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November 10, 1997 | Volume 87, Issue 19

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Grant Hill Cover - Sports Illustrated November 10, 1997

November 10, 1997
ATLANTIC DIVISION

November 10, 1997 | Jackie MacMullan
vanquished the Heat in the Eastern Conference finals, many of Miami's veterans departed for the summer with a small measure of satisfaction. They had, after all, upended the Knicks in the...

November 10, 1997 | Jackie MacMullan
The three-point line will be returned to its original distance (23'9") this season. No team will be more aware of that change than the Heat, which hit 678 three-pointers and scored 26.2% of its...

November 10, 1997 | Jackie MacMullan
Ask Heat coach Pat Riley at the right time what he thinks about 76ers forward Derrick Coleman and he'll tell you, "His greatness could really shine." Riley will also tell you he hasn't talked to...

November 10, 1997 | Phil Taylor
will win the championship this season, a declaration most Knicks fans regard as similar to a Manhattan cabbie's guarantee of a leisurely ride—it's nice to hear but hard to take seriously. Ewing's...

November 10, 1997 | Phil Taylor
Patrick Ewing has averaged 20 or more points per game in 11 consecutive seasons (he was just one basket shy of averaging 20 points in his rookie year, scoring 998 points in 50 games). Of the four...

November 10, 1997 | Phil Taylor
The relationship between guard John Starks (right) and coach Jeff Van Gundy bears watching. While Van Gundy was warning his team not to form bad habits in the preseason, Starks was telling...

November 10, 1997 | Jackie MacMullan
, Washington forward Juwan Howard was soaking up the charged atmosphere at the United Center, studying the defending champions' pregame rituals, scrutinizing how the Bulls deferred to Michael...

November 10, 1997 | Jackie MacMullan
Washington, in its final season as the Bullets, made the playoffs for the first time since 1987-88. But after a three-game sweep at the hands of the Bulls, Washington still hasn't won a postseason...

November 10, 1997 | Jackie MacMullan
He's big, he's bubbly and, most of his teammates agree, he's a wonderful guy, yet 7'7" center Gheorghe Muresan (right) hasn't taken his game to the higher level Washington has hoped for. His...

November 10, 1997 | Jackie MacMullan
, the Magic was a team divided. After coach Brian Hill was fired midway through the season, many blamed his dismissal on a mutiny by the players, who had clamored for a more high-profile leader....

November 10, 1997 | Jackie MacMullan
At 67, Chuck Daly is the oldest coach in the NBA. (He is almost four years older than the Clippers' Bill Fitch.) In fact, Daly is the second oldest among active head coaches and managers in the...

November 10, 1997 | Jackie MacMullan
At first glance the hiring of Hall of Famer Julius Erving as an executive vice president was a solid move that, among other advantages, gave coach Chuck Daly a familiar basketball face to huddle...

November 10, 1997 | Jackie MacMullan
rookie point guard who has a tattoo on his left arm that reads KING OF THE HILL Billups was trying to scale the mountain of conditioning demanded by Rick Pitino. The climb was killing Billups—and...

November 10, 1997 | Jackie MacMullan
Rick Pitino has turned an NBA team around before. In 1987 he inherited a 24-58 Knicks club and improved it by 14 wins, to 38-44 in '87-88. The 15-win Celtics present a bigger challenge, but all 10...

November 10, 1997 | Jackie MacMullan
In the preseason coach Rick Pitino went out of his way to laud veteran guard Dee Brown (right) for his attitude and conditioning. Then he named Brown co-captain alongside Antoine Walker, which...

November 10, 1997 | Jackie MacMullan
busy man. Since he burst onto the scene last season with extraordinary skills and precious few wins to show for them, he has been exhibit A of what is good—and bad—about young players today.

November 10, 1997 | Jackie MacMullan
Only seven rookies in NBA history have averaged at least 40 minutes and 20 points per game (minimum 60 games played). Six of those players are in the Hall of Fame; the seventh is Allen Iverson....

November 10, 1997 | Jackie MacMullan
The Oct. 1 deadline came and went for the Sixers to lock up third-year shooting guard Jerry Stackhouse (right) with one of those megacontracts some members of his draft class (like the...

