The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - October 19, 1
Bowie ponders Kentucky's
Jersey's present, Michigan's future
Fourteen years ago, Sam Bowie
came to the University of Kentucky.
The 7-foot-1 center from Lebanon,
Penn., had all the tools to become a
He won the 1979-80 Southeast-
ern Conference Freshman of the Year
award, and his sophomore season in-
cluded more of the same. He aver-
aged over 17 points and nine re-
bounds a game. However, a promis-
*ing junior season was shot down
when Bowie suffered a stress fracture
in his left shin.
The bone did not heal as ex-
pected, and Bowie missed two
straight seasons. Bowie rejoined the
team for the 1983-84 season and
went on to have a productive year.
After the season, Bowie was
drafted No. 2 overall by Portland. He
had a good rookie season and was
named to the NBA all-rookie squad.
Leg injuries once again hit him in
the 1985-86 season, and he would
only play 63 games in the next four
Daily sports writer Brett Johnson
talked to Bowie at the Pistons-Nets
game Friday night at Crisler Arena.
Daily: The Nets are coming off
of their first playoff appearance in
six years. What are your goals for
the upcoming season?
Bowie: Well, I think our ulti-
mate goal is to get back into the
playoffs. It's been a long time since
this organization has been accus-
tomed to being in the playoffs. The
fact that we have Chuck Daly, he
brings some immediate exposure and
confidence to this ball club. We not
only want to get into the playoffs,
but we want to go ahead and advance
once we get in there.
D: Last year the team had some
internal problems with some players
and Coach Fitch. What do you think
Coach Daly will bring to the team?
B: I don't think you'll have the
* disciplinary actions that will be
needed this year. The fact that the
players respect Coach Daly will
erase all those type of confrontations
that we had last year.
D: Turning to your college days,
you were highly recruited out of
high school and were part of a very
good recruiting class with Derrick
Hord, Charles Hurt, and Dirk Min-
niefield. What types of pressures
were on you to make an immediate
impact on the University of Ken-
B: Well, when I came out of
Lebanon High School, I was one of
the highly touted so-called scholastic
kids in the country. When I chose to
go to the University of Kentucky, I
went to a school that had a lot of
tradition. I was going to get a lot of
That school prepared me to go to
the next stepping stone which was
to play professional ball. And I've
had some unfortunate injuries in my
career, but I've been able to bounce
back from them. I've never been a
guy that kind of tries to sit back and
say 'why me?' It occurred, you deal
with it and go on.
D: You came off a great season
your sophomore year and then you
ran into your first leg injury. What
type of mental and physical pro-
cesses did you have to go through to
B: From the mental perspective,
I think you deal with it much more
than the physical aspect of it.
Physically, you know the bone is
going to heal up. The leg will get to
the point where you can go back out
But the mental perspective, each
and every time you run up and down
the court, you're just wondering if
this is going to be the next time the
leg re-fractures. That was the
toughest part for me, dealing with
the mental aspect.
D: Did you ever feel like you
just wanted to give up?
B: I'd be lying to you if I didn't
say there were times when I started
doubting whether or not it was really '
meant to be. I had done everything
the orthopedic doctors had wanted me
to do and yet, each time I'd have an-
So, there were times that I
wanted to call it quits, but I just
think that inner strength that I had
just wouldn't allow me to do so.
D: When you came back in 83-
84 for your senior year, what were
your goals for that season personally
and from a team perspective?
B: My goals were primarily to
stay healthy, for one year, and win a
championship. I was able to achieve
50 percent of that. I did stay healthy.
We got to the Final Four and we
were beaten by a very good
Georgetown team. It was probably
the highlight of my career, making
it to the Final Four.
D: Speaking of the University of
Kentucky, and the play inside with
you and Mel Turpin, there is a sim-
ilar situation here at Michigan with
Juwan Howard and Chris Webber.
What types of things did you two Co
to make it harder on other teams
with the size factor?
B: Well, we tried to take advan-
tage of the size that we had and get
some easy buckets down low. I'm
real familiar with the Michigan per-
sonnel, and they've got great front-
line people who have the same ad-
vantages that we had back in those
And I think the fact that you have
a guy like Webber, who is a big
jumper, you can get a lot of easy
lobs and a lot of, so-called dunks,
put-backs. Not only myself, but I
think everyone expects big things
from those types of kids this upcom-
D: What type of chance do you
think they have to get back to the
title game and how hard do you
think that will be for them?
B: I think it will be much more
difficult to get back than the first
time around, due to the fact that they
won't be able to sneak up on any-
body. You have a very talented
group, and I'd like to think that
they'll get an opportunity to get
back there and get a championship
But the way the money has been
passed out on the professional ranks,
realistically speaking, I doubt if all
those kids will stay in for four years.
