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OFF ON A WRONGED FOOT
John Papanek
August 21, 1978
Bill Walton quit the Blazers after a dispute over team medical policy and headed for Golden State
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August 21, 1978

Off On A Wronged Foot

Bill Walton quit the Blazers after a dispute over team medical policy and headed for Golden State

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A few days later Ramsay called Walton. "The conversation was pleasant," said Ramsay last week. "It was a friendly talk. He said absolutely nothing to me to suggest he was unhappy with me, or anything else. He even said he was looking forward to coming to training camp. If he had reasons for wanting to be traded I wanted to hear them from him. He didn't need anyone to speak for him."

By the end of July, Walton felt that he had reasons, and he wanted to be traded. He called Blazer President Larry Weinberg and asked for a meeting. At the O'Hare Hilton in Chicago, Walton, accompanied by Bassett and Scott, laid his reasons on the table. Whether he thought the reasons were valid or not, Weinberg agreed to try to trade Walton.

Then last week came the parade. From a list drawn by Walton of teams he would consider joining, San Diego, New York, Golden State and Philadelphia sent representatives in that order. It is safe to say that all left Portland wondering when, if and how well Bill Walton will be able to play basketball. On Friday night, Walton went to the clinic where Dr. David B. Long, an orthopedist, placed a new cast on the same left foot. The tarsal navicular bone, fractured on April 21, had not yet healed, 16 weeks later.

At week's end, Golden State didn't seem fazed by Walton's medical problems and decided—cast or not—that he was worth the risk and whatever the Warriors would have to give up in return. Even if it takes a while to get him on the court.

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