Yesterday was a big day for Larry Robinson and Haywoode Workman, the starting backcourt in the first two games of the 1990-91 season for the Washington Bullets. They finally found a place to live, a townhouse, after spending almost seven weeks in hotels.

It is appropriate they decided to live together because they have played together through most of training camp and the first week of the regular season.

There is a chance that one or the other could be gone soon, with holdout guard Ledell Eackles getting closer and closer each day to signing. For either to be cut would be unfortunate because Robinson and Workman have gone above and beyond the requirements to make and stay on the team.

Here is Workman's itinerary over the last 12 months: Atlanta, where he was the last cut by the Hawks after being drafted in the second round last year; Topeka, where he played with the Sizzlers of the CBA; back to Atlanta, where he signed a couple of 10-day contracts to replace Doc Rivers; Springfield, Ill., where he played with the Illinois Express of the 6-foot-4 and under World Basketball League, and Washington, where he has spent the past month and a half beating the odds.

"Some of these guys," Bullets Coach Wes Unseld said, "have not had a day off since training camp -- Greg Foster, Larry Robinson, Haywoode Workman -- since day one. That's the first or second of October."

That means every day, after a two-hour practice, they get called back by assistant coaches Bill Blair or Jeff Bzdelik for some extra work. On so-called off days, they spend a couple of hours lifting weights with strength coach Dennis Householder. Then there are the games. Maybe they are actually the easiest things.

"This is what I want to do," Workman said after practice at Bowie State University. "You've got to make those sacrifices. I went through that in college. It's just another step up. It's the same ordeal. If I want it bad enough, that's what I had to do to get here. To stay here, I'm going to have to do something else, probably."

Leaving the CBA is one thing. It is a feeder league for the NBA and the leagues have an understanding. But in order to come to Washington's rookie camp in July, Workman broke his contract with the Express, which was preparing for the playoffs -- the WBL season runs through August. Illinois fined him. He paid. He didn't return.

"I thought I had a great opportunity," he said. "My agent {Frank Catapano} and I talked about it. So I left."

There is not much that is spectacular about Workman's game. But there are few weaknesses. He has run the offense smoothly, and because he is the only pure point guard the Bullets have, they need him as much as he needs them. His starting days, however, appear over -- Unseld named Darrell Walker the starter for Thursday's game in New York. Walker has gotten his stamina back after missing three weeks with tendinitis.

"I know Darrell's the starting point guard," Workman said. "But right now, when the season started, he wasn't in the best of shape. I didn't know if I was going to start or not, but when {Unseld} put me in there, you've got to be ready.

"This is what I wanted to do, so I couldn't back out. When Darrell gets in the best of shape, I'll probably come off the bench, and I'll have to contribute that way too."

After a stellar college career at Centenary, Robinson spent the summer in the camps of Seattle and Denver (with the pre-Paul Westhead Nuggets). The possibilities in Seattle quickly fizzled; one look at the logjam of guards did the trick -- Dale Ellis, Sedale Threatt, Dana Barros, Avery Johnson, Nate McMillan and Jim Farmer. In Denver, Robinson thought he might have a chance -- he was told by the Nuggets they would take him in the second round if he was still on the board -- but that door closed as quickly as it opened.

"I couldn't really understand their situation," he said. "They had me and Stevie Thompson and Theron Mayes there. I don't know if they had favoritism toward Stevie Thompson because he played at Syracuse, but the chemistry didn't feel right. I'm not saying I'm a big-time player, but it just didn't feel like it does here. This feels like home."

Robinson has scored in double figures in both of his starts. It was no small tribute that he was in the game down the stretch against Chicago, and was on the floor at the end of Washington's 103-102 victory.

"I like his skills," Unseld said. "He obviously knows what to do and how to do it, much better than some of the other guards we had here in camp. . . . he picked it up and he obviously feels comfortable with it. He's worked hard."

Yesterday he worked hard moving all of his belongings from Harvey Grant's house. Before then, he had spent 10 days or so at a Holiday Inn. It is a big step for him and Workman. It's a commitment. It's laying down roots. And these are guys living on per diems while awaiting their first paychecks.

"I talked to Bernard {King}," Robinson said. "He asked me, 'How does it feel after the first game?' The nervousness is pretty much gone. But still, to wake up every morning and say 'I'm in the NBA, I'm going to my job now.' It's still unbelievable. I guess it'll take me to the end of the season to realize I'm still here. But I must be doing something right."

Bullets Notes: Unseld has yet to decide whether to start Pervis Ellison or Charles Jones at center Thursday against the Knicks. Ellison practiced yesterday and his sprained ankle looked better than it has for quite a while. Saturday, he fouled out in nine minutes and should not have been on the floor.

"Coach did me the same way he did Tommy {Hammonds}," Ellison said. "He just wanted us to get some conditioning. The big thing was he put us out there for quality minutes. The game was pretty tight in the fourth quarter. I think he wanted us to get some time."


6 foot 3, G, free agent, Oral Roberts

First two games: 4 of 9 FGs, 7 assists, 4.5 ppg.

Started two of final three exhibition games (had team-high 29 preseason assists). Ran offense solidly, though he didn't shoot particularly well. Team's best half-court performances have been with him handling the basketball. Has been in the NBA (seven games with Atlanta), CBA (Topeka Sizzlers) and World Basketball League (Illinois) in the last.


6 foot 5, G, rookie, Centenary

First two games: 10 of 22 FGs, 4 rebounds, 11.5 ppg.

Started two of last three exhibitions, shot better than 56 percent in preseason. Scored six of 10 points against Chicago in the fourth quarter and played down the stretch against Bulls G Craig Hodges. Has won a spot by frequently being in the right spot on the floor, and has impressed coaches with his hard work. Cousin of Boston Celtics C Robert Parish, who also went to Centenary.