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Dallas exec is country's assistant coach

Dallas Mavericks: Lithuania bestowed one of its highest honors on American Donnie Nelson for helping the country win the
European basketball championships last month, a spokesman for the
country's president said Monday.

Nelson, Dallas' president of operations,
was an assistant coach for Lithuania during its tournament play,
including the 93-84 win against Spain in the finals of the Euro
Basketball title game in Sweden.

It marked the first time in 64 years that the Baltic state of
3.5 million won.

Lithuanian President Rolandas Paksas gave the Commander Grand
Cross to Nelson at a ceremony Saturday in the seaside city of
Palanga, 200 miles northwest of the capital, Vilnius.

"I'm delighted," the 41-year-old Nelson was quoted by
Lithuania's Lietuvos Rytas newspaper as saying. "This is a nice
gesture of appreciation."

Nelson has been the national team's assistant coach since 1992,
the year after Lithuania regained independence amid the Soviet
collapse.

Since then, Lithuania has won three Olympic bronze medals and is
tipped as a favorite in next year's Athens Olympics.

The rest of the national team received the same medal in
September, a few days after their triumphant return from Sweden.

  • Guards Tariq Abdul-Wahad and Jon Stefansson were placed on the injured list, which settles the Mavs' season-opening roster.

    Abdul-Wahad has tendinitis in his left knee and Stefansson, a
    rookie free agent from Iceland, has a sprained left ankle.

    Abdul-Wahad also started last season on the injured list because
    of a left knee problem, and didn't play until March.

    The Mavericks' roster for Tuesday night's opener against the Lakers in L.A. includes Travis Best, Michael Finley, Josh Howard,
    Marquis Daniels, Tony Delk, Antoine Walker, Steve Nash, Eduardo Najera, Danny Fortson, Antawn Jamison, Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Bradley.

    Sacramento Kings: Forwards Chris Webber and Lawrence Funderburke were placed on the injured list.

    Webber, a five-time All-Star, hopes to return from a serious
    knee injury in early December after spending nearly five months in
    intense physical therapy. He averaged 23.0 points, 10.5 rebounds
    and 5.4 assists last season, but hurt his knee during a
    second-round playoff game against Dallas.

    Funderburke, a seldom-used veteran backup, has a heel injury
    that could keep him out for the entire season.

    Guard Rodney Buford and forward Jabari Smith were the only training-camp invitees to make the Kings' active roster, which includes six new players for the back-to-back Pacific Division champions.

    Toronto Raptors: The team waived centers Hakeem Olajuwon and Stanley Roberts and placing three players on the injured list.

    Olajuwon announced his retirement last season because of a lower
    back injury and was kept on the injured list all last season.
    Waiving him was a formality.

    Roberts signed with the Raptors on Sept. 30, almost four years
    after he was kicked out of the NBA for failing a drug test.

    Roberts remained in Florida to continue workouts to try to get
    fit and did not join the Raptors for training camp.

    "He made good progress but he isn't ready to play," Toronto
    general manager Glen Grunwald said.

    The 33-year-old hasn't played in the NBA since 1999 when the
    league suspended him, citing use of an amphetamine-based drug.
    Roberts denied using the drug.

    The NBA reinstated the 7-foot, 290-pound center in January but
    no team signed him and he hooked up with the Harlem Globetrotters.

    The Raptors placed forward Michael Bradley (right knee
    tendinitis), guard Rick Brunson (left quadriceps contusion) and center Eric Montross (stress reaction, left foot) on the injured
    list. On Aug. 26, Montross announced that he had retired because of the injury which caused him to miss all last season.

    The Raptors open the regular season on Wednesday at home against New Jersey.

    Atlanta Hawks: The Hawks reached the 12-man roster limit for their season opener by waiving forward Randy Holcomb and placing three players on the injured list.

    Guards Terrell Brandon and Dan Dickau and forward-center Obinna Ekezie are hurt.

    The Hawks open Wednesday night at New Orleans.

    New Orleans Hornets: Three players, including forward Jamal Mashburn, were placed on injured reserve to trim the roster to 12 before Wednesday's season opener against the Atlanta Hawks.

    The team has said Mashburn, who missed all eight preseason games
    with a bone bruise in his right knee, will be out approximately two
    more weeks. That could mean Mashburn, who led the team in scoring
    last year, will miss the season opener as well as another four or five games.

    Also placed on the injured list were guard Courtney Alexander, who has a ruptured right Achilles tendon, and James Lang, who has back spasms.

