While NBA Commissioner Larry O'Brien digests the transcripts now that he has heard final arguments from San Diego and Portland in the Bill Walton compensation case, Kermit Washington waits, and worries.
American U.'s own wrote O'Brien a hand-written plea not to be included in Clipper payment to the Trail Blazers for signing 1977 MVP Walton. Washington wrote that he has found acceptance in San Diego, and owner Irv Levin agrees, "If I allowed Kermit to be acquired by Portland, I'd be run out of town."
Levin has employed the strong forward since last midseason, acquiring him from Boston soon after KW left Los Angeles under the cloud of two months suspension and $10,000 fine, courtesy of O'Brien in the Rudy Tomjanovich punchout that culminated last month in a federal jury's multimillion-dollar award to the Houston Rockets.
Washington wrote O'Brien that another move "would hurt my enthusiasm and place a burden on my family, which is comfortable and secure in this (San Diego) community . . . The people here gave me the opportunity to be myself and . . . rebuild my confidence as an individual. It was hard enough the first time getting rid of my negative image. Proving myself all over again would be even harder . . . "