Alamodome Sings a Favorite: Here’s to You, Mr. Robinson
SAN ANTONIO (AP) _ When All-Star reserve David Robinson entered the game with 5:34 left in the first quarter, there was no question the Spurs center was the hometown favorite.
Robinson received a huge ovation from the Alamodome crowd of 36,037. Sixteen seconds after going into the game Robinson scored with a dunk that evoked a wild roar from the fans.
Robinson, appearing in his seventh consecutive All-Star Game, along with Gary Payton led the West team in scoring with 18 points each. Robinson also grabbed 11 rebounds.
Robinson said playing alongside Spurs teammate Sean Elliott was special.
``This city has been supporting us for seven years. When we walked out there I got those butterflies in my stomach again. This weekend was a real credit to the San Antonio fans,″ Robinson said.
JORDAN’S STELLAR STATS: With his 20 points, All-Star MVP Michael Jordan moved within three points of becoming the sixth NBA player to score 200 All-Star points. He now has 197 in nine appearances.
Jordan moved up from ninth to sixth place in career All-Star scoring, passing Wilt Chamberlain (191), Isiah Thomas (185) and John Havlicek (179).
Jordan had one steal, giving him 28 for his All-Star career and placing him second behind Thomas’ 31.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the career All-Star scoring leader with 251 points in 18 games.
BARKLEY BARBS: Asked why the East team was able to dunk on the West so often, Robinson paused then joked: ``We had Charles Barkley on our team. I’m not one to point fingers.″
Told later about Robinson’s remarks, Jordan added: ``I think I got little bit more sleep than Charles did last night. That could have been the difference.″
COWBOY FUN: Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz said the most fun he had during All-Star Weekend was going to the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.
Malone, who buys cutting horses and likes to wear western clothes, said when he heard the rodeo would be going on the same weekend as the All-Star game, he knew he wanted to attend.
``It was a lot of fun, without a doubt,″ Malone said. And it was a way to escape from the celebrity hoopla surrounding All-Star Weekend.
``These high-rollers don’t like to smell that,″ he said.
COACHING CONTEST: East coach Phil Jackson captured won for the first time as an NBA All-Star Game coach.
Both Jackson and West coach George Karl were coaching their second All-Star Games and each were seeking their first victory. In 1992, Jackson’s East team lost 153-113 in 1992. Karl’s West team lost 127-118 in 1994.
This was the first time two former CBA coaches had coached in the All-Star Game. Karl was the CBA’s Coach of the Year three times, in 1981 and 1983 with Montana and in 1991 with Albany. Jackson won the honor once, in 1985 with Albany.
ALL-STAR VETERANS: Of the players in the 1996 All-Star Game, Hakeem Olajuwon has been selected as an All-Star the most. Sunday marked his 11th time as an All-Star. He was a starter seven of those years, including this one, and a reserve four times.
Jordan, Barkley and Patrick Ewing have been selected for 10 games each.
SHOOTAROUND CHAMP: Sam Cassell of the Houston Rockets defeated Mitch Richmond of the Sacramento Kings to win the Fleer ShootAround at the NBA Jam Session on Saturday.
Competitors had to make shots from eight designated spots in the shortest amount of time. Cassell sank his eight shots in 59.4 seconds to beat Richmond’s time of 1:10.
Two rounds were held to narrow the field to two finalists. Indiana’s Reggie Miller and San Antonio’s Chuck Person were ousted in the semifinals.
Cassell received $10,000 and $5,000 for his choice charity, Madison Square Recreation Center in Baltimore. Richmond received $5,000 and $1,000 for his charity, Day Spring Outreach.
Miller and Person received $2,500 plus $1,000 for their respective charities, the Shannon R. McPherson Fund and the United Negro College Fund.
THIS TIME, NEXT YEAR: The 47th annual NBA All-Star Game will be held next year in Cleveland on Feb. 9, 1997.
The game will be played at Gund Arena, a 20,562-seat facility in downtown Cleveland that opened prior to the 1994-95 season.