LOS ANGELES -- -- Titt Sokk speaks little English and understands even less. Dominique Wilkins speaks no Russian.

But when Sokk saw Wilkins spin away from a defender, cut along the baseline and gesture toward the basket, he knew just what to do.

"I have seen him many times on film," Sokk said through an interpreter. "I know all of his plays."

Sokk's alley-oop pass met Wilkins at the rim, but the result was more than just a thundering dunk. In its own small way, the play was an accord at the summit. This was detente, and basketball was the medium.

"The language barrier is really no problem once we get on the court," Wilkins told the Los Angeles Times. "Then it's basketball is basketball."

For 12 days, Sokk and five teammates from the Soviet national team joined members of the Atlanta Hawks in a tour of the U.S. Ostensibly, brought together for training purposes, the players combined to defeat teams of NBA stars in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Seattle.

The tour, underwritten by the Turner Broadcasting System (TBS), drew criticism for its free exchange of ideas, techniques and plays. Georgetown Coach John Thompson, who will coach the U.S. team in the 1988 Summer Olympics, recently appeared on NBC's "Today" show and said the tour was "very helpful to our opponents."

But Aleksandr Gomelksy, the Soviet national team head coach, who coached the Soviets-Hawks team with Hawks Coach Mike Fratello, said the tour was based on trust, not treachery.

"A lot of heart is in this," he said during the tour. "If all of the people who understood so well as we do, could unite as we have, the world would live in peace. The world would be so fine."

The tour was an outgrowth of media tycoon and Hawks owner Ted Turner's close ties with the Soviet Union. In 1985, the Hawks drafted the Soviet national team's center, Arvidas Sabonis. Then in 1986, they selected forwards Aleksandr Volkov and Valery Tikhonenko. Although Soviet rules forbid players to sign with foreign teams, Hawks officials have maintained close contact with all three.

TBS organized the Goodwill Games in Moscow in 1986, and played a role in the organization of the McDonald's Basketball Open, a mini-tournament to be held in October in Milwaukee that will include the Bucks, the Soviet national team and the Tracer Milan club of Italy.

"TBS is in Moscow eight or 10 times a year," said Hawks president Stan Kasten, "and it was a gradual process. But we understand each other. We have a relationship with them."

That type of communication was evident on the court. In a scrimmage here against a Summer Pro League all-star team, the Soviets-Hawks team ran the fastbreak, worked set plays and coasted to a 161-143 victory.

"Basketball is like music," said Gomelsky. "It is understood by all people, especially when they are this good."

The number of Soviet players drafted by NBA teams is expected to mushroom after next year's Summer Olympics, when many believe the Soviets will allow their players to play outside of the U.S.S.R. (Soviet hockey players will likely be allowed to play in the NHL after the 1988 Winter Olympics, Soviet officials announced last weekend.)

Until then, Gomelsky is left to defend a policy he supports only grudgingly.

"I know there are three German players {in the NBA}," he said. "My players are much better than that. {But} the permission that is granted to our players is granted by our federation to play {for the national team}. When one starts negotiating individually with players, it doesn't do anything except lift up his nose in the air."

If the Soviet edict is ever repealed, the Hawks and the rest of the NBA are poised to move in.

"As soon as permission is given, a Soviet player will make a team here for sure," Fratello said. "They fast-break better than most of our college {players}. That's part of their system, and they're very unselfish. They get the ball and get out."

One of the tour's most talked-about players was Sharunas Marchulenis, a point guard who scored 28 points in the Soviets-Hawks team's 157-121 victory last Saturday in Seattle. Chosen by the Golden State Warriors in the sixth round of this year's draft, Marchulenis hopes to play in the NBA someday.

"Until now, I didn't believe it was true," Marchulenis said of his selection. "{Playing in the NBA} is unthinkable. It's a dream. But I hope that it can come true."