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Former San Antonio Spurs star Johnny Moore returned to his old te

November 22, 1989

SAN ANTONIO (AP) _ Former San Antonio Spurs star Johnny Moore returned to his old team Wednesday, declaring his bout with Desert Fever over and pledging to make the most of any playing time he gets.

″I feel like I’ve come back home,″ said the 6-foot-3 point guard who played for the Spurs eight years before he was waived in 1987. He is the team’s all-time leader in assists with 3,772.

Moore contracted a rare form of meningitis called Desert Fever in December 1985. The illness produced headaches and nausea and limited his playing time to 28 games in the 1985-86 season and 55 games the next year.

After signing with the Spurs Wednesday morning, Moore attended practice and is traveling with the team to California Friday for a game against the Los Angeles Clippers. The Spurs waived guard Jeff Lebo to make room for Moore on the 12-player roster.

Moore, who has been playing with the Tulsa Fastbreakers in the Continental Basketball Association, said his role with the Spurs will be as a backup point guard. But the 31-year-old former University of Texas standout said he’s accepted the fact that he might not see much floor time.

Spurs coach Larry Brown said after Cheeks suffered a mild ankle injury earlier this season, causing Vernon Maxwell to play 41 minutes in one game, the team began considering adding another veteran.

″I think we all wanted to keep Jeff (Lebo),″ Brown said. ″But we’ve had some situations where we needed somebody in an emergency situation.″

Still, Brown said, he warned Moore he may not play.

″I’m not going to change the rotation, but if it’s necessary - if we don’t get production or somebody gets hurt - then you’ve got a guy who’s proven himself,″ he said.

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