While the Bullets prime Bob Dandridge, Greg Ballard and Bo Ellis to play forward, Washington and 20 other NBA franchises will, for the next five or six years, help the Bucks deal Marques Johnson the bucks he demanded, and got, this week to replace Dandridge in Malwaukee.
And a Washington lawyer-Donald Dell, helped Johnson pull off the deal.
Depending on one's source, the NBA will be chipping in a dribble ("less than $15.000 a year and not a subsidy," says league HQ) or a basketball (a hefty part of Johnson's $200.000-a-year salarys, according to the Milwaukee Journal).
Milwaukee drafted Indians's Kent Benson ahead of Johnson in the first round and tried to use No. 1 man Benson's six-year, $900.000 pact accepted in June as a peg for negotiations with Johnson and agent Dell. Hold everthing, the 6-foot-6 college player of the year and the erswhile tennis star insisted: $1.2 million or antitrust suit.
The Denver Nuggets, Dell pointes out, offered Johnson $200,000 per annum to go pro after his junior year - and reneged the day before the 1976 draft allegedly to assure the manger of Denver and three fellow American Basketball Association clubs into the NBA. Soon thereafter, the merger went through, eliminating the bidding for talent, and Johnson returned to UCLA for his senior season.
"I probably would have signed with Denver if they didn't withdrawn the offer," said Johnson.
Indeed this is not Johnny Miller's year. A nonqualifer for the 20-man World Series of Golf, Miller collapsed Wednesday playing the 17th hole of an exhibition at the Soeedway course in indianapolis. Hustled to hospital by ambulance, it was determined he fainted from stomach spasms. Released after 2 1/2 hours, the California was advised to undergo extensive test to determine whether an ulcer, or appendicitis, or what, was to blame. The exhibition, if you must know, was a fundraiser for the Indiana Republican party . . .