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Headbands unstylish on All-Star Saturday

Posted: Sunday, February 11, 2001

WASHINGTON -- Bad day for Generation H -- with the 'H' standing for headband.

Bad night, too.

Desmond Mason of the Seattle SuperSonics won the slam dunk contest at All-Star Saturday night when Baron Davis of the Charlotte Hornets couldn't make his final attempt while using a doctored headband as a blindfold.

''I thought he could see through it at first, but obviously he couldn't. It was about 3 feet short when he tried to dunk it,'' said Mason, a rookie from Oklahoma State who beat Davis and Utah's DeShawn Stevenson in the final round. ''It wasn't the strongest dunk contest ever, but it was fun doing it,''

Earlier Saturday, every member of the rookie team donned this season's hottest NBA fashion accessory, and the youngsters -- with the exception of Orlando's Mike Miller -- certainly looked hip.

But the sophomore team, with their mostly unadorned foreheads, were the better team as they defeated the rookies 121-113 in the rookie challenge.

Wally Szczerbiak of the Minnesota Timberwolves -- who does not wear a headband -- scored 27 points to lead the team of second-year players in a fast-paced, above-the-rim game featuring slams, no-look passes, alley-oops and little defense.

Szczerbiak finished with five 3-pointers while shooting 11-of-13 from the field.

The game ended with Darius Miles of the Clippers missing a windmill dunk after the sophomore team's defenders stepped aside and let him have a clear path to the basket.

''I missed a windmill, man,'' said Miles, who wears a headband. ''I never miss windmills.''

In a show of solidarity, the rookie team all sported headbands, including Miller, who had never worn one before.

While all the other players had theirs properly placed above their ears, Miller wore his pulled over his ears like it was a ski cap he would wear on a winter day in his native South Dakota.

''Hey, I had to keep my ears warm. It was cold in the building,'' Miller said.

Local favorite Steve Francis of Houston, who left Maryland after his junior season, added 20 points for the second-year team. Quentin Richardson of the Los Angeles Clippers paced the rookies with 20.

''That was Miller Time style,'' Richardson said of Miller's headband variation. ''That was very original.''

Sacramento Kings forward Peja Stojakovic and Monarchs guard Ruthie Bolton-Holifield won the 2ball event, beating Cleveland's Trajan Langdon and Eva Nemcova 62-57 in the final.

Milwaukee Bucks guard Ray Allen hit 10 straight shots late in the final to defeat Stojakovic in the 3-point shootout .

Allen went 16-of-25 in the final round to total 19 points as the last of the three finalists on court. Stojakovic had 17 points, with Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki third with 10.

''It's nerve-racking out there,'' Allen said. ''You have a capacity arena cheering you on or rooting against you. The pressure's there. I was nervous, I'm not going to lie.''

The final event of the night came down to Mason, Davis and Stevenson after Corey Maggette of the Los Angeles Clippers, who usually wears a headband but didn't on this night, failed to get past the first round despite performing a somersault in the air as he ran in for his first dunk.

Davis, who jumper over teammate David Wesley while Wesley held a video camera to end the first round, needed 46 points on his final dunk to surpass Mason's total.

His blindfolded dunk missed by a couple of feet, though, despite his headband having holes cut out so he could see.

''I guess you could say it's a bad day for headbands,'' Davis said.



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