Kevin McHale is expected to be out at least a month after undergoing foot surgery, but otherwise the Boston Celtics are intact, with Larry Bird and Robert Parish up front and Dennis Johnson and Danny Ainge in the backcourt.
Johnson, the playmaker, told the Providence Journal: "With Kevin out, Robert will see the ball more. No doubt, he'll score. But this team is kind of odd. When Kevin goes down, Danny thinks he has the option of shooting 10 more times. Larry thinks that way, and Robert thinks that way."
They're in trouble, however.
"I told them I think that way, too," Johnson said, "and I've got the ball."
It could be a long time coming, but when Columbia finally wins a football game, play-by-play man Ron Barton of WKCR-FM in New York will be ready. He has already prepared a victory call.
"It'll be a mixture of Al Michaels and Russ Hodges," he said, "a combination of 'Do you believe in miracles?' and 'The Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant!' "
Now-it-can-be-told Dept.: If the NBA players had called a strike, Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz says, "I would have become a scab. I know a lot of the Dallas Cowboys' players, and I know when they came home from toting a picket sign without a paycheck, their wives looked at them like they were stupid."
Trivia Time: What player in the 1980s has played in the World Series for three different franchises? (Answer below.)
As a postscript to Earl Gustkey's story Saturday on the 1947 World Series, in which Cookie Lavagetto broke up the no-hitter by Bill Bevens of the New York Yankees, Brooklyn Manager Burt Shotton made one of the more daring decisions in Series history when he batted Lavagetto for Eddie Stanky.
Stanky had broken up a no-hitter himself that season. In a June game at Cincinnati, he got the first hit off Ewell Blackwell with one out in the ninth inning. Blackwell, who pitched a no-hitter in his previous start, was two outs away from tying Johnny Vander Meer's record of consecutive no-hitters.
Oops Dept.: From the Associated Press: "SEATTLE--Calvin Peete's 9-yard touchdown pass to Paul Green broke a 23-23 tie midway through the the fourth quarter and Southern California kept its Rose Bowl hopes alive with a 37-23 victory over Washington in a Pac-10 game Saturday."
Well, they've always said Calvin never misses a green.
The subject was shot selection, and Bobby Knight told this one at a clinic: "When I was at Army, I had a player who shouldn't have been shooting miss a shot from inside the foul line. I called time out and grabbed him by the neck of his uniform. I was trying for his Adam's apple, but my hand slipped off to his uniform.
"I asked him if he wanted to be a general one day. When he said he did, I told him he didn't have a chance in hell of living that long, if he took another shot."
10 Years Ago Today: On Oct. 18, 1977, Reggie Jackson hit three consecutive home runs on three consecutive pitches to lead New York to an 8-4 victory over the Dodgers and give the Yankees the world championship in six games. Jackson drove in five runs. The homers were hit off Burt Hooton, Elias Sosa and Charlie Hough.
Wait a Minute: Said Boris Becker, claiming he wasn't discouraged by his loss Saturday to Pat Cash in Australia: "I'm happy with my form. I'm starting to play like I did in my old days."
Becker is 19.
Trivia Answer: Lonnie Smith. He played for Philadelphia in 1980, St. Louis in 1982 and Kansas City in 1985.
Larry Holmes, scheduled to meet Mike Tyson in January, claiming Tyson fought dirty against Tyrell Biggs: "If he tries any of that stuff with me, the head butts and the elbows, I'll do it right back. It'll be like Hulk Hogan versus the Junkyard Dog."