? Tex Winter, Houston Rocket coach, on UCLA's Bill Walton: "One of the reasons I left as University of Washington coach was that I knew what a great player he was going to be. I figured I'd have a better chance of winning a title against Abdul-Jabbar in the NBA than against Walton in the PAC Eight."
? Mickey Herskowitz, Houston TV commentator: "Since they are using newsmen as a negotiating tactic, every athlete announcing his retirement should be required to post a bond. If he comes out of retirement within 60 days, he forfeits the bond and distributes the sum equally among writers attending his original press conference."
? Billy Martin, Detroit Tiger manager who has the last bat Joe DiMaggio used and is willing to donate it to the Hall of Fame with one proviso: "I want them to put a tag on the bat that I donated it. That's the only way I'll ever get in there."
? Steve Arlin, San Diego Padre pitcher, whose long-term career is dentistry: "One of my patients asked me to inscribe my initials on a filling. Where did you ever hear before of a dentist being asked for his autograph?"