The Washington Bullets take their first look at Otis Birdsong, Kansas City's highly touted rookie guard, tonight at 8:35 p.m. (WTOP-1500) in Kansas City.
Birdsong, the second player picked in June's NBA draft, is called by his coach, Phil Johnson, "a good player who's going to be a great one." Presently Birdsong is being used as the King's sixth man, replacing either Lucius Allen or Ron Boone.
Allen also is playing his first year with Kansas City after coming over in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers. Allen was a high school star in Kansas City, Kan., before attending college at UCLA.
The rest of the Kings' lineup is the same as last season. Sam Lacey starts at center and Richard Washington and Scott Wedman are the forwards.
Lacey's backup is 7-foot-4. Tom Burleson, whom the Kings obtained in a deal with Denver, which had gotten him from Seattle. They had hoped Burleson would beat out Lacey, but the former North Carolina State star has gotten off to a slow start.
Of all the Kings, the 6-10 Washington is the most improved. He has his fine long-range jump shot but this season he also has become more aggressive and is driving to the basket more frequently than he did last year.
The teams split four games last year, the Bullets winning both contests in Washington and the Kings taking both in Kansas City.