On Oct. 30, 2002, Michael Olowokandi scored 18 points, grabbed 13
rebounds and blocked two shots on 9-for-18 shooting in the first game of
the season. Two games later, it was 19 points, 20 rebounds and three
blocks against the Pistons. A week later, it was 21 points and 10
rebounds against the Magic.
He was peaking and had no idea he would become, perhaps, the biggest
casualty of the 2003 offseason.
It was only six games into the new 2002 season and the Los Angeles
Clipper center was making good on his agent's claim
that he was, indeed, the second best-center in the league. The year
before, he had averaged career highs in scoring, rebounding and blocked
shots and fully believed that the bidding for a restricted free agent
averaging 11.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks would begin at $12 million
a season, or the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining
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