Imagine NBA players, coaches and executives stuck in an airport for an hour without cellular phones. That, of course, would never happen, but if it did, with whom would they most like to kill that hour?
According to respondents in this week's poll, the answer is resounding: Rockets forward Charles Barkley. Six players were named on more than one ballot, but the Round Mound of Retort was the easy winner, grabbing eight votes. "Never a dull moment with Charles," said Phoenix coach Danny Ainge, a former teammate of Barkley's.
Michael Jordan finished second, with four votes, though one G.M. who voted for him said Jordan "probably wouldn't want to talk to me." There was a four-way tie for third, with two votes each, between Bulls center Robert Parish, Bulls forward Dennis Rodman, Pistons guard Joe Dumars and Jazz forward Karl Malone. "He [ Malone] could tell you about the greatness and the toughness of the league," said Magic G.M. John Gabriel. "And how to change the 11th wheel on a 12-wheel truck."
Several players received one vote, including 76ers forward Derrick Coleman, who was chosen by Atlanta guard Steve Smith. "There's a lot more to Derrick than people know," Smith says.