Independent from Long Beach, California on January 22, 1975 · Page 24
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Independent from Long Beach, California · Page 24

Long Beach, California
Issue Date:
Wednesday, January 22, 1975
Page 24
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U-4NDEIWDENIJWW PRESS-TELEGRAM (PM) i»»«»««t».c«in.,«»«.,j»«.u.wi On the block? Bill Walton says he's "hanging in there disagee. Chances are 50-50 he'll be traded, ' tough" but disenchanted Portland fans it is reported. -yn Getting cold feet in Portland Will Lakers deal for Walton? STEEL · By MILTON RICHMAN " N E W Y O R K (UPI)-Bill Walton has gotten cold That's the easy t h i n g to say. and a lot of people arc saying it. ' Portland's r o o k i e r e d - jiead is being likened to · t h e young man who falls .'in love, marries the girl, ·lives with her six months and discovers he made a t e r r i b l e mistake. He gets a divorce, v o w s h e ' l l never go t h r o u g h another ordeal like that as long as he lives, then t u r n s right around and marries again inside of a year. From all reports. Bill W a l t o n has grown disenchanted with the city of Portland and with p l a y i n g BUD TUCKER As parties go, Smith's was OK ', Of all the things that get off the ground by acci- :dent. the most significant is the spontaneous parly. Certainly, it is far and away the most, enjoyable. Planned affairs are tolerable, 1 suppose, but there are often flaws in the organization and execution. If a guy forgets to bring the ice or the piano player shows up already stiff or somebody mentions tomorrow is a work day. you see where you have a turkey coming out of the gate. A group thoroughly dedicated to the impuslive bash is the sportsvvirters who assemble when the teams are on the road. Once in Chicago, the journalists were collected and just for fun and variety engaged in a discussion to uncover ideas why they should have party. Surely, it was somebody's birthday or something. They couldn't think of a reason to get it on and someone asked if anybody could think of a reason not to have a party. Nobody could. So they had one. All of this is a deucedly clever way of-introducing a piece on a party they threw out at Los Alamitos Saturday night. It w a s n ' t spontaneous, u n f o r t u n a t e l y , b u t a s planned functions go, it wasn't all that bad. They had this night for Charlie Smith who recently placed his tack on a hook in the jocks' room and went about his busi- · ness. You assume, naturally, that Charlie is now a trainer or- an owner or a s t e w a r d or a starter. When guys are enamour- ed of a trade to the extent they practice it for more CHARLIE SMITH t h a n two decades, they like to slay in it. CHARLIE SMITH, to the delight of those who got used to h a v i n g him around, has started a new career at the track and is at this very moment in the employ of Los Alamitos Race Course. Charlie is the track carpenter. He works days rather t h a n nights and he carries a h a m m e r i n s t e a d of a whip. His mouth, which used to be full of chewing tobacco, is now loaded with nails. Smith wandered into m a k i n g and fixing things, largely because it seems essential that jockeys have hobbies. Bill Shoemaker plays golf and tennis and has no t r o u b l e getting together a foursome. Bobby Adair and Steve Valdez compete in rodeos. Kddie Belmonte designs clothes. Sandy Halwey plays hockey and Jerry Lambert is a woodsman in the ilk of Ewell Gibbons aiid Bill Walton. These are ways some of the riders escape the cares ol the day. particulary a day which produces nine ID.HT.S in nine races. When Charlie Smith felt in need of relief f r o m the pressures of a day -- or night -- of racing, he would go out to the workshop an throw t o g e t h e r a table or a chair. Cabinet m a k i n g is still a hobby for Charlie. His n - i u l a r job has 10 do with work of a less artistic n a t u r e . AT THE MOMENT. Charlie is warming up the place for hori-e players by placing wood panelling over comet walls ai Los Aiamitos. Charlie nails the bottom of the sheets while his assistant, a former high school basketball p l a y e r , takes care of the top. At any rate, they threw this part for Charlie and everyone took p a r t . Before the serious carrying on got under way, they honored him during the evening's program and presented him with a gift which was presumably a chest containing an elaborate set of tools. This sori of thing goes on all (he time. When Peter Moreno was riding, his hobby was sheet metal work. When he retired, ihey gave him the very latest model in linsnips. The guys were trying to remember what they gave ..Johnny Longdn, but somebody thought it was a rocking chair. Such gifts are probably most difficult to sclct , because by Ihe lime most men retire, they have ,evor.vhting. For instance, one of these days it will be Bill Shotmakcr who will get a planned party for sure and; hoppfully, a gifl of something he doesn't own. But how arc you going to wrap a bank? basketball there. In plain words, he wants out. He c o m e s f r o m La Mesa in sunny Southern California and has been quoted as saying Oregon is not warm enough for him and t h a t his feet, in p a r t i c u l a r , g e t c o l d whenever he practices in Portland's Memorial Coliseum. · Bill Walton has been called a non-conformist who marches to his own type d r u m m e r . Be t h a t as if m a y , he also is an ext r a o r d i n a r y sensitive 22- year-old who has been thrust in an entirely diff e r e n t environment f o r the first time in his life. The world of professional basketball is a demand- i n g o