BUFFALO, OCT. 26 -- Washington Bullets forward John Williams said today that General Manager John Nash is "trying to make an example of me" and that he will not return to the team until the club returns the more than $276,000 it has docked from his pay since mid-July.

Williams said he weighs 280 pounds, according to Saturday's editions of the (Baltimore) Sun. The team suspended his pay July 12 after he missed several sessions in Los Angeles early this summer to rehabilitate the right knee he injured in December. The Bullets wanted him to reduce to 260 pounds before he stepped back on the floor, but he played games at UCLA and worked out on his own with a former high school coach.

"If it were up to {Coach} Wes {Unseld} or {vice chairman} Jerry Sachs," he said, "I think I'd already be in training camp, getting my weight down and playing myself back into shape. I talked to Sachs a couple of weeks ago, and he told me he'd see what he could do about the fines, but he called me back and said he couldn't do anything. I think the new guy {Nash} wants to make an example of me."

Reached late tonight in his Philadelphia home -- he was in the Washington area during the day with his wife to close on a new house -- Nash said, "I have no response to that."

Meanwhile the Bullets got off to a slow start here tonight and lost their sixth straight preseason game, 104-96, to the Boston Celtics -- who were playing without their own injured forward, Larry Bird.

The Bullets remained winless in the preseason despite a solid offensive performances from Harvey Grant (18 points) and Bernard King (15 points) and a stellar defensive game from Pervis Ellison (16 rebounds, three blocked shots).

Williams confirmed that Bullets guard Darrell Walker, who missed tonight's game because of tendinitis in both heels, went out to Los Angeles in August to try to persuade him to return to Washington. A club source indicated that at that time Williams expressed a desire to be traded, but both owner Abe Pollin and Sachs said this week that Williams has not asked for a trade in conversations with them over the last 10 days.

Williams also said he had heard about possible trade rumors to Atlanta or Houston.

Said Nash, "I'm not aware of what he's referring to."

Williams's agent, Fred Slaughter, said Thursday that there was nothing new to report in the stalemate. The Bullets will not give Williams his money until he comes east, takes a mandatory team physical and engages in a rehabilitation program.

He still is on the Bullets' active roster. Washington has until 6 p.m. next Thursday to set its 12-man team. Williams could be put on the suspended list for improper behavior or not showing up for team practices, a member of the NBA operations department said today. Nash has the authority to place him on that list.

"You have to be in professional basketball shape," the operations person said.

If Williams was placed on the suspended list, only the Bullets could reinstate him.

Williams disclosed that personal traumas -- the death of a close friend, Gregory Briggs, in a jet ski accident that Williams witnessed last summer, and a stroke suffered by his father -- depressed him to the point that he did not attend the rehabilitation sessions.

"When all that was going on, I stopped going to the clinic," he said. "I started up again in August after talking to Wes {and Nash, and National Basketball Players' Association President Charles Grantham} out in Los Angeles, but when the fines kept coming, I stopped again."

Said Nash: "We're aware of some personal tragedies in John's life. By the same token, his physical condition and his future -- he was advised by our doctors -- that his knee and his future required that he prepare himself physically, by strengthening the knee and reducing his weight."

Williams acknowledged he was overweight.

"Putting me in that leg cast for two months didn't help," he said. "But I've always had a weight problem coming into camp, and the way Wes pushes off, I'd have been in shape in time for the start of the season."

"My main concern, and probably theirs too was my knee. It's more than 80 percent sound now. That's the doctors talking, not me. I've tested it running laterally, stopping and pivoting and jumping, and I haven't felt any pain. I've been running up and down hills and playing some pickup games. The knee doesn't worry me anymore."

And there it stands.

"They've got their side, and I've got mine," he said. "I love this game, and I want to be playing. But, first, I want my money."