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Updated: January 23, 2004, 10:51 AM ET
By By Terry Brown | NBA Insider
Mark Jackson
Jackson
Houston Rockets: Mom always said food tasted better when you share. Now, so is head coach Jeff Van Gundy with the addition of Mark Jackson to the Rocket lineup. "We have been starting to pass the ball a lot better," Van Gundy said in the Houston Chronicle. "I think Mark will keep adding to it and enhance it, but I really do believe, our guys -- we got shot-happy at one point in the third quarter when we were trading baskets -- are for the most part really trying to share. Mark is one of the ultimate sharers obviously in NBA history."

Washington Wizards: After serving a five-game suspension for violating the league's drug policy, Christian Laettner is back, is sorry and is ready to get on with his life. "If they decide not to play me like they already have a few times this year, that's just part of the game, something you've got to deal with," Laettner said in the Washington Times. "If Eddie gives me a shot and throws me out there, I'll try and play basketball the right way and try to help the team." And now, more than ever, he knows what that means. "I still love the game. It was tough being away," Laettner said. "Sometimes you say to yourself that you need a vacation. But as soon as I got back out there I realized how much I love the game. I definitely don't want to see anything like this happen again. So I'm committed and devoted to making sure it doesn't. I'm going to play basketball for as long as I can  until my knees give out."

Chicago Bulls: If Scottie Pippen is going to get his butt kicked on the basketball floor as a member of the struggling Bulls, then he wants to get all of it kicked. "It's a lack of effort," Pippen said in the Chicago Tribune. "Guys have accepted losing here. It's to the point where losing and winning are on the same scale. Until they change their attitude and understand that it's more important to give a hard effort every night -- even if you still come away with a loss -- they won't feel better about themselves. Going out and giving a half-assed effort most nights, you're always going to come away with a loss." Pippen even went so far as to say that these Bulls are so bad, they're an embarrassment not only to the city but the game itself. "You have to be dedicated to the game," he said. "You have to have some pride in yourself to want to get better, want to be the best, want to make some strides in your game and in your life. Basketball has been great for a lot of people. To see the way a lot of these guys have taken advantage of it, it's sad. They're not putting the effort that I felt like a guy like me or a guy like Pax had to deal with to get to this level and to stay at this level."


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