Popular Brooks, Smith Released

A popular veteran and a part-time starter from last season were waived by the Clippers Thursday as the team trimmed its roster to 12, the regular-season limit.

Point guard Scott Brooks, who has played 11 years in the NBA, and shooting guard Charles Smith, who started 10 games last season, were let go as the Clippers decided to keep second-year guard Charles Jones, a former two-time NCAA scoring champion.

"Hopefully they will both catch on somewhere because they both worked hard and made this a good training camp," Coach Chris Ford said about Brooks and Smith, neither of whom played in the Clippers' exhibition loss to Milwaukee on Wednesday.

Because of Brooks' background, it was somewhat of a surprise that he was cut, considering starter Eric Murdock has not fully recovered from a knee injury and the team, with Troy Hudson, Lamar Odom and Jones, lacks experience at the position.

Murdock will have his knee examined today and is not expected to play tonight in the Clippers' final exhibition, against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center.

Smith, acquired in a trade from Miami in 1996, was in the final season of a three-year guaranteed contract and will still be paid $779,960 by the Clippers.


Odom had decent numbers against the Bucks with 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists but the rookie was not pleased with his Los Angeles debut.

"I wanted to show the fans a good game, and I just kind of got too anxious with everything," said Odom.

"I was a little nervous. . . . I missed some layups, a dunk and some plays I normally make."


Small forward Tyrone Nesby, who didn't play against Milwaukee because of personal reasons, practiced Thursday and will play tonight against Golden State. . . . Eric Piatkowski did not practice and is out for tonight's game because of a nagging rib injury.

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