Kings Pass on Schintzius Year after Drafting Pervis

Kings Pass on Schintzius Year after Drafting Pervis

April 12, 1990

It seems that it is the bad teams that must always make the difficult decisions. A lot of times they make the wrong one, which is why a lot of bad teams remain bad. A reference to the Nets would be appropriate at this point. And don't forget those Clippers, who sometimes make good decisions and are still bad.

In this case, however, the Nets are lucky because they have Sam Bowie, which will give them an excuse to pass on former Florida center Dwayne Schintzius in the draft. Last year, the Kings drafted Pervis Ellison, who is their center, and that gives them an excuse for passing up Schintzius. When asked if he was happy to have that excuse, Kings player personnel director Jerry Reynolds said, "Yes."

The Heat also has a center in Rony Seikaly and the Clippers have Benoit Benjamin, which is about as close to Schintzius as you can get. Still, each has an excuse not to take Schintzius.

Others, however, do not. The Hornets, Magic and Timberwolves desperately need a center. Because of the weighted lottery system, those teams will have excellent chances of winning the No. 1 pick. And, if the season ended today, each of those teams would have no worse than the seventh pick.

The point is, somebody is going to be forced to take Schintzius, not only because he is 7-foot, 1/2-inch Somebody is going to have to take him because he is good.

"I don't think he has any minuses," NBA director of scouting Marty Blake said. "I never want to get into negatives with a guy that talented." The most glaring negative about Schintzius during this week's Orlando Classic, a tournament for 36 of the top college seniors, is that he weighs 293 pounds - 18 over what he considers his best playing weight.

But despite not playing organized basketball since January, Schintzius has impressed the scouts with his skills. He is an excellent passer, understands the basics of rebounding, has good offensive skills and runs the court reasonably well for a big man. He also seems to be saying the right things, and has even demonstrated a sense of humor. "I'm not worried about my weight," he said yesterday. "I'm just worried about coming out here and showing them that even though I'm a fat slob, I'm still running up and down the court and I'm doing fairly well. I think when I go back home, I'm going to go on a water and bread diet, go to bed at 8 o'clock, wake up at five, and run five hours a day."

And, hopefully, he won't spit on anybody. "Or use a tennis racket on someone," Magic general manager Pat Williams said. Those were two of Schintzius' more publicized incidents at Florida, where his career ended in January when he left the team, saying he could not "sail under the authority of Captain Ahab." Which meant he could not play for interim coach Don DeVoe, a noted disciplinarian.

Of course, if Schintzius thinks DeVoe is a tough guy, he ought to get a dose of the Nets' Wild Bill Fitch and the Wolves' Wild Bill Musselman. Which is another problem scouts have in figuring what to do with Schintzius. If you have Captain Ahab for a coach, do you pass on a good center?

The word on Schintzius now is that he will go anywhere from No. 1 to No. 10 in the first round. Drafting him could be the best way for a bad team to build. It also could be a way for a bad team to remain bad.

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