Elvin Hayes has written a book, "They Call Me the Big E" (Prentice-Hall, 169 pp., $8.95) with the help of Bill Gilbert. The book, due out at the end of the month, is premature, since it doesn't include anything about this season, perhaps the most interesting in Hayes' 10-year NBA career.
Hayes finally has demonstrated to his critics that he can be happy without scoring 20 points a game and without demanding a large number of shots every time out. That's Hayes' way of saying. "Okay, I haven't won a title the other way, so now I'll try this method."
Indeed, some Bullet officials would like to see Hayes start shooting more. They feel he sometimes isn't as effective as he could be because he doesn't always get into a shooting rhythm when he cuts down on his field goal attempts. But his teammates seem pleased with his passing and willingness to share the spotlight with them.
His book, which deals in great length with his religious ideals, also explains his views on:
Referees: "Some officials seem to work differently if they know the game is on TV. They make more calls, they slow down the game and in general they seem to be much more prominent. They are performing . . . a couple of officials even seem to have problems with their attitudes toward blacks . . . some officials just seem to get too impressed with their own power."
Hayes says Norm Van Lier, Eric Money, and Kevin Porter never get a break from the officials. Others, like Dave Cowens, Bill Walton, Maurice Lucas and Bob Lanier, "get away with murder." Such Players as Nate Archibald and Rick Barry, "have the officials psyched out, making the refs think they're always being fouled."
His image: "I've always been totally honest with myself about myself . . . I knew I was saddled (when he came to the Bullets) with the reputation of a troublemaker, a malcontent, a guy who causes trouble on every team he plays fro . . It was unjust and untrue . . . It was the exact opposite of my reputation over nine years in high school, college, and my first (pro) season in San Diego."
Writers: "I don't feel that writers and broadcasters have to be cheerleaders. In fact, I don't think they should be, but I do think they should be fair and impartial and not rap one player because they're friends with another or because we lose in the playoffs.
"As harsh and untrue as some of their stories were, I'm sure they didn't really mean to put me through the torture I was enduring, and I'm sure they would have been stunned . . . if they had ever been able to know what I was going through."
Loyalty and salaries: "No athlete is worth the money he's getting, including me, and we ought to be honest enough to admit it . . . there's got to be a stopping point somewhere. All those business geniuses who own professional sports seams are going to have to put their foot down sonner or later, and probably sooner."
Sports: "Sports are great fun . . . great stimulants and everybody in them, including me, is fair game for criticsm and second-guessing. My point is that our interest in sports engulfs us and affects us far more than a game should. And we let them affect others, innocent and decent people, in a damaging way, especially when 'He couldn't win the big one.'"
Hayes also recalls how, during his days with the old San Diego Rockets, that the pressure got so bad he briefly contemplated suicide and began taking sleeping pills.
He believes a hotel lobby conversation with Irene Pollin, wife of Bullet owner Abe Pollin, in which Hayes expressed interest about being traded from Houston to the Bullets, laid the foundation for that eventual transaction.
Sidney Wicks has undergone one of the more dramatic turnarounds of any player in the league this season. The Celtics were so upset over his lack of hustle that they desperately were trying to unload him earlier. Under new coach Tom Sanders he is being allowed to shoot more and play small forward instead of big forward.
The result is a return of the Wicks of UCLA days. He is scoring and passing and playing good defense. And the addition of Kermit Washington as a big forward should make him even better. Indeed, with Cowens at center and Wicks and Washington at forward, the Celtics will have a rebounding front line the equal of the Bullets' trio of Hayes, Wes Unseld and Mitch Kupchak.
Tom Heinsohn is the analyst on college basketball games telecast by a Boston UHF station. He worked the Boston college-Georgetown game last week . . . The Lakers' disenchantment with Jamaal Wilkes is increasing. He probably will be playing somewhere else next year . . . Buffalo's Billy Knight collects, of all things, knights. "My home," he said, "is decorated by knights.There is a 6-foot tall bronze knight inside the entrance. I call him Mike. I have a knight's helmet that is an ice bucket, another knight's helmet is a radio, and there is a knight holding a sword that is used for a letter opener." The NDA All Star Game Sunday ranked as one of the best ever. Too bad some of the players don't try as hard during those half-speed, midweek, lackadaisical league games.