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AROUND THE NBA

Payton Heads All-Defensive Team

May 05, 2000|From Associated Press

Seattle SuperSonic point guard Gary Payton was named Thursday to the NBA's all-defensive team for the seventh time.

Payton, who ranked eighth in the league in steals with 1.87 a game during the regular season, was named on all 28 ballots and topped the voting with 52 of a possible 56 points.

He is the sixth player in NBA history to make the all-defensive squad seven times. Michael Jordan holds the record with nine appearances.

Making up the voting panel was the NBA's 29 head coaches, who were not permitted to vote for players from their own team.

Joining Payton in results released by the NBA in New York were Miami center Alonzo Mourning (42 points), Laker guard Kobe Bryant (33), Minnesota forward Kevin Garnett (31), and San Antonio forward Tim Duncan (29).

Laker center Shaquille O'Neal (29 points) headed the second team, which also included Charlotte guard Eddie Jones (27), Phoenix guard Jason Kidd (26), Portland forward Scottie Pippen (19) and Phoenix forward Clifford Robinson (18).

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The Charlotte Hornets want to keep their team intact, but Coach Paul Silas acknowledged that he is not sure Jones, a free agent, will return next season.

Only two weeks ago, Silas said "it would be a total shock to me" if Jones didn't return. But Silas said now that he was not as confident.

"With all that has happened, I don't know where I stand," Silas said in Charlotte, N.C. "Prior to this, I was very confident, but I don't know where it stands now. I understand that he's got to look at his options."

Silas said he has not talked to Jones because Jones stayed in Philadelphia after the playoff loss instead of returning to Charlotte. But Silas anticipated Jones returning to Charlotte soon and said he plans to meet with him.

Re-signing Jones likely would require a maximum offer of $87 million over seven years, which the Hornets are in a position to offer.

Jones, however, said Monday that he plans to explore all his options and talk to several teams, including ones which can't afford to offer the league's maximum contract.

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Phoenix Sun point guard Jason Kidd was feeling no ill effects after returning from a broken left ankle in the first-round, series-clinching victory over the San Antonio Spurs.

"He looks 100%," Coach Scott Skiles said of Kidd, who broke his ankle on March 22. "He's doing what everybody else is doing."

The Suns will play the winner of tonight's Laker-Sacramento game in a best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series beginning Sunday.

The Suns were coy about their preference.

"Let me give you some political correctness here," said backup point guard Kevin Johnson. "I certainly would like to play the L.A. Lakers on one hand, because you want to be able to beat the best team in basketball. On the other hand, I'm from Sacramento, and it would be nice to take a couple of road trips up there."

The Suns, however, were 4-0 against the Kings during the regular season and 0-4 against the Lakers, who have won 16 of the last 19 games against Phoenix.

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Mexico City will host an exhibition game between the Philadelphia 76ers and Washington Wizards on Oct. 14.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

NBA All-Defense

All-defensive teams as selected by head coaches with first-team votes in parentheses and total points. Voting done on a 2-1 basis:

FIRST TEAM

FORWARDS

Tim Duncan, San Antonio: (12) 29

Kevin Garnett, Minnesota: (14) 31

CENTER

Alonzo Mourning, Miami: (16) 42

GUARDS

Gary Payton, Seattle: (24) 52

Kobe Bryant, LAKERS: (12) 33

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SECOND TEAM

FORWARDS

Scottie Pippen, Portland: (7) 19

Clifford Robinson, Phoenix: (4) 18

CENTER

Shaquille O'Neal, LAKERS: (11) 29

GUARDS

Eddie Jones, Charlotte: (8) 27

Jason Kidd, Phoenix: (7) 26

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OTHERS WITH FIRST-PLACE VOTES

* Eric Snow, Philadelphia (7) 21; Karl Malone, Utah (5) 16; P.J. Brown, Miami (3) 14; Dikembe Mutombo, Atlanta, 9; Theo Ratliff, Philadelphia (3) 9; Bo Outlaw, Orlando (2) 8; George Lynch, Philadelphia (1) 5; Anthony Mason, Charlotte (1) 5; David Robinson, San Antonio (2) 5; Darrell Armstrong, Orlando, 4; Dale Davis, Indiana (1) 4; Rasheed Wallace, Portland (2) 4; Grant Hill, Detroit (1) 3.

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MOST SELECTIONS

Most first-team selections:

9--Michael Jordan, Chicago

8--Bobby Jones, Denver-Philadelphia

8--Scottie Pippen, Chicago-Houston

7--Walt Frazier, New York-Cleveland

7--Gary Payton, Seattle

7--Dennis Rodman, Detroit-S.A.-Chicago

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