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Disappointed Najera: 'I loved Dallas'

11:14 PM CDT on Monday, August 23, 2004

By BRAD TOWNSEND / The Dallas Morning News

ATHENS, Greece – Eduardo Najera was en route to the Olympics when he heard about his impending trade to Golden State as part of the package that will send Erick Dampier to Dallas.

Najera not only was caught off-guard but disappointed on several levels.

"I loved Dallas," he said Monday at Athens' Helliniko Arena, where he was doing Olympics television commentary. "Just got my new house; got to sell it. It's a curse, I think.

"I'm just happy to go to a team like Golden State, where hopefully I'll have a bit of an opportunity," he said. "I didn't have a chance to develop my game in Dallas because the offense was loaded over there. So maybe I'll get a nice chance" in Golden State.

He said he did not hear about the trade from Mavericks officials but expressed no hard feelings about that.

"Actually, I appreciate the opportunity they gave me over there," he said. "I just hate to lose the fans there. That's the toughest thing, and obviously losing my teammates.

"Everybody's name is on the [trading] board. Right now, Dallas is going through a time when they're kind of rebuilding."

E-mail btownsend@dallasnews.com

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