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the NBA
Jack McCallum
January 18, 1993
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January 18, 1993

The Nba

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SI's poll takes on a different look this season. Rather than present our question of the week to coaches and general managers, we have enlisted a panel of 16 NBA players to answer our queries. The panel includes Dream Teamers ( Drexler, Malone and the Warriors' Chris Mullin) and reserves (the Nuggets' Scott Hastings and the Bucks' Danny Schayes). It includes three-point shooters (the Bullets' Michael Adams, the Pacers' Reggie Miller and the Mavericks' Derek Harper) and plain shooters (the Hawks' Dominique Wilkins and the Sonics' Eddie Johnson). There are nice guys (the Knicks' Doc Rivers, the Nets' Sam Bowie and the Kings' Wayman Tisdale) and a tough guy (the Celtics' Xavier McDaniel). There is a trash-talker (the Suns' Danny Ainge) and one who is somewhat of a nontalker (the Pistons' Joe Dumars). There are five forwards, eight guards and three centers, a fair representation of the league's statistical breakdown by position.

This week's question: Which city's fans are the most knowledgeable about basketball, and which are the least knowledgeable? Players were not allowed to choose their own fans.

Surprisingly, New York, with eight votes, was a clear winner over Boston (three votes) for most knowledgeable.

"I give New York the nod because basketball has been such a part of the whole city atmosphere for so long," says Schayes. McDaniel was more pragmatic in going with Gotham. "Me and Marcus [Webb, an obscure teammate] went into Harlem once, and people there even knew who Marcus was," says the X-Man. Also going with New York were Dumars, Wilkins, Johnson, Harper, Miller and Mullin, though the latter's vote should probably be considered biased ( Mullin is from Queens).

Ainge gave his vote to Washington, saying, "The Washington fans who stay away are the most knowledgeable."

New Jersey and Washington were narrow "winners" in the least knowledgeable category (three votes each), while Sacramento ("It's been blind faith the whole time the Kings have been there," says Johnson) and Minnesota ("They haven't seen good basketball, so they don't know what it looks like," says a panelist who desired anonymity) each got two. Philadelphia ("They didn't realize what they had with Dr. J, Moses and Barkley," says Rivers), Detroit ("They're not as sharp as they used to be," says Wilkins), Dallas ("Cubby fans they aren't," says Hastings), Indiana and expansion teams Miami and Orlando each got one vote.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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