A player who is willing to be flattened for the good of the team is quickly regarded as a real man's man. Odd, then, that the choice of our panel—which consists of a coach, player or front-office executive from each of the NBA's 29 teams—is a guy who not only favors eye shadow, earrings and neon boas, but also kicks the occasional cameraman below the belt.
The winner was Dennis Rodman, who received six votes—three more than Magic guard Darrell Armstrong. "Rodman's strong enough to hold on until the last minute before he takes the fall," says one assistant coach. Toronto's Popeye Jones, Miami's Dan Majerle, New York's Charles Oakley, San Antonio's Will Perdue and Chicago's Scottie Pippen got two votes apiece. Our selectors also mention the thespian abilities of the Knicks' John Starks ("a good actor") and the Mavericks' Chris Gatling ("a flopper").
Taking a charge correctly, it seems, is a dying art in the NBA. It requires speed, court awareness and, most of all, guts. "Guys just won't take them anymore," says Denver coach Dick Motta. 'Agents tell them not to because they don't want their guys to get hurt and jeopardize their money. But when you take a charge right, it doesn't hurt." At least, it couldn't possibly hurt more than body piercing.