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NBA Finals Game 4 notebook: Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy criticizes age-limit rule, NCAA

ORLANDO — Magic coach Stan Van Gundy called the NBA's age-limit rule a "shame" and said the NCAA is "the worst organization going."

A player must be one year removed from high school before he enters the league. That rule has only been magnified during the Finals, with five of the 10 starters skipping college, including Orlando's Dwight Howard and Los Angeles' Kobe Bryant.

"To me, it's a sham," Van Gundy said Thursday of the rule. "But I don't want to get going in this press conference on the NCAA because I think that's about the worst organization going."

ON THE BENCH: Magic backup PG Anthony Johnson has suited up for every game in the Finals.

But he might not ever play.

Johnson only missed two regular-season games and saw time in every game in the playoffs before the Finals as a backup.

All-Star Jameer Nelson returned for the Finals after a shoulder injury kept him out since February, and with Rafer Alston starting, that pushed Johnson to the bench.

Johnson hasn't complained but said it has been tough to accept.

"Playing most of the way and not being able to finish it off has been very difficult," he said. "But at the same time, we're three wins away from achieving a championship."

Van Gundy said that with the Alston-Nelson rotation, Johnson is "probably not" going to play.

"We talked about it among ourselves," Nelson said. "Whatever minutes are given to us are given to us. One thing we understand is coach is going to go with who's got it going."

ewing stays with magic: Magic assistant Patrick Ewing, the former Knicks legend who has aspirations to be a head coach, said he has signed a contract extension with the club. "I'm coming back," he said. "I signed it a while ago." The other assistants — Bob Beyer, Steve Clifford and Brendan Malone — had re-signed deals that are believed to be one year, plus an option.

Ewing did not receive an interview for a head coaching job.

CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS: Singer Chris Brown and former girlfriend Rihanna sat in the same row on opposite ends under the basket at Game 4. Tiger Woods was surprised before the game when at first he didn't notice Hulk Hogan towering in front of his seat, waiting to greet him.

NBA Finals Game 4 notebook: Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy criticizes age-limit rule, NCAA 06/12/09 [Last modified: Friday, June 12, 2009 12:45am]

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