TOP CHARGE-TAKER

January 27, 1997

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.

--D.F.

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)