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Alvin Robertson
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Earnings: $9,134,000 ($18,776,393*)
Jordan and Ewing were consensus All-Americans in 1984; the U.S. roster included four of the five players honored that year. “It was just a fun team,” Alford said. “I was 19 years old and a complete gym rat. The pick-up games (were competitive). Just practicing against Alvin Robertson, Vern Fleming, obviously Jordan; it was just an amazing group of guys that I got to practice against, from a guard standpoint, every single day. “I told Alvin years later, it’s the only time that I’ve ever done any kind of hiding in practice, (if) I knew coach (Indiana and national team coach Bob Knight) was going into a drill where you were going to get matched up against somebody.”
The following year, at 32, McKinney landed his first general manager job with the expansion Timberwolves, and in 1992 he accepted the unenviable task of breaking up the aging “Bad Boys” in Detroit. McKinney traded John Salley and Dennis Rodman but also drafted Lindsey Hunter and Allan Houston. He wept tears of joy when he landed future Hall of Famer Grant Hill with the third pick of the 1994 draft. When the franchise predictably struggled during its rebuild, McKinney took the hits — sometimes literally. During a practice in 1993, guard Alvin Robertson choked McKinney after being fined and suspended for skipping games, practices and rehab sessions.