A former coach of John Williams's at Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles said yesterday that the Washington Bullets forward injured last December has been working out daily at his old school since the third week of June. But Bullets General Manager John Nash was skeptical about the effectiveness of the program.

Joe Weakley, an assistant at Crenshaw who has known Williams since he was in seventh grade, said in a telephone interview that Williams has been coming in regularly to work at Crenshaw for 2 1/2-hour periods, from 10 in the morning until 12:30 or 1 o'clock in the afternoon.

The player has not been paid by the club for almost two months in a dispute over Williams's rehabilitation of his right knee. The team claims Williams has not gone to rehab sessions at the Kerlan-Jobe clinic in Los Angeles, where he has spent almost all summer.

"Ever since school's been out, he's been right here," Weakley said. "We work on some drills, some small things. He's been shooting around. He's okay. The knee's about 85, 90 percent. He's all right. There's nothing wrong with him."

Reached for comment, Nash said: "The problem with that is it's not under the supervision of our people, so we can't be sure that's the case. If that were so, I don't know how John gained weight instead of lost. When he was weighed in July, he weighed more than he did at the end of June."

Weakley said he's worked on similar programs with other NBA pros, including Ralph Sampson, Larry Drew, Lester Conner and LaSalle Thompson. Former pros including Freeman Williams and Marques Johnson have also taken part, Weakley said.

"It's just a thing I do with them to help them get a little better with the program," Weakley said. "John Williams is just like my son. {Former Bullets guard} Darwin Cook, the whole lot of them. They come to me to make their game a little better, and John is doing the same thing."

The coach said he had no idea why Williams and the Bullets hadn't been communicating. During his workouts with the forward, Weakley has not weighed Williams and said he didn't know how much he currently weighed. Williams last worked with him Monday and is expected back Friday, he said.

"So far as John telling them what's been going down, I don't know," he said. "That's none of my business."

Nash said he was made aware that Williams had been working out at Crenshaw by Williams's agent, Fred Slaughter, who also told him the player had been working out at UCLA. But Nash didn't know to what degree Williams had been working.

"The reason that this situation doesn't appeal to us," he said, "is lack of supervision. One of the things I would assume is going on is that he's playing basketball. Our doctors didn't want him to play until he gets down to 260. . . . I would suspect that this is part of the reason John's in the shape he's in. It's not the professional approach."

In addition, it is "possible" that such non-supervised workouts could have an effect on insurance payments to the team, Nash said.

Meanwhile, Bullets owner Abe Pollin said yesterday that he hoped to get in contact with Williams within the next two days through unnamed associates and friends of the Los Angeles native.

At a news conference to announce the signing of second-round pick A.J. English to a two-year contract -- one year guaranteed -- Pollin said: "Two or three of them, I think, are looking positive. I've instructed them to tell him when they see him, and they expect to see him in the next few days, that I would come out there and meet with him personally if it would reinforce how important it is for me and the team to get him straight and on an even keel. He'll get that message in the next 48 hours, something like that."

While not naming names, Pollin said those trying to reach Williams are "people who are close to him, that he, I think, would really feel close to and have a lot of confidence in."

Forward Bernard King, in town for a major literacy rally for 15,000 elementary school students at Capital Centre yesterday, said it "would be a little unfair" to discuss Williams's situation. King rehabilitated one of the most devastating knee injuries ever seen while a New York Knick in 1985 and 1986, missing almost two full seasons.

"It was quite different," King said of his injury -- a complete rupture of the anterior cruciate and the medial collateral ligaments. Williams partially tore his anterior cruciate and tore his medial collateral.

"Mine was far more serious," King said. "But in terms of just having an injury and having to rehabilitate it, I talked with him on numerous occasions {during last season} about the importance of spending time with therapists, the importance of not getting down and concentrating on what's necessary to come back. . . .

"I've gone through this personally and there were people on the periphery that wanted to discuss what I was doing and why I was doing it and the decisions I was making. I'm not going to try to get into John Williams's head as to what is directing him right now. I'm not going to do that until I have a chance to talk to John."