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Golden State’s Pietrus Apologizes to Team

March 16, 2004

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) _ Golden State rookie Mickael Pietrus apologized Monday for criticizing his teammates and saying he wants out of his contract with the Warriors.

``If that hurt some people, I just want to excuse myself and I would enjoy if I would stay here,″ Pietrus said before the Warriors played San Antonio. ``At least I got a chance to play in the NBA. I had a chance to get drafted by the Warriors. Sometimes some players get upset by the way they lost. That was my case and I’m very sorry about that.″

The 22-year-old Pietrus was Golden State’s top pick in last year’s NBA draft, getting drafted with the 11th overall selection. He signed a 3-year contract.

The French sports newspaper L’Equipe, quoted Pietrus, a Frenchman, as saying: ``It would not displease me to get out of here. The guys on my team have not understood that basketball is a team sport.″

He also said that he defends ``like a dog,″ only to see teammates ``chewing the kebabs.″

His comments came following the Warriors’ 99-74 loss at San Antonio on Friday night. But Pietrus later told team officials the comments were made out of frustration to fellow Frenchman Tony Parker and weren’t intended for publication, according to Warriors spokesman Raymond Ridder.

Pietrus was in the starting lineup against the Spurs on Monday night because ``he did a good job against Parker last time,″ coach Eric Musselman said.

The 6-foot-6, 215-pound Pietrus is averaging 2.6 points and 1.4 rebounds in 8.9 minutes per game. Monday marked his fifth start _ all of which have been this month.

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