The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 30, 1996 · Page 24
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 24

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, October 30, 1996
Page 24
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04 WEDNESDAY. OCTOBER 30, 1996 SPORTS THE SALINA JOURNAL r T PRO BASKETBALL NBA announces all-time 50 BRIEFLY League kicks off 50th season with list of top 50 pros of all time By CHRIS SHERIDAN The Associated Press NEW YORK — Some were so good their nicknames alone bring back memories. Wilt. Dr. J. Cooz. Magic. Pistol Pete. Pearl. Hondo. Tiny. Some were simply big, as in Big E and Big 0. Others needed no more mention than their first names: Michael. Charles. Larry. Hakeem. Shaquille. Scottie. Then there were those who played before the NBA became a multibillion- ( dollar industry: George Mikan, ; Bob Pettit. Paul Arizin. Hal Greer. Bill Sharman. Tremendous basketball players, all of them. And on the 50th anniversary of the NBA, the league announced Tuesday they were among the 50 chosen as the greatest to play the game. "We've had an extraordinary array of extraordinary athletes come through the doors of the NBA over the past 50 years," commissioner David Stern said. "Had some of them played before the type of global audience that we have now, the world would have an extraordinarily different opinion of them." With that invocation, Stern V BOXING CHAMBERLAIN RUSSELL kicked off the NBA's 50th anniversary celebration and announced the 50 players chosen by a panel of 50 former players and coaches, current and former general managers, team executives and media. The list, chosen without regard for position, includes 11 current players and 16 others who retired in the 1980s or '90s. Six of the 50 spent time in the ABA, and two others were in the National Basketball League, which merged with the 3-year-old Basketball Association of America in 1949 and eventually was renamed the NBA. As a group, the 50 players accumulated 107 NBA championships, 49 Most Valuable Player awards, 17 Rookie of the Year honors, 447 All-Star selections and 36 scoring titles. Vote totals were not released, and the 50 players were announced alphabetically rather than being ranked. As for who was the best of all, five players who can make a stake to that claim — Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, George Mikan and Julius Erving — were on hand for the announcement and diplomatically ducked that particular question. The Associated Press Julius Erving and Larry Bird, rivals in the 1980s, are part of the NBA's Top 50. "I don'.t think there is one," Russell opined. "Nobody could ever play better than Oscar. Period. There are guys who could tie Oscar, but not beat him. Same thing with Bird, Magic, Jordan, Mikan, (Bob) Pettit. To say who was the best player is impossible." Chamberlain, who scored 100 points in a March 2,1962 game and averaged 50.4 points and 25.7 rebounds that season, has heard the topic discussed countless times. "Personally, I'm a bit tired qf the question. It's up to the fans to decide who in their opinion is the best player," Chamberlain said. Perhaps the most surprising choice was Shaquille O'Neal, who has been in the league only four years and whose teams have been swept from the playoffs the past three seasons. Also an iffy choice was Bill Walton, who played more than 60 games only three times during a 14-year, injury-riddled career. Notable by their absence were David Thompson, Alex English, Dominique Wilkins, Bob Lanier, Connie Hawkins, Bob McAdoo and Joe Fulks. Other active players on the list were Charles Barkley, Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Hakeem Ola- juwon, Robert Parish, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson and John Stockton. The others on the list are: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Nate Archibald, Arizin, Rick Barry, Elgin Baylor, Dave Bing, Bird, • Chamberlain, Bob Cousy, Dave Cowens, Billy Cunningham, Dave DeBusschere, Erving, Walt Frazier, George Gervin, Hal Greer, John Havlicek, Elvin Hayes, Magic Johnson, Sam Jones, Jerry Lucas, Moses Malone, Pete Maravich, Kevin McHale, Mikan, Earl Monroe, Pettit, Willis Reed, Robertson, Russell, Dolph Schayes, Bill Sharman, Isiah Thomas, Nate Thurmond, Wes Unseld, Bill Walton, Jerry West, Lenny Wilkens and James Worthy. "It'd be a hell of a thing to pick a starting five out of that group," Mikan said. WSU teams picked eighth in MVC poll ST. LOUIS — The Wichita State men's and women's basketball teams are picked eighth in Missouri Valley Conference preseason polls of league sports information directors, beat writers and radio play-by-play broadcasters. The Illinois State men and Southwest Missouri State women were the favorites in each poll. Southwest Missouri was second in the men's poll, followed by Bradley, Evansville, Creighton, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois, WSU, Indiana State and Drake. The men's preseason all-conference team consisted of Bradley's Anthony Parker, Northern Iowa's Jason Daisy, Illinois State's Dan Muller, Creighton's Rodney Bu- 'ford and Drake's Lynnrick Rogers. Drake was second in the women's poll, followed by Southern Illinois, Illinois State, Creighton, Bradley, Northern THEATRES For MOVIE Selections and SHOWTIMES Call: 825-9 1O5 We.'ve gone world wide: web! Iowa, WSU, Indiana State and Evansville. Smith Center new No. 1 in3AinAPpoll . TOPEKA — Manhattan replaced Lawrence at No. 2 in Class 6A while Ulysses and Smith Center grabbed the No. 1 rankings in Classes 4A and 3A in the weekly Associated Press consensus rankings of Kansas high school football teams. Manhattan's Indians, all-victorious in seven games this season, overwhelmed Topeka Washburn Rural last week, 51-7, to replace Lawrence, a 35-7 winner over Bear Creek, Colo., in the 6A run- nerup spot. Season-long Class 5A leader Liberal beat Wichita Carroll, 55-6, to stay on top. Norton suffered its first loss of the season, 30-28 in overtime to Smith Center, and surrendered the 3A lead to the victors. From Staff and Wire Reports RALPH WEIGH Bonds - Insurance Phone 827-2906 115 East Iron Opponent, referee confirmed for Morrison fight By The Associated Press NEW YORK — Anthony Cooks told his girlfriend he will fight Tommy Morrison, the HIV-infected heavyweight, Sunday in Japan. "She just told me to be careful, and she would pray for me," Cooks said. "Hopefully, nothing will happen." Frank Garza told his estranged wife he had the assignment to referee the bout, a preliminary to the George Foreman-Crawford Grimsley fight, and she replied, " Congratulations, you got what you wanted." "I don't know what she meant by that," Garza said. "I don't mean to be sarcastic." The two men participated in a conference c'all Tuesday before leaving for Japan. The show will be seen Saturday night in the United States on pay-per-view. Garza, 44, of Detroit saw his participation as a chance to promote AIDS awareness. Cooks, 31, of Mukogee, Okla., has a simple reason for taking the fight. "A lot of people have been saying I'm crazy to fight, but I need the fight, I need the money," he said. Cooks wouldn't disclose his purse, but said it would be more than his biggest payday to date, the $15,000 he got when he was stopped by David Tua in the first round July 21. While Cooks said he never had been cut, Morrison has. He bled badly when he was stopped by Lennox Lewis in the sixth round Oct. 7,1995 in what Krajicek, Courier ousted from Paris Open By The Associated Press PARIS — Wimbledon champion Riphard Krajicek and former No. 1 Jim Courier were ousted from the Paris Open Thursday as the seeded players began to play. Alberto Berasategui of Spain held off two match points before beating Krajicek 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 in a second-round match. The seventh-seeded Krajicek started fast but slowed with a stomach problems. Frenchman Arnaud Boetsch beat Jim Courier 6-4, 7-5. It was the third consecutive time that Boetsch beat Courier in a year. Courier had been bothered by a knee problem that forced him to miss the U.S. Open and take a two- month break. He returned in Stuttgart last week where he lost to Michael Chang. 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