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Harper Looking Elsewhere, but a Return Still Possible

August 01, 1994|CHRIS BAKER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Ron Harper isn't a betting man, but if the lone remaining unsigned big-name free agent had to wager on whether he'd return to the Clippers, he wouldn't bet on it.

"I'd say don't take that bet," Harper said before playing in Magic Johnson's ninth annual Mid-Summer Night's Magic All-Star game Sunday night at the Forum.

"Everybody knows that I'd like to play in Chicago. And everybody knows that I'd like to play for the (Atlanta) Hawks. I'd like to go to Manhattan and play for Pat (Riley, coach of the New York Knicks). I could sit here and name some teams that I'd like to go play for, but is it going to happen? I don't know."

However, Harper, who earned $4 million last season, admitted that he'd return to the Clippers if the money was right.

"Cash talks," Harper said. "It's like they told me, just wait and see. Money talks. I've got a chance of going back. Are the chances good? Who knows but me. I will not disclose that. . . . They could sign me, but it would cost them a nice little penny.

"If you want your ballplayers there, you should at least try to sign them. They haven't made an attempt to sign me. They keep talking about 'We want Ron back.' Don't talk me to death. They haven't made me an offer. That should tell me a little bit of something."

The Clippers said they will try to re-sign Harper.

Could Harper, who was suspended for one game last season after likening playing for the Clippers to being in jail, return in good conscious?

"I could easily go back and wouldn't lose any sleep over it," he said.

Notes

Magic Johnson had a game-high 34 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists as his team won, 168-166, on John Starks' three-pointer from the left corner off a pass from Johnson with four seconds to play. . . . Anfernee Hardaway had 35 points, eight rebounds and five assists and Purdue's Glenn Robinson, the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, had 22 points and seven rebounds. . . . Forward John Williams, who became a free agent when the Clippers decided not to re-sign him, is considering offers from four teams.

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