D: Back to you and Mel Turpin
for a minute, you were one of the
first groups to be called the "Twin
Towers". How did that come about?
B: Well, I guess the fact that we
were both seven-footers, and some
how, some way, a reporter came up
with the idea that we were the so-
called 'Twin Towers'. We were
being successful at the double low-
post that we had. I could play high-
post as well. We were feeding each
other, so things worked out real
D: What about the yearbook
cover that had you two superimposed
with the two dorm towers on UK's
B: Yeah, that was kind of unique.
It was a publicity stunt, and we got
a lot of exposure over that.
D: Last year, Michigan had
Midnight Madness for the first time.
What type of effect did it have when
23,000 fans showed up at Rupp
Arena to support UK at Midnight
B: Well, it gives you an extra in-
centive to go out when the season
starts and play that much harder. The
fact that 23,000 people would come
to watch you practice at 12 o'clock
at night is an accomplishment
D: Turning quickly to the
Olympics, you were on the 1980
Olympic team that boycotted the
Games in Moscow. I know it must
have been a huge disappointment not
to get to play. What are your
thoughts, reflecting back, on it?
B: I was extremely excited when
I was notified that I had made the
1980 Olympic team, and then when
we were notified that President
Carter and the administration was
gonna boycott the Olympic Games
due to the fact that the political
world got involved with the athletic
world, it was disappointing.
We had some great guys on that
team - Isiah Thomas, Rolando.
Blackman, Mark Aguirre - super
guys. And I thought we had a team
that could definitely win a gold
D: Finally, last year the pros got
to play in the Olympics in Barcelona
for the first time. What do you think
of the pros being able to play there,
and if you ever got a shot, would
you like to do that?
B: Well, I'd like to see us go
back to the old format where the col-
legiate kids represent us in the
Olympics. After all, in the last fifty
years we've only been defeated twice,
and once was in controversy in re-
gards to the '72 games. I think the
collegiate kids are what it is all
Jordan's not a god
after all? You bet.
Fifty-seven thousand dollars is pretty much a drop in the bucket when
you're talking about a man named Jordan. That's Jordan, as in Michael
Jordan. That's Jordan, which rhymes with warden. Which brings to mind
a prison, which is where he belongs.
Well, not exactly. But, for the last time, he is certainly not the saint
that people have been making him out to be for so many years. Please,
please don't be like Mike. Enough already.
So what if he might be the most exciting player ever to lace up a pair
of hightops. So what if he can do things with a basketball that no one -
no one - else can. So what if his team has now won back-to-back titles.
(That was the knock on Jordan a few years back, if you'll remember, be-
cause his team couldn't win the big game. Jordan gets his 63, the Bulls
still find a way to lose. In Jordan's defense, though, Magic Johnson, who
won five rings, never had to worry about Granville Waiters jumping
center for his team. Never.)
But so what if he might very well be the best player ever to play the
game. He is still no better than your average superstar when it comes to
being a role model. Watch Michael Jordan, worship Craig Hodges. Not
the other way around.
See, we all knew there had to be some good reason why he wasn't at
the White House with his teammates to receive congratulations for the
Chicago Bulls' NBA title. Eleven of the world champions were there,
one was not.
Where was Mike? Playing poker. And losing big.
His original defense was that he gave the money - in the form of a
check which surfaced when Jim "Slim" Bouler turned up dead - as a
loan to build a golf driving range. Now he says it was just a gambling
debt. He goes before a grand jury this week to explain his story, and the
Hey. You win some, you lose some. That's Jordan's reasoning.
But all those kids - the kids who drink Gatorade even when they're
not thirsty just because they want to Be Like Mike - those kids lose
big, too. Their role model is standing up the Commander-in-Chief, hand-
ing over money to a drug dealer. Nice message to the little ones, Mike.
Work hard on your game and maybe you too can make enough money
to keep a convicted drug dealer on the payroll.
Air Jordan by Nike. Just Do It.
At least he could have won money from the drug dealer. That would
have been a little better.
These newest allegations are not a shot out of the dark, though. It's
not like Michael Jordan all of the sudden transformed into a selfish man
with an amazing talent. He's been guilty on both counts since he turned
pro in 1984.
This is the same man who after an NBA Finals game told reporters
that he simply had to thank his "supporting cast." Nice tact, Mike. Way
to be a team player.
This is the same man who, when asked about his three-point shooting
as compared to Clyde Drexler's in the NBA Finals in June, responded
with this gem:
"He's a better three-point shooter than I choose to be."
A Detroit writer came up with a good rebuttal to that, saying that
Jordan was "a bigger egomaniac than Drexler chooses to be."
See NIYO, Page 7
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