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June 10, 1978 - Image 15

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-06-10

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The Michigan Doily-Saturday, June 10, 1978-Page 15
1st NBA choice; 'M'

Bullets'championship -...
... a new party for D.C.
No, it's not a Broadway musical, and it's not a national gun lobby.
On this past Wednesday night the Bullets became the champions of
the world. Asa team they reached the pinnacle.
The Bullets penetrated the fuselage of the SuperSonics, forcing them to
land one game short of the championship runway.-
The Bullets played team ball-the game the 1969 Knicks mastered. They
won. And each individual that contributed to that victory is a story of success
in his own right.
The Bullets' first championship was also the first in 36 years for the
nation's capital. It was the pot of gold at the end of Wes Unseld's ten year
search for the National Basketball Association title.
The 105-99 seventh game victory was the one that Unseld was waiting
for. Unseld was named the series' most valuable player by Sport magazine,
but it was a mere token of gratitude for his tremendous effort. What counted
was the championship trophy that NBA commissioner Larry O'Brien awar-
ded to Bullets' owner Abe Pollin, coach Dick Motta and the MVP, Unseld.
The 6 foot 7 inch center finished the night with 15 points, including two
clutch free throws with twelve seconds left.
More success stories
Another success story is the man they call "E." Elvin Hayes only scored
12 points Wednesday night. What's worse, he fouled out in the last quarter.
Immediately following, the Sonics rallied to within two points, and it looked
like bad news for D.C.'s finest.
Yet Hayes was still effective: Confined to the sidelines, ''E" led cheers
and gave encouragement to his teammates.
Then there is Charles Johnson, the guard who was released by the
Golden State Warriors at the start of the season. He scored 19 points to co-
lead the Bullets' scoring with Bobby Dandridge.
Coincidentally, it was Johnson's second NBA championship in four
seasons. His first with Golden State was against the Bullets in the 1974-75
Still another success story is coach Dick Motta. Motta replaced K.C.
Jones as Bullets' coach before last season. He never played pro ball. After
a long stint with the Bulls, Motta found his home, his team, and his city.
A Capital championship
Washington, D.C. and the surrounding area were probably the biggest
winners of all. This city has not experienced a championship team since 1942
when the Redskins won the National Football League title.
Maybe that's why 8,000 screaming fans welcomed them back from Seat-
tle; why they were presented with a key to the city; why they received a
motorcade down Pennsylvania Avenue; why tribute was given to them by
both the president and the congress, and why a rally took place at RFK
It's ironic. The city that entertains this country's leaders as well as most
others, has gone crazy overtheir Bullets. No act of congress, no presidential
declaration, could have done to this city what the Bullets did.
The Bullets evaded injury, ups and downs, and the category of
"longshot" as they knocked off the Atlanta Hawks, the San Antonio Spurs,
the Philadelphia 76ers, and finally the Sonics.
Bullets Day 1978 will be a memorable one in the future. For a brief
moment, politics was superceded by agreement. "We (the Bullets and
Washington) are the champions," echoed throughout the nation's capital.
If~p ejue woolg

stars selected early

From Wire Service Reports
Big Ten star Mychal Thompson of
Minnesota was the first player chosen
in yesterday's NBA draft by the Por-
tland Trailblazers.
Thompson, who played center in
college, will provide valuable insurance
for the Blazers behind injury-plagued
center Bill Walton and power forward
Maurice Lucas. Portland, which won
the NBA title in 1977, suffered a rash of
injuries to its frontcourt players and
was eliminated by Seattle in the playoff
quarter-finals this spring.
Thompson, the only Big Ten player
chosen in the first round, holds the con-
ference scoring record with 6,477 poin-
ts. He is also Minnesota's career
rebounding leader. The Bahamian
almost turned pro last year but elected
to stay in school, a move that paid off as
he earned All-American honors and
became the NBA's No. 1 pick.
MiCHIGAN'S Dave Baxter and Joel
Thompson were chosen in the third and
fourth rounds repectively. Baxter was
chosen by Houston while Thompson
went to Seattle.
The selection of Baxter that early in
the draft comes a big surprise to many
experts. Last week Baxter, along with
Marvin Delph of Arkansa (drafted in
the third round by Buffalo), signed to
play ball with Athletes in Action, a
team sponsored by the Campus
Crusade for Christ that plays exhibition
games with outstanding collegiate

