It may not be as bad as the rumors to which it gave rise out west of a deal in which Los Angeles would sign injured Bill Walton and trade Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Denver for David Thompson - some rumor' - but the Nuggets are awfully disappointed in the way Thompson is rising to his status as an $800,000-a-year NBA player.

Coach Larry Brown is upset with D.T.'s play and his attitude. He's missed key shots and performed poorly in four recent losses, and lately has been late to practices. It's said the former N.C. State great has not adjusted to sharing billing with offseason Nugget acquisitions George McGinnis and Charlie Scott.

Brown's Denver boss, Carl Scheer, insists, "Thompson isn't and never was up for trade" - and, anyway, he tacks on - "Since signing Jimmy Price (and cutting Brad Davis, Los Angeles hasn't lost a ball game and the way they're playing Jerry West wouldn't trade ball boys."

Slip-slidin' Bud Moore is gone as coach at Big Eight doormat Kansas, as of yesterday, but what of Charlie McClendon at LSU? Will he go along with the plan of his old boss, Paul Dietzel, to ease him out as Bayou Tiger coach a year hence (to be Athletic Director Dietzel's assistant the following two years) - or will McClendon take the hint and pack it in after this season, his 17th since he relieved Dietzel as head coach? Dietzel returned from various other pastures this year as A.D. and, although McClendon is 122-52-7 with 11 bowl appearances, the old what-have-you-done-lately syndrome is at work. Says McClendon: until after the Mississippi State game, don't ask.