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Wesley trade unaffected, team says

NEW ORLEANS -- The New Orleans Hornets suspended Jim Jackson
indefinitely on Wednesday for not reporting to the team, two days
after he was acquired from Houston in a trade.

Hornets coach Byron Scott suspected Jackson would not show up as
scheduled after speaking with him by phone shortly after the trade
brought the 13-year veteran to the worst team the league.

"He basically didn't want to start over. He wants to have a
chance to win a championship just like 200 other players in this
league," Scott said. "We've encouraged him to just come down and
meet everyone in the organization ... and I think he could have a
change of heart, but right now he's pretty adamant about this not
being something he wants to do at this particular point in his
career."

When Jackson failed to arrive, the Hornets suspended him
indefinitely.

Jackson, 34, was averaging 13.3 points and 4.8 rebounds this
season with Houston -- a team that at 13-15 has played below
expectations but nonetheless stands a much better chance of making
the playoffs than Hornets, who were 2-25 going into Wednesday
night's game against Phoenix.

Hornets guard Baron Davis, who before this season started said
he was disappointed with his team's offseason moves and wouldn't
mind being traded himself, said he could relate to Jackson's
stance.

"Nobody wants to go from having a chance to be in the playoffs
to the worst team in the league, especially when your at the end of
your NBA career," Davis said. "It would be different if you were
young and wanted playing time."

By suspending Jackson, the Hornets do not have to pay him.
Jackson also could be fined by the league under the NBA's
collective bargaining agreement.

The Hornets hope that will serve as motivation for Jackson to
report.

New Orleans general manager Allan Bristow said that if Jackson
thinks his refusal to report will motivate the Hornets to trade
him, he could be mistaken.

"We certainly hope over time he will realize the Hornets family
wants him here," Bristow said. "When you talk about the Hornets
and their record right now ... certainly that's a discouraging mark
... but we don't plan to be in this position very long.

"Trades are a vital part of getting this team back to the way
we want it to be. We take trades very seriously and certainly
expect that Jim Jackson will change his mind and be here soon,"
Bristow said.

Bristow said he knows from his playing days that being traded
can be traumatic and that he hopes Jackson is simply "in shock"
and will soon come to his senses.

"He's going to come in, he can start, not only for this year
but for next year. We're looking more for next year than for this
year because of injuries and trying to get everyone back
together," Bristow said.

The Hornets have had up to five players on the injured list at
one time this season, receiving league exemptions to surpass the
usual maximum of three. Among the injured are recent All-Stars
Jamaal Magloire, who'll be out another month with a broken finger,
and Davis, who returned last week from a 19-game absence.

Jackson could not be reached for comment Wednesday evening. A
phone call to his agent, Mark Termini, was not returned.

Jackson, who plays guard and forward, was acquired from the
Rockets along with forward Bostjan Nachbar for guard David Wesley.

The trade was not affected by Jackson's suspension, the Hornets
said. Nachbar was available for New Orleans' home game Wednesday
night against Phoenix.

Jackson has played with Dallas, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Golden
State, Portland, Atlanta, Cleveland, Miami and Sacramento, in
addition to Houston, where he signed as a free agent before last
season.