St. Petersburg Times Online: Business

Weather | Sports | Forums | Comics | Classifieds | Calendar | Movies

Rivals go into Hall together

Wire services
Published September 6, 2003

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Entering the Hall of Fame together didn't end the rivalry between Robert Parish and James Worthy, stars of the 1980s showdowns between the Celtics and Lakers.

"Robert," Worthy said Friday night, "I think I still owe you a couple of elbows."

Parish, known for his stoic on-court demeanor, smiled at the remark. And he poked fun at himself in his acceptance speech.

"You might not believe this, but I hated basketball" as a 6-foot-6 seventh-grader in Shreveport, La. "I couldn't catch it. I couldn't hold it. I couldn't pass it. I couldn't shoot it."

He credited his junior high school coach, Coleman Kidd, with seeing "something in me that I didn't see in myself."

By the time he joined Boston in 1980, there was no doubt about his talent. Worthy's skills were equally evident at North Carolina and as the top pick in the 1982 draft by the Lakers.

Parish and Worthy joined five other inductees: Meadowlark Lemon of the Harlem Globetrotters, NBA pioneer Earl Lloyd, longtime Louisiana Tech women's coach Leon Barmore, Italian player Dino Meneghin and the late Chick Hearn, who broadcast 3,338 consecutive Laker games.

BOBCATS: Owner Robert Johnson officially ended his summerlong courtship of Michael Jordan, clearing the way for Ed Tapscott to begin building the expansion team. Jordan's goal is to be a majority owner, but he couldn't do that in Charlotte. Jordan tried to buy a majority interest in the Bucks this summer, but Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., decided not to sell.

CAVALIERS: The team canceled plans to hold training camp at the University of Toledo after the league ruled that a scrimmage - with fans paying $6 to $8 to see rookie LeBron James - would have constituted a ninth preseason game.

NUGGETS: Francisco Elson, a 7-foot forward-center from the Netherlands, signed a multiyear contract. Elson was selected by Denver in the second round of the 1999 draft and has played for it in summer league the past three years.

GOLA UPDATE: Hall of Famer Tom Gola was transferred to a rehabilitation center to recover from a head injury sustained in a fall in July. Gola, one of two players to win NIT, NCAA and NBA championships, lost his balance, hit his head on a curb outside a restaurant and was unconscious for several days. The 70-year-old is awake, talking with friends and able to move his limbs, according to family friend Ken Mugler.

DETROIT 73, CONN. 63: Ruth Riley had 17 points and eight rebounds to lead the visiting Shock in the first game of the best-of-three East final. Swin Cash scored 10 of her 15 in the second half after sitting out most of the first in foul trouble. Detroit continued its dominance over Connecticut, winning all five games this season.

SACRAMENTO 77, L.A. 69: Yolanda Griffith scored 17 to lead the host Monarchs to a 1-0 lead in the West final. Trailing 62-60 with 6:39 remaining, Ticha Penicheiro made a 3-pointer and followed with another basket, igniting a 7-0 run to give Sacramento the lead for good against the two-time defending champion Sparks.

© Copyright, St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.