Ovation gives King 'special' feeling

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- When Bernard King shoots 2-for-8 from the field and scores only eight points, there's a good chance it means that his team has lost and the Washington Bullets forward will be in a bad mood.

But yesterday, King's less-than-stellar performance was meaningless. It was not because King and his Eastern Conference teammates beat the West, 116-114, in the National Basketball Association All-Star game. It was because there was another All-Star Game for King.


King received a standing ovation from the crowd at the Charlotte Coliseum upon his introduction in the East' starting lineup. It was a lengthy introduction, as the PA announcer mentioned King's remarkable comeback from reconstructive knee surgery in 1985.

"It was really wonderful that I was the recipient of such an ovation," King, 34, said after making his first All-Star appearance since the surgery and the fourth of his career. "I was certainly not expecting that. It made the moment even more special."


* Charles Barkley used the forum of being named the game's Most Valuable Player to speak his mind about the war in the Persian Gulf.

Wearing a cap reading "Operation Desert Storm," Barkley said: "I hope everyone here had a good time and I hope this puts sports in perspective. With everything going on in the gulf, sports is secondary. It's just entertainment."

And, a little later he added in typical Barkley style, "Unless you're a moron, it's impossible not to think about the troops."

* Barkley's 22 rebounds were the most by a player in an All-Star Game since Wilt Chamberlain had 22 in 1967. The record is 27 by Bob Pettit in 1962. The 45 points by the East in the second quarter were the most ever by the East in a quarter in All-Star play.

* Former Navy star David Robinson got into early foul trouble, but he managed to finish with 16 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots in 18 minutes.

"If you go after some shots, you're going to pick up some fouls," said Robinson.

* The selection process for the next U.S. Olympic men's basketball coach will begin officially this morning with a meeting here of the USA-Basketball.

USA-Basketball spokesman Craig Miller said that the likely candidates will be selected from the NBA. Chuck Daly of the Detroit Pistons and Don Nelson of the Golden State Warriors are considered the favorites.


"We'll have a decision by March 1," said Miller.

* Next year's All-Star Game will be played in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 9, 1992.