?Player you would pay to see: Barkley, Olajuwon and Pippen tied with four votes each. O'Neal, with two votes, was the only other player with more than one. Biggest surprise: A vote for the Hornets' 5'3" point guard Muggsy Bogues. "I like guys who shouldn't be here, yet here they are," says a Western coach. "He's the toughest guy in the league."
Finally, it's worth noting that Pippen was the only player to receive at least one vote in five categories—last shot, starting a franchise, best defender, best passer and player worth paying to see.
Weight and See
The Nuggets were thrilled when guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, formerly known as Chris Jackson, lost 17 pounds before last season, dropping his weight to 168, and wound up being voted the league's Most Improved Player. They are not as thrilled that Abdul-Rauf has continued to lose weight. Down to 155 at the start of this season, the 6'1" Abdul-Rauf now weighs just 149, leaving the Nuggets concerned about whether he is strong enough to stand up to the rigors of an NBA season, especially considering that his weight could be headed even lower.
Abdul-Rauf, a convert to Islam, is observing Ramadan, the Moslem holy month that began Feb. 11, in which followers of that religion fast from sunrise to sunset each day. Although some athletes who are believers in Islam make allowances for the physical demands of their sport—Olajuwon, for instance, eats on game days during the holiday—Abdul-Rauf plans to adhere strictly to his fast.
Abdul-Rauf had been in a shooting slump—he made only 36 of 123 shots in the 10 games before the All-Star break. But when games resumed last week, four days after the start of Ramadan, he made 20 of 35 field goal attempts in his first two games. Abdul-Rauf is convinced that his eating habits won't affect his performance. "My strength comes from Allah," he says. "I have more strength than I've ever had, and it's an inner strength."
Line of the Week
David Robinson, Spurs
TP: 34; Reb: 10; A: 10; Blocks: 10.
There's no ignoring only the fourth quadruple double in NBA history—Olajuwon, Alvin Robertson and Nate Thurmond had the others—which Robinson achieved in a 115-96 win over the Pistons on Feb. 17. But it should be pointed out that a day earlier the Kings' Mitch Richmond came close to getting a quad of his own. although a slightly dubious one. In a 94-92 win over the 76ers, Richmond had 31 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists...and seven turnovers.