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Heat assume Alston will not return

Mar 9, 2010, 5:49 PM EDT

Miami Heat point guard Rafer Alston is still not with the team, and the Heat appear to be ready to give up on his possible return. Alston has not been showing up to practice for the last few days, and his lone communication with the team has been through text messages. Heat Coach Erik Spolestra made his position on the Alston situation fairly clear when speaking to reporters on Monday, saying the following:

“It’s unfortunate because we’re going through a major playoff push right now. And what we’ve emphasized since the very first day of training camp is purity. You’re either in or you’re out. And I guess he’s declared that he’s out. So we know who our group is now.”

Miami currently leads the Chicago Bulls by a half a game for the seventh playoff spot in the East. Right now, their likely playoff matchups would be with the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Orlando Magic. Alston could be useful against both teams; Alston had some big games against the Cavaliers when he started against them for the Magic in last year’s Eastern Conference Finals.

Right now, very little is known about why the former streetball legend has chosen to leave the Heat, and he may well have legitimate reasons behind his actions. For the moment, however, it looks like the NBA career of “Skip To My Lou” may be over.

  1. j.d.hastings - Mar 9, 2010 at 8:03 PM

    Bold statement: If Miami’s playoff push is dependent upon the participation of Rafer Alston, they weren’t going to make the playoffs anyways.

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