Bullets put off activating Eackles

November 27, 1990|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,Sun Staff Correspondent

BOWIE -- The decision whether to activate Ledell Eackles was put on hold for another day after Washington Bullets coach Wes Unseld voiced his displeasure over the shooting guard's motivation following a morning practice yesterday.

Eackles, complaining of the flu, missed a planned two-a-day workout on Sunday with assistant coach Bill Blair.

Yesterday, Eackles, who missed all of training camp while negotiating a new two-year contract, participated in the first part of the workout but sat on the sidelines when Unseld started the full-court scrimmage.

"Obviously, Ledell can help us with his scoring ability," Unseld said. "But if he's not ready to play, he doesn't do us any good. Just say that I'm more than frustrated by the situation. I'm thoroughly p-----."

Unseld ordered Eackles back to the Bowie State gym yesterday afternoon for a private workout under Blair's direction.

"We'll see how he responds to that," Unseld said. "And then I'll make up my mind tomorrow [today] whether he'll dress for our game with Golden State."

Eackles seemed as disappointed as Unseld by the latest setback.

"I've really worked hard to get my weight down," he said. "I just got off the scale. I'm down to 224. That is only four more pounds than where the club wanted me, and they were willing to give me a five-pound allowance.

"I wanted to practice longer today, but the flu got to me, and my stomach is real upset. I just feel real weak right now." Unseld said he has all but made up his mind whom he will cut if Eackles rejoins the team tonight, but would not make his decision public.

Unseld apparently has narrowed his choice between reserve shooting guards Larry Robinson and Byron Irvin.

In the past two games, Irvin, a No. 1 draft pick in 1989 who was acquired from Sacramento in exchange for Steve Colter, got more playing time than Robinson, who started the first 10 games. Unseld was trying to get a longer look at the former Missouri star, who played sparingly as a rookie with Portland before he was traded to Sacramento this fall.

"We're considering a few options and talking to teams about some of our people," said general manager John Nash, hinting that there could be some interest in trading for Irvin.

Nash and Unseld will have, at least, another month before making another roster move to make room for rehabilitating power forward John Williams.

"From the day [Nov. 1] he reported, no one anticipated John playing before Jan. 1," Nash said.

"He has lost some weight [an estimated 25 pounds], but he needs to lose some more before the team doctors allow him to practice. His [right] knee continues to get passing grades, but there is a direct correlation between his weight and the strength of the knee."

Williams, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee last December, continues a two-a-day training regimen under the supervision of Bullets strength coach Dennis Householder.

Bullets tonight

/# Opponent: Golden State Warriors

Site: Capital Centre, Landover, 7:30 p.m.


Radio: WTOP (1500 AM)

Outlook: The Bullets (3-8) stopped a five-game losing streak Saturday by beating Indiana in overtime, but remain last in the Atlantic Division. Bernard King scored 34 points against the Pacers to recapture the scoring lead with a 30.2 average. The Warriors (8-5), second in the Pacific Division, have lost their past two games to Portland and New Jersey. Shooting guard Mitch Richmond (24.9) has been reactivated after missing five games with a fractured thumb. Back-up center Mike Smrek, recovering from bruised ribs, has rejoined the team.

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