Kings put Burns on injured list Weight is blamed for ex-Terp's woes

November 03, 1993|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Staff Writer

The burgeoning pro basketball career of Evers Burns was put on hold yesterday, when the former University of Maryland standout from Woodlawn was placed on injured reserve by the Sacramento Kings.

Although Burns' injury was listed officially as a lower-back strain, which will keep him sidelined for a minimum of five games, sources within the organization said the team's second-round draft choice needs to get into better shape.

Kings general manager Jerry Reynolds said Burns has been troubled by back problems for a couple of weeks, and is undergoing treatment.

But Reynolds said Burns' back condition might have been caused by not being in top physical condition when training camp began. Burns came into camp at 265 pounds and now weighs about 255.

"I think he's a little overweight. He came in even more overweight, but he's worked hard," Reynolds said of the 6-foot-8 forward who was the 31st pick in the draft. "He probably wasn't as prepared as he should have been."

When reached last night, Burns said he wasn't disappointed by the Kings' decision and admitted he didn't enhance his situation by putting on a few pounds over the summer.

"I was a little too heavy, and that put me behind," said Burns, who had a similar problem during his junior year at Maryland. "It's just something I have to cope with and move forward."

Burns played sparingly in six of the team's eight exhibition games, averaging 3.2 points and 2.5 rebounds in 8.7 minutes a game. But it was enough for the Kings to guarantee Burns' contract for a league-minimum $150,000 this season.

"We see a future in him," said Reynolds, who had indicated recently that Burns was all but assured a spot on the Kings' 12-man roster. "We like what we see. But he has to be careful with his weight. It's something he could struggle with throughout his career."

Former Maryland star Walt Williams, the Kings' No. 1 pick in 1992, also is sidelined with a stress fracture of the foot. Williams was not put on injured reserve and is expected to be out until mid-November.

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