Clips' Cassell says he's unhappy with losing, but not seeking buyout

LOS ANGELES -- While Sam Cassell acknowledges he's unhappy
the Los Angeles Clippers are losing, the veteran point guard made
it clear Thursday he's not lobbying to play elsewhere.

The Boston Globe reported Cassell was trying to buy out his
contract so he could play for the Eastern Conference-leading
Celtics. Cassell, averaging 13.1 points and a team-leading 4.5
assists in 34 games, is earning $6.1 million this season -- the
final year of his contract.

"There's no truth to it," Cassell said by telephone from
Toronto, where the Clippers play Friday night. "I never said I
wanted to buy out my contract. There have been no negotiations, the
team hasn't come to me about that, I have not gone to them about

The 38-year-old Cassell had 10 points and three assists in the
Clippers' 111-100 loss to the Celtics in Boston on Wednesday night.

"They misquoted me drastically," Cassell said of the report.
"It's just not right for my teammates to hear I'd be a perfect fit
in Boston."

The Globe said late Thursday night all the Cassell quotes were

Cassell referred to television coverage of the published report.

"That's not what I said," Cassell said. "The reporter said
I'd be a perfect fit in Boston. I'm still a member of the Los
Angeles Clippers and I want to win as many games as possible with
the Clippers. I'm not happy that we're losing, but I have a lot of
good teammates on this ballclub that I really enjoy being around."

Mark J. Spears, the Globe reporter who quoted Cassell, said "I
stand by my story. I have the entire interview on tape and after
talking to me on Wednesday morning, he was quoted saying similar
things to other Boston media outlets."

Cassell said he'd probably like to play one more season before

Cassell, a member of NBA championship teams in Houston in
1994-95, has said on several occasions he'd like to go into
coaching when his playing career is over.

The Clippers (15-31) have played without injured star forward
Elton Brand and outstanding young point guard Shaun Livingston all
season because of injuries. They hope to get both back before
season's end, but it's a virtual certainty that won't be enough to
help them contend for a playoff berth because of the outstanding
competition in the Western Conference.

With Brand and Cassell leading the way, the Clippers beat Denver
in the first round of the 2006 playoffs before losing to Phoenix in
the second round. They were eliminated from playoff contention on
the final day last season.