Manute Bol, the 7-foot 6-inch Dinka tribesman from Sudan, feels much more comfortable this season playing for Coach Don Nelson of the Golden State Warriors.
Things weren't going so well for Bol with the Washington Bullets last season when he nearly got into a fight with Coach Wes Unseld, who wasn't a Bol fan, and was arrested twice on charges of drunk driving and resisting arrest.
Bol's personal life has settled down after he stopped drinking and married a Sudanese woman, Atong. They have an 8-month-old daughter, Abuk.
"I know her father," Bol said of their marriage agreement. "You have to pay for a wife in my country. If you don't have money or a cow, it's hard to get married. I pay 80 cows, 32 so far. I owe some. When I go back home, I pay.
"In America, all you have to pay for is the party to get married."
Add Bol: One of Bol's big ambitions when he came to America was to learn how to drive a car. So he went out and bought a Bronco truck before he got his license.
One day, he showed up at the Bullets' offices and announced to General Manager Bob Ferry: "Uncle Bob, Manute driving now."
They went outside. "The truck was parked illegally," Ferry said, "and he hops in and goes 60 m.p.h. in the parking lot. I insisted he get a license. He drove like Mario Andretti. Listen, I'd pay to see him go up and down the hills of San Francisco."
The customized driver's seat in Bol's car stretches past the door post. Spud Webb, the 5-6 guard of the Atlanta Hawks was with him once when Bol got a ticket, and the officer handed the receipt to Webb, because he was the only one in the front seat.
Some Bol one-liners: After being called for a foul, he told the referee, "I bring referees from Sudan next time."
Of 7-4 teammate Ralph Sampson, he said: "That guy is tall."
When Scott Hastings of the Miami Heat of ejected from a game for arguing with officials, Bol told Warrior teammates on the bench, "It's because he's Irish."
After making one of his "space hooks," he said to teammate Chris Mullin while running down the court, "B-O-L strikes again."
Track promoter Al Franken negotiated over the phone with Diane Dixon several times before landing her for the Sunkist meet Jan. 20 at the Sports Arena, where she will run against Valerie Brisco in the 440.
Then Franken read that Dixon, who ran on the silver-medal winning 1,600-meter relay team at Seoul, has been dating heavyweight champion Mike Tyson.
"She could have said she was sending him over to negotiate and we would have reached an agreement much sooner," Franken said.
St. John's basketball Coach Lou Carnesecca after the Redmen rebounded from a 29-point loss to Providence by beating Villanova: "I thought we were quicker, we hustled for loose balls, and we were much more active. Tuesday night, you'd think we'd taken phenobarbital."