On a Maryland sports-information questionnaire that King filled out as a freshman, he answered the question, "Who has been your primary inspiration in sports?" with "My brother, Bernard." But with Bernard fresh out of Tennessee and soon to star in the NBA, the inevitable comparisons came up. Albert bristled. When Bernard got into trouble with the law and Albert's name kept appearing in the newspaper stories, Albert didn't like that either. The two brothers don't communicate much. Early in Albert's first season at Maryland, Driesell asked him if he had learned any basketball from Bernard. "Let's get one thing straight," Albert said. "I'm Albert and he's Bernard. I'm not him and he's not me." Driesell didn't bring up Bernard's name again.
"I never knew how good a player my brother was until he came home from college and I dunked on him," Albert says, laughing. "He got upset and took it from there. We spoke last summer about the turning-pro thing. But I don't remember the last time I saw him. I stay away from talking about his life or problems or whatever you call them. It's enough that my brother knows I love him."
Why, of course, the family that dunks together.... But Mr. and Mrs. King, Thomas and Thelma back in Brooklyn, came late to their sons' game. They've learned fast, however. At the end of last season a reporter called up Mr. King and told him that Albert had just made All-America and what did he think about that?
"When you go out at night and see the stars in the sky," Thomas King said, "you don't need someone to tell you they're shining."