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There's one less interested group in bidding for 76ers

As if there wasn't already enough going on inside Comcast-Spectacor...

Less than 48 hours before chairman Ed Snider announced a major shakeup in the Flyers' organization, one of the major bidders to purchase the 76ers withdrew from consideration.

The group led by Andrew Barroway of the Randor-based law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, and including Wayne Kimmel and Ian Berg, two managing directors of ETF Venture Funds of King of Prussia, explained that decision in a face-to-face meeting Friday evening.

Kimmel and Berg, by virtue of their affiliation with ETF, are investors in Philadelphia Media Holdings, the owners of the Daily News and Inquirer.

A source familiar with the negotiations described the reason as "the structure of the deal."

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Nuggets face hectic week

The Nuggets won't be able to get much rest or practice during a busy week of exhibition games as the regular season nears.

After defeating Detroit 124-105 in the second game of a back-to-back Sunday, Nuggets coach George Karl gave the team today off.

That's because Denver hosts Utah on Tuesday before back-to-back games in Los Angeles against the Lakers and Clippers Thursday and Friday, squeezed between a travel day Wednesday.

"Most of our work will come during shoot-around," Karl said. "I'd much rather cancel a couple of games and practice."

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Nets waive goodbye to Jay

Jay Williams was just saying last week that in order to return to the NBA, he would be willing to play outside the NBA, if necessary. Now it looks like he might have to.

The Nets waived Williams yesterday, ending his attempt to make his hometown team after a 3-1/2 year layoff. The Plainfield, N.J., product is trying to make a comeback following his near-fatal motorcycle accident in 2003.

Williams still could catch on with another team, but he's looked rusty this preseason in limited action. Calls to Williams' home and his agent yesterday were not returned.

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Hite exceeds expectations

Don't tell Robert Hite he can't play shooting guard in the NBA.

After life as a 6-foot-2 small forward at the University of Miami, Hite figures he's up to any challenge.

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Options abound for Jackson

Luke Jackson would like to stay with the Celtics, but his prospects are bright even if he doesn’t make the roster. He’ll still earn just shy of $2.1 million this season from his present contract, and may be able to double-dip by choosing another team.
As of now, the recent trade acquisition is facing an uphill battle given the crowd at wing for the C’s.
“It’s a tough situation to be in,” he acknowledged yesterday. “You get traded to a team with a lot of guards, and you have limited time to pick up things. But I just try to keep a positive attitude and just make the most of what it is. I’m not the type of guy that’s ever going to complain about getting an opportunity. When I’m out on the floor, I’m going to try to make the most of what I’ve got.

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Walton Aims to Play

It's as if Luke Walton has been overlooked by the Lakers when talks surfaced about players seeking a contract extension or having an option picked up for next season.

Walton is in the last year of a two-year deal that pays him $1.25 million. He said there has been no discussion of a contract extension.

Walton said that hasn't been foremost on his mind during training camp.

He knows the Lakers are talking with Brian Cook about a multi-year contract and with Sasha Vujacic about picking up his $1.756 million option for next season.

Walton knows what's at stake for him.

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Open-court game up his alley

This may be the best thing about this version of the Bulls: No one ever gets arrested. It shouldn't be something to be praised for, but it does show that you can have an NBA team with trouble-free players and still be competitive.


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Bulls should never trade for any players on this list

There is nothing wrong with suggesting a fictitious trade now and then that might theoretically help two teams reach their respective goals. It’s an American sports tradition.

But perhaps it would be easier to start the season by listing the trades that should not be made.

With that in mind, here are the players the Bulls should not trade for this season, roughly in order of egregiousness. Feel free to clip this column and save it until the February trade deadline.

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Karl gives wake-up call, hopes Smith gets point

If J.R. Smith is going to win the Nuggets' starting shooting guard job, he better wake up.

Literally.

Smith said Nuggets coach George Karl wants him to "be serious" about practice by showing up early. It doesn't always work.

"I'm not really a morning person," Smith said. "But I've just got to get into it. I've been trying. I've been making an effort."

At least Smith woke up in time to have a good outing Sunday. He scored 15 points, shooting 3-of-7 from three-point range, to help the Nuggets to a 124-105 preseason pounding of Detroit.

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Open-court game up his alley

This may be the best thing about this version of the Bulls: No one ever gets arrested. It shouldn't be something to be praised for, but it does show that you can have an NBA team with trouble-free players and still be competitive.


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Isiah offers no defense for the Knicks' lack of it

After three weeks of press briefings - sometimes as many as three in one day - Isiah Thomas has managed to avoid saying the name Larry Brown or mentioning the word defense.

The former is understandable. The latter is inexcusable.

The Knicks were nothing more than conscientious objectors during Boston's 113-89 victory Saturday at Mohegan Sun, a result that was never in doubt. The Celtics led by as many as 34 points in the third quarter as the Knicks provided little resistance. In fact, they helped trigger Boston's fast break by committing 31 turnovers.

"It was a good learning experience to see our team in a stressful situation and see how we respond and react to that," Thomas said. "Some guys passed and some guys failed."

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Shaq, Zo still aim to quiet 'doubters'

A little more than a week from today, Heat centers Shaquille O'Neal and Alonzo Mourning will oil their rusty joints and begin the sometimes mind-numbing grind of the 82-game regular season.

For O'Neal, this is the 15th year in a career that arguably places him among the 10 best to ever play the game. For Mourning, it's the 14th year in a probable Hall of Fame career. Their greatness has been established.

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Marbury's Taking Shot At Tv Show

Stephon Marbury has shown he can sell sneakers. Now he's trying to sell his own TV talk show.

The Post has learned Marbury has filmed a handful of demo shows, including a one-hour interview with Kobe Bryant. His reps have been shopping the show around.

"We just haven't taken anything," Marbury told The Post. "We've had offers. We're looking for the right deal."

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