Introducing the official NBA all-rookie team, chosen by the 22 head coaches: From Detroit, a unanimous pick, Kelly Tripucka, and with 20 votes, Isiah Thomas . . . From Dallas, another unanimous choice, Jay Vincent . . . From New Jersey, 20 votes, Buck Williams . . . And from Washington, edging San Diego's Tom Chambers, 11-10, to round out the big five: Jeff Ruland!!!
Frank Johnson of the Bullets tied preseason favorite Mark Aguirre and Elston Turner, both of Dallas, for seventh with two votes. Williams' Nets/Maryland buddy, Albert King, made one selector's best five. Rookie of year, picked by media panel, to be announced June 16 . . .
One more college basketball experiment, NCAA willing: Metro Conference athletic directors reject their coaches' proposal for 30-second clock, 19-foot three-pointers, a la ACC--but go for raising personal foul limit to six . . . If Jim Palmer reassesses and goes for a trade, the Royals are said set to deal shortstop U.L. Washington to Baltimore . . . Late show on the Coast: Jay Johnstone, RBI pinch single against the Pirates--promptly followed by unconditional release from the Dodgers . . . Terp football: OT David Pacella, DG Mike Corvino first full-season captains-elect at College Park since 1971 . . .
More Celtic pain: knee surgery this week for Cedric Maxwell (cartilage) and next for Rick Robey (cyst) . . . Pleasure: Red Auerbach, old Celtic boss of new Dr. John Thompson, becomes honorary doctor, too, of humane letters at U. of Mass.-Boston, June 6 . . .
George Gervin throws Ice water on that report he was pressing San Antonio owner Angelo Drossos for another contract redo, declaring "I ain't hurting financially" and he doesn't want fans to think him a "greedy SOB" . . . Nuggets have withdrawn reported $500,000-a-year offer to retain 12-year pro Dan Issel, ending efforts before he tests NBA free-agent waters . . .
When NHL takes up Rockies again Thursday, don't be surprised (advises N.Y. Times) if the league should buy the franchise and sell it to Jersey's Meadowlands operation. Then it could be called an expansion team, subject to approval by three-fourths, instead of all, of the owners. And thus maybe shut out unwanted ownership (George Steinbrenner?) . . . Add jocks/booths: Bob Griese, replacing Rocky Bleier on Team NBC. Joe Greene, also wanted by NBC, to Team CBS . . .
Mike Woods, Colt linebacker paralyzed from waist down, is reported improving in Cleveland's Mount Sinai Hospital, and a suspect, 17, in his shooting in custody . . .
Tony Conigliaro's doctors in Salem, Mass., caution that while "he has done amazingly and exceptionally well" in beginning to come around from four months' coma after heart attack, don't expect too much--he did incur brain damage, chance of complete return to normal "extremely unlikely." He might have spoken sooner, but for an opening cut in his windpipe, and ventilation tube inserted.
His family sees the positive side--"He watches a lot of television, has daily physical therapy and if you saw him sitting there you wouldn't think anything was wrong with him," says brother Billy C--though medics term it "a very low level of consciousness."
Yes, but, says Billy, "I can just feel the intensity with which he is trying to come out of this."