Originally created 11/10/99

NBA notes: Hornets fill roster



CHARLOTTE -- The Charlotte Hornets filled out their roster Tuesday by signing free agent Michael Hawkins.

The 6-foot guard has spent two seasons in the NBA and three in the Continental Basketball Association since leaving Xavier in 1995. He averaged 1.5 points and 8.6 minutes in 24 games with the Sacramento Kings last season. He played in 29 games for Boston in the 1996-97 NBA season. He played in three preseason games for Detroit this fall.

The Hornets declined to offer any details of Hawkins' contract. The team's roster is now at 12, with three players on the injured list.

Riley accepts rookie's apology in marijuana incidentMIAMI -- Miami Heat rookie Rodney Buford is back in uniform and back in Pat Riley's good graces.

Buford apologized for being caught in possession of a small amount of marijuana last week in Canada. He was sent back to Miami and missed two road games, then rejoined the team for practice Monday and was expected to dress for Tuesday night's game against Indiana.

"The kid has apologized to the team," Riley said. "He knows he was dead wrong. He told me he'd never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever do that again. And that's enough for me."

Buford spoke briefly to reporters but declined to take questions.

"I made a big mistake," he said. "I just want to apologize to my family, my friends, this team. They stuck by my side through all of this. This will never, ever happen again."

Buford wasn't charged. Teammates were supportive of the second-round draft pick from Creighton.

"It was just a stupid move," guard Dan Majerle said. "Everybody likes Rodney a lot. He fit back in right away with us. There were some jokes, but that's it."