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January 16, 1980 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-01-16

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The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, January 16, 1980-Page 9

By Billy Neff
Happiness can be
oh, so brief
CBS hyped the matchup; can Magic make the Bird disappear? It had all
the ingredients of a national championship. Wait a minute, this was the
national championship game last year.
It was Michigan State vs. Indiana State, Magic vs. Bird, Cowens vs. Ab-
dul Jabbar. It was one division-leading team, the Boston Celtics vs. another
powerful team, the Los AngelesLakers.
Wasn't pro basketball suffering? Games like this one could inject some
much-needed life into pro basketball; it had all the ingredients, anyway.
But, no, it didn't have all the ingredients.
There was someone missing from this game which made it much less
meaningful, for me at least. On the Los Angeles Lakers bench, there was a
face missing which took away the glitter of this game. Let me explain.
In early December, Lakers' coach Jack McKinney was riding his son's
broken bicycle down a steep hill in suburban Los Angeles. His wife had taken
the car and he wanted to play tennis against his assistant coach Paul
The problem was no one had told McKinney that the bike was broken. All
of a sudden, the bike went out of control and McKinney was sent tumbling
down. In the ensuing crash, McKinney suffered severe head injuries, an
elbow injury and other assorted injuries. He was in intensive care for a
couple of weeks.
An ironic thing about the whole incident was that this was the first day
McKinney had taken off from the job with the Lakers, since being named
head coach in the summer.
But that sort of irony is the way McKinney's whole life had gone.
First, he was an assistant coach under Dr. Jack Ramsey at St. Joseph's
College. When Ramsey left the post to take the head coaching job with the
Portland Trail Blzaers, McKinney took over at this small Philadelphia
St. Joseph's is a tiny commuter college which doesn't even have a foot-
ball team. Their basketball-team, noted for its tenacity, therefore received
little recognition.
McKinney coached at St. Joseph's from 1967 through 1974 and during
that time, coached eventual NBA players Mike Bamton (with the Indiana
Pacers) and Pat McFarland ( with Atlanta for a year).
Success meant little
His banner year was 1974 when he took a team of virtual nobodies to the
NCAA tournament, where they lost to Billy Knight and Pittsburgh. But in his
banner year, he was fired, a shock to everyone concerned with St. Joseph's
"Jack had a personality conflict with the 75-year-old athletic director.
He wasn't in tune with what was happening with the program and he didn't
like Jack. So he was fired," said Jim O'Brien, the captain of that 1974 team
and now the assistant coach at Oregon.
So McKinney was at the crossroads of his career. He had just been fired
from a small school and was uqemployed.
But it didn't take him long to find employment. Coach Larry Costello of
the Milwaukee Bucks snapped him up as his assistant. Talent goes places.
After two years in Milwaukee and three years as an assistant under
Ramsey again, McKminey was appointed head coach of the Lakers with Ab-
dul Jabbar and Magic Johnson.
He had finally made it. Then this happened.
"I was with him two days before it happened. I was down to see a game
in Los Angeles. And then Jack, Paul (assistant coach Westhead) and I went
back to his house to have a few beers. We talked basketball. Then it hap-
pened, two days later," said O'Brien.
"I felt so depressed because he had made such a rise in five years -
from the low point of being fired to being a professional head coach," con-
tinued O'Brien.
His formger mentor as a player and assistant coach, Ramsey concurred.
"I knew how much he coveted the head coaching job. It was a very unfor-
tunate accident."
While McKinney was at Portland, interestingly enough, the Blazers had
the finest record in basketball for three years, Portland officials say.
John White, publicity director of the Blazers, said, "we were very happy
he got the chance (to coach L.A.)."
He got the chance alright, but sometimes, happiness'is so brief, life so
bittersweet. Things can be going along perfectly and then boom, you're
fired. Or, you make a resurgence and have a serious, accident. And, those
stories always seem to happen to the best people.
"He is one of the finest individuals. He's a great, great family man, puts
his family first. Having him as an example, he is the kind of person I would
like to emulate," O'Brien said.
It's like a preordained thing that says certain people will suffer more
than others. These same people, though, always seem to bounce back.

Fortunately, this story has a happy ending too. McKinney should be able
to coach again, says Ramsey. That's what really deserves hype. I
*McCormack to be named
new Baltimore head coach


