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Clippers’ Gondrezick Says He’ll Enter Substance Abuse Clinic in Van Nuys

In a teary pregame announcement in front of only two players and Coach Don Casey, Clipper reserve guard Grant Gondrezick said he was voluntarily checking himself into the ASAP substance abuse clinic in Van Nuys.

Gondrezick, who missed practice Sunday with what was said to be the flu, warmed up before Monday night’s game against Atlanta at the Sports Arena but left after a brief discussion with Norm Nixon, Quintin Dailey and Casey. Gondrezick was not at his Tarzana home after the game, according to someone identifying himself as a nephew.

A second-year pro from Pepperdine who played in France last season, Gondrezick was one of four Phoenix Suns indicted in the final week of the 1986-87 season on cocaine charges that were part of the biggest drug scandal in National Basketball Assn. history.

He later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of witness tampering and was fined $100 and placed on 3 years’ probation.

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All drug charges were dismissed, and they were not held against him under the NBA drug policy.

The rest of the Clippers were told about Gondrezick’s decision after the loss to the Hawks. Ken Norman, Gondrezick’s roommate on the road, refused comment.

It is not known whether Gondrezick is checking himself into the clinic because of drugs or alcohol. Dr. Tony Daly, the Clippers’ team physician, said it was his understanding that Gondrezick would begin treatments today.

“Gondo worked hard all the time,” Nixon said. “He didn’t miss practices, he didn’t miss buses, he didn’t miss games. Usually, you can tell the guys who have the problem pretty bad. But you couldn’t tell with Gondo.”

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Gondrezick, who was signed to a guaranteed contract before the start of the season that was worth $100,000 when he made the team, will go on the suspended list and will continue to be paid.


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