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MORNING BRIEFING

Magic-Jordan Matchup Looks Like a Hard Sell

January 15, 1990|GARR KLUENDER

It doesn't appear as though the $1-million pay-per-view shootout between the Lakers' Magic Johnson and the Chicago Bulls' Michael Jordan will take place.

Johnson said: "I came up with the idea last summer. We came up with what we wanted to do, and my people contacted Michael's people and we decided to go ahead with it."

The one-on-one contest would have featured two 15-minute halves broadcast on cable TV for an estimated $20 per view. But the players union has been cool to the idea, chilling Jordan's support for the idea.

Who would win such a shootout? Don Nelson, coach of the Golden State Warriors, said: "It's ridiculous. It would be no contest. Magic Johnson is a team player. He's not a one-on-one player."

Add NBA: How bad is this season's crop of collegiate centers?

Marty Blake, who heads the NBA's scouting bureau, rates the top centers in order as Dwayne Schintzius of Florida, Felton Spencer of Louisville, Les Jepsen of Iowa, Tom Greis of Villanova, Elden Campbell of Clemson, Duane Causewell of Temple and Derek Strong of Xavier (Ohio).

"Most (NBA) coaches want instant gratification," Blake said of the draft. "I recommended Rik Smits (now of the Indiana Pacers) two years ago. A lot of people laughed, but he's going to be one of the best big men in the game.

"Same with (the Lakers') Vlade Divac this year. A lot of guys are now kicking themselves for passing him up."

Trivia time: On Jan. 15, 1972, whom did Joe Frazier knock out in the fourth round at New Orleans to retain his world heavyweight title?

An inning at a time: Former Baltimore Oriole right-hander Jim Palmer, who was elected to the Hall of Fame Tuesday: "I've heard (Boston Red Sox pitcher) Roger Clemens say, 'I'm trying to get in the Hall of Fame.' But I never thought about that. I was trying to get ready for the next game or season; that was consuming enough. Hall of Fame numbers are garnered over such a long period of time. It's like pitching in the first inning and thinking about what you are going to do in the ninth."

Over the vine: Gerry Cooney, who will fight George Foreman in Atlantic City tonight, is a recovering alcoholic. He tells this joke:

"Tarzan comes in one day and asks Jane for a martini. The next day, it's a double martini. Then a triple.

"Finally, Jane says, 'Tarzan, I've never seen you like this. Why are you drinking so much?' and Tarzan says, 'Jane, it's a jungle out there.' "

Trivia answer: Terry Daniels.

Quotebook: The Boston Bruins' Glen Wesley on Boston Garden fans: "When you see the fans going nuts, it's a tremendous feeling. You want to play hard for people like that."

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