PORTLAND, OR—Claiming that it would "just make an awkward situation even worse," Portland Trail Blazers head coach Nate McMillan said in a press conference last Sunday that he and his team "got the hint" after noticing his team's conspicuous absence on the 2006-07 NBA schedule, and will not make any attempt to play a basketball game this year. "At first we thought that they were giving us the first week off, but after looking at the schedule for the rest of the year, we understood what was going on," said McMillan, adding that after last year's league-worst 21-62 record, he thought this might be coming. "I feel we deserved to find out differently, maybe a phone call, but if they don't want us there, fine. We'll just have to find something else to do." League officials said in a statement yesterday that they appreciated the way the Trail Blazers were handling this, adding that the Atlanta Hawks and the New York Knicks have "been acting like a bunch of babies about the whole thing."