In truth, Brown's success caught all parties by surprise. Though Brown had won the slam-dunk contest at the Orlando Classic last summer, he did not anticipate even being invited to the NBA event. Thus, winning it was not even one of the performance bonuses negotiated into his Reebok contract.
"It really surprised me that so many people got upset about the pumping up," said Brown. "I didn't do it because I expected to get something."
Maybe not. But something is sure to come.
Who is the most meddlesome owner in the NBA? We use that term even though it infuriates Hawk president Stan Kasten.
"You mean the guy owns the team and he's meddling?" says Kasten sarcastically. "Gee, I thought if you owned the team, you could do what you want."
Well, yes, you can. But the American sports landscape is littered with owners who meddle in personnel matters and strategic decisions while possessing little knowledge of the sport. That is their right. It also happens to be stupid.
Everyone around the NBA agrees that there is no owner nearly as meddlesome as the 76ers' Harold Katz. "Harold gets involved in every aspect of the operation and makes no bones about it," says the Pacers' Walsh. Katz is a full-time NBA junkie, a slave to his satellite dish, on which he'll even watch such late-night offerings as the Clippers at Sacramento. The recent trade that sent center Mike Gminski to Charlotte and forward Armon Gilliam and center Dave Hoppen to Philly was made not by the general managers but by Katz and Hornet owner George Shinn. It's not the first trade Katz made, and it won't be the last.
We will not, however, bestow on Katz the title of worst owner in the NBA. Though his treatment of individuals leaves a lot to be desired—"He knows players, but he doesn't know people," says one rival Eastern Conference general manager—his knowledge of the game is undeniable, and his energies are directed almost 100% toward the team. The worst owner in the NBA has to be a man who meddles and doesn't know the game.
Our choice: Donald Sterling of the Los Angeles Clippers.