? Julius Erving: "I'm a better rebounder than he is."
? Walter Davis: "He can't rebound or play defense like I can."
? Marques Johnson: "He can't pass like I can."
? Bernard King: "He can't run like I can."
When it comes to his current foil, Washington's Bobby Dandridge, Kenon pulls up short. "I'm not going to give him anything to chew on," says Kenon. "Why don't people just watch our series and see for themselves?" In Game 1, Kenon had 24 points and 21 rebounds compared to 25 points and eight rebounds for Dandridge. On Sunday Kenon scored 25, with eight rebounds and Dandridge had 21 and 10 rebounds.
"Now you look at those 21 boards [in Game 1] and tell me that they weren't the key to the game," says Kenon. "If I don't get the ball, we don't run. If we don't run, Ice doesn't get his points, Silas doesn't get his points and we don't win. I'm just pointing out the facts."
At the conclusion of the playoffs, Kenon's original six-year contract will expire and he likely will be the league's hottest free agent, after Bill Walton. To teams like Chicago, San Diego, Golden State, New York or Denver, Kenon could be just the man to fill a void. Though Kenon has done no negotiating with the Spurs since early in the season, the feeling among several team officials is that the tightfisted Drossos will not come across with the kind of money—oh, say, $300,000 to $500,000—that Kenon can ask for, and probably get, elsewhere.
Additionally, there is the feeling that Drossos, seeking more respect in the NBA community, may want to tone down the Spurs from the running, gunning, jingling, jangling outfit that they've become, an image particularly enhanced by Moe's throw-it-up-and-let-'em-play coaching style.
"If there's any way possible," says Kenon about his impending free agentry, "I'll be back. But I don't feel like I owe anybody anything. If they don't come up with what I feel I deserve, I'll just have to say thank you and goodby."
San Antonio is not a media capital, witness the fact that it took Gervin several years to be "discovered," and then only because he became the first guard ever to win consecutive NBA scoring titles. Given Kenon's history, no wonder he is upset at remaining in the shadows.