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Cedric Ceballos Remains AWOL From Lakers

March 23, 1996 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Although suspended Los Angeles Lakers forward Cedric Ceballos remained out of touch with the team Friday, his agent called to say Ceballos had made contact with him and was fine.

And the owner of a business in Lake Havasu, Ariz., said Ceballos was there water skiing late Friday afternoon.

``(Lakers executive) Jerry West got a message from Fred Slaughter late this morning indicating he’s touched base with Cedric, he knows where he is, he’s fine, he’s safe and he’s healthy,″ said John Black, the team’s public relations director.


``Fred said Cedric told him he has a personal thing that he’s working through right now, and Fred said Cedric indicated to him he would be rejoining the team sometime soon.″

Ceballos, the Lakers’ leading scorer with a 22.4-point average, missed the team’s charter flight to Seattle on Wednesday and its 104-93 loss to the Supersonics on Thursday night.

Ceballos played only 12 minutes and scored just two points, both season lows, in a 94-71 victory over Seattle on Tuesday night at the Forum.

``He remains under indefinite suspension,″ Black said. ``We can’t do anything more until we speak to Cedric. The next step to us would be speaking to Cedric. We practice again tomorrow and have a game (against Charlotte) on Sunday night.″

Dean Messmer, owner of The Boat Broker, Inc., in Lake Havasu, said Ceballos had some problems with a boat he reportedly purchased in the Los Angeles area on Wednesday and spent the better part of Friday morning at his store.

``He’s out water skiing, having a great time, I just saw him,″ Messmer said at 4 p.m. (MST). ``He rented a seadoo and is waiting on repairs on his boat, which we have.″

Messmer said the boat, also a seadoo, needed some minor repairs and Ceballos rented another seadoo in the meantime.

``We have the feeling he’s going to be here for the weekend,″ Messmer said. ``People have been calling here all morning. There was another fellow with him and two women.″

Messmer said his employees were working to get Ceballos’ boat repaired, and expected it to ready early Saturday.

``We may have the boat delivered to a secret, undisclosed location,″ Messmer said. ``We expect a lot of reporters to be here early when he might show up to pick the boat up. They’ve been in and out a lot today.″


Earlier in the day, Bill Draper, the general manager of Messmer’s business, said he asked Ceballos if he wanted to talk with anyone, and Ceballos told him he wanted to be left alone.

``We have so many people like him who come here for some privacy, movie stars, ballplayers,″ Draper said. ``He’s on the lake having a good time.″

A woman who answered the telephone at the London Bridge Resort in Lake Havasu said Friday morning Ceballos was a registered guest, but wasn’t in his room.

The woman, who wouldn’t identify herself, refused to say when Ceballos checked in or give any other information, and later in the day, she wouldn’t respond when asked if Ceballos remained a guest.

While Ceballos is gone, he is suspended without pay. He earns $27,378 per game.