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Injured Kidd skips practice held at night

wire services
Published October 8, 2004

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Jason Kidd is refusing to attend night sessions during the Nets' two-a-day practices at training camp, and he doesn't care if the team fines him for it.

"They want me to be here - they have every right - but my best thing is to try to get healthy, rehab and push forward. That's my stance," said Kidd, who had knee surgery this summer and is at least three weeks from practicing. "Me sitting here for three hours is not helping me rehab."

Coach Lawrence Frank wouldn't discuss Kidd's absence, even to clarify whether they were excused or unexcused. Team president Rod Thorn did not return a call seeking comment.

Kidd said the team had not informed him or his agent that he would be fined.

Under the collective bargaining agreement, players can be penalized $2,500 for each of the first two practices they miss and $5,000 for each subsequent absence.

The Nets held only one practice Thursday, but another two-a-day was scheduled for today.

In Kidd's absence, veterans Travis Best and Jacque Vaughn and second-year guard Zoran Plananic are vying for the starting job at point guard.

LAKERS HURTING: Brian Grant was withheld from practice as a precaution because of a sore neck re-aggravated in training camp. Grant, whose status is day-to-day, originally hurt his neck during summer conditioning. X-rays of the latest ailment were negative. ... Vlade Divac, who rejoined the Lakers this season from Sacramento, sat out because of a scheduled treatment on his back. ... Luke Walton twisted an ankle and is considered day-to-day.

STARKS JOINS KNICKS: Former All-Star guard John Starks rejoined the team as an adviser for alumni relations and fan development. He also will be involved in television and radio broadcasts.

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