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May 30, 1980 - Image 16

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1980-05-30

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Page 16-Friday, May 30, 1980-The Michigan Daily
RECORD SIXTH TIME
Jab bar wins- NBA's MJVP award

A

Bird named
top rookie
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Kareem Ab-
dul-Jabbar, the brilliant center of the
Los Angeles Lakers, was named
yesterday the winner of the National
Basketball Association's Most Valuable
Player award for a record sixth time in
his 11-year career.
The 7-foot-2 Abdul-Jabbar received
147 votes from the 221 cast in the
balloting of NBA players, easily out-
distancing Julius Erving of
Philadelphia, second with 31 . George
Gervin of San Antonio was third with 19,
and rookie Larry Bird of Boston was
fourth with 15.
In winning the Maurice Podoloff
Trophy, Abdul-Jabbar surpassed the
five MVP awards won by Bill Russell of
the Boston Celtics and became the 16th
consecutive center to be honored. The
last non-center to win the award was
guard Oscar Robertson of Cincinnati in
1963-64.
Houston's Moses Malone was the

4

MVP last season and Bill Walton of
Portland won it the year before. Abdul-
Jabbar won the award in 1971, 1972,
1974,1976 and 1977.
Three other awards were also an-
nounced at a luncheon during the an-
nual summer meetings of the league's
coaches and general managers, and all
three went to members of the Boston
Celtics.
Bird was named Rookie of the Year,
beating Earvin "Magic" Johnson of the
Lakers by an overwhelming 63-3
margin, and Bill Fitch was chosen
Coach of the Year by a 37-18 vote over
Paul Westhead of the Lakers. Both
those awards were selected by panels of
writers who cover the NBA.
Red Auerbach, the Celtics' president
and general manager; was named the
NBA's Executive of the Year according
to a poll of general managers conducted
by the Sporting News. Auerbach
received 10 votes to five for Jerry
Colangelo, general manager of the
Phoenix Suns.
The voting for all four awards was
held at the conclusion of the regular
season, so the Lakers' charge to the
championship did not affect the

balloting. Thus, the one-sided mandates
for Bird over Johnson and Fitch over
Westhead were influenced by Boston
having achieved the best record in the
league during the regular season, and
not by the Celtics' failure in the play-
offs.
Abdul-Jabbar's superb all-around
play was a key to the Lakers' success
all season. He led the NBA in blocked
shots with 3.41 per game, was second in
field goal percentage at .604, sixth in
scoring with a 24.8 average and eighth
in rebounding at 10.8 per game.
And his mere presence in the lineup
forced opponents to concentrate their _
defensive efforts against him, making
his teammates that much more effec-
tive.
"Teams still put three guys on him,"
Westhead, the Lakers' coach, said of
the team captain. "They know he's the
bank, and you have to guard the bank.".
Perhaps his finest effort came in the
pivotal fifth game of the playoff finals,
when he scored 40 points in a 108-103
victory that gave the Lakers a 3-2 lead
over the 76ers in the best-of-seven
finals. He got 14 of his points, including
the three-point play that snapped a 103-

Coaeh- of
Year: Fiteh'
103 tie, in the fourth quarter after
returning to action .despite a sprained
ankle.
That injury forced him to miss the
sixth and final game of the champion-
ship series, when Johnson's 42 points
locked up the title for the Lakers and
earned him the award as the MVP of
the playoffs. But even Johnson knew
that Abdul-Jabbar was the Lakers' key
figure.
"Kareem is 'The Man' on this team,"
said Johnson. "I'm just finishing up
where he left off. He's the key. Without
him, there's no way we'd have gotten
this far."
Bird, the college basketball Player of
the Year at Indiana State in 1979, was
one of the keys to Boston's turnaround
from a 29-53 mark in 1979 to 61-21 in
1980. He led the Celtics with averages of
21.3 points and 10.4 rebounds per game
and dazzled fans at Boston Garden with
his brilliant passing.

4

Giants' Eck has heart
attack; Mendenhall
wants to be traded

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)-
The New York Giants opened a three-
day mini-camp yesterday with the con-
trasting announcements that center
Keith Eck had suffered a heart attack
and veteran defensive tackle John
Mendenhall demanded to be traded.
Eck, 24, a backup last season, was on
his way East on Tuesday night from
Los Angeles when he got off his plane at
a stopover in Chicago with what
initially was believed to be a fever. He
was sent to a Chicago hospital, where it
was diagnosed he had suffered a myo-
cardial infraction.
MENDENHALL, MEANWHILE, told
Coach Ray Perkins he wants out. The
nine-year veteran has wanted to leave
the Giants in recent years. He played
out his option in 1977 but found no takers
on the free agent market.
The Giants recently placed Men-
denhall on waivers, but Washington
was the only team to show some in-
terest. Tuesday Perkins said he would
be willing to trade Mendenhall for a
1981 draft choice.
Mendenhall is believed to have
requested a trade to Houston, his
hometown.
Series schedule
OMAHA, Neb. (AP)-Arizona, one
of the favorites with a 40-20 record,
plays St. John's in the opening game of
the College World Series at 5:10 p.m.
CDT today.
Arizona won the NCAA's West
division regional and St. John's, 29-8,
was the champion in the Northeast.

tourney.
THE SOUTH CHAMPION, Florida
State, 49-9, plays Hawaii of the Central
division, 57-16, in the nightcap at 8:10
p.m.
Losers of today's games meet in the
double-elimination tournament at 1:10
p.m. tomorrow preceding completion of
the first-round.
Matched tomorrow night are the
Atlantic Division's Clemson, 38-19,
against Miami of the East, 57-10, at 5:10
p.m. and the Mideast's Michigan, 35-16,
against California of the Midwest
division, 41-21, at 8:10 p.m.
Arizona and California joined Miami
as pretourney favorites. They were
ranked 1-2-3 in that order going into the
CWS, and Clemson was fourth.
Tigers buy Papi
DETROIT (AP)-The Detroit Tigers
yesterdiy bought the contract of utility
infielder Stan Papi of Philadelphia's
top farm club. The price was not
disclosed.
Papi will join the Tigers today from
Oklahoma City of the American
Association, replacing backup infielder
Mark Wagner, who was placed on the
15-day disabled list with a sprained
right thumb.
In seven games, Papi, 29, hit .357 for
Oklahoma City. He was sold to the
Philadelphia organization this season
by Boston. In 1977 and 1978, he played
for Montreal,

I

4

i
i

Sweet Swede!
Bjorn Borg of Sweden cracks one of his patented two-handed backhands in
French Open Tennis action yesterday. Borg easily won his second round
match over Chile's Andre Gomez, 6-2, 6-2, 6-1. Third-seeded Jimmy Connors
survived a match point in defeating Jean-Francois Caujolle of France, 3-6,

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