Several of SI's panelists answered this week's question—who is this season's most surprising rookie?—with a question of their own: "That Richard Dumas guy," they asked. "Is he a rookie?"
He is. And the Suns' starling small forward got five of the 16 votes—by the Bullets' Michael Adams, the Pistons' Joe Dumars ("And not because my name sounds like his," Dumars said), the Sonics' Eddie Johnson, the Kings' Wayman Tisdale and the Hawks' Dominique Wilkins. Dumas would've gotten Danny Ainge's vote too, but panelists can't vote for a teammate. Seven other players got at least one vote; only the Bullets' Tom Gugliotta (three votes) challenged Dumas.
Shaquille O'Neal of the Magic and the Rockets' Robert Horry each got two votes, though the Jazz's Karl Malone insisted on casting co-votes for Horry and the Kings' Walt Williams.
Among the yearlings to get one vote were the Suns' Oliver Miller, the Timberwolves' Laettner, the Spurs' Lloyd Daniels and the Hornets' Alonzo Mourning, the top rookie—Shaq aside.
Schayes had the best line, nudging the unsigned Jackson: "He's really the biggest surprise. I expected him to be a dumb rookie, but he's way past that."