SI Vault
Edited by Jerry Kirshenbaum
June 13, 1983
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June 13, 1983


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"The team was too efficient," Katz says. "If this series with L.A. [the finals] had gone the full seven, we'd have broken even. And if the earlier series [against the Knicks and Bucks] had lasted a few more games, we'd have made money." Katz was quick to add, "But believe me, I'm not complaining. I'm elated to have that kind of a problem."

In whipping the Knicks in four games, the Bucks in five and the Lakers in four, the 76ers played just seven games at home. Had all three of those series gone the limit, Katz's team would have had five more home games, reaping additional ticket revenue of $1.6 million. Even after deducting for the league's and visiting teams' cuts and other overhead, the club would have netted enough to end up comfortably in the black.

Ashley Halsey III, a reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer, watched Game 3 of the 76er-Laker playoff series on May 29 in the press center at Williamsburg, Va., where he was covering the economic summit meeting. Journalists from the Soviet Union, Kuwait and West Germany were also watching, but their impassive expressions led Halsey to believe that they didn't know what was going on. Then Andrew Toney fired a long pass to Julius Erving, who scored on a dunk. At that the foreign newsmen called out, in what Halsey says sounded almost like one voice, "Doc-torrrr."


It shouldn't be all that surprising that Teo Fabi, who at 5'5" shared with Howdy Holmes the distinction of being the shortest man in the field, won the pole position for this year's Indianapolis 500. After all, Indy drivers, like gymnasts and divers, tend to be on the smallish side. More than that, the shortest kid on the block often does remarkably well in sports of all sorts. Lee Trevino and Gary Player are only 5'7", which ties them with a couple of others as the most diminutive performers on the PGA tour, and they, like Fabi, have spent their share of time at the head of the pack. Two-time National League MVP Joe Morgan is also 5'7", making him the league's shortest player and second only to Onix Conception, a 5'6" in-fielder with the Kansas City Royals, as the shortest player in both leagues. All Morgan has done lately is win the 1982 National League comeback-of-the-year award and knock the world champion Dodgers out of the pennant race.

The fact that one of the smallest baseball players could be one of the biggest stars may reflect an inclination by scouts and managers to employ only those short people who have truly exceptional ability. The same circumstances may obtain in the NBA. One of the brightest performers in this year's playoffs was the league's shortest player, the Milwaukee Bucks' 5'8" Guard Charlie Criss. And Wake Forest is all excited about a newly recruited point guard who's sure to be the smallest major college basketball player next fall. He's 5'3" Tyrone (Muggsy) Bogues, and his signing by Coach Carl Tacy is no gimmick. A gifted dribbler and passer, Bogues (shown in photo) averaged 8 points, 8.2 assists and 8 steals per game last season in running the offense for Baltimore's Dunbar, the nation's top-ranked high school team. In other words, he's just another of the many little guys who have reached the heights.

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