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Names In The Game

October 13, 1993

HONOLULU (AP) _ Kurt Rambis enters his 14th NBA season the same way he has the previous 13, fighting for a job.

Rambis, who played on four of five Los Angeles Lakers championship teams in the 1980s before leaving after the 1987-88 title season, is trying to catch on with the Lakers after stints with Charlotte, Phoenix and Sacramento.

He’s never had the talent of many NBA players, but survived thanks to a zeal for rebounding and a love of little things like diving for loose balls and setting picks that help win games but often go unnoticed.

″I have a similar chance of making this club as when I first came here,″ he said after practice at University of Hawaii. ″It’s going to be a numbers game, depending on what the coaches want.″

Rambis, 35, must convince coach Randy Pfund and general manager Jerry West that having an experienced player on the bench will be better than carrying an untested player on a team with a lot of young players.

″Sometimes you want to have a younger ballplayer on your team to try and develop them. But realistically, the last guy on the bench, if he’s a younger guy, how much playing time is he going to get? To develop someone, you’ve got to play him.

″With a veteran, you know what they can do. You know what they’re going to give you. You know you can put them in a given spot and they’re able to perform because they’re veterans.″

″I don’t think we would have brought him in if he didn’t have a chance to contribute. He’s still one of the best players in rebounds to minutes played,″ Pfund said. ″I’m looking for defensive players and rebounders. Those are two things Kurt does pretty well. I’d say he’s got a good chance.″


CLINTON, S.C. (AP) - Presbyterian assistant football coach Pat Apke has been elected to the NAIA Hall of Fame. Apke was a three-time All-America at linebacker for Carson-Newman in the mid-1980s.

Apke, in his third season with the Blue Hose, holds the Carson-Newman record for longest interception return (100 yards) and career tackles (407). He was a starter on two NAIA national championship teams in 1983 and 1984.

He’ll be inducted on Jan. 9 during the American Football Coaches Association Convention in Anaheim, Calif.


SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - Sean Astin has a lot more to remember his role in the new movie ″Rudy″ than film clips, he’s got his bruises.

The 22-year-old actor said he took pictures of the head-to-toe bruises he got during filming. Even his stuntman got hurt.

″He ended up needing knee surgery by the end of the shoot,″ Astin said.

But there were some thrills to go with the spills in shooting the ″big game″ scene for the movie, which opens Friday.

″Your heart starts to beat faster and you can’t believe it, but you get caught up in this thing,″ he said of the scene shot during halftime at a Notre Dame game. ″All of a sudden, you’re running out of this tunnel in a whirlwind of excitement.″

The 59,000 fans at the game were asked to stay in their seats and provide crowd noise for the scene.

The movie recounts the real-life exploits of Daniel ″Rudy″ Ruettiger, a walk-on who played for the Fighting Irish in 1975.


ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The agent for Isaiah ″J.R.″ Rider, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ top draft choice, said his client’s price tag may go up if the team doesn’t act quickly.

Jamal Mashburn, taken fourth overall by the Dallas Mavericks - one pick before Rider - may soon sign a six-year deal that could pay him at least $4 million a year.

″As time goes on, the more difficult it might get for the Timberwolves to make a deal with us,″ Arn Tellem said. ″Depending on what Mashburn gets, asking more for Rider is a possibility.″

Rider has remained home in California and missed training camp.

Quoting an unnamed source close to negotiations, the St. Paul Pioneer Press said the sides were about $200,000 apart in the yearly average of Rider’s proposed contract. The Wolves were offering a six-year package worth $19.8 million; Rider is seeking $21 million.

″It’s a shame, given where we are, that we can’t make a deal,″ Tellem said.


TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - The Phoenix Cardinals were counting on Robert Massey’s return to the secondary Sunday against Washington.

Now, Massey will have to wait until Oct. 24, when they play San Francisco.

The NFL informed the Cardinals on Tuesday that Massey, who held out until Sept. 26, must sit out three games.

In August, the Cardinals sent Massey a minimum tender offer (110 percent of his 1992 salary) and directed him to report to training camp within five days or face suspension for three weeks after he signed.

After Massey accepted the $525,500 offer, the Cardinals thought their Oct. 3 bye week counted in the three-week suspension.

″There was some question as to whether it was three weeks, three games or three paychecks. It’s going to end up three games,″ team spokesman Greg Gladysiewski said.

Coach Joe Bugel said the news disrupted his plans to play Massey and move Lorenzo Lynch back into the nickel-back rotation.

Massey, who started 32 games in two years for New Orleans and has started 20 of 28 for the Cardinals, sparked a 27-24 Phoenix upset of the Redskins on Oct. 4, 1992, by returning two fourth-quarter interceptions for touchdowns.

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