February 16, 1995 in Sports

Blazers Begin Clyde-Less Era

Associated Press

In day one AC - After Clyde - the Portland Trail Blazers headed into unknown territory with a coach who admits he’ll have to do some experimenting to determine who plays where and when.

“I think you’re going to see clearly some people fighting to re-establish their playing time and their roles on the team or working to fit into a new role,” coach P.J. Carlesimo said from his hotel room in Phoenix.

Some of the scoring will come inside with the arrival of Otis Thorpe, the 6-foot-10 power forward obtained in Tuesday’s deal that sent Drexler and Tracy Murray to Houston.

Thorpe averaged 13.3 points and 8.9 rebounds per game this season for the Rockets.

“He gives us a dimension that we’ve been lacking, frankly,” Carlesimo said, “someone we can really go to inside.”

Thorpe was to arrive in Portland today and play in the Blazers’ home game against Seattle Friday night. His arrival leaves open the question of what happens to Buck Williams, who has been Portland’s starting power forward since he was traded to the Blazers in 1989.

Carlesimo said he hadn’t decided on how Thorpe will fit into the rotation.

Business for Drexler memorabilia was brisk at the Blazers on Broadway store, where fans bought Drexler posters, T-shirts and hats.

Loyalty questioned in Miami

Kevin Loughery is upset with former assistant Alvin Gentry, who replaced him as coach of the Miami Heat.

Loughery, who hired Gentry as an assistant, was fired Tuesday by the team’s new owners with the Heat struggling at 17-29.

“Things have developed over the last year, have developed over the last week or so, that really surprised me,” Loughery told WTVJ-TV. “I think the biggest trait you can have as an assistant coach is loyalty, and I think Alvin failed in that area.”

Gentry said he was still trying to get in touch with his former boss.

“I’ve called him a couple of times; I’ve not been able to talk with him,” Gentry said. “But I’m going to call him again … and visit with him, because you know like I said, the one thing I don’t want hanging over me is that Kevin would think that I was disloyal to him in any way.”

Riley draws up plan with fist

In the Knicks’ 106-94 loss at Detroit Tuesday, New York coach Pat Riley tried to rally his troops after a 63-38 first half. He did so by thrusting his fist through the center of the chalkboard that is usually used to design plays.

When they got to the locker room at the half, Riley let the board have it. Afterward, he let his players have it.

© Copyright 1995 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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