n e . highly competi- t i v e a n d i n t e n s e l y combative. Will Chamberl a i n h a d h i s t r o u b l e s a d j u s t i n g his first year in professional basketball, particularly to its sociological aspects. So, for that matter, did Kareem Abdul-.Iabbar. W h o c a n ever forget all the prob- l e m s E l v i n Hayes h a d m a k i n g ' t h e transition f r o m t h e University o f Houston to the San Diego R o c k e t s ? W A L T O N ' S l o r p i e r coach at U C L A , JoTin Wooden, is a wise m a n , a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g m a n . and he was the first one to forsee the possible pitfalls t h a t loomed ahead f o r W a l t o n a f t e r l e a v i n g UCLA. Wooden never had the slightest reservation about h i s talented 6 - 1 1 center m a k i n g it in pro ball. He was reasonably sure Walton, even with t h a t t r i c k knee of his, wouldn't have any physical problem. He did indi- c a t e , t h o u g h . Walton's most d i f f i c u l t a d j u s t m e n t would be emotionally and m e n t a l l y . John Wooden was abso- l u t e l y right. ". . . of them to whom m u c h is g i v e n , m u c h will be expected." John Wooden used to tell Bill Walton, quoting f r o m t h e s c r i p - tures. "What Bill needs more t h a n a n y t h i n g e l s e i s m o r e discipline." J o h n Wooden said from his off i c e Tuesday. "When I had to be f i r m with h i m . I was. I remember having ,1 problem with his hair. · H e w a n t e d t o w e a r a beard, but he never wore a beard. He will listen. If you l i s t e n to h i m . he will l i s t e n to you. He has a r i g h t to his opinion, but there are certain things he has to conform to in our society, and learning t h a t is part of adjusting." THE s i t u a t i o n is this:The fan.- there went all out lor Bill Walton. Last year, the Trail Blazers w e r e able to sell only 2.900 season tickets; this year, with Walton, they sold 6,000 for their arena which has a capacity of 11.781. Portland, fans are u n h a p p y o v e r B i l l W a l ton's general attitude toward them and the city, and the Trail Blazers may he forced to trade Walton to appease their season ticket-holders. They may deal him to some club like the Lakers, now in last place and looking around for a the arm. If the Lakers have a chanc to get Walton, Pete N e w e l l , t h e i r general m a n a g e r , is interested. "He's from the area, and you have to consider . h i m one of the potentially g r e a t players in professional basketball." Newell says. "If there is a chance of getting him from Portland--and I say ' i f because we don't want to be guilty of tampering--I'd want to talk to him and find out what he expected of us. If you ever made a move like t h a t , you'd also have to consider what the Porlalnd club would ask in return. T h e y w o u l d never give him up for nothing." T h e N B A ' s t r a d i n g deadline is only 10 days off. on Feb. 1. Walton's t e a m m a t e s aren't s u r e w h e t h e r the club will keep him or deal him. Sidney W i c k s , who played with Walton at UCLA and is a t e a m m a t e of his now with the Trail Blazers, doesn't t h i n k t h e y ' l l trade h i m . My own feeling is there is a better t h a n 50-50 chance t h e y w i l l , t h e same way Atlanta traded P i s t o l P e t e Maravich, B a l t i m o r e l e t g o E a r l Monroe and the Virginia Squires parted with J u l i u s Erving when those three insisted u p o n going elsewhere. " H e ' s great." W i c k s s a y s of Walton. " I t ' s b e a u t i f u l p l a y i n g , w i t h the guy-" Bill W a l t o n , meanwhile, isn't letting this sudden storm knock him off his feet. He feels he can ride it o u t . and he probably will. ' Shortly a f t e r his arrival in Kansas City Monday. 1 spoke w i s h h i m . at some length. One of the questions I asked him was what was his impression about all the controversy s w i r l i n g about him, how did he feel about \^ "I'm hanging in there tough." he answered. From the relatively little while I know Bill Walton. I got the distinct feeling he was really felling me a whole lot more than he was saving. Smith upset P H I L A D E L P H I A A P i -- Top-seeded Bjorn Borg of S w e d e n was beaten Tuesday by Bob Lutz of Los Angeles, fi 1, fi~l. in the t h i r d round a s t h e siring of upsets continued in the 5115.000 U.S. Pro Indoor Tennis Championships K a r h e r Tuesday, sixth- Deeded Stan S m i t h w a s w h i p p e d by Egypt's Ism a i l El Shafei, 7-fi. ti-3. On M o n d a y , defending champion and No. 2 seed Rod Laver was beaten by lei- low A u s t r a l i a n Phil Dent. "I haven't been playing well since A u s t r a l i a 'last n..v.m|vAi'l \ f a i - K o J £»rj "vor-ipnnisod," said Borg. Ihe defending French and I t a l i a n champion. "Lutz played really well and 1 t h i n k he's coming b a c k t o h i s f o r m e r game." added the 5-foot- 11 pro who took home Si'lO.liiOin 1974. -Beating Borg gives me a lot of confidence. I think Borg wandered a bit. He w a s n ' t h i t t i n g o n t h e strings as hard as he can, and he wasn't serving so well." said Lutz. Smith joined four other seeded Anierican players on the sidelines--ituscoe Tanner. D i c k Stockton. H a r o l d S o l o m o n a n d Kddie Dibbs. Upset Monday along with Laver was A l e x Mclrevcli of the Soviet Union. No down payment, 6.00 a month* ReliAride ® Deluxe Steel Belted Tire has: D 2-ply polyester cord body D 2 steel cord belts SIZE E78x14 F78x14 G78x14 H78x14 078x15 H78x15 J78x15 Prices shown are for tubeless whitewalls plus Fed. Tax. No Trade-In needed. 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