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NBA Star Feels 'I Owe Everybody an Apology' : Cocaine, Alcohol Benched Suns' Davis

January 13, 1986|Associated Press

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Phoenix Suns guard Walter Davis, returning to the National Basketball Assn. team after a 30-day stay in a California rehabilitation clinic for undisclosed treatment, said today that "my problem was cocaine and alcohol."

Davis, 31, was released last Friday from the Adult Substance Abuse Program at Pasadena (Calif.) Community Hospital. He entered the clinic Dec. 12 after telling the Suns that he had a serious "personal problem" although the night before in Oakland he tied his career high with 43 points in a 123-113 win over the Golden State Warriors.

"When I got up in the morning, I had this feeling that I wanted everything to be right like it used to be. It was affecting me--the way I played and my family. I asked for help," Davis said at a news conference. "I'm very sorry for what happened. I let myself down, my organization and my teammates. I feel I owe everybody an apology although I know not everybody will accept it.

"I just want to come back and play and stay healthy. The scariest part is knowing the disease I have has got to be worked on the rest of my life. I'm a drink away from being where I was. I'm taking it one day at a time. That's all I can ask for--stay sober for 24 hours."

Phoenix General Manager Jerry Colangelo said it has not been determined yet if Davis will have to submit to weekly drug tests.

At the time the problem became public, Davis was leading the Suns in scoring with a 24.4 point average and appeared to be the leading candidate for NBA Comeback Player of the Year honors after missing all but 23 games last season with a knee injury.

The 6-foot-6, 200-pound Davis, a five-time NBA All-Star, is expected to return to the Suns' lineup tonight in a game here against the San Antonio Spurs.

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