jesdOy, May 24, 1977 THE MICHIGAN DAILY
labbar voted NBA best
gW YORK (A)-Kareem Abdul--Jabbar, the
ering center of the Los Angeles Lakers, was
landslide selection yesterday as the National
sketball Association's 1976-77 Most Valuable
ayer, the fifth time in the past seven years he
ywon the award.
sbdulJabbar, who led the Lakers to a 53-29
ord in the regular season, best in the NBA,
ins e-Boston Celtics great Bill Russell as the
y five-time winner of the Podoloff Trophy,
med after the league's first commissioner.
"Tis MVP award is especially satisfying
ecause it went along with the Lakers having
uch a great season," Abdul-Jabbar said. "It's
great honor to be in the company of Bill
Abdul-Jabbar was the overwhelming winner in
p balloting among 247 NBA players, polled at
conclusion of the regular season. Abdul-Jab-
r received 159 votes to 29 for the runnerup,
ter Bill Walton of the Portland Trail Blazers.
"Bill Walton is a great center, and he certainly
d a great year," said Lakers Coach Jerry West.
lut he is only the second-best center in basket-
"Kareem is the best. He is the most dominat-
ing player in the game. And he has a tremendous
burden because he is expected to do more than
anybody in the league-score, rebound, block
Abdul-Jabbar was first in the league in field
goal percentage, .579; third in scoring, 26.2;
second in rebounding, 13.3, and second in block-
ed shots, 3.18.
"I don't think I can play any better or with
any more consistency," said the 7-foot-2 center
who celebrated his 30th birthday last month.
"Once a player reaches his late 20s or early 30s,
his physical ability and knowledge of the game
begin to mesh. That's when a player is at his
Portland's Maurice Lucas noted that Abdul-
Jabbar also helps his team in ways which are
intangible. "He might be the most respected play-
er in the league. He-seems to have such inner
strength. You may beat his team, but you never
Abdul-Jabbar won the MVP award in 1971, 1972,
and 1974, when he was with Milwaukee. He also
won it last year, his first with the Lakers.
uy The Associated Press
HARTFORD, Conn.-Gordie Howe, the durable 49-year-
old dean of hockey, and his two sons signed long-term
contracts yesterday with the New England Whalers of the
World Hockey Association.
"Everything kept pointing back to Hartford," Gordie
Howe said of the negotiations that brought him and Marty,
23, and Mark, 21, to the Whalers from the Houston Aeros.
BUT HOWE said he isn't sure he will be in uniform
when he passes his 50th birthday next March. He said he
played with a lot of pain in Houston last year and will decide
after training camp whether he will suit up in the fall.
Terms of the contract were not revealed, but Howard
Baldwin, managing general partner of the Whalers, con-
ceded the contract was longer than five years.
"THERE ARE two things we don't want to talk about,"
said Howe. "Our sex life and our contract."
The Howes led the Aeros to WHA championships in the
1973-74 and 1974-75 seasons.
Gordie was named the league's Most Valuable Player
during his first year in the league, scoring 31 goals and 69
assists for 100 points. Mark Howe was Rookie of the Year
Nicklaus nabs title
DUBLIN, Ohio-It wasn't exactly another day at the office
for Jack Nicklaus.
He had a two-stroke lead with three holes to play to win
his own golf tournament.
THE GREATEST player the world has ever seen, winner
of a record 14 major professional championships, holder of
all the records worth having in the game, had an attack of
"Normally, I'm not nervous at a golf tournament," Nick-
laus said yesterday. "But this morning I was really nervous."
He played those three holes with solid, two-putt pars,
finished out a 21-hour round of one-under-par 71 and won the
Memorial Tournament, a creature of his own making, by two
strokes over Hubert Green. Nicklaus finished with a 281 total
for 72 storm-delayed holes.
"IT'S MY BIGGEST thrill. All the majors I've won .
This is something else for me," said Nicklaus.
The $45,000 he collected from the total purse of $225,000
made him the first man to go past $3 million in career earn-
By GARY KICINSKI '
- h e inconsistency - plagued N
chigan mens golf team wasted re
opening-round 67 by senior l
>tain Ken Walchuck and could pr
y manage a fifth place finish te
the Big Ten golf champion- ga
s that were held over the en
ekend in East Lansing. ve
lichigan placed just two golf- ta
in the top 20, wherereas
in State, winners of their sec- ph
I straight Big Ten title, co
ced all six of their players wo
the top 12. a
lHE BUCKEYES shot a chain- as
nship record 1,434 for the 72 ou
le tournament, easily outdis-
icing second place Indiana by
strokes. The Wolverines shot he
The Buckeyes, who have no tw
niors on their team, were led St
sophomore Mark Balen and
shman John Cook, who had us
top scores of the tournament ot
th a 285 and 287, respectively.
Valchuck's four-under-par 67 e
s the best individual round of
tournament, but his later m
lies of 74-79-77-297 could just
ch him 14th place. Sophomore
ank Sims tied for 19th place
he carded a 75-74-74-76-299.
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E FIFTH IN BIG TEN
golfers sizzle again
"KEN DID A really fine job
r us this year," said coach Bill
ewcomb, "and I have a lot of
spect for him."
Newcomb said the team's
oblem this year was inconsis-
ncy. He thought the team be-
an to play better toward the
nd of the season when the Wol-
erines won the Bronco Invi-
"But I don't think we ever
ayed to our potential," New-
mb said. "Every tournament
e'd have one guy who'd have
really good round, two or
ree who'd play about average,
nd two or three who blew it
it so bad."
NEWCOMB STRESSED that
e wasn't indicating that his
am didn't try on Sunday after
No disappointing rounds on
"Everyone came through for
s this year at one time or an-
her," said Newcomb.
Newcomb felt that the differ-
nce between his team and a
am like the Buckeyes was in
with your own lucrative part-
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"I FOUND out in Florida dur-
ing our spring tour that stand-
ing on the first tee, we were as
good as anyone there. Our men
are good golfers, but Ohio State
has good thinking golfers," he
So Michigan's golf season has
come to an end for everyone
except possibly No. 1 golfer
Doug Davis, who still has a
chance for an individual bid to
the NCAA tournament. If he
makes it, at least he'll be play-
ing with familiar company-the
entire Buckeye team.'
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