December 6, 1985 |
The way Houston Rockets Coach Bill Fitch figures it, a year from now Ralph Sampson will be playing so well that no one will be asking if the Rockets are thinking about trading him, to the Lakers or anyone else. But right now, it's still a hot topic. In fact, what we have tonight, when the Rockets stop off at the Forum to play the Lakers, is a long-running soap opera. Have Ralph and Bill made up since their little falling-out? Has Ralph demanded that he be allowed to leave town?
February 22, 1986 |
With one of the Houston Rockets' Twin Towers temporarily closed for repairs, most of the burden has fallen to Ralph Sampson. Sampson shouldered the load again Friday night, pushing the Rockets to a 111-104 victory over the Mavericks at Dallas. The 7-foot-4 Sampson has moved to center and Friday scored a season-high 38 points, including 22 in the first half, pulled down 15 rebounds, including 10 offensive, and blocked 4 shots as the Rockets broke a two-game losing streak.
June 6, 1986 |
The playoffs had been such a smooth ride for the Boston Celtics, but then they hit a sudden and unexpected pothole in the road at about the same time Rocket forward Ralph Sampson started taking potshots at Celtic guard Jerry Sichting. What happened to the Celtic team that has been heralded as one of the greatest in the history of the National Basketball Assn.? Instead of wrapping up their 16th NBA title Thursday night, the Celtics came apart at the seams.
April 1, 1987 |
Ralph Sampson, who had missed the Houston Rockets' last 27 games after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Feb. 5, returned to action Tuesday night against the Lakers. But not even Sampson was strong enough to stop the Lakers. Guard Magic Johnson recorded his seventh triple-double of the season as the Lakers dumped the Rockets, 111-96, before a sellout crowd of 17,505 fans at the Forum. Magic had 21 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds as the Lakers won their third straight.
November 29, 1988 |
Ralph Sampson was a guest of Laker owner Jerry Buss during the National Basketball Assn. finals at the Forum last spring. Unless there is a drastic improvement in his health, that may be as close as Sampson comes to a championship in this league. On Saturday, the Golden State Warriors' 7-foot 4-inch center scored just 1 point against his former teammates, the Houston Rockets. He missed all 4 of his shots from the floor, had just 5 rebounds and committed a team-high 6 turnovers.
January 4, 1986 |
It's funny how the folks closest to prep superstar J.R. Reid of Kempsville High School in Virginia Beach, Va. have seemed to lose their identity. Charles Caldwell, Kempsville principal, is J.R.'s principal. Dick Ponti, Chiefs coach, is known as J.R.'s coach. And his parents, Herman and Jean Reid, are J.R.'s folks. But it seems as if everybody at the King Cotton Classic knows Herman Reid, Jr., a 17-year-old who is the country's most heavily recruited senior.
February 26, 1985 |
Apparently the skeptics were right all along. There isn't enough room for both Ralph Sampson and Akeem Olajuwon in the Houston Rockets' locker room. Only a few feet separate the dressing cubicles of the 7-foot 4-inch Sampson and the 7-0 Olajuwon, the No. 1 selections in the last two National Basketball Assn. drafts, and that space is almost always occupied by a swarming horde of eager reporters. It causes locker room gridlock after every game.
May 17, 1987 |
From the state that has produced some of the finest big men in the history of basketball, yet another tall talent has emerged as the talk of the college-basketball world. Move over, Moses Malone, Ralph Sampson and J. R. Reid, here comes Alonzo Mourning, a 6-foot-10 senior-to-be who is being described by some prominent college coaches as the best high-school player they've ever seen.
January 17, 1985 |
A French priest named William Joseph Chaminade founded the Society of Mary in 1817. Almost a century and a half later, in 1955, the Society of Mary named a Honolulu university in his honor. But it took Ralph Sampson to make Chaminade famous. That was in the winter of 1982-83, when unheralded and unheard of Chaminade beat Sampson and the rest of the University of Virginia basketball team, 77-72. Chaminade?
May 4, 2011 |
Next up for Blake Griffin: working on his free-throw shooting (Dad says), spending time at home in Oklahoma (Mom says) and not having to only watch the playoffs on TV next season (Blake says.) The to-do list got a little shorter when the Clippers' power forward Wednesday crossed off the biggest item yet, officially winning the NBA's rookie-of-the-year award. Griffin received 118 first-place votes, becoming the first unanimous winner since David Robinson in 1990. Now, where to put all the hardware?