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Jamison An All-Star Casualty

A bum knee forced Golden State's Antawn Jamison to withdraw Thursday from the slam dunk contest and the rookie game, knocking out the only All-Star Weekend participant representing the host team.

Ricky Davis of Charlotte was chosen to replace Jamison in the dunk contest, and Cuttino Mobley of Houston was added to the rookie game.

"It's a big disappointment that he can't participate," said Warriors owner Chris Cohan, who learned of Jamison's withdrawal as the two participated in the dedication of a refurbished playground not far from the Oakland Coliseum Arena.

Jamison injured his right knee almost a week ago and underwent an MRI exam Thursday morning. The nagging soreness forced him to withdraw.

Also disappointed were some of inner-city children who got to see Jamison and commissioner David Stern up close and personal at All-Star Park, which was refurbished as part of the NBA's Team-Up program.

"I think he would have beat Vince Carter. I have trust in him," said 10-year-old Kameron Land of Oakland, who like several of the kids described Jamison's dunks as "tight" the new slang for very impressive.

"He's got more style," said 12-year-old Brandon Jackson.

Of all the events in All-Star Weekend, including the 3-point shootout, 2-ball, dunk contest, rookie game and Sunday's All-Star Game, the only ones for which someone from the moribund Warriors could compete were Jamison's events.

The 6-foot-9 forward has been one of the few bright spots and the leading scorer for Golden State, which enters the All-Star break with a 12-35 record 13th in the 14-team Western Conference.

"It's frustrating after all the hype of getting ready for the weekend," Jamison said. "It's been a while since they had a positive guy in this area, and I felt like I was not only representing the NBA and my family, but especially the Golden State Warriors fans in this area."

Davis, a tremendous leaper, will compete in the dunk contest against Carter and Tracy McGrady of Toronto, Steve Francis of Houston, Larry Hughes of Philadelphia and Jerry Stackhouse of Detroit.

"From what everybody tells me, he's got some tricks," said NBA vice president Rod Thorn, who chose Jamison's replacement.

Mobley will play for the rookie class of 1998-99 in the revamped rookie ame, which matches this season's and last season's first-year players.

Jamison said if it were up to him, Eddie Robinson of Charlotte would have been chosen to take his place in the dunk contest.

Thorn said Robinson and Baron Davis of the Hornets were considered as dunk contest replacements, along with Ruben Patterson of Seattle and Tyrone Nesby of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Now that he is out of running, Jamison jumped on board the Carter bandwagon when asked who he thought would win.

"Everybody already knows who that is Vince. I think it's between him and Tracy McGrady," Jamison said.

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