He looks like a mix of Don Knotts, Kojak and Bugs Bunny.He answers to names like E1 Marco, Dr. Buzzard and the 2000 Year Old Man. He's part commedian and part magician.
But Bob Weiss is also a basketball player.
And he has seen it all. Bald, pale, left handed and 34 years old, he has made his mark in the National Basketball Association. He doesn't make waves, but he has been in tall waters for 11 years.
Wiss came into the league when there were only 10 teams, and he's still playing now that there are 22.
He played on that incredible Philadelphia 76ers team that was 68-13 in 1967. He play with Seattle in its first season, with Milwaukee before kareem Abdul-Jabbar, with Chicago and with Bullet, picked on waivers earlier this season.
This will be the last season Weiss plays, he says. He feels he won't be needed any more, so he'll move on.
"My goal when I came into the league was just to make a team," Weiss said. "There's no way I could have ever dreamed of being around his long, of having the career I've had. There are only four or five people still the league who were here when I came in - the Van Arsdales, John Havlicek and Nate Thurmond. There's probably one or two more, but can't think of them."
Weiss was drafted by Philadelphia in 1965 in the third round.
He played with Philadelphia for part of two seasons, being cut his first year after 13 games and ending up in he Eastern League.
Weiss returned to the 76ers' camp he next season and this time was cut after the second exhibition game. When Larry Costello was hurt late in he season Weiss was called up.
"I never played on a better team ban that Philadelphia team," Weiss aid. "We lost only 13 games and here were only 10 teams then. The eague was very concentrated and strong."
Weiss' job on that team was clear - get dressed and watch the game.
The next season he went to Seattle in the expansion draft and in one season had gone from basketball's best to it's worst.
Weiss' teammates in Seattle included Bob Rule, Walt Hazzard, Rod thorn, Tom Mescherry and Al Tucker, the man Weiss says is the best dunker he ever saw.
Weiss was with Seattle one year before going to Milwaukee "for about a month and a half," and then to Chicago for six years.
In Seattle, Weiss played a different role than he was to ever play again. Now used for his steadiness and leadership, he was instant offense when he was a Sonic.
"I came off the bench firing," Weiss said. "We didn't have a patterned offense. It was more or less free-lance. Al Bianchi was the coach then and it was more the old NBA style than what has evolved now. I had a lot of 25-point games, usually playing only about 24 minutes.
"When I got to Chicago things changed. He had a patterned offense that we could use to our advantage and I started developing there."
There was that little stop in Milwaukee before Weiss got to Chicago, however.
Weiss was traded to the Bulls for Flynn Robinson. Bob Love was a throw-in in the deal.
Love led the Bucks in scoring in the exhibition season but, according to Weiss, "He's a very undisciplined player and the Buck's coach at the time. Larry Costello is a very disciplined coach." He told the Bulls that if they wanted Weiss they had to take Love, too.
Love became a star.
Weiss perfected card tricks.
Weiss has never been considered a star on the court, but off it, he is a show. He is a walking carnival, a slight-of-hand experts and a master of most thinking games.
"My last couple of years in college is when I really started getting into card tricks and stuff," he said. "I'd go into the novelty shops all the time and see what I could find. Then I got traded to Buffalo. There was a bar there and on Friday and Saturday nights, magicians would do their acts. I started going and watching them. If you watch a trick two or three times it's not that difficult to figure out what's going on."
Weiss specialty is a slight of hand. "I'm pretty good at what I do. I can fool the Bullets. Sleight of hand is the toughest to do. The big illusions with boxes are more grimmicky. They don't require quite as much skill.
"Everybody thinks the hand is quicker than the eye but it's not. The hand can make the eye see things that don't happen."
Weiss learned most of his professional basketball while playing those six years inder Dick Motta in Chicago. He believed in Motta.
"I think he's probably a lot different than ost of the guys expected him to be," Weiss said.
"He had that reputation as a big dictator-type coach but he really isn't. Well, he is a dictator in two aspects. He wants his offense run and he expects you to play it right. But he doesn't try to run your life off the court. You don't have curfews, you don't have to do this or that. Just do your job, that's all."
Weiss was the Bullets' third guard at one time, but since they acquired Tom Henderson, and Dave Bing has seldom plays. He is averaging lessselcom plays. He is averaging less than 10 minutes a contest. He has appeared in only one of the last four games.
"I can't see myself playing after this year," he said. He said that defense is the major difference in the game between when he cames into the league and now.
"The defemse is better," he said. "The offense is also better, but that's because there's more patterned offenses. I could see the evolution when I first went to Chicago. Dick was one of the first people to start running a continuity-type offense with this option, that option ans keying on where the guard went.
"After 30, you lose a little bit of speed each year," he said. "You rely more on your experience then. But when you reach that point where the lines cross. Your legs start holding you back and your experience can't make up for it.
"When that happens," he added, "it's no illusion."