    Memphis Grizzlies: Guard Michael Dickerson was waived on Monday.

    Dickerson is expected to retire due to chronic pain caused by
    groin and sports hernia injuries. Limited to just six games
    last season, Dickerson had not played this preseason.

    Acquired in a three-team trade in August 1999, Dickerson has
    career averages of 15.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists per
    contest in 212 games.

    The Grizzlies also set their opening night roster by placing
    rookie guard Dahntay Jones (sprained left ankle) and forwards
    Ryan Humphrey (concussion) and Theron Smith (right knee
    tendinitis) on the injured list.

    Portland Trail Blazers: Guard Derek Anderson has lost his starting job as shooting guard to Bonzi Wells for the Blazers season opener Wednesday in Utah, his health and his touch, momentarily, with teammates.

    Anderson is recovering from back spasms, and will not play Wednesday but aims to return for the Blazers' home opener Saturday night against Cleveland.

    The back spasms, he said, are "three times worse" than the knee injuries he has had three times during his career. The spasms started on the left side, but have taken over the entire middle part of his back.

    "At first, I couldn't get up out of bed, I couldn't go to the restroom," Anderson said. "I tried getting up one day and I thought someone had shot me in the back with a shotgun. I had tears coming out."

    It has been more than two weeks since the injury surfaced, keeping him out of the Blazers' final six exhibition games, but he said the injury is getting better, and he was able to ride an exercise bike Sunday at the team's practice facility.

    Anderson hopes to return to the team and start practicing later this week. When that happens, coach Maurice Cheeks said, there will be a transition period with the team.

    "When you get hurt, you get separated from the team, especially in his case, where he hasn't been around much until recently," Cheeks said. "But he is a big part of our team, and [the coaching staff] talked about it the other day that we will have to try and reconnect with him as he gets closer to returning to play."

    Cheeks said Anderson will play once he's healthy, repeatedly saying that his demotion to the bench has nothing to do with his ability.

    Tracy Murray won the final spot on the Blazers' active roster as the team released forward Jerald Honeycutt and placed rookie forward Travis Outlaw on the injured list.

    The Blazers said they picked Murray over Honeycutt because they
    needed an outside shooter more than a backup power forward. Coach
    Maurice Cheeks broke the news to Honeycutt before Monday's
    practice.

    "That was one of the tougher cuts I've had to make," Cheeks
    told The Oregonian. "He took it well. He even offered to practice,
    and I've never heard that before. He didn't show it outwardly like
    some guys do, but I could tell he was hurt by it."

    Murray, 33, averaged 7.8 points in six exhibition games. He shot
    51 percent from the field and 53 percent from 3-point range.

    Seattle SuperSonics: The Sonics placed guard Ray Allen and forward Nick Collison on the injured list.

    Allen is in Los Angeles to meet with an orthopedist who's examining his injured right ankle. The three-time All-Star plans to decide which kind of surgery to pursue to remove a bone chip or
    loose cartilage.

    No word yet on how long the injury will keep Allen sidelined.

    Collison, the 12th overall pick in last summer's NBA draft, is out for the season after surgery this month to repair a partially dislocated left shoulder.

    He was injured during training camp and is expected to have
    surgery on his right shoulder in two months.

    Miami Heat: The team team announced that Caron Butler and Rasual Butler were placed on the injured list. Caron Butler had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Oct. 4 and is still in rehabilitation, while Rasual Butler suffered a fourth metacarpal fracture to his left hand.

    The team also has requested waivers on forward/center Cherokee Parks and forward Sean Lampley.

    The Heat will play their season opener Tuesday at Philadelphia.

    Minnesota Timberwolves: Point guard Troy Hudson was placed on the injured list.

    Hudson, who sprained his right ankle late in the team's final
    preseason game Thursday, must sit out at least five games before
    he's eligible to be activated Nov. 6.

    Keith McLeod, who was waived earlier in training camp, was
    placed on the Wolves' active roster for Wednesday's home opener
    against the Milwaukee Bucks.

    The rest of the 12-man roster includes guards Sam Cassell, Fred
    Hoiberg and Latrell Sprewell; forwards Ndudi Ebi, Kevin Garnett,
    Quincy Lewis, Mark Madsen, Wally Szczerbiak and Gary Trent; and
    centers Ervin Johnson and Michael Olowokandi.

