Super-middleweight champion Roy Jones Jr., generally considered one of the two best fighters in the world, and perhaps one of the best ever, says he's about to pull a reverse Michael Jordan: retire, then play professional basketball.
Buoyed by his 26-point effort last Saturday in a charity game against a team led by welterweight Pernell Whitaker, Jones said he is serious about trying out for a spot with the London Towers, a team in the Basketball League of England.
"After my fight on Jan. 12, I'm going to quit boxing and play basketball," Jones said from his gym in Pensacola, Fla., where he is preparing to fight Merqui Sosa at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Jones insisted he is not joking about leaving boxing for hoops.
"You know," he said, "[New York Coach] Don Nelson invited me to practice with the Knicks."
Add Jones: Before last weekend, Jones, 5 feet 11, listened intently as Whitaker, who is 5-7 and the other dominant fighter of this era, predicted that he would score 50 points against Jones.
Whitaker's team, which included Evander Holyfield, lost the game. Whitaker scored six points.
"We'll never know who the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world is," Jones said. "But now we all know who the better basketball player is."
And about Whitaker's 50-point boast: "Yeah, somewhere Pernell is still trying to find the missing 44 points."
Trivia time: What NBA player holds the record for making a three-point basket in the most consecutive games?
Kick me: New England Patriot long snapper Steve DeOssie said he confronted New York Jet kicker Nick Lowery, who apologized this week for acting "inappropriately" last Sunday in a sideline incident with a ball boy, after the game.
"I just told him he was a coward and offered him the opportunity to hit somebody closer to his own size instead of a small guy like the ball boy," DeOssie said. "That's when he started groveling and started trying to find a way to apologize to the kid."
Truth hurts: New York Giant center Brian Williams knows that the Dallas Cowboys, who have outscored New York, 99-22, in their last three games at Texas Stadium, are a very dangerous team this Sunday for the Giants.
"We have to prepare extra special for this one," Williams told Newsday.
If not? "[The Cowboys] could beat us, 80-0."
Trivia answer: Michael Adams, who made three-point shots in 79 games in a row. The Celtics' Dana Barros has made three-pointers in 75 in a row and can tie the record Dec. 21 against Adams' Charlotte Hornets.
Quotebook: New York Knick forward Charles Oakley, on the Chicago Bulls' complaints about their new road uniforms:
"I wouldn't mind looking ugly if I had championship rings. We're looking ugly and we ain't got no rings."