Originally created 02/28/01

Marion doesn't remember fall



PHOENIX -- The replay of Shawn Marion's frightening fall, his head violently bouncing off the hardwood court, has been shown over and over again on television.

The spectacular second-year forward, the NBA's player of the week last week, remembers none of it.

"I don't remember falling. I don't remember nothing," Marion said after the Phoenix Suns' practice on Tuesday. "The first I heard about it was when I saw it on TV. It was crazy. I was like, `Man, I didn't know it was like that.' I don't like watching it. I just look away."

Marion sustained a Grade 3 concussion, the most severe type, and a sprained right wrist when he soared high for a rebound in the final minute of Phoenix's 90-80 victory over Utah and came down on the back of the Jazz's John Starks.

Marion said he doesn't blame Starks.

"I don't think he had a feeling of just how high I was up," Marion said. "... He's a good guy. I don't think he did it on purpose."

Suns coach Scott Skiles, who initially thought it was a clean play, isn't so sure now.

"I've looked at it so many times now, I know I don't like it," Skiles said. "I feel like it could have been prevented. I don't feel like there was enough time for a thought process of `Hey, I'm going to undercut this guy.' But I think he could have not done it, that he had enough of a split second there not to do it.

"I feel like he took a glance, saw him up in the air, and continued to back in under him, and then tried to catch him."

In a statement late Tuesday, the NBA said that after reviewing replays of the play, it concluded that Starks did not intend to injure Marion and that no action would be taken.

Marion said doctors have told him he will miss at least two games, but could return for the home game against Denver Saturday night.

"I thank God it wasn't worse than it was," the ever-loose Marion said. "But it happened, it's cool, I'm all right. Let's leave it alone and play ball."

Marion averaged 24 points and 13 rebounds while shooting just under 60 percent from the field as the Suns went 6-1 since the All-Star break. They've won four in a row going into Wednesday night's home game against Orlando, with road victories over the Magic, Miami and New York.

"We knew he was going to be all right that night," teammate Mario Elie said. "Everybody called him. He's in good spirits. The guy's been playing amazing basketball. We've just got to pick it up until he gets back."

Elie expects Marion to come back as good as ever.

"I remember when I broke my forearm, I came back attacking the same way I was," Elie said. "You can't worry about that stuff. It's part of the game. I'm sure the first couple of minutes he'll be a little nervous, but once he gets a couple of dunks and a couple of blocks, he'll be right back in the swing of things."

Marion was in and out of consciousness on the court but said he remembered nothing until waking up in the hospital. He said he still has a slight headache and is tired and sore, but he showed up for the Suns' "Team Up" appearance in front of thousands of screaming elementary students on Tuesday.

He watched Tuesday's workout, but plans a light workout the next two days and a full practice on Friday.

Marion is sixth in the NBA in rebounding at 11.4 per game. At 6-foot-7, he is by far the shortest of the top 20 rebounders in the league. He doesn't know if he will be a bit tentative, a little afraid, the next time he soars toward the rim.

"I can't say right now," Marion said. "I don't think so. I think I'll still do what I'm supposed to do out there, just go play ball."