"I think Thompson's number one pick
speaks highly of the Big Ten," Frieder
said. "The fact Dave and Joel were
drafted ahead of those other top players
says something of our players' ability."
The only other Big Ten player drafted
before Baxter was Wayne Radford (In-
diana), selected by Indiana in the
second round.
THE KANSAS CITY Kings, choosing
second, picked All-American guard
Phil Ford of North Carolina, whom they

Mychal Thompson
hope to pair in the backcourt with last
year's No. 1 pick, Otis Birdsong.
Indiana, using the pick it got from
Portland, selected 6-10 235 pound Rick
Robey from national champion Ken-
tucky. Robey played mostly forward in
college, with sometime at center. Some
scouts question his quickness as a pro
cornerman, but nobody doubts his
New York which got the No. 4 pick as
part of its settlement of its lawsuit with
the New Jersey Nets, had been hoping
to grab Robey. With him gone, the
Knicks took 6-4 guard Mick Richardson
of Montana, an unknown to most fans,
but very highly regarded by the scouts.
He was the top player in the Big Sky
Conference the last two years and
should fill New York's need for a big
First round NBA picks
1. Portland-Mychal Thompson (Minnesota)
2. Kansas City-Phil Ford (North Carolina) guard
3. Indiana-Rick Robey (Kentucky) forward
4. New York-Mike Richards (Montana) guard
s. Golden state-Purvis Short (Jacksonville)
6. Boston-Larry Bird (Indiana St.) forward
7. Portland-Ron Brewer (Arkansas) guard
8. Boston-FreemanWilliams (Portland 5t.) guard
9. Chicago-Reggie Theus (UNv ) guard-forward
1. Atlanta-Butch Lee (Marquette) guard
11. New Orleans-James Hardy (San Francisco)
12. Milwaukee-George Johnson (St.John's)
13. NewJersey-Winford Boynes (San Francisco)
14. Washington-Roger Phegley (Bradley)
IS. Cleveland-Mike Mitchell (Auburn) forward
16. Atlanta-Jack Oivens (Kentucky) guard
17. Denver-Rod Griffin (Wake Forest) forward
18. Washington-Dave Corzine (De Paul)oenter
19. Phoenix-Marly Byrnes (Syracuse) guard
20. San Antonio-Frankie Sanders (southern U)
2t. Denver-Moke Evans (Kaeda5 St.) guard
22. Golden St.-Ray Townsend (UOLAI'guard

Dave Baxter

Boston...............36 19 .655 -
New York............31 22 .585 4
Detroit ................ 29 23 .558 51/
Baltimore............29 25 .537 6 /
Milwaukee ............ 26 26 .500 81/
Cleveland...........23 28 .451 11
Toronto..............19 32 .373 15
Oakland ........W.ST. 32 22 .593 -
Kansas City ........... 27 23 .540 3
Texas. ............. 27 24 .529 3
V r ni...a _ _ __ __ 7 2 11 41/

W L Pct. GB
Chicago .............. 31 21 .596 -
Philadelphia .......... 28 21 .571 1%
Montreal............30 24 .556 2
NewYork...........26 30.464 7
Pittsburgh.............23 28 .451 7 /
St. Louis..............22 35 .386 111
San Francisco. 32 20 .615 -
Cincinnati............34 22 .607 -
Los Angeles .........28 26 .519 5
Houston.............. 22 29 .431 91.
San Diego............ 23 31 .426 10
Atlanta...............20 32 .385 12

Most fans at Michigan thought center
Thompson would go earlier than Bax-
ter, perhaps as high as the second
round, but Seattle must have known
something that the fans didn't.
"EVIDENTLY Seattle needed some.n
guards and they thought'they could talk
Dave out of playing with Athletes in Ac-
tion," commented Michigan assistant
coach Bill Frieder. "Houston must
have known something too, because
they wanted Joel and somehow had it
figured out that he'd still be around in
the fourth round."T
Thompson and Baxter were drafted
ahead of Big Ten stars Walter Jordan
and Eugene Parker of Purdue and.
DaveWiney and Osborne. Lockhart .of.
Minnesota, all drafted between the
fourth and sixth rounds.

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