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Garnett makes squad for sixth straight year

Minnesota Timberwolves: Forward Kevin Garnett was
named to the NBA's All-Defensive first team on Thursday, the sixth
consecutive season he has earned the honor.

Garnett received 48 points, tied with San Antonio's Bruce Bowen
for second-most points behind defensive player of the year Ben
Wallace of Detroit.

The Spurs' Tim Duncan and Washington's Larry Hughes rounded out
the first team.

Garnett led the league in rebounding (13.5 per game) and
double-doubles (69) this season and averaged 1.48 steals and 1.37
blocks a game for the Timberwolves, who missed the playoffs this
year after advancing to the Western Conference finals a year ago.

Detroit's Tayshaun Prince and Chauncey Billups, Denver's Marcus
Camby, Utah's Andrei Kirilenko, New Jersey's Jason Kidd and Miami's
Dwyane Wade were named to the second team. Kidd and Wade tied with
16 points, so both were included on the team.

The NBA's 30 head coaches voted on the honor. Coaches cannot
vote for players on their own team. Two points are awarded for a
first-team vote and one point is awarded for a second-team vote.

Garnett had 19 first-team votes. Guard Trenton Hassell was the
only other Minnesota player to receive any votes. Hassell had three
total points, with one first-team vote.

New Orleans Hornets: The club and the city
scheduled a press conference Friday to announce an update on the
release of city money meant to help the team build a new
headquarters and practice gym.

The city's promise of $6.5 million to help pay for the project
has been contentious ever since team owner George Shinn said he
wanted to build the new practice center downtown, next to the New
Orleans Arena, instead of in the eastern part of the city as
initially announced.

Politicians from the city's eastern areas, particularly City
Councilwoman Cynthia Willard-Lewis, were angered by the change and
fought to block release of the money until Shinn agreed in
principle to pay $2.5 million toward the cost of a planned new
recreational facility in the east.

That agreement was announced in January, but state officials who
control the land next to the arena have declined to meet with the
Hornets about the team's designs on the property until the team has
the city money in hand.

The actual transfer of funds has been held up while lawyers from
both sides worked out the details of the agreement, Willard-Lewis
told the Associated Press in a recent interview.

In announcing Friday's media conference, the Mayor's Office said
only that it involves the Hornets. Officials did not specifically
mention the practice facility. However, a source close to the negotiations said the
announcement would deal with the practice center.

Toronto Raptors: Guard Alvin Williams had surgery on his
right knee earlier this week to remove scar tissue from previous
operations.

Williams missed all of last season because of the injured knee,
but following Wednesday's operation his doctor said the Toronto
player had made solid progress, the team said Thursday.

The team's all-time leader in games played with 416, Williams
has averages of 9.1 points and 4.1 assists in his career.

New Jersey Nets: Nets general manager Ed Stefanski
signed a multiyear contract extension.

Stefanski had a big role in the December trade for All-Star
Vince Carter, who helped key the 15-4 run in the final five weeks
that propelled the team into the playoffs. The Nets were swept in
the first round by the Miami Heat.

Stefanski became general manager last summer after serving for a
year as senior vice president of basketball operations and four
seasons as director of scouting.

Before he joined the Nets, Stefanski was a color analyst for 20
years. He played college basketball at Penn on teams that won Ivy
League titles in 1974 and 1975.