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Morning Briefing

Italian Stallion via Long Island

May 18, 1985

Marco Baldi, 6-11 center from Long Island Lutheran, where he won acclaim as the best big man among New York high school players, has narrowed his choices to St. John's, Maryland and USC.

According to the New York Times, Baldi returned to his hometown of Milan last week to play a few games for his club team, Simac, in the Italian League. On hand to watch him were assistant coaches Dave Spencer of USC and Ron Bradley of Maryland and head Coach Lou Carnesecca of St. John's.

So guess where Baldi is going?

"St. John's," predicts his high school coach, Bob McKillop. "Marco is comfortable with Carnesecca--they have an Italian bond of understanding."

It's not over yet, however. Baldi, who started his high school career at Woodbridge in Irvine, has promised to make a visit to USC next weekend.

Following the game, Minneapolis Manager Billy Gardner was asked what was said between him and umpire Marty Springstead after he protested a call.

Gardner: "He said, 'Get a Pope on the bench, and maybe that will help you out.'

"I said, 'Get a cane and a seeing-eye dog.' "

Those were the magic words. Gardner was gone.

Trivia Time: Bill Russell and Magic Johnson played on NBA championship teams a year after they played on NCAA championship teams. Who else turned the trick? (Answer below.)

From Todd Phipers of the Denver Post: "Calculations show that the $500 fine slapped on the Lakers' Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for his altercation with Danny Schayes of the Nuggets in Game 2 represents the amount he earns in 1 minute 16.8 seconds of play."

The injury to Cedric Maxwell is a problem for Boston in regard to depth, but with the taller Kevin McHale now starting, the opposition has a problem of matchups.

Says Detroit Coach Chuck Daly of Boston's front line of McHale, Robert Parish and Larry Bird: "Those are three 7-footers, really, because Bird plays like one."

Add Bird: He's an admitted basketball junkie, but he told the Christian Science Monitor: "If I was ever going to be an athlete again, I'd rather play a game that's one-on-one, like tennis.

"I'd never want to play a game again where you'd have to depend on so many other people, because everybody's got different attitudes. I'm just fortunate enough to be on a team where guys come to play."

Note: Michael Jordan only recently took up tennis and said he was surprised.

"I'm good," he said. "I never knew that."

Brian Hurst, part owner of Eternal Prince, claims that the Spend a Buck people had decided even before the Kentucky Derby that they wouldn't run in the Preakness.

Hurst told Paul Moran of Newsday that Angel Cordero, who rode Spend a Buck to victory, left a message after the Derby to have Hurst call him. When he called, Hurst said Cordero asked for the mount on Eternal Prince in the Preakness.

"Cordero told me, you keep these two horses (Eternal Prince and Spend a Buck) apart, and neither one will ever get beat (again)," Hurst said. "No matter what they said after the Derby, they knew in their hearts that Spend a Buck would go to Jersey. Cordero knew. Why would he have left that message in Kentucky if he didn't know?"

Trivia Answer: Henry Bibby. He played for UCLA in 1971-72 and for the New York Knicks in 1972-73.


Norman Chad of the Washington Post, on Carl (The Truth) Williams who fights Larry Holmes Monday night: "According to my reports, Williams was spotted recently boxing his own shadow, and he was losing."

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