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The NBA / Chris Baker : Lloyd Descends From the High Life

January 27, 1987|CHRIS BAKER

Lewis Lloyd was living in the fast lane before he and teammate Mitchell Wiggins were banned for at least two years by the National Basketball Assn. after testing positive for cocaine, a Houston newspaper reported.

The Houston Post reported that Lloyd lived in a hotel, rode around town in a long black Cadillac with tinted windows and had his own entourage, which included a valet.

Lloyd ran up $49,000 in room-service bills at one Houston hotel from September of 1985 until January of 1986.

The hotel is suing Lloyd for payment. His attorney said that most of the charges were rung up by people he didn't even know.

Wiggins has checked into a rehabilitation center in Van Nuys for treatment. Lloyd, however, has gone into hiding since the ban.

Wiggins is being treated at the same drug center that treated guard Quintin Dailey of the Clippers.

Dailey played with Wiggins for one season in Chicago.

"I was shocked," Dailey said of the ban of Wiggins and Lloyd. "It's a bad situation. The bottom line is they're banned from the league and they're always going to be reminded of that. I feel kind of sad for them.

"I hope they can take care of their lives and hopefully get a job or come back into the league so that they can take care of their families.

"If they need help I'll give them all I can."

Is it fair that Wiggins and Lloyd, who had no previous history of drug abuse, were banned after one mistake, while multiple offenders such as Dailey and guard John Lucas of the Milwaukee Bucks keep on playing?

Wiggins and Lloyd were banned because they didn't come forward tor treatment as did Dailey and Lucas.

"Fair is not a part of it," Dailey said. "We (Dailey and Lucas) went into a hospital and got treated. They (Wiggins and Lloyd) knew the rules.

"I'm a fortunate person, and Lucas is a fortunate person."

Said Lucas, who was signed by the Milwaukee Bucks this month after having been cut by the Houston Rockets last season: "I pray for Mitchell and Lewis. They're friends of mine.

"It's a different situation. We (Lucas and Dailey) admitted to having problems. When the league comes in, it's a different situation.

"People fail to realize that (drug abuse is) a disease. It's a baffling thing. I'm never cured. I just keep recovering. I'm not saying I'm perfect and it won't happen again."

Lucas has started a fitness program for recovering drug addicts, as well as a Houston-based youth organization to warn youngsters about the evils of drugs.

The program for kids is called STAND--Students Taking Action, Not Drugs.

Coach Don Nelson of the Bucks said of Lucas: "I'm convinced he has his problem under control, and I was willing to take a gamble.

"I don't believe you ever get rid of it. But I'm willing to fight with him. He's been a big help to us."

Weight watchers: Nelson, who went from 272 pounds at the end of last season to 207 pounds last summer, said he weighs 230 now. He said that's about five pounds more than he would like to be.

A howling success? The name Lakers was already taken, so the organizers of a drive to bring an expansion team to Minneapolis held a contest to pick a name for their team.

Timber Wolves beat out Polars by a 2-1 ratio.

Voting was done by more than 800 city councils throughout Minnesota.

For a team that's supposedly on the verge of leaving San Antonio, the Spurs have spent a lot of money to improve the HemisFair Arena, which has been filled with empty seats most of this season.

The Spurs put in a $2-million scoreboard, which features four large TV screens.

They've also put in a $100,000 press table, and have redone the press room and locker rooms.

There's also a new hotel being built next to the arena.

A star is born: Rookie guard Conner Henry, the former UC Santa Barbara player from Claremont, has become a folk hero in Boston since he signed with the Celtics Jan. 20, after having been waived by the Rockets.

Henry made a monster dunk over Charles Barkley in the Celtics' 111-96 win over the Philadelphia 76ers last Sunday at the Boston Garden.

"I've had one fantasy about doing this," Henry said of his dunk. "And now I've got it on tape for the boys back home."

As usual, however, Barkley had the last word: "I fear we're the most dangerous team in the NBA," Barkley said. "Everyone fears us. . . . As long we have what we have, we'll always be dangerous. We can win the championship. This is the first year I've felt that way."

Star Gazing: Detroit Coach Chuck Daly makes it a point to have dinner at the Palm Restaurant in West Hollywood whenever the Pistons come to town.

Daly had dinner there last week when the Pistons were here to play the Clippers, and then went to Trumps, a chic restaurant in West Hollywood.

"The bar was empty except for one woman," Daly said. "I looked over and it was Joan Collins."

Mr. Consistent: Center Robert Parish has been a model of consistency in his seven seasons with the Celtics.

Parish shot 54.5% in 1980-81, his first season with Boston. He shot 54.2% in 1981-82, 55% in 1982-83, 54.6% in 1983-84, 54.2% in 1984-85, 54.9% in 1985-86 and he's shooting 55.1% this season.

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