"The next thing I remember was lying on the floor. There was a buzzing in my ears. I remember thinking that the scoreboard must have fallen on me."
So testified Houston Rocket forward Rudy Tomjanovich yesterday in federal district court in Houston, where he is suing California Sports Inc., owners of the Los Angeles Lakers, for more than $1 million in damages. Tomjanovich was describing the effects of a punch thrown by then-Laker Kermit Washington during an altercation in a Dec. 9, 1977, game.
The five-time all-star could not play the rest of that season after undergoing plastic survery and the Rockets, 49-33 the season before, finished last in the Central Division with a 28-54 mark.
The Rockets are suing the Lakers for $1.4 million for the loss of Tomjanovich.
Tomjanovich also testified that his market value had been diminished by the blow. The 6-foot-8 forward returned last season and was third on his team in minutes played, averaged 19 points and shot 51.7 percent in 74 games; that was slightly better than his career statistics, not including last season: 18.1 points a game and 50.3 percent.
Scoring machine Bob McAdoo says he no longer can play for the Boston Celtics and wants to be traded to one of three teams.
"I don't want to be in Boston because of (last year's Coach) Dave Cowens," McAdoo said. "He sat me down because he didn't like the idea of me being there last season. And that team didn't have enough talent to keep me sitting."
Listing San Diego, New Jersey and Los Angeles as the teams he would like to play for, McAdoo added, "I've put in my time with losers and it's time for me to be on a championship contender."
The big man never was one to underestimate his abilities.Asked about possibly going to Detroit as compensation for Boston's recent acquisition of free agent M. L. Carr, McAdoo said, "Carr's a good player. But that's not compensation, that's overcompensation."
All-Pro defensive end Lyle Alzado is being considered a "walkout" by the Denver Broncos. Should he fail to return to camp within five days, and is neither traded nor waived, Alzado would be ineligible to play for another team this season.
Alzado allegedly left in pursuit of a professional boxing career. Now agent Greg Campbell is pressuring the Broncos' general manager, Fred Gehrke, for renegotiation of Alzado's contract.
"I kept telling him (Campbell) that I can't do that," Gehrke said. "It would put me in bad shape with the rest of the players. At the end of our conversation Campbell said he'd send me two tickets to the (Leon) Spinks fight."