HoopsHype Spencer Haywood rumors

April 7, 2013 Updates

With the support of SuperSonics owner Sam Schulman, who had signed Haywood to a $1.5 million, six-year contract, and a sharp legal team headed by Pete Brown and Al Ross, Haywood sued. But when he tried to play, he was served an injunction just prior to tipoff, and he had to leave the arena. “The P.A. announcer would say to the crowd, ‘We have an illegal player on the Seattle roster,’ and that’s how I was introduced,” Haywood said. “Then I’d have to leave the building after they’d serve me with the injunction. I remember being in Cincinnati, and we were playing the Royals and I stood outside of Cincinnati Gardens in the snow waiting for the game to end so I could rejoin the team. I went through a lot of humiliation.” Las Vegas Review Journal

Yet, the ghosts of the past still seem to cling to Haywood. He said today’s players don’t seem to understand what he did in 1970. “I’m still a pariah,” Haywood said. “I’ll be around Kobe, LeBron, Carmelo (Anthony) at USA Basketball camp and they won’t talk to me. What they don’t know, or want to know, is without me, there’s no them. But they’re in denial.” Las Vegas Review Journal

April 5, 2013 Updates

Al Ross, Haywood's agent in the early 1970s when he sued the NBA and won the right by the Supreme Court to enter as an underclassmen out of college, confirmed Haywood's election on Friday to FOX Sports Florida. The forward will be enshrined Sept. 8 in Springfield, Mass. "It's one of the most important things ever (in NBA history),'' Ross said of Haywood's case. "It opened the door for all these superstars like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson to enter the NBA.'' FOXSports Florida

It was decided on March 1, 1971, by a 7-2 vote by the Supreme Court that Haywood was eligible to play. That has paved the way for countless stars to enter the NBA before their college eligibility expired. The attorney representing the NBA in the Haywood case was David Stern. He later became NBA Commissioner and will leave office next February. "Isn't that ironic?'' Ross said of Haywood getting into the Hall of Fame in the last class in which Stern is the commissioner. FOXSports Florida

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.