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ALLAN MALAMUD

Notes on a Scorecard

May 19, 1993|ALLAN MALAMUD

It is looking more and more as though the Chicago Bulls are going to do what the Duke Blue Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins couldn't--win a third consecutive title in 1993. . . .

The reason is that the Bulls are the only team that has Michael Jordan. . . .

Already, they have achieved something that eluded the 1991 and 1992 NBA champions. They swept their first two playoff series. The Bulls went 7-3 two years ago and 7-1 last year. . . .

The last NBA team to three-repeat was the Boston Celtics, who won consecutive titles from 1958-59 through '65-66. . . .

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During Game 1 of their Stanley Cup semifinal series, Toronto Coach Pat Burns asked King Coach Barry Melrose, "Why don't you go get a . . . . haircut?" . . .

Here's why: "The only thing my father and I ever argued about was the length of my hair," Melrose said recently. "He made me wear it short. When I left home at 15, I decided I was going to wear it long the rest of my life. I'm an individualist. I don't want to be like all the rest of the coaches." . . .

As for another hairy matter, Janet Gretzky apparently is one of the few who approve of Wayne's new goatee. Of course, her vote is the most important. . . .

Toronto rookie goaltender Felix Potvin is among the early contenders for the Conn Smythe Award that goes to the playoff MVP. A more famous Potvin, the unrelated defenseman Denis, never won the award, despite the New York Islanders' four consecutive Stanley Cup championships from 1980-83. . . .

Jack Kent Cooke, the first owner of the Kings, owned the Toronto Maple Leaf baseball team in the International League. . . .

Another with an L.A.-Toronto connection is Red Kelly, who became the first coach of the Kings after starring for the Maple Leafs. . . .

Leaf defenseman Todd Gill might not be aware that the pro athlete he lists as his favorite, Craig Stadler, is an avid King fan and a frequent postgame visitor to their dressing room at the Forum. . . .

Much ado about nothing: For the first time, three women have been assigned to judge a heavyweight title fight. However, it is the Riddick Bowe-Jesse Ferguson fight Saturday night on HBO that probably will end in a knockout, not a decision. . . .

Ferguson is a heavy underdog. Of course, the promoters will tell you that Buster Douglas was a heavy underdog the night he knocked out Mike Tyson. . . . How much significance should be attached to Lennox Lewis' victory over Bowe in the 1988 Olympic Games? Well, Henry Tillman beat Mike Tyson twice in the amateurs. And Jorge Luis Gonzalez, a lightly regarded Cuban who will fight on the Bowe-Ferguson undercard, beat both Lewis and Bowe in the 1987 Pan American Games. . . .

UCLA junior Dawn Dumble will be trying for her third consecutive Pacific 10 championships in the shotput and discus this weekend at Edwards Stadium in Berkeley. . . .

Another junior expected to win two events is USC sprinter Inger Miller, who has the best times in the nation among collegians in the 100 and 200 meters. . . .

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Can hardly wait for the first Alamo Bowl on Dec. 31, which probably will match the third-place team in the Southwest Conference against a Pac-10 also-ran. . . .

John Robinson has been averaging 10 speaking appearances a month since becoming USC's football coach in January. . . .

The San Francisco treats: Barry Bonds is becoming to left fielders what Willie Mays was to center fielders. . . .

Bonds attends pitchers' meetings before the start of every series so he can better position himself in the outfield. . . .

The Seattle Mariners could become a factor in the American League West race. Edgar Martinez, the leading hitter in the league last year, is back from the disabled list, pitcher Dave Fleming is expected to return by the end of the month and No. 8 hitter Mike Blowers has perfected his grand slam stroke. . . .

The Florida Marlins are 0-6 on Fridays and 6-0 on Saturdays. . . .

The Baltimore Orioles haven't gotten a home run from the cleanup spot all season. . . .

Every time Mike Piazza steps to the plate, I get the feeling that he is going to hit it a mile. . . .

The Dodgers could have used Kevin Elster's competitive spirit, to say nothing of his glove at shortstop. . . .

It turns out that the Atlanta Braves, who tried to trade for a closer all winter, had one right under their nose in Mike Stanton. . . .

I keep waiting for George Steinbrenner to emerge from his shell. . . .

News item: Tonight's Dodger-Cincinnati game will be broadcast in four languages--English, Spanish, Korean and Chinese. Reaction: They should have waited until the Montreal Expos came to town and added French to the lineup.

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