Exactly 24 hours after dismissing Doug Moe as head coach, the Denver Nuggets introduced Paul Westhead as his successor yesterday, and Westhead promised a style of play even more frenetic than Moe favored.
"In college, my team scored as many as 181 points in a game," Westhead, 51, said at a news conference in Denver. "Now, we have eight more minutes. You haven't seen anything yet.
"We'll be the fastest-paced team on offense and defense that you'll see. We're going to knock your socks off. If you wear a neck brace, you won't be able to stay for all of our games."
As coach at Loyola Marymount the past five seasons, Westhead was the architect of a relentless fast-break offense and full-court defense.
Westhead had a 105-48 record at Loyola and led the Lions into the NCAA tournament the past three seasons. They advanced to the Final Eight last spring before losing to eventual champion Nevada-Las Vegas.
He previously coached for nine seasons at La Salle and in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers, whom he led to the NBA title in 1980, and the Chicago Bulls. His NBA coaching record is 140-104.
Westhead signed a multiyear contract for undisclosed terms. Reminded that the new Nuggets owners have forecast three to five years for a rebuilding effort to succeed, Westhead said, "My contract is in the thick of those years." . . .
The Utah Jazz and a Japanese finance company, Sumitomo Trust and Banking Co., have closed a $66 million deal that will allow the NBA team to complete a new 19,600-seat arena by the 1991-92 season, team officials have reported. . . .
Jayson Williams, the Phoenix Suns' first-round draft pick who appeared set to sign a reported $1.5 million contract with an Italian pro team, now wants to reopen negotiations with the NBA club. Suns President Jerry Colangelo said Williams' agent, Bob Woolf, called him Thursday in hopes of resuming contract talks.