fishing. I don’t like to try to catch something that I’m not going to eat, though. I’m not really a sport fisherman.”

    Grant, of course, realizes he is moving to a desert, but the fisherman in him is already thinking about how to continue his passion.

    “There’s got to be some good cat fishing around here,” he laughed.
    Nine 2 Five is How ya Survive I Ain't Tryin to Survive
    I'm Trying to Live it to Tha Limit & Love it a Lot
    D'Evils

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