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Douglas Back In New Jersey

Having enjoyed his first stay in New Jersey, Sherman Douglas had no qualms about signing up for a second stint with the Nets.

"I think the familiarity sure had something to do with it," Douglas said Thursday in explaining why he signed a multiyear contract with the Nets the day before. "Going to a place you feel comfortable with and not so far (from home) had a lot to do with it."

The two-year deal will pay Douglas the 10-year veteran minimum of $1 million this season. The second year is Douglas' option.

Douglas averaged 8.2 points and 4.1 assists for the Nets during the 1997-98 season. In three playoff games against the Chicago Bulls, he averaged 18.3 points and 8.3 assists while starting for injured Sam Cassell.

This time around Douglas will back up Stephon Marbury, one of the rising stars in the league. Marbury averaged 21.3 points and 8.9 assists last year.

"There are enough minutes behind Stephon," Douglas said. "I know he's the star and he's going to get the bulk of the minutes. But as a veteran, I know I can go in and supply some leadership and a spark off the bench. Any time you get a veteran point guard to back up a star point guard I don't think you skip a beat."

Douglas played for the Los Angeles Clippers last season. He was drafted by Miami in 1989 after playing collegiately at Syracuse. He had his best NBA season in 1990, when he averaged 18.5 points and 8.5 assists in 73 games with the Heat.

He was traded to Boston in 1992, then to Milwaukee in 1995. In 1997, he was sent in a three-way trade to Cleveland, then traded a month later to Denver. Douglas signed at the end of October 1997 as a free agent with the Nets.

"If we get everybody healthy, that will be the key. If we can get everybody healthy and on the same page, we have the talent to get to the playoffs," Douglas said of the Nets' chances this year.

©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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