The Delta Airlines jet carrying Jazz guard John Stockton to All-Star weekend in Charlotte was delayed by fog at the Salt Lake airport Thursday, causing Stockton and more than a dozen members of the Jazz front office staff to miss their connecting flight in Atlanta that afternoon.
The only Delta flights leaving Atlanta for Charlotte were much later in the evening. But when Jazz general manager Tim Howells reminded airlines officials that the Jazz do business with Delta to the tune of around a half-million dollars a year, other arrangements were made.A regularly scheduled early-evening flight from Atlanta to Providence, R.I. and Bangor, Maine, was rerouted to include Charlotte on its itinerary.
Stockton and the Jazz staff made it to the All-Star site in time for Thursday evening's dinner party.Utah native Tom Chambers - he grew up in Ogden - is the scoringest All-Star of alltime. According to official NBA records, Chambers' lifetime All-Star Game scoring average of 23.0 points ranks ahead of all others in the game's 23-year history.
Second is Michael Jordan at 20.6, followed by Oscar Robertson, 20.5, Bob Pettit, 20.4, Julius Erving, 20.1, Elgin Baylor, 19.8, and George Mikan, 19.5.
Chambers, the Phoenix Suns forward, has played in three All-Star games. Sunday's will be his fourth appearance. The alltime list includes all players who have scored at least 60 career All-Star points.
The Jazz's Karl Malone has a 25.0 scoring average, but has played in just two games to date, with 50 points.
Chambers scored 21 points last year, 14 points in the 1989 game, and a game-high 34 points in 1987, when he won the game's MVP award.Former Jazz Coach Frank Layden will be part of the radio team doing today's broadcast. Not only will Layden's commentary be heard around the country, but it will be fed live to the troops in the Middle East via the Armed Forces Radio and Television Servie (AFRTS).
An estimated 90 percent of the troops stationed in the Persian Gulf will be within range of the radio signal. Around 30 percent of the soldiers will be able to see the television broadcast, which will also be live.San Antonio Spurs center David Robinson, a reserve Naval officer, said he participated during mock war drills during his two-year tour of active duty before joining the NBA a season and a half ago, but he still can't relate to how it would be participating in the real thing.
"I can't imagine what it would be like right now in the Gulf," he said prior to Saturday's All-Star practice. "Practicing for war and being in war are two different things."
"I can tell you I respect every one of those guys who are over there," he said. "A couple of guys I'm real close to. I played basketball with them. It bothers me to see people not in support of what they're doing."Philadelphia 76ers forward Charles Barkley is at the All-Star game under a well-publicized (by him) protest. He wanted to take the four-day break off and rest a foot he says is injured. The NBA insisted that if he was well enough to play in games leading up to the All-Star break, he's well enough to play here.
During interviews after Saturday's practice, Barkley continued to shoot as reporters asked him questions.
Reporter to Barkley: "Why are you shooting while we're interviewing you?"
Barkley: "Because I can't take days off. They told me I can't take any time off, so I'm not taking any time off."Michael Jordan on the Olympics: "I'd take any 12 guys here and go to Spain, and spank anybody we'd play."
The Bulls star, however, said he doesn't know if he'll try out for the first-ever pro-eligible U.S. Olympic team in 1992.
"I haven't made up my mind," he said. "An eight-month season is a long time, and to follow that with another two months for the Olympics, that's a real long time. I'm up in the air about it."
Jordan was a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic team, the last one to win a gold medal.The Lakers' Magic Johnson, on the other hand, is anxious to sign up for the Olympic tryouts.
"I'd like to play," he said. "It's one of the few things in basketball I haven't done."
Johnson has won an NCAA title, with Michigan State; several NBA titles, with the Lakers; and has been the All-Star Game MVP.Sunday's All-Star Game will be televised to 74 countries outside of the United States, ranging from Angola to Yugoslavia.
Included for the first time will be China. More than 225 million homes there will be able to tune in live to the game, via CCTV, the NBA's international broadcast licensee in China.
"This is truly an historic occasion for the NBA," said NBA Commissioner David Stern. "When I visited China in the fall I was amazed at the knowledge and passion for the NBA that some of the Chinese people expressed."