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Morning Briefing

Why Celtics Are Biased About Bias

June 19, 1986

The Boston Celtics eventually will need a big man to replace aging centers Robert Parish and Bill Walton, so why did they draft Len Bias?

Peter May of the Hartford Courant put the question to Red Auerbach, who said: "Larry Bird said if we drafted this kid, he'd even come to rookie camp. He's very high on the kid."

Added Auerbach: "He's going to be a star someday, no question about it. He can play--period. That's where it's at. In fact, he's ready to play now."

Said Bias: "You couldn't ask for a better team. They win every year. Coming from the University of Maryland, that's sort of a big difference."

You can see Lefty Driesell saying, "Now why did he have to say that?"

Add Forgettable Quotes: Said Philadelphia 76ers General Manager Pat Williams on June 5, when asked if Moses Malone would be traded: "The odds are remote."

Said ex-76er Coach Billy Cunningham, when asked what he thought of North Carolina State's Chris Washburn, drafted by the Golden State Warriors: "I've seen Chris Washburn before. He's Darryl Dawkins."

Hmmm.

From Tony Kornheiser of the Washington Post, noting that the 76ers will be Cliff Robinson's fifth team since 1981: "If you can't reach him by phone, leave a message at United Van Lines."

Trivia Time: If Raymond Floyd wins the British Open, he will join which four men as the only golfers to win all four major professional tournaments? (Answer below.)

Add Floyd: Did you know he also removed the winning putt from the cup in his first U.S. Open?

In 1964, he was paired with Ken Venturi at Congressional Country Club in Washington for the final 36 holes.

Writes Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post: "Floyd started the 98-degree day in contention, but he was just a 21-year-old and faded to 14th. What he had was a front seat for history as he watched the aging Venturi stagger to victory--dehydrated, disoriented and with a doctor following his every step.

"When Venturi's final putt fell, Floyd didn't want the veteran to have to pull the ball out of the cup for fear he might faint or fall. So Floyd fetched the ball, tears running down his face, and he handed it to Venturi. Then Venturi cried, too."

13 Years Ago Today: On June 19, 1973, Pete Rose singled against the San Francisco Giants, and Willie Davis homered against the Atlanta Braves as both players reached the 2,000-hit plateau.

From George Steinbrenner, sharing the blame for the failure of the New York Yankees to win a pennant since 1981: "My failure is that I let Reggie Jackson get away. In my total time in baseball, that's the biggest mistake I've made. But there's a long story to that. I was double-crossed, and someday Steve Kay and I will sit down and tell the story."

Kay is Jackson's lawyer.

Don Zimmer, on driving from Chicago to New York to become the third base coach of the Yankees after serving in the same capacity for the Cubs: "In about 12 hours I gained 15 games in the standings."

Trivia Answer: Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus.

Quotebook

U.S. Open champion Ray Floyd, on pressure: "It's like Lee Trevino used to say. When you're playing for $500 and you have to borrow a penny to spot your ball, now that's pressure."

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