November 10, 1997 | Jackie MacMullan
forward from Utah, arrived for his pre-draft workout in June, the Nets were prepared to like him. What's not to like? Good size, good stats, good shooter, good kid. But New Jersey needed to draft...

November 10, 1997 | Jackie MacMullan
The best barometer of a team's offensive rebounding ability is not its raw number of offensive boards but its offensive-rebound percentage—the percentage of a team's own missed shots (field goals...

November 10, 1997 | Jackie MacMullan
Coming into the season, center Jayson Williams (right) was a source of concern for the Nets, since he had publicly declared his distaste for coach John Calipari and was hoping for an off-season...

November 10, 1997 | Kelli Anderson
heroes of the entertainment world, the Rolling Stones, will sound like the Bulls when they decide they are embarking on their last blockbuster tour: tired, aching and swearing that wild horses...

November 10, 1997 | Kelli Anderson
Over the past two years the Bulls have shattered the NBA records for best winning percentage in one season (72-10, .878, in 1995-96) and over a two-season span (141-23, .860, for '95-96 and...

November 10, 1997 | Kelli Anderson
In the preseason newly acquired forward Scott Burrell (right) not only filled in admirably for the injured Scottie Pippen on the court, but he also occasionally took Pippen's place in...

November 10, 1997 | William F. Reed
after the NBA allowed teams to begin negotiating with free agents, general manager Bob Bass was on the phone with David Wesley's agent, Frank Catapano. After only a few hours they had hammered...

November 10, 1997 | William F. Reed
Anthony Mason and Glen Rice finished first and second, respectively, in the NBA in minutes per game last year. They also became the third pair of teammates—and the first in 29 years—to average...

November 10, 1997 | William F. Reed
Teams looking for a center in next summer's free-agent market will monitor the play of Hornets starter Vlade Divac and his backup, Matt Geiger (right), both of whom are in the final year of their...

November 10, 1997 | William F. Reed
has run with both the Bulls (en route to their championship last season) and the bulls (in Pamplona, Spain, several years ago), is bullish on being in Motown. His dad, Tony, was the lead singer...

November 10, 1997 | William F. Reed
Seventeen NBA players have led their team in points per game, rebounds per game and assists per game in the same season (minimum of 50 games played). Of those 17, only three have achieved this...

November 10, 1997 | William F. Reed
While newly acquired Brian Williams was the object of much preseason attention, the Pistons and their opponents were noting that Detroit's other Williams, forward Jerome (right), was beginning to...

November 10, 1997 | William F. Reed
, forward Alan Henderson earned a degree in biology at Indiana and has aspirations of also becoming a doctor. But all of the family's scientific expertise did him little good last November, when...

November 10, 1997 | William F. Reed
The Hawks were 5-0 in overtime games last season and heading into this season had won their last eight regular-season OT games, dating to April 11, 1995. That put them within three overtime...

November 10, 1997 | William F. Reed
The Hawks were next to last in fast-break points last season, a sorry stat that can be remedied if center Dikembe Mutombo (right) shows improvement at making the outlet pass. Says coach Lenny...

November 10, 1997 | William F. Reed
forward Chris Mullin from Golden State, it became clear that they wanted to make a serious title run this season, and the hell with the future. At 34, Mullin is nearing the end of a career that...

November 10, 1997 | William F. Reed
Mark Jackson, traded from Denver to Indiana last February, led the NBA in assists in 1996-97, ending John Stockton's nine-year run as the league leader. In so doing, Jackson became the sixth...

November 10, 1997 | William F. Reed
For several seasons, cocky shooting guard Reggie Miller (right) has garnered a plurality of the Pacers' points and a majority of the attention. But now that Hoosiers legend Larry Bird is the...

November 10, 1997 | Kelli Anderson
see a vulnerable spot on Milwaukee's perimeter. He'll see the outstretched hands before anyone else does, and without a word or second thought he'll chip in with an assist. But not yet. Before...

November 10, 1997 | Kelli Anderson
Last season, playing for the low-scoring Cavaliers, new Bucks point guard Terrell Brandon ranked only 17th in the NBA in assists (with 490) and 20th in field goals (575). However, he had a hand in...

November 10, 1997 | Kelli Anderson
Before the Bucks completed their trade with the Cavaliers and the Sonics that brought point guard Terrell Brandon to Milwaukee, they had been considering getting a point guard—possibly the...

