Peep Show

Updated: January 22, 2004, 8:56 AM ET
By By Terry Brown | NBA Insider
San Antonio Spurs: Flags and national anthems are nice, but Gregg Popovich still wants to win NBA Championship rings. "It's hard not to play for your country," Popovich said in the San Antonio Express News. "At the same time, you want to be at your best for the NBA season. It makes it important for us to walk that fine line at keeping them conditioned and working on execution and giving them rest." The coach says that he has seen fatigue set in for Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Hedo Turkoglu and Manu Ginobili, four players who all participated in international competition this offseason. "It's a heck of a grind," Popovich said. "Those guys should be commended for putting in that kind of time. But it does affect their NBA season. There's no doubt about it."

New Jersey Nets: The New York Times is reporting that the Nets have been sold to Bruce Ratner for $300 million and the next step could very well be a move to Brooklyn. Of course, there are still obstacles to transfer the team across state lines once its lease ends in Continental Arena in 2008, but a last-minute proposal from Charles Kushner also for an estimated $300 million that would keep the team in New Jersey was not even looked at down the stretch. "He just wasn't there," one executive said of the dealings. "Ratner wanted this thing so bad, he did what it took to get it."

Chauncey Billups
Detroit Pistons: The Pacers have beaten the Pistons three consecutive times now and Detroit players seem to be begging for game No. 4. "Come on, man, this is us," said Chauncey Billups in the Detroit News. "We're mentally tough. We don't believe in that. They are the No. 1 team right now and they are playing great. There is nothing bad you can say about them. But we would love to see them later in the season and in the playoffs." Ben Wallace agreed. "Like I said, they won the game (81-69 Tuesday night) so they can say whatever they want," he said. "They may say they're the best in the East or whatever. I don't buy into that."