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Nelson Keeping Tabs on Mavericks

January 9, 2001

CHICAGO (AP) _ Coach Don Nelson couldn’t be at the Dallas Mavericks’ game and he couldn’t watch it on television.

So he got the next best thing: telephone updates.

Nelson, recuperating at his home in Hawaii after surgery for prostate cancer, had Mavericks spokesman Gregg Elkin call him at every timeout during Monday night’s game in Chicago. The Bulls also faxed Nelson statistics after each quarter.

Donnie Nelson, who is the Mavericks’ interim coach, said he planned to call his father as soon as the game was over.

Nelson had his cancerous prostate removed last Thursday, and tests showed the disease had not spread. But he’ll miss the next 6-8 weeks recovering. The NBA League Pass package isn’t available on Maui, and Nelson isn’t as computer savvy as Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. So tracking the game over the Internet isn’t an option.

The Mavericks are trying to set up a satellite system so Nelson can see the games. Until then, the phone will have to do.

``That’s the thing that keeps him going. He’s really excited about the team,″ his son said before the game.

The 60-year-old Nelson was released from the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah Hospital on Sunday morning. He then flew to Maui on Cuban’s private jet.

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