C: The league is nowhere near as physically tough as it was. You used to get punched in the crotch, slugged in the mouth. Go up for a jumper and get kicked. We still got our cheap-shot artists but most of those fellas are gone now. The game is more finesse than ever.
E: I know Denver is concerned about people trying to intimidate them.
C: You always try to intimidate. It's part of the game. But intimidation doesn't come from a fist in the face. It comes from screening and blocking and putting on constant pressure.
E: Some guys quit and some don't. There're only about five NBA teams that are physical. I think the Nets will be physical.
C: Doc, do you feel an extra challenge this year?
E: I guess so but I don't think about it. If I give 100%, I know what will happen.
C: Well I'm glad about the merger. I look around and see a bunch of guys who shouldn't be playing in this league. Year after year they don't improve. Just pick up the checks. It's no motivation to play against these dogs. Now the best in the world are in one league. The best against the best at their best.
E: That's it. Really. I always boosted the ABA and promoted it and got the exposure. People know me. But the merger means more to our guys collectively. The ABA was part of my life, and I don't think it will ever be erased from memory. But this is so long overdue. It's a great, great feeling.