In case you missed the International Basketball Association draft last week—and most everybody did—SI's 5'11" Richard Demak was there and filed this report:
For the IBA, the new May-to-September basketball league for players standing less than 6'5", there were some discouraging omens. For one thing, the lights in the ballroom at the Sheraton Centre in Manhattan went out half a dozen times during the 5�-hour draft. For another, the huge digital clock that was to prevent teams from exceeding the time limits for selections remained frozen at 0:00.00.
There were representatives from 10 teams in all: Toronto, Las Vegas, Vancouver, Ohio, New York, Fresno, Orange County ( Calif.), Los Angeles, Calgary and Chicago. The first choice was not a surprise. Toronto chose 39-year-old Calvin Murphy, the 5'9" former NBA star who had already agreed to be its player-coach. In the third round Chicago selected 5'8" Larry Jordan, a onetime (1978-80) high school player from Wilmington, N.C., who happens to be Michael Jordan's older brother.
The only spectators at the draft, other than a few members of the press, were about a dozen players who had attended various IBA tryout camps in July and were hoping to be selected. One of them was 6'3" Rudy Outlaw, a former star at Plattsburgh ( N.Y.) State who took a day off from his regular secretarial job to be at the draft. "It's not a stepping stone to the NBA," said Outlaw. "I just want to say that I played pro ball."
In the 13th round the Orange Crush took 6'1" Bo Jackson. Chicago, looking for scoring punch no doubt, selected 6'2" Thomas Hearns in the 30th round. Those publicity stunts didn't sit too well with Outlaw and the other hopefuls. But publicity and gimmicks are a high priority in the lowly league. Chicago, for instance, promises to provide a personal cocktail waitress for each set of executive box seats.
Outlaw was finally chosen in the 15th round by Toronto. The name, however, came out RUDY OUTLAN when officials wrote it on the board in the front of the room. "Hey, it's with a W," Outlaw whispered during his moment in IBA history. "It's with a W"
AIRING HIM OUT
Speaking of the Bulls' Michael Jordan, the other night in Salt Lake City he slam-dunked over Utah's John Stockton, only a small feat, considering that Stockton is 6'1". "Hey, why don't you pick on somebody your own size!" yelled a fan at courtside.
The next time the 6'6" Jordan had the chance, he took the ball and slammed it again, this time in the face of 6'11" Jazz center Mel Turpin. As Jordan headed upcourt, he turned to his heckler, pointed to Turpin and said, "Is he big enough?"
Among the demonstrators in front of the White House last week during the U.S.-Soviet summit were two men with a sign that said, in both English and Russian: THERE'S BASEBALL IN MOSCOW BUT NOT IN WASHINGTON!