David Thompson, the Seattle SuperSonics guard, has voluntarily turned himself into a Denver drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility, according to a Seattle newspaper.
"He made the decision on his own two days ago to get treatment for personal problems," Ron Gollehon, Thompson's business agent, said from Denver. "That was my first awareness of what he wanted. He sat down and decided that it was best that he did it."
Gollehon, who has represented Thompson for several years, said the five-time NBA all-star was beginning a 30-day program, but did not identify the facility nor the treatment, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Gollehon described Thompson's problems only as "personal" ones, but the newspaper reported the problems involved drug and alcohol abuse.
Seattle owner Sam Schulman, who recently had criticized Thompson and his teammates for their play, was angry when first told of Thompson's action. But Schulman soon cooled and said he was "elated, from a humanitarian point of view."
"I'm elated for his sake and perhaps even our sakes that he is seeking help," Schulman said. "My anger . . . is secondary to the fact that the man has taken steps to help himself."
Sonics Coach Lenny Wilkens said he spoke with Thompson near the end of the season and recommended he seek treatment. "I told him there was only one way: Complete rehabilitation or nothing," Wilkens said. "I don't think it had been put to him quite that way before. I'm very happy he's taken care of this."
Thompson, 28, came to Seattle from the Denver Nuggets in a June trade just as stories in the Denver Post speculated about cocaine use by the former North Carolina State all-America. Drug rumors have followed Thompson almost since the day he signed an $800,000-a-year contract with the Nuggets in 1978, the Seattle newspaper said . . .
The Boston Celtics, who were swept out of the National Basketball Association playoffs in four straight games, will keep Bill Fitch as coach next season, club owner Harry Mangurian says. "We're all set," Mangurian said after meeting with Fitch and General Manager Red Auerbach. "Really, there's never been any question about Bill's return."