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MORNING BRIEFING

Almost Everyone in Chicago Wants to Be Like This Mike

March 30, 1995|MAL FLORENCE

When Mike Sullivan drives his car around Chicago, other motorists gawk at his vanity license plates: Bulls 45.

That's a famous number now, belonging to Michael Jordan, who gave up his No. 23 when he returned to the Bulls.

Tim Weigel of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that Sullivan got the plates seven years ago, honoring Ed Nealy, an obscure but unselfish player for the Bulls.

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Add plates: Sullivan has offered the plates to Jordan, who was flattered but declined, saying he already has enough vanity plates.

So Sullivan has decided to sell the plates to the highest bidder and donate the money to the James Jordan Foundation, in honor of Michael's late father.

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Trivia time: What famous baseball player is a native of Broken Bow, Okla.?

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Home run basket: Scott Ostler in the San Francisco Chronicle: "Our stat department trotted out its tape measure and came back with this nugget:

"The buzzer-beating, game-winning jumper Michael Jordan hit Saturday night was longer than all but four of his baseball hits."

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No argument: Jeff Gottlieb in the San Jose Mercury News: "She's 5 feet 5, 120 pounds, with dark brown hair that cascades down her back. And she can kick your butt."

Introducing Ramona Gatto, 31, of San Carlos, who proclaims that she is the "best woman kick-boxer in history."

Said Gatto: "What I do in the ring, I destroy." Her record: 25 victories, one loss, one draw and 23 knockouts.

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Warning sign: Anfernee Hardaway of the Orlando Magic wears a T-shirt that reads: "Step up, I lay you

Step off, I 'J' you

Foul me, I trey you

I gotta get paid"

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Let's get ready to . . . : Jim Brown and O.J. Simpson are regarded as two of the NFL's greatest running backs. One statistic that has been overlooked is how many times they fumbled.

According to NFL research, Brown fumbled once every 41.4 carries in nine years; Simpson fumbled once every 38.8 carries in 11 seasons.

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Looking back: On this day in 1987, Keith Smart's 16-foot jump shot with five seconds remaining gave Indiana a 74-73 victory over Syracuse in the NCAA championship game.

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Trivia answer: Harry (the Cat) Brecheen, the St. Louis Cardinal pitcher who won three games in the 1946 World Series against the Boston Red Sox.

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Quotebook: Phoenix Sun Coach Paul Westphal on Charles Barkley leading the NBA in technical fouls: "(Charles) has a lot to say. The referees need a lot of guidance in our games and he tries to provide it."

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