One thing that hasn't changed about Wilkins is his basic inability to turn down requests from people, whether reporters, friends or all sorts of folks with a good cause, who want something from him, things he has difficulty delivering—like himself. "He's such a great guy," says Rivers. "Not selfish at all. His biggest problem is never saying no."
Wilkins's suburban house, a 14,000-square-foot job with four floors, seven bedrooms, a movie room, weight room, maid's room and elevator, seems to be constantly filled with people of varying age and sex, coming and going as they see fit. As he drives into downtown Atlanta for the game against Dallas, Wilkins laughs at himself for saying yes to so many things, among them the festivities the evening before the recent All-Star Game, his sixth. In that game he missed one of his patented dunks when he pounded the ball off the rim, then flew backward and nearly landed on his head. Players on both benches loved it. "Michael had a birthday party that night," Wilkins says. "A lot of the guys stayed out late, and I stayed out a little later than they did. I think it took three or four inches off my jump."
He laughs. No need to explain who Michael is. He's the guy just a few long inches ahead of the still-growing Nique.