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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended July 02, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 29Jun00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Madsen Drafted by Lakers
(Green Is Out, Madsen's In)
Los Angeles Times 29Jun00 S2
By Tim Kawakami: Times Staff Writer
Lakers: Popular veteran is waived, hours before team drafts Stanford forward and trades for Hightower.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- Stanford Basketball star Mark Madsen, an LDS returned missionary known as "Mad Dog" for his unrelenting competitiveness on-court, was chosen by the Los Angeles Lakers in the1st round of yesterday's NBA draft. The Lakers picked Madsen as an eventual replacement for long-time Lakers star A.C. Green.

The Lakers surprised many when they waived Green just hours before using their first round pick to choose Madsen, in what is clearly more than a symbolic gesture. Madsen was as surprised as anyone, "How could anyone fill A.C. Green's shoes?" he said. "He's meant so much to the Lakers over the course of his career, you know? All I can say is I'm going to go in there and do what I can do and not try to do things I cannot do. The Lakers have got everything intact and I'm just going to go in there and do what they ask me to do."

Madsen will have to earn a place on the team, fighting hard for minutes on the court like any rookie. And Green could also be back on the Lakers, but probably at less than the $1.9 million for 2000-2001 the Lakers would have to pay if he hadn't been waived. In contrast, Madsen will probably get about $2 million over three years, given his draft slot.

The Laker's Executive Vice President, Jerry West, said that the team was impressed with Madsen for the intensity of his play, "The one thing that I will impress upon you, this might be the toughest guy in the whole draft," West said. "He knows how to defend, likes to throw his body around, so we probably needed a player like that. . . . There were some other people we liked a lot. But I think this more fits our need--it kind of addresses the A.C. Green situation." West also said the Lakers got maturity when they picked Madsen, at 24, Madsen is two years older than most seniors in the draft, because he served an LDS mission.


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