Pause Button Hit on Microwave

September 11, 1991
The Vinnie Johnson Watch is on hold. The Microwave is evaluating potential employers. Potential employers are examining their wallets.

According to Johnson's agent, Mitch Frankel, the Celtics are the clubhouse leaders in the ardor category. Then again, with only the $ 130,000 minimum to offer the 35-year-old Johnson, the decision to chase the Microwave isn't one totally based on financial considerations. Johnson also will earn $ 1.1 million from the Pistons, who waived him last Wednesday. 

"I guess you could say it's on hold all over the court," Frankel said yesterday. "I think it's going to be a couple weeks before it all shakes down."

One option likely is out. The Italian team Knorr Bologna has signed a Yugoslav to fill out its two-foreign-player quota. Frankel said yesterday that Johnson wouldn't go overseas for anything less than a two-year deal, something he doesn't envision being offered.

On the other hand, the San Antonio Spurs are in the running and reportedly are $ 1.7 million under the salary cap. (The Celtics are about $ 10 million over the cap.) San Antonio still has Rod Strickland, a restricted free agent, to sign.

"I don't think they've made up their minds yet on how much they want him or what his value is," Frankel said of the Spurs.

There also are the Lakers and others who may join the fray. But for now, no one has expressed more of an interest in Johnson than the Celtics.

"If only," sighed Frankel, "we could find a way for them to come up with more money."

New look for scouts

The Celtics announced a perestroika of their scouting operation yesterday. Longtime scout Rick Weitzman (he was an early Rick Fox fan) was named the team's head scout, replacing Forddy Anderson. The team also announced that assistant coach Jon Jennings would coordinate the scouting schedules and handle all the administrative functions. And, as reported in the Globe last week, former Celtic Dennis Johnson will join the scouting staff. Anderson, 72, has been with the Celtics since 1986-87 and was the head scout for the last three years. Anderson will be a special assignment scout and general manager Jan Volk said Anderson still would have input. Weitzman, who played 25 games for the 1967-68 Celtics,has been with the team in a scouting role for several years.

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