"I love it," added Loughery, who played nine seasons in the city.

He gave a good-natured growl when told that Frazier was on the premises. "I used to hate that guy," Loughery said.

The former Bullets all listed rivalry games with the Knicks as their most striking memories from the arena. The teams vied for Eastern Division supremacy, and Bullets star Earl "The Pearl" Monroe gave Frazer fits with his herky-jerky spin moves.

"We were such rivals," Ferry recalled. "But it was aggravating, because they drew a lot of their fans to our building."

He sounded just like an Oriole griping about Yankees fans filling Camden Yards.

The arena showed its age in myriad ways Thursday. A modern NBA palace, it's not.

Trainers helped players stretch on tables mounted in the middle of the hallway. There were no lockers. Players dressed on folding chairs in cramped rooms with bare walls.

"Are you kidding me?" muttered one New York reporter as he surveyed the humble set-up.

"Did we have lockers?" Loughery asked with a grin.

"Yeah, we had something resembling lockers," Ferry replied. "Gus Johnson and Earl Monroe had to have some place to hang their mink coats."


Sun reporter Nick Fouriezos contributed to this article.