BY GEOFF HOBSON
The Bengals are still awaiting word from No. 1 draft selection Peter Warrick on his plans for selecting an agent. One name surfacing is Norm Nixon, Magic Johnson's backcourt mate in the Los Angeles Lakers' glory years. Nixon currently represents some NBA and NFL players.
Speaking from Tallahassee, Fla., today, Warrick wasn't prepared to say who he's considering.
"Yeah, they're calling from all over," Warrick said. "I don't know what I'm going to do. All I know is that I want to do the right thing."
Warrick indicated he plans to report to mini-camp this Friday, and said he's excited about where the Bengals are going to put him after they drafted fellow Florida State receiver Ron Dugans in the third round. If the disgruntled Carl Pickens doesn't show up, Warrick figures to start at split end (known as the X position) opposite Darnay Scott at the flanker, or Z spot.
"I played the Z (at Florida State), but X is cool," Warrick said. "I think I'm going to love Cincinnati."
Warrick wouldn't get into why he appears to be changing agents. The Bengals received a fax Friday, signed by Warrick, which said the player was terminating his association with agent Michael George and SFX Sports. But the club had received nothing else from the player as of this afternoon.
Reached at his California office today, Nixon said it's a possibility he'll sign Warrick. He said he hopes to have an answer by the time the Bengals report to mini-camp Friday.
Nixon said he represents Jalen Rose and Gary Grant in the NBA, and defensive tackle Larry Smith of the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, a second-round choice last year. He also has Maryland cornerback Lewis Sanders, selected by the Cleveland Browns with the first pick in the fourth round of the 2000 Draft.
The Bengals don't know Nixon, but Nixon knows Cincinnati. He picked the University of Cincinnati to win the NCAA basketball title with Kenyon Martin in the pivot. He also played against UC coach Bob Huggins in college. Nixon, out of Duquesne, went up against Huggins in a game against West Virginia.
"Ask Bob about that game," Nixon said. "He played like he coaches. Tough guy, what they call hard-nosed, and that's exactly how his teams play. If I end up going to Cincinnati (to do a deal), we'll have to look that game up."
Nixon, who has been an agent for eight years, retired from the NBA in 1989 after playing 12 seasons.