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Artest Wanted ‘Rest’

From Associated Press

Indiana Pacer forward Ron Artest said Wednesday that he asked Coach Rick Carlisle for time off because of a busy schedule that included promoting a soon-to-be released rap album, which led to his two-game benching.

Artest said that he asked Carlisle for as much as a month off to heal his aching body and recover from a busy schedule.

“My body has been aching, I was going to take some time off and I said it the wrong way,” Artest said. “Everything that happened wasn’t too negative. I kind of surprised the team by wanting to take some games off, just to get back together, maybe stay home for a little bit, rest a little bit and come back.”

Artest will not lose any salary. Asked if Artest would return Friday at Philadelphia, Carlisle said, “We’ll see.”

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Tracy McGrady missed most of the Houston Rockets’ practice because of nagging hip and groin injuries, though he could still play tonight against Minnesota. McGrady left midway through the third quarter of Tuesday’s game against Memphis.

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Seven-time NBA rebounding champion Dennis Rodman, 43, signed a contract with the Orange County Crush of the American Basketball Assn., hoping it leads to a return to the NBA.... Forward Shandon Anderson, 30, was waived by the New York Knicks. Anderson is owed $24 million over the next three years.

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