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INSIDE TRACK | TV-RADIO / LARRY STEWART

Daughter Gets Albert Achievement Award

May 17, 1996|LARRY STEWART

Finally, the NBA series so many have been waiting for--the Chicago Bulls against the Orlando Magic--is here. Game 1 is Sunday at 12:30 p.m., following an expanded one-hour pregame show.

So NBC will have all its big guns out for this one, right?

Well, not exactly.

Marv Albert is taking the weekend off, because his daughter, Denise, is graduating from Boston University.

Nice to know some people still have their priorities in order.

"There was never a question about it," Albert said from his home in New York.

Denise, 21, is one of Albert's four children. Denise has a twin brother, Brian, who just graduated from Columbia; an older sister, Jackie, a pastry chef, and an older brother, Kenny, a play-by-play announcer for Fox.

With Albert not available, Greg Gumbel moves over to the "A team," and will be joined by Bill Walton and Matt Guokas courtside in Chicago. Tom Hammond and Steve Jones will call Saturday's Western Conference game.

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XTRA's Jim Rome, on Magic Johnson's latest retirement: "He now has more retirements than [championship] rings."

Rome's math may be a little off--Johnson has five rings and three retirements, four, if you count his coaching retirement--but still not a bad line.

Rome also said Johnson's image has been clouded, and noted on his show Thursday that there wasn't much interest in his retirement--only one fax and a few calls.

But a survey by ESPNET SportsZone on the Internet, asking what had motivated Johnson to return to basketball, generated more than 4,000 respondents, with 50% saying ego and 21% saying love of the game.

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Albert on Johnson: "I thought John Salley had the best line. He said that maybe Magic just loves press conferences."

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NBC is saying Johnson will still be a part of its Olympics coverage, although the network never planned to use him extensively.

He's scheduled to make an appearance during the opening ceremony on July 19, and to work with Albert and Guokas on the Dream Team's first two games.

"As far as I know, that's still the case," Albert said. "But with Magic, I guess you never know."

*

TNT commentator Danny Ainge on Dennis Rodman's hair: "He has played well with the basic blond. He does well with it, he's under control, a little bit more mellow. He's killing New York as a blond. The Popsicle [orange, yellow, red] in the Miami series got him in trouble--a little too many amps."

After the Knicks' Charles Oakley was called for fouling Rodman, Ainge said: "That was beautiful acting. Those are two of the best actors in the game. Oakley could be Jason on 'Friday the 13th.' "

Said partner Verne Lundquist: "And Rodman could be in 'Victor Victoria' [in which Julie Andrews' character tried to pass herself off as a man]."

*

On the next edition of HBO's "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel" Monday at 10 p.m., interviewer Jim Lampley asks St. Louis Ram draftee Lawrence Phillips: "If somebody says, 'Lawrence Phillips has a history of inability to control his anger,' do you agree or disagree?"

Says Phillips: "I don't think it was an anger problem, I think it was a reaction problem, 'cause everybody has anger. I mean, people get mad about things. But some people control it, some people don't."

Other segments on the show deal with the feud in Indy car racing and the dangers in boxing.

TV-Radio Notes

Sign of the times: Pat O'Brien and "Good Morning America" high-tech expert Gina Smith are the co-hosts of a one-hour GGP-produced show on Channel 4 Sunday at 10 a.m., "Nothing But Net," which shows sports enthusiasts how to navigate the Internet. It also credits XTRA for being the first sports radio station to go on the Internet. "We get calls from all over the world," says XTRA's Lee Hamilton. . . . O'Brien will be the master of ceremonies at the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Assn. luncheon at the Biltmore hotel next Wednesday. Winners will be announced in a variety of categories, Jerry Doggett will be inducted by Vin Scully into the association's hall of fame, John Wooden gets the lifetime achievement award, Rod Dedeaux will receive a good guy award, and the high-five award will go to track promoter Al Franken. The luncheon is open to the public at $60 a ticket.

HBO has hired Fox commentator Jerry Glanville to fill the Jimmy Johnson vacancy on "Inside the NFL." . . . Maury Povich will be a guest commentator for an inning or two during Channel 9's Angel-New York Yankee telecast Sunday at 10:30 a.m. . . . Recommended viewing: "A Passion to Play," an ABC show on Channel 7 Sunday at 4 p.m., is an excellent profile of the U.S. women's national basketball team. . . . The Atlanta Grand Prix track and field meet on TNT Saturday at 10 a.m. is significant for more than having a collection of the biggest names in the sport. The meet also marks the opening of the Centennial Olympic Stadium.

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