SALT LAKE CITY -- No formal trade announcements were made, but the Los Angeles Lakers, who have been in a serious decline since the retirement of superstar Magic Johnson, are expected to trade starting forward Sam Perkins and center Vlade Divac in separate deals with the Seattle SuperSonics and Dallas Mavericks.
According to a Lakers source, Perkins would be sent to Seattle for unsigned rookie guard/forward Doug Christie of Pepperdine. Los Angeles also would have to pick up the expensive multi-year contract of reserve 7-foot center Benoit Benjamin, a major disappointment with the Sonics.
The Lakers then would negotiate to get the rights to Jackson, the former Ohio State All-American guard who refused to sign with the lowly Mavericks and has sat out the first 50 games of the season.
Dallas, in turn, would settle for Divac, the 7-foot Serb who has been pressured by having to fill the role of retired legendary center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
The Lakers' inconsistency, unspectacular style and saggin attendance were all given as reasons for the pending trades that could be announced today.
Nance dunks old image
At 34, Larry Nance is the oldest of the 1993 NBA All-Stars. But the Cleveland Cavaliers forward may be best remembered for winning the first All-Star Slam-Dunk competition when he was a young forward with the Phoenix Suns in 1984.
"After that, they wanted me to be in the dunking competitio every year," Nance said. "At first, I didn't want to go because people began looking at me as a guy who could only dunk. I wanted to be viewed as an overall player."
"He really expanded his game," said Cavaliers coach Lenn Wilkens. "When he first came to us, I thought he was a pretty good jump shooter, but he was reluctant to shoot outside. I almost had to force him to take it."
Nance then took the next step, improving his inside moves, an now has an impressive repertoire of shots. He is averaging 16.9
points and 8.9 rebounds at the All-Star break.
Miner shows stuff
Leading from his opening slam, former Southern Cal star Harold Miner posted scores of 47.0, 48.0 and 49.4 on his final three dunks for a total of 97.4 to win Saturday's event.
That edged out fellow rookie Clarence Weatherspoon of Philadelphia, who finished with 92.2, and easily out-distanced defending champion Cedric Ceballos of Phoenix.
Ceballos had wowed the judges last year by concluding hi dunking exhibition with a blindfolded slam. This year, all props were outlawed and most of the dunks had a repetitious quality.
But Miner, who finished the night with a powerful left-hande windmill slam, was well prepared.
"I've always been a student of this game," he said. "I've studie hours of the superstars making dunks. I borrowed a little from each of them and combined them into my own style.
With two of my all-time heroes -- [Michael] Jordan and Dominique Wilkins here watching -- I didn't want to be conservative. I tried to be as creative as possible to get the crowd excited." Utah Jazz guard Jeff Malone won the Shooting Stars Showdown over the Golden State Warriors' Tim Hardaway, Indiana Pacers' Reggie Miller and Portland Trail Blazers' Clyde Drexler with an unorthodox shot that he often practices in shoot-arounds.
Malone, a former Bullet, converted an out-of-bounds, over-th backboard shot that his rivals could not equal.
"I make that shot all the time in practice," said Malone, one of the league's best shooters.
Beating the press
Despite a certain league fine, Michael Jordan defended his decision to skip Friday's All-Star media session in favor of a golf date in Las Vegas.
"I shot a couple of good rounds," said Jordan. "I just don't think it's necessary seeing the press two straight days. They only ask the same old questions."
Suns superstar Charles Barkley was presented with a huge birthday cake Saturday commemorating his 30th birthday.
Seattle's Shawn Kemp, 23, rubbed Barkley's head for good luck"and to show Charles what it was like to still have hair."