Tumblers do Jekyll and Hyde act

Check the plane tickets! Scrutinize
the expense account! A close look at
last weekend's gymnastics results
makes one wonder if Michigan coach
Newt Loken didn't take a couple of ex-
tra gymnasts to California.
For example, senior Dorian Deaver
(or someone using that name) scored
an 8.2 on the pommel horse in the meet
with Oklahoma, Berkeley, and USC on
Friday night. It's not an exceptionally
poor score, but it is lower than expected
from Deaver. In the same meet-and
on the same event-junior John
Reickhoff earned a disappointing 8.3.
The mystery begins to take shape
when pommel horse scores attributed
to Deaver and Reickhoff for the Satur-
day meet with UCLA and Stanford are
examined. Both showed suspicious im-
provement. Deaver boosted his score
from 8.2 to 9.3 for a career high.
Likewise, Reickhoff's total jumped
from 8.3 to 9.1.
Were the gymnasts who wore
Michigan blue in Friday's meet really
Deaver and Reickhoff? Or did Loken
substitute someone else, since no one
from Ann Arbor could possibly have
been there to keep him honest?
When interviewed, (the real) Deaver
explained Friday's score by saying he
got a "bad start" on his routine. "It's
like dominoes all lined up," said
Deaver. "If you miss the first one, the
rest won't fall."
Over on the parallel bars, there was
more curious activity. Sophomore Mar-
shallyGarfield squeaked through his
Friday set to earn 8.05. Saturday, the
Garfield we know, and want to see more
of, earned 9.45, another career high for
a Wolverine.
Teammate Al Berger (although that
question remains, was it the
real Berger on Friday?) improved his

parallel bar score from 7.85 to 8.85 in
the 24 hours separating the two meets.
These Jekyll-and-Hyde-like perfor-
mances would probably be enough to
justify calling for an audit of Loken's
budget, if it wasn't for one last piece of
Even with Friday's admittedly dis-
heartening scores on pommel horse
and parallel bars, the overall team
score-260.25-is the best of the season.
Even so, the Wolverines came in third,
behind Oklahoma and California-
Berkeley, but ahead of USC. How could
Loken have substituted some other
gymnasts and still end up with this high
A scramble through other meet
statistics shows that the remainder of
the squad scored somewhat better than
usual, but not out of (heir range.
The explanation came from Loken:
the semester break gave the whole
team time to both rest, and improve
and perfect their routines.
This story becomes more plausible
when Saturday's stats are added to the
re-evaluation. Against the super-
powered UCLA Bruins, the Wolverines
put everything together-even on
pommel horse and parallel bars-for a
new season high of 265.95. While-this
total was not enough to defeat the
Bruins, Stanford finished well behind
the Wolverines.
"The extra days over vacation gave
us time to become better prepared,"
said Loken. "And the California trip
provided the incentive to work extra
Besides the career high scores by
Deaver and Garfield, a number of other
Wolverines reached personal
milestones. On rings, junior Darrell
Yee posted a 9.6, high enough to take
first against the Bruins. Kevin McKee

had a 9.6 on vaulting, also good for first
place, and Doug Zahour tallied 9.5 on
high bar.
Back in the real world (i.e., East Lan-
sing), the Wolverines were well
represented in the Big Ten Invitational,
despite the absence of the 'first string.'
Three Wolverines reached the finals
of this two day meet. Freshman Mike
McNelis picked up 8th place on floor
exercise, averaging 8.55 for his pair of
routines. Another freshman, Mike
McKee (twin brother of Kevin) used a
novel and difficult vault to average 9.3
for third place. The highest total on

pommel horse in the finals went to
Wolverine senior Brian Carey, but a
low preliminary score allowed for only
a fourth place finish.
men and women meet with Illinois next
Sunday at 2 p.m. in Crisler Arena
... It's getting close enough to the Big
Ten finals to begin comparing team ;
scores and speculate on the eventual
finish. Michigan's 265.95 puts them
right in the thick of the race, with
Illinois having scored 263 in December,
along with Minnesota's 266 versus Ohio
State's,263.25 in a recent dual meet.

Ever-Lloyd plans to
hang up tennis shoes,-,

Chris Evert-Lloyd says she plans to
retire from tennis competition after
five more tournaments because she
doesn't enjoy winning any more.
"I just don't have the same love for
the game that I once did," she said in a
copyright interview published yester-
day in The Fort Lauderdale Sun,
"THERE WAS A long tinae when I
felt obligated to play as many tour;
naments as possible to help the tour,"
she said.
"I don't feel that obligation any more
and I've gone along for the last year or
so thinking I would regain my eager-
ness and come out of this. Obviously, I
"I have never played tennis the way
I'm playing right now. It's not the way I
want Chris Evert to be remembered.
"WHEN YOU'VE been No. 1 for five
years and tasted all the fruits your
sport has to offer, it's difficult to accept
anything less."
In a statement issued Monday, Lloyd
said she plans a "long indefinite, rest"
after playing in Avon Championship

tournaments in Chicago, Seattle;
Detroit, Houston and Boston.
"I will fulfill that obligation, but if I
had my choice right now, I wouldn't
play any more."
LLOYD SAID she didn't like the word
retire, but couldn't think of another
word for her plans.
"I've been disenchanted for the last
year and a half," she said in a telephone
interview from Cincinnati. "'I'm not en-
joying playing tennis anymore - that's
the problem. There's a good chance I'm '
burned out. Although I'm only 25, I've
been at it for eight years."
Lloyd said she didn't decide to quit
because of Sunday's loss to Tracy
Austin, her third in as many weeks to
the teen-age sensation who mirrors the
playing style Lloyd herself used to rise
to the top as a teen-ager.
"I've lost before," she explained.
"I've never enjoyed losing, but now I
don't enjoy winning, either."
JIMMY EVERT, Lloyd's 56-year-old
father, said he had been aware of his
daughter's disenchantment with the
"It's been coming on for the past six
months," he said from his Fort
Lauderdale home Tuesday. "I could tell
it was, becoming more of an effort' for
her to practice. My wife has seen the
same thing while she's been with her at
After five years as the world's No. 1
woman player, Lloyd lost the No. 1
ranking in 1979 to Martina Navratilova.
Lloyd said she plans to travel with
her husband, British tennis pro John
Join The Daily
Sports StaffI



