Bernard King Rumors
Rick Barry’s golf team, which helped raise money for four charities, also included Naples residents Garrett Richter, Bud Hornbeck, Brian Psota and Patrick Trittler. They combined for a low score of 55 in a field that included Basketball Hall of Famers Ralph Sampson, Artis Gilmore, Bernard King and Alex English among others. Recently retired players Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton also played. “These were really good players,” Barry said of his teammates. “They had two or three handicaps. I don’t play a lot anymore because I like to fish so much. Fly fishing. I’ll go down to Mexico or I’ll go up to Alaska. “I go to Mexico where you can actually catch some really good marlin there.”
But before King could open the door on his car as he headed to the airport that next morning, he received the news that Malone had died suddenly, yet another member of the NBA family gone way too soon. That’s one reason why King was one of 25 retired NBA players to take part in a cardiovascular screening for local NBA alumni Saturday at Philips Arena, a program sponsored by the Hawks in conjunction with the NBA, the Players Association and the Retired Players Association.
“We’ve lost a lot of guys over the last couple of years,” King said, “Moses, Darryl Dawkins, Jerome Kersey and before that Pat Cummings, just to name a few. And a lot of these guys have died of heart attacks. So I think it’s great that the league, the players association and the retired players association are joining forces to try and figure out why that is and what we can do to adequately provide for everyone.”
That’s one of the main reasons the cardiovascular screening program was initiated, said Joe Rogowski, the NBPA’s Director of Sports Medicine and Research. The first one was held in Houston in December. Saturday’s event included Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins, Hawks Vice Chairman Grant Hill, who was instrumental in the event being held at Philips Arena, as well as more recently retired players like Tony Delk. “This is fantastic,” Delk said. “I’m 42 and very conscious of my health now that I’ve stopped playing. So when I heard they were offering this program free to retired players, I made sure to get my name on the list. When you’re playing, you take so much of this for granted, you’re talking about some of the best-conditioned athletes in the world. But none of us is immune to the issues that come with getting older.”