Rider A No-Show Again

Isaiah Rider was a no-show, again.

This time it was another practice, failing to show up Wednesday for a workout with the Atlanta Hawks, who are preparing for their home opener and first game at the new Philips Arena Thursday night against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Rider missed Tuesday night's 94-87 season-opening loss at Washington to attend his grandfather's funeral in Texas.

"If it's any other player, it's no big issue. Unfortunately in his situation, it's an issue," Hawks general manager Pete Babcock said Wednesday.

Babcock said the 6-foot-5, 215-pound guard telephoned him in Washington on Tuesday night after arriving back in Atlanta and told him he would practice with the team on Wednesday.

He didn't, but did call Babcock again after the Hawks' practice and the two agreed to meet at 3 p.m.

That didn't happen, either.

"He called back and said he was going to work out first, then we would meet," Babcock said. They finally met about an hour later.

"We talked about things, things he's got to work through," Babcock said. "He's had a tough deal his grandfather passing away but he's fine now and back on track mentally and ready to play."

He said Rider would be available against Milwaukee on Thursday night, but wouldn't start.

Rider wasn't available for comment.

Rider, acquired in an offseason trade with Portland, has a troubled history in the NBA. He didn't make the start of the Hawks' training camp because he said he didn't like the plane on which he was booked. He also missed a mandatory media gathering in Atlanta and three practices before he arrived at camp in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Babcock, however, insisted he wasn't frustrated with Rider, 28, who led Portland in scoring (16.6 points per game) last season.

"For the media, maybe," Babcock said. "We pretty much knew what we were getting when we made the trade."

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed