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Greg Kite Claimed by Clippers From the Celtics on Waivers

February 04, 1988|CHRIS BAKER | Times Staff Writer

Center Greg Kite, who played on two NBA championship teams with the Boston Celtics, was picked up on waivers Wednesday by the Clippers.

"I'm very excited and intrigued about joining the Clippers," Kite said. "It could be a great boost for me because I'll get the opportunity to play."

Kite isn't expected to arrive in time to play in tonight's sold-out game against the Lakers at the Sports Arena (Channel 9, 7:30).

Kite became expendable when the Celtics signed center Artis Gilmore last month.

To make room for Kite, the Clippers waived rookie forward Norris Coleman, who averaged 5.3 points in 29 games this season.

Kite, 6-11 and 250 pounds, was the Celtics' No. 1 selection in the 1983 draft out of BYU. Kite played in just 13 games this season due to a lower back strain.

Clipper Coach Gene Shue said of Kite: "I think this is a step forward. We've been looking for help at center. He sets good screens, rebounds and runs the court well. He's a versatile player.

"I think this is just the beginning of things (personnel changes) that could happen. We won 10 games in the first half of the season and we'd like to do things to improve."

Kite will probably make his debut Tuesday night in Phoenix. The game against the Suns will be the Clippers' first after the All-Star break.

Kite played perhaps the finest game of his career against the Lakers in the third game of the 1987 NBA finals at Boston Garden. Although he didn't score, Kite grabbed nine rebounds and played good defense against Laker center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the Celtics beat the Lakers, 109-103.

Meanwhile, Shue will reach a milestone if the Clippers (10-31) lose tonight's game to the Lakers (34-8).

Shue, 56, will become the first pro basketball coach to lose 800 games.

He has a record of 767 wins and 799 losses in 21 years as a coach.

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