King re-signs, rewarding Bullets' loyalty with some of his own

November 28, 1990|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Evening Sun Staff

LANDOVER -- Good things allegedly come to those who wait, and so Bernard King was willing to wait for the Washington Bullets to come to him about a contract extension.

And since King has been about the only bright spot the lowly Bullets have had so far this season, it seemed about time for the wait to end.

And so it did yesterday, as the team and the star forward came to agreement on an extension of King's contract, believed to be for two years and $4 million.

For his part, King, who asked the team not to reveal the exact terms, was happy to establish a permanent tie to an organization that gave him a chance to prove himself three years ago after his near career-ending knee injury in March 1985.

"I've had an affection for this team since I arrived in Washington. I have the utmost admiration for [coach] Wes Unseld and [owner] Abe Pollin," said King, who turns 34 next week.

"I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Abe Pollin. He has believed in me from the start. He took a chance on me."

King's contract, said Bullets general manager John Nash, was "commensurate" with that of one of the league's top players, which King has been this season.

The 12-year veteran leads the NBA in scoring at a 30.9 per game clip. King has scored 30 points in all but four of Washington's 12 games and has twice notched more than 40.

Both King and Nash denied his torrid early-season play had any bearing on his desire for a new contract.

"What I tried to do was assume more responsibility because [former Bullets guard] Jeff Malone is in Utah," said King, whose contract was to have expired at the end of the season. "I'm not interested in leading the league in scoring. I just want to do the best I can for the team."

Nash, who took over in June, said he had wanted to evaluate the team and its parts before beginning talks with King.

However, when Ledell Eackles and John Williams were engaged in long holdouts with the team, Nash moved more quickly to sign King.

"We probably would have accomplished this sooner, were it not for the interference of the schedule and other things," said Nash.

King said the immediate return of Eackles and the anticipated January recall of Williams augurs well for the direction of the franchise.

And it's a future that he wants to be a part of.

"This organization has shown a commitment to winning," said King. "If I didn't think this team had the potential to be a very strong club in the near future, I wouldn't have signed with the Bullets."

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