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Boone Waiting to Begin

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by Julian Garcia
New York Daily News (Not Online)

While his former UConn teammate was preparing to make his NBA debut for the Nets last night, Josh Boone was sitting at his locker, wearing a pinstriped suit. He looked sharp, but he would have preferred to have been wearing a uniform, like pal Marcus Williams.

But Boone, whom the Nets selected with the 23rd pick in the draft - one spot after they took Williams - is still recovering from the left shoulder surgery he underwent in July after suffering a torn labrum near the end of summer camp.

The Nets could have used Boone's 6-10 frame to help out with Toronto center Chris Bosh in last night's season opener at the Meadowlands. Boone said having to sit and watch was "very disappointing."

"You wait all your life, you have this one dream to be an NBA player and I'm finally there. Unfortunately, my first game, I can't actually play," Boone said.

The Nets initially feared that Boone would be out as long as four to six months, but it appears that he is on course to return sooner. He said he would like to start participating in pregame shootarounds next week and is hopeful that he can take part in contact drills by the end of the month.

"Everything that's really worth something in life is worth waiting for," said Boone. "I just have to be patient. I guess I can wait another month to play. I don't want to, but if it means I'm going to be healthy throughout the season, and if it means if I'm going to come back in a better position to help the team, then that's what I want to do."

OPEN BOOK: The Nets had lost their last three season openers and six of their previous eight. . . . The Nets were without Cliff Robinson, who was serving the fourth of a five-game suspension from last spring. He'll sit out tomorrow's game in Miami as well. . . . Eddie House (knee) and G Jeff McInnis were also inactive.