Kevin Porter almost pulled out the game for the Washington Bullets today, but is so dejected at the way he has been used by Coach Dick Motta that he said he doubts if he will be back with the team next season.
Porter played in only the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers today, but scored 10 points as he made all three field-goal attempts, all four free throws and added eight assists.
The Bullets went into the final period 14 points down, however, and lost, 111-107.
"I want to end my career here, but I doubt if I will," said Porter, who has been used only sparingly the last two months.
He came to the Bullets as a free agent savior last summer, but never really fit into Motta's offense.
He eventually was benched in favor of Jim Cleamons and now seldom gets to play.
Porter said today he is confused as to what the Bullets want him to do.
"I just don't think they've given me a fair chance here," Porter said. "You take a guy like Tommy Henderson and they give him three years to run the offense and they only gave me 25 games.
"It seems funny to me that no one has explained my role on the team. I take it for granted I was benched in the first place because our big front line wasn't moving up the court at the same speed I was.
"We just weren't playing well as a team. I don't think our troubles were because I couldn't run the offense. I think I still have a lot of years left, but I don't think I will play them here.
"I can still take control of a game like I did today and I try to do the best I can every time he (Motta) calls on me, no matter what the situation is. But when a player isn't explained anything, that just isn't right."
Motta said that he liked the way Porter and John Williamson played together in the fourth quarter today and that he was going to use them more as a pair in the future.
"He did say right after that game that he might use me and 'Supe' more together," Porter said. "I just hope it isn't too late.
"But even if he does use me more, then what happens to Larry Wright? Where will he stand than? It's really hard on a player not to know where he stands."
The Laker game was the second outstanding game for Porter on this just-completed seven-game (2-5) road trip.
He played 17 minutes against Kansas City, made six of eight shots and scored 15 points, again almost leading the Bullets to victory.
The next game, however, he played only nine minutes and not at all the game after that.
But Porter has been very consistent on this trip. He played in five of the seven games, a total of 57 minutes. He made 10 of 18 shots from the field and seven of seven free throws for 27 points. He dished out 20 assists and was charged with only four turnovers.
"He (Motta) seems to put me in only when we're way down and he doesn't say anything to me," Porter said. "I take it for granted that he wants me to push the ball up the court hard, so that's what I do."
Porter also showed some of the fire today that made him a favorite of the Washington fans when he was originally a Bullet before being traded to Detroit after the 1974-75 season.
Early in the fourth quarter Spencer Haywood elbowed him and Porter threw a punch at him in retaliation, not backing down an inch, even though he is nearly a foot shorter than Haywood.
That could be what Motta has been waiting to see in Porter and this just may have been the performance that put Porter back in the Bullets' plans.