EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- According to sources close to Washington Bullets All-Star non grata Bernard King, the suspended ex-New York Knick and ex-New Jersey Net desires to play in New York or New Jersey in the unlikely event he gets his freedom from Washington with his "play me or release me or I'll disrupt your team" campaign.
However, coach Chuck Daly indicated little interest in King, a 36-year-old career 23.1-points per game scorer who hasn't played an NBA game since March 25, 1991.
"There's no thought process about it at this point," Daly said before the Nets beat the Bullets in Baltimore, 109-101, for their fourth straight victory. "He is Bullet property. There's no reason to talk about anyone else's players. . . . I don't know where he is [with rehab from knee surgery]. I haven't the slightest idea. . . . I thought he'd be out for this year. He has been gone 16 months and we have a full roster."
Executive vice president/general manager Willis Reed said yesterday, "As of right now, I don't think I'd do anything [like signing King]. I like our big people up front. Our major concern is whether we are deep enough in the backcourt."
Even given Daly's affection for veterans such as Rick Mahorn and Maurice Cheeks, he wouldn't upset team chemistry by adding King. His low post drop-step move would be hard to fit in to a team that already has problems finding enough balls to keep everyone on the scoreboard.
Plus, sources indicate the Bullets have no intention of granting King's wish by releasing him this season no matter how many times he gets in coach Wes Unseld's face -- as he did during a practice a week ago.
When the four-day, one-game suspension that cost King $30,487 ends tomorrow, they likely are to return him to the injured list for a few days before reactivating him and consigning him to bench duty.