December 17, 1987 |
Other than in a Jerry Buss fantasy, how close did Ralph Sampson ever come to being a Laker? There's a story going around in Houston that two years ago, Laker owner Buss sent Charlie Thomas, the owner of the Houston Rockets, a sheet of paper upon which the Laker roster was listed. Two names had been scratched out: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson. Pick any two names remaining on the list, Buss supposedly wrote Thomas, and we'll take Ralph.
December 15, 1987 |
The biggest men in basketball are supposed to be the most valuable, but isn't it striking how even the greatest of the titans have not been immune from trade. Thirty-one years ago, the St. Louis Hawks gave Boston the rights to Bill Russell. Wilt Chamberlain was traded twice. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton, Bob Lanier and Nate Thurmond, Elvin Hayes and Robert Parish, Moses Malone and Jack Sikma--they've all been sent packing.
December 13, 1987 |
The Golden State Warriors, in a blockbuster trade with the Houston Rockets Saturday night, acquired center Ralph Sampson and guard Steve Harris in exchange for center Joe Barry Carroll and guard Eric (Sleepy) Floyd. "We have made a decison to make a change in the basic structure of the Golden State Warriors," said Don Nelson, the team's executive vice president. "We are not satisfied with the direction of our team."
October 16, 1987
Forward Ralph Sampson of the Houston Rockets signed a 6-year, $12-million contract with the National Basketball Assn. team Thursday. The Rockets now have their Twin Towers under long-term contract. Center Akeem Olajuwon signed a 12-year contract last season that pays him an average of $2.5 million a year. "I don't think I have anything to prove to anybody but myself, and the only thing I have to prove to myself is to go out and play basketball," Sampson said.
October 7, 1987 |
Officials of the Portland Trail Blazers insist they are serious about trying to sign free-agent Ralph Sampson. The Portland Oregonian reported Tuesday that Harley Frankel, the National Basketball Assn. team's chief negotiator, held a lengthy meeting with Sampson's agent, Gene Perry, last Thursday, the day the league's moratorium on signing free agents was lifted. Frankel said he has remained in contact with Perry since that meeting. The newspaper said the Trail Blazers apparently have about $1.
July 2, 1987
Ralph Sampson accused the Houston Rockets of going back on their word about his contract and said in an interview that he's willing to play basketball elsewhere. "I want to play in Houston," Sampson told the Roanoke, Va., Times World-News, "but if it's anywhere else, I won't reject it as long as it's on the team with a chance to win the championship." Sampson denied reports that the Rockets have offered him a contract more valuable than that of teammate Akeem Olajuwon.
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.