Which one would teams rather have?
Majerle won our poll, which was conducted before Pierce's trade, by a vote of 12-8. Abstentions (not counting Milwaukee and Phoenix) numbered five, since many coaches and general managers said they could not choose between the two.
The word "score" was invariably used by those who favored Pierce, who at week's end was producing 22.5 points per game in just 28.8 minutes. Initially, at least, the Sonics were thinking of keeping him in that role, even though they have another of the league's better sixth men in Eddie Johnson. Could it be that the Sonics will try to trade Johnson or Pierce?
"You like to have any player in this league who can score," said one Eastern Conference coach, who voted for Pierce in our poll. Added an Eastern general manager: "Despite the fact that Majerle has all the qualities coaches talk about, the one thing Pierce can do, score points quickly, is so overwhelming that you have to take him."
Then why did Majerle win the poll?
"Dan's the type of guy who cannot score a point but will still win games for you," said a Western coach. "There is only one other player in the NBA who has come off the bench with that kind of impact, [Detroit's] Dennis Rodman."