February 21, 1986
Wedman Feeling Better as Bird Averages 31, 13, and 7.7 on Road Trip
Flanked by his wife, Kim, and physical therapist/chiropractor Steve Krischel, Scott Wedman strolled into the lobby of the Denver Marriott early yesterday afternoon.
"I feel much better," said Wedman. "I'm going to warm up and try to play if I can."
Wedman left the Celtics in Phoenix Tuesday and flew to Kansas City while the team flew to Oakland, Calif. The Celtics organization said Wedman was excused to handle a personal problem, but refused to elaborate. When it became apparent that Wedman wasn't going to make it to Oakland for Wednesday's game, the Celts finally admitted that Wedman was suffering from a strained back.
Greg Kite started in Wedman's place Wednesday and grabbed nine rebounds as the Celts beat the Warriors, 115-100. Larry Bird registered his third triple- double of the trip: 36 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists.
Wedman got a loud round of applause when he boarded the team bus last night. Aware of the speculation and confusion surrounding Wedman's departure, the players kidded Wedman about the rumors sparked by his absence.
"I'm not really that worried about it," Wedman said before last night's game. "People that know what's going on know what the problem is. The main thing now is to take care of my back.
"The longer I let it go, the worse it gets," said Wedman. "Kansas City was the closest place without flying back to Boston . . . I'm sure the people (doctors) in Boston could have helped too, but it would have been a lot more flying time Tuesday."
Wedman said Krischel might accompany him to Boston when the Celtics return home today.
Celtics coach K.C. Jones started Wedman at the small forward spot last night.
He's a Real Nowhere Man: Kevin McHale didn't plan to play last night. Due to a sore left Achilles' tendon, McHale hasn't started a game since Jan. 22 and did not play a minute in the first six games of the Coast trip. Jones finally admitted that he would have left McHale home if he'd known McHale wouldn't play on the trip. "It's something we didn't know at the time," said Jones. "My approach was positive."
Danny Ainge shot 5 for 15 in Oakland and was 12 for 46 on the trip prior to last night's game. "I hadn't shot enough shots to be in a slump until tonight," Ainge said after the Warrior game. "But now I'm in one and I have to shoot my way out of it." . . . In the first six games of the trip, Bird averaged 31.5 points, 13 rebounds and 7.7 assists. Informed of yet another flight delay at the Oakland airport early yesterday, Bird said, "Anybody got a blank stat sheet? I want to mail my stats in for tonight's game and go home. Put me down for 20 points, 18 rebounds and no assists." . . . Jerry Sichting shot 62 percent (18 for 29) in five games after an 0-for-4 start in Sacramento. He's shooting 54 percent from the floor this season . . . Bill Walton is averaging 16.2 rebounds per 48 minutes . . . Rick Carlisle grew a beard while on the road, but says he plans to shave it off . . . Robert Parish had his name misspelled in the official box (Parrish) for the fifth time in seven stops when the Celts visited Oakland. Parish is a six-time All-Star and played four seasons for Golden State . . . Celtics equipment masters Wayne LeBeaux and Joe Qatato have been helping out since the team was in Los Angeles.