Billy McKinney, the first person hired in the Timberwolves' basketball department, left the team yesterday because he was unhappy with his lack of authority as director of player personnel.

The team and McKinney reached a financial agreement to terminate the final two years of his contract. President Bob Stein would not discuss terms of the deal and said he had no replacement in line for McKinney's job.

McKinney, who had been a member of the Bulls' front office after his playing career ended in 1985, joined the Timberwolves in July 1988. The Timberwolves and Magic joined the NBA for the 1989-90 season.

Coach Bill Musselman was hired in August 1988 and his win-now philosophy almost immediately clashed with McKinney's patient approach for building an expansion team.

"You'd rather have everybody going to the movies together and holding hands, but that's not reality," Stein said before this season.

McKinney made Pooh Richardson the Timberwolves' first draft choice. But Musselman made the call last year when the team drafted Felton Spencer and Gerald Glass in the first round and traded the second-round pick for Scott Brooks. At Musselman's urging, the team also dealt 1991's second-rounder for journeyman Bob Thornton.


The game between the Hawks and Celtics, suspended Wednesday night because of condensation on the Boston Garden court, will be resumed Dec. 23 at 1 p.m.

Play will be picked up from the point at which the game was stopped, with Boston leading 37-22 and 10:30 left in the second quarter.


Cavaliers center Brad Daugherty has made 23 of 31 shots (74.2 percent) and scored 62 points in the last two games. He followed a 27-point, six-rebound performance against Patrick Ewing on Tuesday by getting 35 points and 10 rebounds against Golden State.


Sleepy Floyd, displaced as a Rockets starter by Kenny Smith, has played only 57 minutes and scored only six points in the last four games. Last season Floyd averaged 12.2 points and 32 minutes.


Rolando Blackman moved ahead of Mark Aguire Wednesday to become the Mavericks' all-time scoring leader. In his 10-year career, Blackman has 13,953 points.