Wayman Tisdale has played in 403 pro basketball games. Of those 403, exactly four have been in the postseason.
Informed of his horrendous playoff percentage, the affable Tisdale smiled that smile of his, clinched his left fist and shot it into the air. "Wow, awwwright," the Tis said laughing.
In three seasons at the University of Oklahoma (1983-85), Tisdale was on teams with combined records of 86-20 (.811).
In five NBA seasons (1985-90), Tisdale has been on teams with combined records of 152-257 (.372).
"It's been rocky," Tisdale said matter-of-factly.
And of Tisdale's 403 games, zero have been during All-Star weekend.
Tisdale undoubtedly gathered his most impressive numbers in the NBA last season 22.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, .525 field goal percentage with Sacramento. Despite the efforts, the 6-7 1/2, 235-pound Tisdale was overlooked for the All-Star Game.
"Yeah, I felt a little slighted," Tisdale said. "But when you don't get the wins and don't get the exposure . . . I just hope to be there next year."
But through all the pain, Tisdale's smile and laughter remain.
Tisdale was in town for autograph sessions and promotional duties with the Oklahoma City Cavalry, a new CBA franchise. Tisdale, who will turn 26 on June 9, is one of the team's 30 or so owners.
"I'm a limited partner, but yet I feel a big part of it," said Tisdale, who refused to share the amount of his investment. "I'm going to help any way I can. All I can do is advise the coach (Charley Rosen). It's his show now. I like his attitude, his enthusiasm."
Tisdale keeps his enthusiasm despite playing for six different NBA coaches so far.
The No. 2 pick in the 1985 draft behind Patrick Ewing, Tisdale began his career with Indiana, playing the role of sixth man under coach George Irvine. Jack Ramsey was coach in 1986-87 when Tisdale experienced his best pro record to date 41-41. The Pacers lost 3-1 to Atlanta in the opening round of the playoffs.
The 1988-89 season was rather interesting for Tisdale, who played for five coaches and two teams. It began with Ramsey (0-7), went to Mel Daniels (0-2), went back to Irvine (6-14), then to Dick Versace.
Tisdale was traded to Sacramento on Feb. 20, 1989, and joined Kings coach Jerry Reynolds. Reynolds lasted 28 games this past season and was replaced by Dick Motta. At last check, Motta was still Tisdale's coach.
Coaches come and go, but all Wayman Tisdale asks is that he be allowed to be Wayman Tisdale.
"At Indiana I was put in a position where I wasn't allowed to be me," Tisdale said. "I let people direct me into being someone else.
You only learn by your mistakes and that was a mistake I let Indiana do."
Tisdale said such was the main reason for his success at OU, where he was a three-time All-American, Big Eight Conference Player of the Year before leaving after his junior season.
Ask Sooners coach Billy Tubbs to explain what instigated the success in OU's basketball program and he'll point directly at Tisdale.
"He points at me and I point back at him," Tisdale said of Tubbs.
"He gave me an opportunity to be Wayman Tisdale and exploited that to the maximum. That's a big compliment. He knew what I could and couldn't handle. I admire him for that."
Tisdale has no desire to be traded. "As long as I can be part of making a team a winner, it doesn't matter where I play and that's being honest. There have been some very tough years. I'm just waiting my turn.
"My father taught me a lot of things," said Tisdale, the son a Baptist minister. "If Job can wait, I can wait. That's what keeps me going. I'm waiting my turn." BIOG: NAME:Archive ID: 428445