4 Teams to Rep East in NBA Playoffs



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Issue #44

Above:  A Stern-appointed drill sergeant calls Nets center Todd MacCulloch "a completely worthless maggot"!
NEW YORK   In an unprecedented move, Commisioner David Stern has ordered that only the top four teams from the Eastern Conference will be allowed to make the playoffs this year.

     "I've never seen a conference so pathetic in all my years of management," said Stern. "This new mercy rule is the least we can do to preserve the integrity of the competiton."

     Only the New Jersey Nets, Detroit Pistons, Boston Celtics, and Orlando Magic, who have the leading records in the Eastern Conference, will be permitted to make the playoffs.  The four teams below them --- Charlotte, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Toronto --- are so unworthy, record-wise, that they are being handed the pink slip early by Stern.

     "Why should those teams compete?  Of course I can see (Stern)'s reasoning."observed
Grizzlies coach Sidney Lowe. "Hell, we coulda been the 5th seed in the EAST!"

     Other teams also praise the ruling.  Orlando coach Doc Rivers says "This will finally be the year that Patrick (Ewing) will go all the way and get his ring---I know this because he promised me himself."  And Toronto skipper Lenny Wilkens says the timing couldn't be more perfect.  "Right around the second round is when we're supposed to be getting Vince (Carter) back---and Christ knows we can't win a game with him in the rotation."

     As a handicap, the Nets, Pistons, Celtics and Magic will have the first round of the playoffs off.  And during that time, they will attend league-mandated boot camp regimens daily to give them any chance of contending with the West victor in the finals.

     "We know we will be losing revenue by jumping straight to the conference semi-finals, but we feel it will be better for the league in the long run," said Stern.  "Perhaps for the next 5 years we can just hand the Lakers the championship ring, eliminating the need for the 'playoffs' at all--- and we're working on that one right now as we speak."

by Willy P. Ondabich

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