The way Magic Johnson sees it, Dave Kindred owes him an explanation. Or an apology.
Shortly after Johnson's first practice of his return to the Los Angeles Lakers, what had been an upbeat mood darkened considerably when Johnson was asked about comments made by Kindred, the lead columnist of The Sporting News, in a commentary in this week's issue.
The bulk of the column concerned whether Johnson should return to the NBA. Toward the end, Kindred added these comments:
"Now he (Johnson) should do one selfless thing. Tell the whole truth about how he acquired the AIDS virus. He said unprotected heterosexual sex did it. Numbers say that's unlikely. One study says the odds are 1 in 500 even if a man uses no condom and his partner already has the virus. Using a condom with a partner who has no high-risk experience makes the odds 1 in 5-billion.
"A man is hundreds of times more likely to acquire HIV by homosexual contact or by using dirty hypodermic needles. It is forgivable for a man to hide such activity _ if no one else is hurt by his behavior. But it is reprehensible if a man serving his self-interest helps create a frightening lie that causes research money to be diverted from more critical fields."
Johnson was concerned not with the statistics in Kindred's column but with the innuendo.
"The thing about it is, if he (Kindred) knows something, why doesn't he say it?" Johnson said. "Why doesn't he come out like a man? Don't hold back. I've been waiting on him to say something. I was hoping he'd say something, so I could sue him real good. That's why he doesn't say anything. He doesn't have any information.
"Don't point no finger about something that's happened, if you're not gonna come out and be up front."
Miner pact redone after
NBA vetoes original deal
LAKE WORTH _ The NBA vetoed Miami Heat rookie Harold Miner's new contract because of a technicality, and he had to sit out practice while the problem was resolved.
Miner signed a restructured deal Saturday, clearing the way for him to join the team officially on the second day of training camp at Palm Beach Community College.
The NBA said the contract Miner signed Tuesday violated the collective bargaining agreement.
The problem was with the sixth, non-guaranteed year of his deal, which called for Miner to receive $2.7-million. The amount was more than the allowable 30-percent raise from the previous season.
Heat managing partner Lewis Schaffel said the guaranteed portion of the contract _ $7.3-million for five years _ would remain unchanged. Details of the restructured deal weren't disclosed.
Veteran guard John Morton signed and reported for practice Saturday.
TEAM PLAYER STATUS
1. Orlando Shaquille O'Neal 7 years, $40-million
2. Charlotte Alonzo Mourning Unsigned
3. Minnesota Christian Laettner Unsigned
4. Dallas Jim Jackson Unsigned
5. Denver LaPhonso Ellis 5 years, $13-million
6. Washington Tom Gugliotta Unsigned
7. Sacramento Walt Williams Unsigned
8. Milwaukee Todd Day Unsigned
9. Philadelphia Clarence Weatherspoon 7 years, undisclosed
10. Atlanta Adam Keefe 5 years, undisclosed
11. Houston Robert Horry 5 years, undisclosed
12. Miami Harold Miner 5 years, $7.3-million
13. Denver Bryant Stith Terms undisclosed
14. Indiana Malik Sealy 5 years, $5.9-million
15. LA Lakers Anthony Peeler Terms undisclosed
16. LA Clippers Randy Woods Terms undisclosed
17. Seattle Doug Christie Unsigned
18. Portland Tracy Murray 3 years, undisclosed
19. Detroit Don MacLean Unsigned
20. New York Hubert Davis 5 years, $4.7-million
21. Boston Jon Barry Unsigned
22. Phoenix Oliver Miller 2 years, $1.1-million
23. Milwaukee Lee Mayberry 4 years, undisclosed
24. Golden St. Latrell Sprewell 2 years, undisclosed
25. LA Clippers Elmore Spencer Unsigned
26. Portland Dave Johnson 3 years, undisclosed
27. Chicago Byron Houston-x Terms undisclosed
x _ Traded to Golden State.