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NELLIE'S WORDS COME BACK TO HAUNT HIM IN KNICKS DEAL

          The Knicks stopped paying fired coach Don Nelson in
     October after learning from Hornets ownership that he had
     made "some disparaging remarks" about then Knick Anthony
     Mason when Charlotte Coach Dave Cowens called seeking his
     opinion last summer, according to Jackie MacMullan in SPORTS
     ILLUSTRATED.  The Knicks told Nelson that by making such
     comments he had violated his contract.  When Nelson was
     fired after eight months on the job, they owed him $3.7M on
     a three-year, $5M deal.  The two sides settled before the
     holidays, and Nelson's take is now $3.2M.  Nelson: "I'm
     going to kill Cowens.  That phone call cost me $500,000." 
     Nelson said he is being sued by the Warriors, who hope to
     retrieve the $1M buyout they paid him when he resigned in
     '95.  Nelson says Golden State is claiming he was no longer
     entitled to the money once hired by the Knicks (SI, 1/13).

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