His mom's cooking notwithstanding, Michael Jordan is glad the Chicago Bulls only made one trip to the Charlotte Coliseum this season.Jordan visited his folks in Wilmington Thursday and got a home-cooked meal from his mother. Friday, he went out and scored 45 points as the Bulls beat the Charlotte Hornets 107-95.
Afterwards, the throng of media armed with cameras, microphones and notepads around his locker was crushing.
``One time here is good enough,' he said good-naturedly. ``My mom can visit me the rest of the year.'
He glanced up at the swarm around him and smiled wryly.
``With just one trip, I figured it would create a media event - and it has.'
Bulls coach Phil Jackson, who succeeded the fired Doug Collins, has put his own imprint on the club. Chicago is more active defensively and is running more and putting up more shots.
``Scoring is down around the league, but we're one of the few teams scoring more points than last year,' he said. ``I want the players to be governors of their own destiny. I want them to control the game and learnhow to win without the coach constantly calling all the plays.'
Chicago is also playing without a pure point guard and Jackson intends to keep it that way.
``We have three people - Michael, Scottie Pippen and John Paxson - who can run, get the ball and push it up the floor,' Jackson said. ``The assists are distributed among those three and we're going to keep playing with that kind of attack. And all three of those guys can get rebounds.'
After the Charlotte Hornets beat the Indiana Pacers 117-111 on Jan. 6, Indiana coach Dick Versace accosted official Hank Armstrong and berated him severely. Versace had to be restrained by one of his own players.
The NBA fined him $3,500 for his behavior.
Houston center Akeem Olajuwon still isn't 100 percent recovered from a blood clot that prevented him from working out in the off season. But the Seattle SuperSonics couldn't tell the difference as Olajuwon scored 38 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and blocked 7 shots in a 97-90 Rockets' win.
``The block Akeem had on Xavier (McDaniel) was one of the best I've seen in 15 years,' Houston coach Don Chaney said. ``It was awesome.'
``Coach told me it was the best block he'd seen and that was a big conmpliment,' Olajuwon said. ``I didn't know how he was going to put it up, but I was going for the ball all the way.
``Sometimes they'll call foul on play like that but it sure would have spoiled a good block.'
Sacramento Kings center Ralph Sampson returned to action after a stint on the injured list and played 18 minutes against Phoenix, hitting 1-for-7.