Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who at 40 played a key role in the Los Angeles Lakers' NBA championship this season, signed a two-year contract, the team announced last night.
The Lakers refused to disclose terms. However, the contract reportedly is for more than $5 million, including $3 million in the 1988-89 season, the highest salary ever in team sports.
The announcement was made after the citizens of Los Angeles celebrated the Lakers' title yesterday. Team members rode three floats down a 10-block route that ended at city hall, where a boisterous crowd packed the lawn to hear Mayor Tom Bradley pronounce the Lakers "the best basketball team in the history of this land."
"Lakers are Magic-al," "L.A. Kareem'ed the Celtics," and "Lakers are Worthy Champions," read signs referring to Magic Johnson, Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy.
A crowd estimated at 15,000 either lined the parade route or attended the ceremonies, according to the police.
From the podium at city hall, Johnson shouted: "We're the No. 1 team, you're the No. 1 sports fans, we're in the No. 1 city and we've got the No. 1 mayor, so hey, have a good time." . . .
Richard Evans, president of the New York Knicks, said the team will not have a new general manager and head coach before Monday's college player draft.
Those positions have been vacant since Evans fired General Manager Scotty Stirling and Coach Bob Hill on April 20, the day after the end of the regular season in which the Knicks finished with a 24-58 record.
Evans said Dick McGuire, the Knicks' chief scout for 20 years, will direct their draft . . .
The Washington Bullets' portion of the draft will be open to the public starting at 1 p.m. Monday at Capital Centre. Admission and parking are free. Activities in the Felt Forum in New York will be shown on TelScreen . . .
The last contract offer made to Ralph Sampson had more value than the 12-year, $2.5 million per-year deal signed last November by teammate Akeem Olajuwon, Houston Rockets General Manager Ray Patterson said.
"The difference in the contracts is the difference in the way you treat money -- annuities, up-front bonuses, interest on money loaned," Patterson said. "The difference is in the interpretation of the contract. I'd say his contract exceeds Akeem's in the way we interpreted it."
Sampson announced last week he had reached an impasse in negotiations and would test the free-agent market since the Rockets had failed in a pledge to match Olajuwon's contract.