Nuggets vice president of basketball operations Mark Warkentien was named NBA executive of the year on Sunday. Warkentien traded Allen Iverson and his big contract for Chauncey Billups, sparking Denver’s franchise-tying 54-win regular season and the Nuggets’ first playoff series win in 15 years. He received nine of 30 votes from a panel of NBA executives. Cleveland’s Danny Ferry finished second with seven votes; Orlando’s Otis Smith was third with six votes; the Lakers’ Mitch Kupchak and Chicago’s John Paxson shared fourth with two votes apiece; and Denver’s Rex Chapman, Houston’s Darryl Morey, Utah’s Kevin O’Connor and Oklahoma City’s Sam Presti each received one vote.
Kobe misses practiceKobe Bryant missed practice because of a sore throat, which raised few worries among the Lakers. "He’s got to be missing some limbs for him not to come out there and be ready to play the game,” LA’s S hannon Brown said.
Magic’s Lee outStarting guard Courtney Lee will not travel with Orlando to Boston as he recovers from surgery on his fractured sinus. J.J. Redick started Game 6 vs. the 76ers in Lee’s place and is expected to do the same in the second round.
Quotable→"If you want to be the champs, you have to beat the champs. I believe in the Magic mystique. They put on their pants just like we do. There’s two baskets on the floor, and seats.” Orlando’s Dwight Howard, dismissing any notion of a Celtics mystique. From wire reports