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Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 8, 2000

Mourning suffers kidney ailment

BOCA RATON -- Heat center Alonzo Mourning will be sidelined indefinitely by an apparent kidney disorder discovered during a routine preseason physical examination.

Further tests are planned for Mourning, 30, who missed the first four days of training camp.

"Preliminary tests seem to have indicated a kidney disorder," the Heat said in a brief statement Saturday. "At the request of Alonzo, there will be no further comment until more information is available."

Doctors initially suspected a viral infection, thyroid condition or fatigue from a busy off-season.

Beginning Aug. 23, Mourning was on the road with the U.S. Olympic basketball team for nearly six weeks, logging more than 40,000 air miles. He went to New York, Hawaii, Japan and finally Australia. He crossed the Pacific Ocean four times, returning briefly to Miami for the birth of his second child, then flew back to Sydney to help the Americans win the gold medal.

The All-Star center arrived back in Miami early Monday after the Olympics. He attended the Heat's media day Tuesday but has been absent since.

"Some things popped up on his physical and blood tests that were not normal," coach Pat Riley said. "We're concerned about it."

With a healthy roster, the Heat is regarded as the favorite in the Eastern Conference. Without Mourning, the outlook would change drastically.

"That's our gladiator. That's our guy," said guard Eddie Jones, who came to Miami in a sign-and-trade deal at Mourning's urging. "We want him back."

Mourning finished third in voting for the league's most valuable player last season, when he averaged 21.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.7 blocks. He has missed only seven games the past two seasons.

KNICKS: New York has drawn criticism from a Charleston, S.C., chapter of the NAACP for ignoring a boycott of the state because of the the Confederate flag.

"It's obviously a result of the propaganda the management of the team has bought from the governor's office and tourism officials," Dwight James, executive director of the South Carolina Conference of Branches of the NAACP, said of the Knicks' practice site.

The Knicks have trained at the College of Charleston the past nine seasons.

The team supported the NAACP's boycott last spring. But New York decided to return to its camp after lawmakers voted to take down the Confederate flag flying over the state capitol.

The NAACP extended its boycott because the flag remains on the state capitol grounds, standing near a monument of a Confederate soldier.

"A compromise was reached," Knicks executive director Steve Mills told the New York Daily News. "With compromise everyone is not happy."

TIMBERWOLVES: Sharone Wright came out of retirement to sign a contract. The 6-foot-11 center was the sixth overall pick of the 1994 draft but hasn't played since the 1997-98 season, when he was injured in a car accident.

MAGIC: Reserve guard Dee Brown injured his left knee Saturday night during the team's scrimmage in Jacksonville and will be examined by doctors today to determine the extent of the damage. Brown has had surgery on his left knee twice. He signed a one-year contract and is expected to be a key reserve.

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