    Chicago Bulls: Kirk Hinrich (viral illness), Linton Johnson (right ankle sprain) and Jay Williams (fractured pelvis and dislocated left knee) will open the season on the injured list, the team said.

    Cleveland Cavaliers: Jelani McCoy will get a longer look from the Cavs, who gave the free agent forward/center their final roster spot to open the season.

    McCoy, signed during training camp, will begin the season with the Cavs after the team placed forward Ira Newble (knee), center Bruno Sundov (Achilles) and guard DaJuan Wagner (knee) on the injured list Monday.

    McCoy outplayed Sundov during the exhibition season, averaging 3.8 points and 3.2 rebounds in five games. Sundov had 4 points and no rebounds in 18 minutes.

    The 6-foot-10 McCoy was the only Cleveland player not to have a guaranteed contract, out of 15 who ended the preseason with the club.

    He played with Seattle, the Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto in his five-year NBA career. McCoy averaged 6.8 points and 5.3 rebounds in 67 games with the Raptors last season, but was slowed by injuries.

    Newble has been bothered by tendinitis in his right knee since the start of training camp. By going on the injured list, he'll have to sit out at least the first five games.

    Wagner will undergo surgery on his right knee once inflammation in his liver and pancreas subsides.

    The Cavaliers open the regular season Wednesday in Sacramento.

    Milwaukee Bucks: The team placed center Joel Przybilla on the injured list with right knee tendinitis.

    The 7-foot-1 Przybilla played in just two of Milwaukee's eight preseason games because of the injury.

    He was limited to just 32 games last season because of injuries and averaged 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 points.

    Przybilla has averaged 3.7 rebounds, 1.9 points and 14.3 minutes in 136 games in three seasons with the Bucks.

    Boston Celtics: The team exercised the fourth-year option on the contract of Kedrick Brown, who will open the season as their starting small forward.

    Brown "has made tremendous progress," executive director of
    basketball operations, Danny Ainge said in a statement Monday.

    Ainge said Brown's starting spot was "a direct result of his
    hard work over the summer and in the preseason."

    The team also announced it was placing three players on the
    injured list: Brandon Hunter, Kendrick Perkins and Chris Mills.

    The 6-foot-7 Brown, 22, was selected in the first round of the
    2001 NBA draft. He played in 80 games last season, starting 10,
    averaging 2.6 points and 2.4 rebounds in 11.4 minutes.

    The Celtics open at home on Wednesday against Miami.

    Phoenix Suns: Center Scott Williams and
    forward Robert Archibald were placed on the injured list, finalizing the 12-man roster for the team's season opener at San Antonio on Tuesday night.

    Williams is recovering from ligament surgery on his left thumb and will be out at least another two weeks. Archibald, who came to the Suns as part of the trade that sent Jake Tsakalidis and Bo
    Outlaw to Memphis, has a sprained left toe.

    Golden State Warriors: The team completed its regular-season roster, waiving veteran forward George
    McCloud and center Zendon Hamilton.

    The Warriors also placed three players on the injured list: starting forward Troy Murphy, forward Evan Eschmeyer and guard Pepe Sanchez.

    Brian Cardinal, a three-year NBA veteran forward who joined Golden State as a free agent, beat out fellow free agent McCloud
    for a roster spot. Cardinal played two seasons with Detroit before spending last season with Washington.

    Just three players from last season's resurgent team will be in uniform to start the season: centers Erick Dampier and Adonal Foyle
    and second-year forward Mike Dunleavy.

    Jason Richardson, the Warriors' starting shooting guard, has been suspended for three games for assaulting his ex-girlfriend.
    Murphy is expected to miss at least two weeks with a foot injury.

    Nick Van Exel wasn't placed on the injured list despite undergoing minor knee surgery during training camp. Van Exel hopes
    to return within two weeks.

    Utah Jazz: The team requested waivers on point guard Jermaine Boyette and placed center Curtis Borchardt on the injured list with a broken finger.

    Boyette, who played at Weber State and came to training camp as an undrafted free agent, did not make the final 12-man roster. The Jazz already have point guards in Carlos Arroyo, Raul Lopez and rookie Maurice William's, Utah's selection in the second round of the draft in June.

    Utah will open the season Wednesday night against Portland with five players who weren't on the active roster last spring. Raja Bell, Keon Clark, Ben Handlogten, Aleksandar Pavlovic and Williams are the newcomers as the Jazz begin rebuilding without John
    Stockton and Karl Malone.

    Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.