The Courier-News from Bridgewater, New Jersey on August 13, 1983 · Page 31
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The Courier-News from Bridgewater, New Jersey · Page 31

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Bridgewater, New Jersey
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Saturday, August 13, 1983
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Page 31
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THE COURIER-NEWSSaturday. August 1 3. 1 98 B-l 7 Eddie Jordan has become a survivor in NBA Ex-Rutgers star had trade request denied by Lakers By GEORGE GOVLICK Courier-News Sports Editor PISCATAWAY When Eddie Jordan played with the New Jersey Nets a few years ago he was considered a vital member of a team that was rebuilding. He got his playing time, or "PT" as most players like to say. Well, these days the former Rutgers star gets most of his playing time at clinics, similar to the one he conducted earlier this week at the Rutgers Athletic Center where his former college coach, Tom Young, is running a week-long camp. Jordan is still in the National Basketball Association as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, but his playing time has been reduced to just a few precious minutes per game. "After some very tough seasons in L. A.," sighs Jordan, "I'm programmed not to be hurt. I realize I have to keep my head together, that I still have a job and have to take care of my family and watch my money." Jordan, who resides in Tenafly with his wife and son, discussed his past and future in the National Basketball Association between clinical sessions at Tom Young's Basketball Camp at Rutgers Athletic Center. The past three NBA seasons have been very difficult for the 28-year-old, 6-foot, 1-inch point guard who sparked Rutgers to the Final Four of the NCAA Championship in 1976 with a 31-0 record. The defending champion Lakers made it to the 1983 NBA title series, but were swept in four games by Philadelphia. Jordan, nursing a groin pull, watched from the sidelines. That sweep hurt, but not as much as it would have had Jordan been an intregral part of the team. When you are riding the bench game after game, and then only play 2. 5 or 7 minutes occasionally, you get a different slant on things. All of which culminated in a recent call Jordan made to Jerry West, general manager of the Lakers, asking to be traded. lihH - .--!-:::. - - - Courier-News Photo By Thomas P. Costello Los Angeles Lakers guard Eddie Jordan talks to youngsters at Tom Young's Basketball Camp at Rutgers during recent clinic. Jordan is trying to improve his situation with the Lakers. "Jerry said no," revealed Eddie. "He said I was the only one around to back up starter Norm Nixon at point guard." Jordan finds West's stonewall approach hard to accept, because he realizes he'll be playing very little under coach Pat Riley's philosophy of a hard core of seven and eight regulars. His contractual obligations to the Lakers also killed an opportunity to accept a lucrative five-year deal in the Italian basketall league. When Riley took over for fired Laker coach Paul Westhead in November of 1981, he played Eddie quite a bit. But the last two campaigns have been something else. "He mostly played seven guys two years ago," says Eddie, "and they called the Lakers the Magnificent Seven. "Last year he played eight guys, and they called the team the Great Eight." Jordon stressed he wasn't being critical of such stars as Nixon, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob MacAdoo, Michael Cooper, Kurt Rambis and Jamaal Wilkes, but noted, "For the rest of us poor guys who hardly played, it hurt." It was perhaps toughest for Jordan, who had started two and a half seasons with the Nets after coach Kevin Loughery rescued him from the Cleveland Cavaliers' scrap heap. After his brilliant RU career, the Cavs made Jordan their first choice in the second round of the 1977 college draft, but coach Bill Fitch eventually decided he could do without Eddie's services. Within two years, Jordan led the NBA in steals with 201 while averaging 12.4 points a game for the Nets from his play-maker slot. The following season (1979-80), firmly entrenched as a starter, Eddie averaged 13.3 points and was credited with 223 steals, second in the league. His lightning-quick hands on defense earned him the nicknames of "Fast Eddie" and "Thief of Baghdad." Fourteen games into the 1980-81 season, Eddie was traded to the Lakers for a first round 1982 draft pick. Johnson had hurt his knee and Jordan's proven playmaking talents were needed to help fill the void. Eddie played a lot, but when Magic returned, the caution light blinked. "I didn't play all that much after that," recalls Jordan, "but I had the highest percentage of steals in the league for minutes played." During the '82 championship series against the 76ers, won by the Lakers 4 games to 2, Jordan only saw action for five minutes in two games. "I'm expecting the unexpected when I report to the Lakers pre-season camp in October," says Eddie. "I have a make-good contract, meaning I have to make the team for the contract to be valid. "The type of contract I have isn't guaranteed for the season unless I'm on the squad as of Dec. 25. Up until then the Lakers can play around with me. The trading deadline is Feb. 25." Jordan can only wait, and hope things fall into place. And waiting has always been hard for Fast Eddie to deal with. RU's Ouow qualifies in 2QO meter dash Europeans enjoy big day at World Track competition HELSINKI, Finland (AP) World record-holder Tom Petranoff won a silver medal in the javelin, while Calvin Smith and Mary Decker each moved closer to a second .gold by winning qualifying heats yesterday at the World Track and Field Championships. But U.S. hopes were jolted when Henry Marsh, top-ranked in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and known for. his powerful kick, tripped over the last hurdle and finished eighth in the final. In addition, Larry Myricks failed in a men's 200-meter first-round heat and hurdler Candy Young was injured. Meanwhile, European athletes, led by the Germans, won all four golds yesterday before a near-sellout crowd of 55,000 at Patriz Ilg of West Germany won the steeplechase in 8 minutes, 15.06 seconds the fastest time in the world this year-' Detlef Michel of East Germany won the javehn with a heave of 293 feet, 7 inches and Ronald Weigel, also an East German' finished first in the 50-kilometer walk with a time of 3 hours, 43 minutes, 7.90 seconds. Helena Fibingerova of Czechoslovakia, a former world record holder and 1976 Olympic bronze medalist, won the women's shot put with a toss of 69-. Petranoff was second in the javelin with a toss of 280-10, barely edging Olympic champion Danjis Kula of the Soviet Union at 280-9. In the qualifying heats, Smith, who picked up a gold and shared in a world record by the 400-meter relay team, won his 200-meter easily in 21.10. Rutgers University star Elliot Quow also qualified with a 21.08 clocking. But Myricks, recovering from a hamstring injury, finished only fifth in his heat and missed reaching the second round. Among those joining Smith, the world record-holder in the 100, in the second round of the 200 were world record-holder Pietro Mennea of Italy and 1980 Olympic 100-meter champion Allan Wells of Scotland. Mennea had the second fastest first-round clocking, 20.80, while Wells won his heat in 21.14. The semifinals are Saturday and the final is Sunday. Decker, the 3,000-meter champion, led all the way to win her heat in the 1,500 with a time of 4:07.47. Her time was the fastest in the three heats. In the women's 100-meter hurdles, Young was injured after clearing the first hurdle in a first-round heat, but she could not stop immediately and crashed into the second hurdle. She tumbled onto the track, grabbing her left leg in agony. The other two U.S. women hurdlers, Benita Fitzgerald and Pam Page, had no difficulty advancing into the second-round heats. But neither is expected to win a medal in Sunday's final. ' Steve Scott and Sydney Maree came through their 1,500-meter heats and were poised to challenge Britain's Steve Ovett, the world record-holder, in tomorrow's final.

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