File this category in the Lost Arts department. Many members of our panel, which consists of one representative from each of the NBA's 29 teams, were reluctant to fill in any name on a ballot that would determine the top player at screening off a defender. "I don't know who it would be," says one coach. "The guys who do try to set the screens do the dirty work and then get fouls called on them. And the stars won't set them."
Ultimately, the voters favored those who excel at dirty work: power forwards. New York's 6'9", 245-pound Charles Oakley was the winner with five votes and was even called "one of the best ever [at setting picks]," by a Pacific Division coach. Utah's Karl Malone earned four votes while Chicago's Dennis Rodman and Detroit's Rick Mahorn grabbed three each.
Even though he's a 10-time All-Star, Malone enjoys setting picks, and with his 256-pound frame, as one coach noted, "you stay picked." Respondents admired Rodman's scrappiness and Mahorn's nasty streak. "When [ Mahorn] sets a pick on you," says one voter, "he wants to kill you."
There was one small interloper among the big bruisers: Jazz point guard John Stockton received three votes. "I know this may sound strange," one assistant coach says, "but for a little guy Stockton sets a mean pick."