PERHAPS HE'S HOLDING OUT FOR A STATUE AT THE ALAMO
The Spurs invited Ensign David Robinson, the No. 1 pick in last June's NBA draft, and his family to take a VIP tour of San Antonio on Sept. 18 and 19. On the morning of the 18th, four members of the Robinson family boarded a chartered jet in Washington, D.C. The plane then flew to the Kings Bay, Ga., submarine base to pick up Robinson, who's stationed there as the assistant resident officer in charge of construction. When the Robinsons landed at the San Antonio airport, Mayor Henry Cisneros, 700 Spurs fans, state and local officials and a mariachi band were waiting. Robinson, who was graduated from Annapolis in June but who still must serve 20 more months in the Navy, was made an honorary admiral in the Texas navy. A helicopter tour of the city, some tennis and golf, and a fancy dinner filled the hours the next day.
The result of the weekend tour? Robinson still doesn't know whether he'll sign with San Antonio before it loses its rights to him in June, when the NBA draft is held and another team could select him. The Spurs also could invoke the league's little-used bylaw on retaining rights to players in military service, and get involved in a possible law suit.
BUT CAN BIRD DO THIS?
Detroit's Dennis Rodman, who got himself into hot water during last spring's playoffs with his comments about Boston's Larry Bird being overrated, can stand at midcourt facing his team's basket, palm the ball, throw it from behind his back and hit the rim, or be right around it, almost every time.
WHERE'S DICK MOTTA WHEN YOU NEED HIM?
There were six coaching vacancies in the NBA after last season, and four of them were filled by former coaches: Russell, Gene Shue with the Clippers, John MacLeod with the Mavericks and Del Harris with the Bucks. Only the Knicks' Rick Pitino and the Suns' John Wetzel (who had been an assistant with that franchise since 1979) are rookie coaches.
In addition, there are eight others who have been coaches at other NBA stops: Boston's K.C. Jones, Cleveland's Lenny Wilkens, Detroit's Chuck Daly, Denver's Doug Moe, Golden State's George Karl, Houston's Bill Fitch, Indiana's Jack Ramsay and Washington's Kevin Loughery.
AND MAYBE BENOIT BENJAMIN WILL BE MVP
For a team that won a league-low 12 games last season, the Clippers' preseason advertising campaign was optimistic. Even brash. You could even say downright ridiculous.
In one newspaper advertisement, the Clipper name was inscribed on a photo of the NBA championship trophy, accompanied by copy that read, "A long shot? No way." ( Shue might not agree.) And in an obvious reference to the defending champion crosstown Lakers, the ad continued, "And follow our game plan as we wipe the smiles off some very famous faces."