'They should trade me,' Murray says

Updated: February 21, 2004, 12:55 AM ET
Associated Press

TORONTO -- Raptors forward Lamond Murray wants out of Toronto.

Murray ripped Toronto coach Kevin O'Neill after playing just six minutes in Toronto's 91-72 loss to the New Jersey Nets on Friday night.

O'Neill inserted Murray into the starting lineup because of injuries to Vince Carter and Jalen Rose, but yanked him after he allowed Richard Jefferson to go 3-for-3 from the field.

Murray, who has barely played this season, didn't score or register even one offensive or defensive stat. He said earlier in the day that he was disappointed he didn't get moved before the trading deadline and he repeated it after the game.

"They should trade me," Murray said. "I've been here 10 years. I'm not a rookie, I'm not a second-year player."

Murray said he didn't get an explanation from O'Neill on why he didn't play more.

"Come on, we don't talk," Murray said. "There's no communication. It's just who I am, and he doesn't like who I am for some reason. They should have let me go. They had a time to let me go. I'm past frustrated now. I'm past trying to play it his way, and play great defense."

He said he thought it was personal.

"What else could it be?" Murray said. "It's just petty. There's no reason for it. I've tried to be as professional as I can."

Asked about Murray after the game, O'Neill said: "Are you wanting me to blast Lamond? I'm not going to do that."

Murray has two years and about $10 million remaining on his contract. He missed all of last season after tearing a ligament in his foot in the preseason.

He went public with a trade demand in January, but the Raptors found no takers.

The Raptors acquired Murray from Cleveland in August 2002, after he demanded a trade.

Murray was the Cavs' leading scorer two years ago, averaging a career-high 16.6 points per game. He spent five seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers before being dealt to Cleveland.

"I thought I had been through it all, but I've never seen anything like this before," Murray said.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press