At week's end the Pistons had the second-best defense in the NBA
(86.3 points allowed per game), the fourth-best record (33-12)
and the second-best player (forward Grant Hill). Yet Detroit
coach Doug Collins gave his team no shot at winning the Eastern
Conference crown. "Ever see the movie A League of Their Own?" he
asks. "That's the Bulls right now." Still, Collins is actively
campaigning for Hill, who leads the Pistons in scoring (21.4
points a game), rebounds (8.7), assists (6.8), steals (1.8) and
minutes (39.1), to win the MVP award. "He should," Collins says.
"There's not one guy who can cover him one-on-one." If he really
wants to help Hill's cause, however, he might want to cease that
campaign around Michael Jordan at this weekend's All-Star
festivities.... While at the scorer's table last Saturday in
Cleveland, Hornets sixth man Dell Curry was asked whom he was
replacing. He replied, "The one shooting all the bricks."
Moments later he checked in for guard Tony Smith.... Orlando
forward Dennis Scott, who grew up in the Washington area, got 72
tickets for friends and family when the Magic played the Bullets
at USAir Arena on Jan. 27. He then missed all 10 of his field
goal attempts in a 102-82 loss. "I always wanted to make history
in this building," Scott said, "but not like this." ... With
18-year-old Kobe Bryant being groomed as the Lakers' point guard
of the future, L.A. will likely shop Nick Van Exel after the
season.... After the Cavaliers beat the Nets by holding them to
a franchise-low 62 points on Jan. 28, Cleveland coach Mike
Fratello said, "We've all had nights when the ball will not fall
for you. It can happen to any one of us." The next night the
Cavaliers scored a franchise-low 65 points in a loss to the
Knicks.... David Robinson, still rehabbing from a broken left
foot, says he wants to come back while the Spurs, 11-31 at
week's end, still have a shot at making the playoffs. In other
words, by the opener next season.... The Lakers are worried
about losing promising center Travis Knight after the season.
Knight will be a free agent, and because of salary cap rules,
Los Angeles can offer him only a 20% raise on his $220,000
rookie minimum salary. Bet Magic owner Rich DeVos, still
smoldering over the Lakers' wooing of Shaquille O'Neal, would
love to gain a bit of revenge by signing Knight.... Ryan Minor,
the 6'7" second-round pick out of Oklahoma who was a washout
with the 76ers, has left the Oklahoma City Cavalry of the CBA.
An infielder in college, he signed a one-year contract with the
Baltimore Orioles.... Last Thursday, 33-year-old Jack Haley
signed with the Nets and 37-year-old Tom Chambers with the
Hornets. Somewhere Paul Mokeski is working on his hook shot....
Because of injuries and excess weight, Clippers center Stanley
Roberts has missed 205 games over the last four seasons,
including 25 this year with a bad back. He returned to action on
Jan. 28 against the Hawks, played 10 minutes, shot 1 for 5 from
the floor, then sat out practice the next day because his back
and legs hurt. Clippers coach Bill Fitch noted an improvement in
Roberts's appearance, however. "It looks like Stanley lost some
weight," Fitch said. "He got a haircut." ... Bulls forward
Dennis Rodman's ex-wife, Anicka, signed a six-figure deal with
Dove Books to write a tell-all book about her former husband.
Guess Rodman will soon know how that cameraman felt.
COLOR PHOTO: MANNY MILLAN Hill is driving for MVP, but will the Pistons stall in the playoffs? [Grant Hill]
COLOR PHOTO: SCOTT CUNNINGHAM/NBA PHOTOS [Darrell Walker]
COLOR PHOTO: PHOTODISC [Paintbrush]
Raptors coach Darrell Walker is an avid collector of
African-American art. He owns more than 40 paintings and has
exhibited several of his pieces at Arkansas-Little Rock. Here
are Walker's favorite places to view African-American works.
1 G.R. Nnamdi Gallery, Birmingham, Mich.
2 Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, N.Y.C.
3 G.R. Nnamdi Gallery, Chicago
4 June Kelly's Gallery, N.Y.C.
5 Bomani Gallery, San Francisco