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LAKERS NOTEBOOK: RADMANOVIC FINED $500,000.

Byline: ROSS SILER

Staff Writer

EL SEGUNDO -- For his one-day ticket to go snowboarding at Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah over the All-Star break, Lakers forward Vladimir Radmanovic paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $64.

For the separated shoulder he suffered while snowboarding on that ill-fated trip, violating the terms of his contract, Radmanovic will pay a $500,000 fine.

"I made a mistake," Radmanovic said, "and obviously there's a price for that mistake."

After much internal debate, that was the punishment the Lakers agreed was appropriate for Radmanovic, who is expected to be sidelined until mid-April with the injury. Radmanovic said he won't appeal the fine.

"I was prepared for everything," Radmanovic said. "They came up with a number. I think it's fair for what I did. I just want to move forward and try to get healthy and get back on the court."

Radmanovic initially lied about how he was hurt, claiming he slipped on an icy sidewalk while on a trip for coffee, before coming clean to coach Phil Jackson and general manager Mitch Kupchak. Jackson was skeptical of Radmanovic's account from the beginning.

The Lakers opted not to void the five-year, $30.2 million contract Radmanovic signed last July and wound up cutting the 26-year-old forward a break for coming forward with the truth and showing contrition. Had the Lakers not paid Radmanovic for the 25 games he is expected to miss, the lost pay would have amounted to nearly $1.2 million. Even subtracting the fine, Radmanovic will make $685,000 while recovering from the injury.

Brown back? Jackson lamented that he was unable to field a full complement of players for any of the three practice days this week.

Andrew Bynum was sick again Thursday and Aaron McKie went home with an upper respiratory infection.

Maurice Evans was still experiencing soreness in his right knee while Bryant practiced, but not before first undergoing an MRI on his hyperextended left elbow. The exam showed no further damage.

On the bright side, both Kwame Brown and Luke Walton tested their injured ankles in practice. Brown said he expects to return tonight against Sacramento after missing 27 games since suffering a severe sprain on Dec. 31.

Brown said he would only play three or four minutes at a time.

Jackson added that Walton "pulled up" on his ankle in practice, which caused the coach some concern.

ross.siler@dailynews.com

(818) 713-3610

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LAKERS vs. SACRAMENTO

-- Ross Siler
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Mar 2, 2007
Words:414
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