November 10, 1997 | William F. Reed
-year, $22 million contract extension, the Raptors got more than just a shooting guard who was one of only four NBA players to rack up 400 rebounds, 300 assists, 100 steals and 100 three-pointers...

November 10, 1997 | William F. Reed
Damon Stoudamire's statistics from his first two NBA seasons compare favorably with those of four other renowned point guards—except, that is, in the won-lost column. But unlike this quartet of...

November 10, 1997 | William F. Reed
As Isiah Thomas and other Raptors officials prepared for last June's draft, they were certain their choice (at No. 9) would be French-born Olivier Saint-Jean of San Jose State. Instead, to...

November 10, 1997 | William F. Reed
more than Cleveland, which has an entirely new starting lineup and a new up-tempo offense. Last season the Cavs were so boring—they were the second-lowest-scoring NBA team since the shot clock,...

November 10, 1997 | William F. Reed
The average Cavaliers game last season featured only 173.1 points (87.5 by Cleveland, 85.6 by its opponents). That's the lowest average for any team's games since the introduction of the shot...

November 10, 1997 | William F. Reed
With the trades of veteran point guards Terrell Brandon and Sherman Douglas, rookie Brevin Knight (right) is expected to get plenty of minutes at the helm of the Cleveland offense. However, much...

November 10, 1997 | Phil Taylor
changes with the Jazz, the most stable family unit since the Huxtables. For years Utah has had mostly the same personnel, no one suffered serious injury, and everyone got along beautifully.

November 10, 1997 | Phil Taylor
Karl Malone and John Stockton have played 976 regular-season games as teammates, the most by any pair of players in NBA history. Utah's two stars are entering their 13th season together, which...

November 10, 1997 | Phil Taylor
Though forward Karl Malone (right) has told local reporters to stop saying he's unhappy with his contract, the Mailman, who has two years left on his deal with the Jazz and will earn about $5...

November 10, 1997 | Kelli Anderson
No. 1 pick in the 1997 draft, would be good. He just had no idea how good. So Elliott, the Spurs' small forward and undisputed video-game champion, was in for a shock when he invited Duncan over...

November 10, 1997 | Kelli Anderson
The Spurs' collapse last year—from 59-23 in 1995-96 to 20-62 in '96-97—was the most dramatic in NBA history. It also had something in common with two other teams' major drop-offs: the loss of a...

November 10, 1997 | Kelli Anderson
As opponents focus their attention on Tim Duncan and David Robinson on the inside, they may find themselves crushed from the outside. Of the three key Spurs—Robinson, Sean Elliott and Chuck...

November 10, 1997 | Kelli Anderson
' locker room after a preseason game, rookie guard-forward Rodrick Rhodes can't believe his good fortune. Not only is he a first-round draft pick, but he also gets to rub elbows with living...

November 10, 1997 | Kelli Anderson
Houston's thorniest problem last season was keeping Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley and Clyde Drexler healthy. The Rockets won 32 of the 40 games in which all three played, but Houston's record...

November 10, 1997 | Kelli Anderson
Charles Barkley (right) has threatened to retire after each of the last three seasons, and when, during training camp, he publicly questioned—again—how badly some of his teammates want to win a...

November 10, 1997 | Kelli Anderson
$125 million contract will fade. People will tire of calculating what the 21-year-old Timberwolf, who calls himself Da Kid, is making, on average, for every minute he oversleeps ($39.63). Pizza...

November 10, 1997 | Kelli Anderson
Minnesota's Stephon Marbury and Kevin Garnett were two of the four youngest regulars (defined as starting at least 50 games) in the NBA last year. Since the 1979-80 season Marbury is the youngest...

November 10, 1997 | Kelli Anderson
Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury (right) are unhappy that the Timberwolves didn't re-sign their pal Dean Garrett (who decamped to the Nuggets as a free agent). Garnett and Marbury are going to be...

November 10, 1997 | Tim Kurkjian
on Indiana's NCAA championship team in 1987. He played in Italy for seven years and spent another year in Greece, an expatriation that almost made him quit basketball. He reached the NBA, with...

November 10, 1997 | Tim Kurkjian
"Quit while we're ahead" could have been the motto of last year's Nuggets. Twenty-nine times Denver led at the end of the first half but won only 15 of those games. No other NBA team last season...

