Would you believe that Don King likes the limelight more than he does money? Maybe not, but Phil Berger of the New York Times tells an intriguing story about HBO's welterweight series, which is scheduled to start April 16 in Las Vegas.
It seems that Lawrence Gordon, producer of the Nick Nolte-Eddie Murphy film "48 Hours," is a fight fan who had a role in helping HBO close a deal with King on the series.
One of the fights matches Rodolfo Aguilar against World Boxing Assn. lightweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez, who is moving up to welterweight. Chavez is promoted by King, who was balking at HBO's proposed price.
Berger quotes Seth Abraham of HBO as saying: "Money was a stumbling block, so I asked Gordon if he would offer King a role in an upcoming movie of his. Gordon said OK, so I offered Don King a role in Gordon's next movie."
Berger: "With the lure of a role, King came down from his seven-figure price and agreed to a six-figure sum for the fight."
After the White House reception for the Washington Redskins, Dave Butz told Tom Friend of the Washington Post that President Reagan even spoke with his son, Dave II, age 9.
Butz: "He told Dave he used to play right guard, and he asked Dave, 'What do you play?' Little Dave said he played, 'Son.' "
Trivia Time: What do Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls and Don Mattingly of the New York Yankees have in common? (Answer below.)
Idle Thought: Wonder if any of those who compared Doug Williams' start in the Super Bowl to Jackie Robinson's breakthrough in baseball know that Robinson was a pretty good passer himself.
In 1940, as a halfback at UCLA, he led the Bruins in passing. The leader the previous three years was Kenny Washington, also black. In 1937, when UCLA lost to USC, 19-13, Washington threw a 73-yard touchdown pass to Hal Hirshon. The ball traveled 62 yards in the air, a collegiate record.
Hirshon, incidentally, was white.
Doc Rivers of the Atlanta Hawks said he isn't worried about how to handle himself in his first All-Star game, because he has teammate Dominique Wilkins along to show him the ropes.
"He'll be there to advise me," Rivers said. "He'll advise me to pass it to him on the break, advise me to pass it to him on set plays . . . "
Sean Elliott of No. 1 Arizona, on play-making guard Steve Kerr: "He's like having a coach on the floor, except he has more natural ability than Lute Olson."
Add Arizona: The radio announcer on Wildcat games is Ray Scott, one-time voice of the Green Bay Packers. This is his 51st year of broadcasting.
In response to a question, he said the best play-by-play announcer these days is Al Michaels.
Scott's least favorite sportscaster?
"No contest," he said. "Howard Cosell."
Trivia Answer: Both wear No. 23. Quotebook
Dave Butz of the Washington Redskins, addressing fans at a Super Bowl celebration in Washington: "We came, we saw, we kicked their butts."