Orlando Magic players say Jameer Nelson will play in the NBA Finals, even though the all-star point guard and coach Jeff Van Gundy remain publicly pessimistic.

Nelson participated in a full team practice yesterday for the first time since tearing the labrum (cartilage) in his right shoulder Feb. 2.

Players said that the former St. Joseph's star looked "terrific" and that they expect him on the court against the Lakers.

Nelson had what was then called season-ending surgery Feb. 19. Rehabilitation was expected to take at least an additional two months.

The Finals begin in Los Angeles tomorrow night

LeBron under knife

The Cavaliers said LeBron James had a benign growth removed from his jaw at the Cleveland Clinic.

And despite the NBA's announcement Monday that a fine would not be assessed to the league's MVP for refusing to shake hands with the Magic and for not addressing the media after Sunday's loss to Orlando, commissioner David Stern said he is looking into the situation.

Harris retires

Chicago Bulls assistant Del Harris, 71, retired after a 33-year career. He was coach of the year in 1995 with the Lakers, and took Moses Malone and Houston to the NBA Finals in 1981.

- Associated Press