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Pistons Bring Rick Mahorn Back To Detroit

August 6, 1996 GMT

DETROIT (AP) _ One of the ``Bad Boys″ is coming home.

The Detroit Pistons signed forward Rick Mahorn to a one-year contract, his agent said Monday.

Mahorn, 38, who won an NBA championship with the Pistons’ ``Bad Boys″ in the 1988-89 season, has spent the past four seasons with the New Jersey Nets.

``I am excited to be rejoining the Pistons for the 1996-97 season and, hopefully, for the rest of my playing career,″ Mahorn said.

His agent, Al Waldon, said the Pistons could extend the contract beyond one year. But because of Mahorn’s age, it would be remarkable if he could play another season, Waldon said.

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``It’s extraordinary for a player to play more than five years in the NBA. And Rick Mahorn’s played for 17 years,″ Waldon said from his Albany, N.Y., office.

Neither Waldon nor a Pistons spokesman would confirm Mahorn’s salary, although WDIV-TV in Detroit reported it to be worth $400,000.

``I had some great years there as we built a championship team in the 1980s, and I look forward to seeing what I can do to help the Pistons develop into contenders once again,″ Mahorn said in a statement.

Pistons coach Doug Collins said Mahorn’s experience is vital for the upcoming season.

``Players of his size and experience are invaluable in the league today, and I am happy that we were able to add Rick to our team,″ Collins said in a statement. ``We feel he can contribute for us on the floor during games while also pushing our young, big men in practice every day.″

The team lost top scorer Allan Houston last month, when he signed with the New York Knicks without giving Detroit a chance to top the offer. The next day, the Pistons acquired swingman Stacey Augmon and forward Grant Long from the Atlanta Hawks for four draft choices.

The 6-11, 260-pound Mahorn has played in 1,020 regular-season games and 99 playoff games in his career. On March 12, he became the 34th player in NBA history to play in 1,000 games.

Mahorn has career averages of 7.4 points and 6.6 rebounds a game while shooting 49 percent from the field and 71 percent from the free-throw line.

The Washington Bullets took Mahorn, of Hampton Institute in Virginia, in the second round of the 1980 NBA Draft.

Mahorn played five seasons for the Bullets before being acquired by the Pistons in 1985. He also spent two seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers and played in Italy for a season.

Waldon said Mahorn planned to resettle soon with his wife Donyale, who is from Detroit, and their three children. The agent said Mahorn had been entertaining offers from two other teams, but decided to return.

``Rick came to the Pistons, and it was his decision, because it is the team where he had his finest hours,″ the agent said.