Although he has never put up big numbers in his 12-year pro
career, Knicks forward Charles Oakley has long been one of the
hardest workers in the game. He's the guy who grapples for key
rebounds, dives into the crowd for loose balls and sinks the
open 15-footer when New York's offense is stuck in neutral. He's
also the guy who speaks up in the locker room when needed, as he
did recently when he questioned his team's toughness after bad
home losses to Orlando and Cleveland. Yet Oakley, who is
averaging a typical 10.8 points and 9.7 rebounds this season, is
overlooked when talk arises about deserving veterans--such as
teammate Patrick Ewing and Rockets forward Charles Barkley--who
have yet to win a championship. "I don't care about that," he
says regarding the lack of national attention. "You don't have
to pat me on the back every time I come out of a game. I'm not
into that. I just want to win a championship." Oakley, 33, plans
to play three more seasons before he retires, title or no title,
to run his car washes and laundromats, among other pursuits....

With 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists against the Bulls on
Sunday, Pistons swingman Grant Hill registered his 12th
triple-double of the season, by far the most in the league.
Pacers guard Mark Jackson and Hornets forward Anthony Mason were
next, with four triple-doubles apiece....

Phoenix coach Danny Ainge can chuckle at the towel-throwing
incident earlier this season that played a part in forward
Robert Horry's being traded from the Suns to the Lakers. After a
timeout late in his team's 114-98 loss at the Great Western
Forum last Friday, Ainge picked up a towel from the bench and
playfully threw it at Horry as he was walking by the Phoenix
bench. Horry laughed....

As if it isn't bad enough that fans will be charged up to $12 to
attend this summer's NBA draft in Charlotte, consider that the
hometown Hornets have no picks....

Atlanta's reserves were outscored 25-4 by Charlotte, 20-7 by
Detroit and 32-10 by New York in a recent three-game span.
That's not a bench--it's a splinter....

Since Michael Jordan entered the NBA in 1984, the Bulls have won
all 18 playoff series in which they held the home court edge....

After the Blazers found themselves on the wrong end of some
tough calls in a loss to the Suns on April 5, guard Kenny
Anderson opined that coach P.J. Carlesimo--who at the time had
just one technical foul all season--and his assistants should
work the refs better. "The staff should say something once in a
while," Anderson told reporters. Two games later Carlesimo
picked up his second technical....

Suns forward Cedric Ceballos figures Barkley, his former
teammate, will play at least two more seasons. "He'll need a
year to win a ring and a year to brag about it," says Ced....

Tom Chambers's comeback didn't go as smoothly as he had hoped.
First the 37-year-old Chambers, who signed with the Hornets on
Jan. 30, missed 12 games with tendinitis in his left foot. Then
he reported having several hundred dollars stolen from his
locker during a game at New Jersey. Finally he was waived on
April 8 after averaging just 1.6 points in 12 games. The golf
course probably never looked so good.

COLOR PHOTO: DAVID E. KLUTHO The Knicks' Oakley lacks a championship ring, but not through any lack of effort. [Charles Oakley in game] COLOR PHOTO: CHUCK SOLOMON/NBA PHOTOS [Basketball falling through basketball net] COLOR PHOTO: ROCKY WIDNER [Mark Price]

PERSONAL FILE

Warriors guard Mark Price knows a little bit about shooting the
rock. The 11-year veteran holds the NBA record for highest
career free throw percentage (90.7%) and is a two-time winner of
the Long Distance Shootout ('93, '94) during All-Star Weekend.
Here's his list of the NBA shooters with the best pure form.

1 Chris Mullin, Warriors
2 Glen Rice, Hornets
3 Steve Kerr, Bulls
4 Wesley Person, Suns
5 Jeff Hornacek, Jazz

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)