November 10, 1997 | Tim Kurkjian
Rookie point guard Bobby Jackson (right) is probably closer to 5'11" than the 6'1" he is listed at. Plus, he's not really a point guard; he was essentially a shooting guard at Minnesota. Learning...

November 10, 1997 | Kelli Anderson
-Rockets exhibition game at Reunion Arena, two teams of mascots from local businesses played a brief full-court game. As costumed characters such as Chuck E. Cheese, the Chick Fil-A chicken and...

November 10, 1997 | Kelli Anderson
The Mavericks used 27 players last season, the most ever by an NBA team in one year. Of the 12 players on Dallas's opening-day roster this season, only Samaki Walker was on the team at the...

November 10, 1997 | Kelli Anderson
How serious is Shawn Bradley (right), for whom Dallas is his third team in three seasons, about making this his final stop? The Utah native boldly relocated his family—which includes wife Annette...

November 10, 1997 | Tim Kurkjian
moves an NBA club can make: telling a rookie point guard, . It has happened only a handful of times in the last 25 years, and rarely has it worked out well. But for the Grizzlies, who are going...

November 10, 1997 | Tim Kurkjian
After the All-Star break, center Bryant Reeves averaged 19.3 points and 8.4 rebounds and shot 51.1% from the field—all considerable improvements over his performance in the first half of the...

November 10, 1997 | Tim Kurkjian
New power forward Otis Thorpe (right) figures to improve Vancouver's rebounding, a category in which the Grizzlies were 27th in the league last season. But how much? "I don't know," says one...

November 10, 1997 | Phil Taylor
actors. Rick Fox, the Lakers' swingman and a fledgling thespian, is obviously a believer in that show business adage because he turned down chances to be a leading man for several other teams and...

November 10, 1997 | Phil Taylor
Shaquille O'Neal has not won a championship in his first five NBA seasons—but neither did Michael Jordan. In fact, O'Neal's teams have enjoyed greater success in games in which he played, in the...

November 10, 1997 | Phil Taylor
Robert Horry (right) likes to drive to the basket, but many teams, particularly some in the Eastern Conference, have believed that slamming him to the ground on one of his slashes early in a game...

November 10, 1997
Paulina MiettinenHELSINKIMiettinen, a junior forward on the Franklin Pierce College women's soccer team, led the Ravens to a 17-0 record. As she did last year, when she helped Franklin Pierce win...

November 10, 1997 | Tim Kurkjian
president-general manager Wally Walker should again be known as Wally Wonder, as he was during his playing days. On Sept. 25 he traded unhappy power forward Shawn Kemp, who had vowed to sit out...

November 10, 1997 | Tim Kurkjian
Since the 1992-93 season, only the Bulls (.732) have had a better regular-season winning percentage than Seattle (.722). The Sonics' record (296-114) is the best in NBA history over a five-year...

November 10, 1997 | Tim Kurkjian
Center Jim McIlvaine (right), who is in the second year of a seven-year, $35 million contract, is a nice 15-to-20-minute-a-night player. That's it—and the Sonics know it. Don't make the mistake of...

November 10, 1997 | Tim Kurkjian
for the Trail Blazers, laughed in astonishment after two days of training camp. "You should see our practices," he said, shaking his head. "They're incredible to watch. Everyone on this team is...

November 10, 1997 | Tim Kurkjian
While ranking fourth in the league with 43.3 rebounds per game last season, Portland outrebounded its opponents 58 times, tying with the Bulls for best in the NBA in that department. But the...

November 10, 1997 | Tim Kurkjian
Forward Rasheed Wallace (right) has extremely small hands for someone who is 6'11". He can barely palm a ball, which is the reason that he so often dunks with both hands. It's also why he doesn't...

November 10, 1997 | Tim Kurkjian
last season, begin this season as the league leader in that category. On Oct. 1 Phoenix gave up two guards—a jump shooter (Wesley Person) and a bad shooter (Tony Dumas)—to get Antonio McDyess, a...

November 10, 1997 | Tim Kurkjian
Phoenix began 1996-97 with 13 straight losses, four shy of the NBA record for a season-opening skid. But the Suns later ran off 11 wins in a row to become the first team to lose 10 or more...

