To which another Net says, "I'd say that too if he was giving me 18 shots a night."
A Deal Undone
On Jan. 21 the Rockets were this close to acquiring Toronto's Damon Stoudamire, a dynamic 24-year-old point guard who could rejuvenate their franchise. Some news organizations reported that the deal had been struck. But by day's end, nobody had changed uniforms. Here's a blow-by-blow account of the trade that didn't happen.
Rockets and Raptors sources tell SI they hope to nail the deal down by game time. Houston would send Matt Bullard, Emanual Davis, Mario Elie, Matt Maloney, Kevin Willis and draft picks (two firsts, two seconds) for Stoudamire, Walt Williams and Zan Tabak.
Stoudamire, on the phone with SI from Toronto, says he is "numb with excitement" at the prospect of playing alongside Charles Barkley. He has been told by Raptors general manager Glen Grunwald that Toronto wants to solicit offers from other teams one more time before closing the deal.
Stoudamire, on the phone again, is trying to avoid going to the SkyDome for a 7:30 game against the Kings. "I don't want to have to answer questions about the trade," he says, "and if I'm going to be gone anyway, I'm not sure I should suit up. How am I going to concentrate tonight?"
Maloney, sitting in his Embassy Suites Hotel room in East Rutherford, N.J., calls his mother, Barbara, in nearby Haddonfield. He tells her not to come to the Rockets' 7:30 game against the Nets at Continental Airlines Arena because "I'm getting traded."
Barkley, still wearing street clothes, reports that his team's locker room "is like a morgue." Barkley tells SI he became friends with Stoudamire during a trip to Tokyo last summer for an exhibition game. "Great kid, but I'm just not sure about this," he says. "It would be good for Houston's future, I understand that, but does it help us now? It sure as hell ain't helping us get ready for this game tonight."
Two league sources tell SI the deal is off. Other clubs—the Grizzlies, Lakers, Knicks, Magic, Nets and Trail Blazers among them—have made offers that have piqued Toronto's interest.
Houston wins the tip, and Maloney buries a three-pointer. He scores 13 points in the first quarter.