Sonies topple Bullets, 129-100
By The Associated PressI

LANDOVER, Md. - Dennis Johnson
scored 34 points in a brilliant all-around
performance, leading the Seattle
SuperSonjes to a 120-100 National
Basketball Association victory over the
Washington Bullets last night.
In addition to hitting 12 of 19 shots
from the floor, Johnson had 10 assists,
seven rebounds, two steals and two
blocked shots for the Pacific Division
Seattle outscored Washington 12-2
during the streak which started near
the end of the first period, and the
SuperSonics were never headed as they
won their fifth in a row.
Johnson, who scored a career-high 36
points in a double overtime loss to the
Bullets in Seattle on Jan. 2, hit an
amazing variety of shots under
pressure while helping to deal
Washington its second loss in the last
seven games.
Gus Williams scored 19 points for
Seattle, which beat Washington in last
year's NBA championship finals after
losing to the Bullets the year before,
and John Johnson had 15.
Larry Wright led the Bullets with 20
points and Bob Dandridge had 16. Greg
Ballard, Washington's leading scorer in
the last two games, picked up three
fouls in the first five minutes of the
game and scored only four points in
limited action.
CaEs 129, Knicks 110
NE!W YORK - The Cleveland

Cavaliers got 35 points from Mike Mit-
chell and snapped a seven-game losing
streak with a 129-110 National Basket-
ball Association victory over the New
York Knicks last night.
Toby Knight's 28 points led the
Knicks, who suffered their fifth straight
Cleveland was aided by Kenny Carr,
subbing for the injured Campy Russell,
as he registered 16 second-quarter poin-
ts and 26 for the game, breaking his
previous season's high of 22.
1 Mitchell converted his first five field
goal efforts and scored 13 points in the
first period. Randy Smith had 22 for the
The Cavs took a 67-61 halftime lead
which they increased in the third quar-
ter to a 13-point margin, 93-80. The
closest the Knicks came after that ws
nine points, 99-90 with 10 minutes left to
play, but a 10-0 Cleveland burst in less
than two minutes gave the Cavs a 19-
point margin, 109-90.
Islanders 5, Jets 2
UNIONDALE, N.Y. - Bryan Trottier
and Mike Bossy scored two goals each
and Clark Gillies added three assists
last night as the New York Islanders
recorded a 5-2-National Hockey League
victory over Winnipeg to hand the Jets
their sixth consecutive road loss.
Trottier opened the scoring at 6:18 by
stealing the puck and sending a 20-foot
backhander past Winnipeg goalie Lin-

dsay Middlebrook. The Jets, who have
only one victory in their last 11 games
overall, pulled even at 16:23 when Lars-
Erik Sjoberg sent a 25-foot shot between
the legs of Islanders goalie Bill Smith.
But Bossy and Bob Nystrom put New
York ahead to stay with goals 1:17
apart in the second period. Bossy, after
colliding with Sjoberg in front of the
Winnipeg net during a power play, sent
the rebound of a Gillies shot past Mid-
dlebrook at 4:47.
Nystrom, after being stopped on a
breakaway, converted a pass from Join
Tonelli for a 3-1 New York lead.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Mike McCor-
mack, an All-Pro lineman in his playing
days whose previous head coaching job
und up in a shambles, is expected to
named coach of the Baltimore Colts
The National Football Lei gue team
called a 12:30 p.m. news conference to
name a new coach.
ERNIE ACCORSI, assistant general
manager, declined to discuss the mat-
ter further, but it was known that Colts
owner Robert Irsay had called General
Manager Dick Szymanski about Mc-
Cormack Tuesday morning.
McCormack met with Irsay and
Wmanski in Irsay's Skokie, Ill., of-
fices Monday. The Colts had been ex-

pected to announce the naming of a new
coach Tuesday, but put off the announ-
cement when Irsay said he wanted time
to think about the choice.
Monday was the first time Irsay and
McCormack had met.
A STANDOUT tackle for the
Cleveland Browns in the 1951s, McCor-
mack will succeed Ted Marchibroda,
who was fired as Colts coach after two
consecutive 5-11 seasons. The Colts won
division titles in Marchibroda's first
three years at the helm.
McCormack became the front-runner
for the Colts' job last weekend as
Szymanski soured on Frank Kush, the
fired Arizona State coach and the man
said to have been the early No. 1 choice
for the NFL team's post.



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