Bullets would love to get caught in '60s draft

June 28, 1994|By Phil Jackman

Reading Time: Two Minutes.

The Washington Bullets take part in the 34th NBA draft tomorrow (TNT, 7 p.m.), and wouldn't they be ecstatic these days with any one of their first eight grab-bags? Listen to this lineup: 1961, Walt Bellamy; 1962, Bill McGill, Terry Dischinger, Don Nelson; 1963, Rod Thorn, Gus Johnson; 1964, Gary Bradds; 1965, Jerry Sloan; 1966, Jack Marin; 1967, Earl Monroe, Jimmy Jones; 1968, Wes Unseld. Who was the guy making the selections then?

* Gee, Riddick Bowe must be just minutes away from his death bed. Not only was it necessary to cancel a June bout on HBO due to a back injury in training, but his July 15 scrap with Larry Donald already has been scrubbed, too. August engagement to follow. Casting suspicion on the situation, of course, is a Bowe-Lennox Lewis matchup in the fall.

* This just might be a scoop (at least I haven't read it elsewhere): The IOC has approved the opening ceremony date of the Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, for Sept. 15, 2000. This should provide ample time to get familiar with the fact that Down Under is 14 hours (or so) ahead of us in time. At the 1988 Olympics, I wore two watches, one set on Baltimore time, the other on Seoul time. Only problem was I forgot which watch showed which.

* Both the road opener of the CFL No-Names (at Toronto, 7 p.m.) and home opener (vs. Calgary, 7:30 p.m.) will be carried by ESPN2, which United Artists Cable of Baltimore doesn't carry.

* Sport magazine is out with its annual NFL preview issue (uh, what's the rush, guys?) and it has the 49ers beating the Raiders in the Super Bowl with those teams and the Vikings, Cowboys, Steelers and Bills as division winners.

* Maryland will be represented by 63 athletes at the Olympic Sports Festival getting under way in St. Louis Friday (surprise!). Only three hail from Baltimore, same as Bowie, while Annapolis boasts seven and Rockville five.

* In case you missed it, Joe Dobson died the other day at age 77. Who was he? He's the gent, Ted Williams once said, that was probably most responsible for Teddy Ballgame being the last man to bat .400 (.406) in the bigs.

"Joe had just come to us from Cleveland and was in Boston and I was recovering from a badly sprained ankle while the team was on a long road trip," says Ted. "We met every day at Fenway Park and he provided me with the best and hardest batting practice I had ever seen, before or since. Batting against game pitching after about two weeks of seeing Dobson seemed easy. I think I was hitting about .430 after a couple of months." Joe won 137 games, including 13-18-16-14-15 the first five years after returning from World War II.

* While the average length of American League games has gone up 25 minutes in the past dozen years, just twice have the times dipped back from the preceding year despite some of the alleged speed-up efforts. The NL has gone up 16 minutes.

* Oh-oh, tired of being cuffed around all these years by NHL roughnecks, Wayne Gretzky is into weightlifting these days under the watchful eye of a trainer. Imagine the game's greatest ending up as a fourth-line enforcer-goon.

* You have to hand it to Pete Rose's kid, Petey. Six years in the minor leagues after originally being signed by the Orioles, never having risen about Single-A and carrying a .237 lifetime average, he says he has no intention of hanging 'em up. "If it takes 10 years in Class-A ball before I [ultimately] get called to the big leagues, I'll play 10 more years."

* Here's what Washington Caps president Dick Patrick said about the three-year contract the club and general manager David Poile have agreed to: "We're just waiting for the execution papers to come back from the lawyers. When the documents themselves come back, then we'll execute them." Is it necessary to point out Patrick is an attorney?

* Ever since sport came into prominence shortly before the Magna Carta was signed, management has contended, "Sportswriters, you can buy those creeps for a steak." Obviously, inflation is running rampant in the business, the Cleveland Indians touting pitcher Mark Clark for a spot on the American League All-Star team by extolling the virtues of the right-hander in a news release accompanied by a Clark bar, which goes lousy with A1 sauce.

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