November 10, 1997 | Tim Kurkjian
Jason Kidd (right), a classic point guard who gets to more loose balls than anyone in the league, is among the game's best-rebounding backcourtmen and is strong enough and quick enough to guard...

November 10, 1997 | Phil Taylor
player with hot-dog tendencies to have a conflict with his coach, and Bill Fitch wasn't the first old-school coach to butt heads with a flashy young star. To most observers of the Clippers,...

November 10, 1997 | Phil Taylor
Loy Vaught has made at least half of his field goal attempts in each of the last five seasons. Only six other players have had a field goal percentage of .500 or better in each of those years...

November 10, 1997 | Phil Taylor
Don't be surprised if forward Loy Vaught (right), who has never missed more than nine games in any of his seven years with the Clippers, sits out a few more than that in 1997-98. Vaught is in the...

November 10, 1997 | Phil Taylor
can't laugh at themselves. Their new marketing campaign pokes fun at a team that was bad and bland in 1996-97. According to one radio spot, Golden State's theme song last season was the droning...

November 10, 1997 | Phil Taylor
Latrell Sprewell was one of only three players last season to lead his team in minutes, field goals attempted and made, three-point field goals attempted and made, assists, steals, turnovers and...

November 10, 1997 | Phil Taylor
Small forward Donyell Marshall (right), a big disappointment since he was drafted No. 4 by the Timberwolves in 1994, arrived at camp in the best shape he has been in since he joined the Warriors...

November 10, 1997 | Phil Taylor
practice sessions during training camp, managing general partner Jim Thomas declared 50 victories to be a reasonable goal for this season. "I don't think that's out of the question," he said....

November 10, 1997 | Phil Taylor
The 1996-97 season marked the 14th straight year in which the Kings finished under .500—a streak that began in the club's next-to-last season in Kansas City. Unless Sacramento puts together a...

November 10, 1997 | Phil Taylor
No player in the NBA has seen his stock plummet more than 6'9" forward-guard Billy Owens (right), and some observers say that it's because Owens is lazy. "He's one of those guys who has never...

November 10, 1997 | Rick Reilly
Many share blame for the suicide of a victim of sexual molestation at Maple Leaf Gardens

November 10, 1997
(WWW.CNNSI.COM)SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and CNN team up on the Internet to offer up-to-the-minute sports news and stats as well as stories and photos from the magazine. You can also find SI articles and...

November 10, 1997 | Jeff Pearlman
November 5, 1990

November 10, 1997 | John Walters
Saturday 11/8

November 10, 1997 | John Walters
Hollywood Park isn't in Hollywood—it's in less fashionable Inglewood. We mention that because the track is the site of the Breeders' Cup (Saturday, NBC, 1:30 p.m.), whose marquee race, the $4.4...

November 10, 1997 | Edited by Richard O'Brien and Hank Hersch

November 10, 1997 | Edited by Richard O'Brien and Hank Hersch
40,000Pounds of snow manufactured in Miami and shipped, as a promotional gimmick, to the British Virgin Islands so U.S. snowboarders could practice there for the Winter Olympics.

November 10, 1997 | Edited by Richard O'Brien and Hank Hersch
Eleven years ago the United States Football League, the high-rolling springtime challenge to the established pro football order, folded after only its third season. Today 11 of the 159 USFL...

November 10, 1997 | Edited by Richard O'Brien and Hank Hersch
To reach the start of Sunday's New York Marathon, Luis Jorge Obando Ramírez ran 5,000 miles from his home in Bogotá. "Many times I wondered if I would make it," he says. "I often was unsure how...

November 10, 1997 | Edited by Richard O'Brien and Hank Hersch
Are these weathered leather gloves waiting to be stowed for the winter? No, they're hard clay facsimiles carved by California sculptor Richard Newman, whose handiwork can be caught in galleries...

November 10, 1997 | Edited by Richard O'Brien and Hank Hersch
The New York Rangers' Wayne Gretzky was issued, and wore for an entire game, a uniform on which his name was misspelled.

November 10, 1997 | Edited by Richard O'Brien and Hank Hersch
RomarioBrazilian soccer star, on his nocturnal habits: "The night is my friend. I was born to disco dance. If I don't go out, I don't score the next day."