A TALE OF TALENT WASTED

And now, after missing a full season, the NBA has announced that Dumas is once again suspended. He will no longer be paid by the Suns, and the multimillion-dollar contract he signed is null and void.

It is painful how quickly things change in the NBA.
When the Suns take the floor for the opening exhibition against the Denver Nuggets Thursday night, all six players will be missing.

Dumas, one of the most talented players to come into the NBA in years, has been fired by the Suns. The experiment is over. He is on his own.

West and Miller are with the Detroit Pistons.
Mustaf got a big payoff and his contract was bought out. Reports are that he was paid at least $2.5 million not to darken the Suns' door anymore.

Ceballos got caught in the numbers game at forward. He was shipped to the Lakers. Ced may well average 25 points per game if he gets enough playing time and his legs hold up. He is a scoring machine, but on many nights, his man will outscore him, because defense is not one of his great concerns.

Frank Johnson is in the Suns' front office. He will be around to counsel Sir Charles, but it won't be the same.

Everybody is doing fine except the most talented player of them all--Richard Dumas. Ceballos, West and Miller will all get big raises. Johnson got the job he wanted in the Suns' front office.

Only Dumas took a fall. You have to hope he'll make it back. Only a very few players are a sheer joy to watch in motion. Dumas has that rare quality.

The NBA needs him. The league doesn't need all those muscle-bound thugs out there on the floor shoving each other around.

Richard Dumas has too much talent. In years to come, his brief stay here will be magnified by those who saw him play. Surely, he can't waste his life like that.

Can he?

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