"My mom took good care of me when I was young," answered Chambers.
"Do you jump high?" was her next question.
"I used to," said Chambers, "but not anymore." Film at 11:00.
Johnson, along with teammates Mark West and Rambis, made an appearance the next day to sign autographs at the same department store as the three Jazz players, but not without trepidation. Stereotypical caricatures of blacks, in the form of dolls and the like, are not uncommon in Japan, and Johnson and West had told Barry Ringel, the Suns' director of media relations, to make sure that the department store did not carry (or at least did not display) any of the offensive items. It did not, and the appearances by both the Jazz and Sun players were overwhelming successes. Johnson fired up the department store crowd by pumping his hand in a circular motion, a la Arsenio Hall. When KJ did the same thing before Saturday's opener, he was surprised when the audience responded with barks, just like an Arsenio audience.
Rambis was taken aback too, when he gazed into the crowd during the pregame warmup drills and saw five young Japanese fans wearing black-framed glasses, the trademark of Rambis's growing legion of fans. "I have no idea how they knew about it," he said. A precise explanation of the phenomenon was not possible, even with the help of a Japanese interpreter. "Yes, yes, Rambis, Rambis!" is about all the fans could say. David Stern, this is globalization.
Chambers's 38 points and 10 rebounds, along with Johnson's 29 points and 10 assists, easily overcame Utah in Game 1. Game 2 was close the entire way, with Malone's two free throws with 41.6 seconds left making the difference. Phoenix had a chance to win, but Chambers's 13-foot jumper clanged off the rim as the buzzer sounded. As it did, the Jazz players raised their arms in jubilation, almost as if they had won a double-overtime playoff game. Both teams paused for a moment on the court and waved, and some of the players tossed their sweatbands to the crowd.
Fear not, Tokyo basketball fans, if you did not get a sweatband. They will, no doubt, soon be available at your local department store.