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THE INSIDE TRACK | NOTES ON A SCORECARD / ALLAN MALAMUD

A Mixed Blessing for SuperSonics

June 03, 1996|ALLAN MALAMUD

Do you congratulate the Seattle SuperSonics for winning the Western Conference title or offer them condolences for having to face the Chicago Bulls in the NBA finals? . . .

The tired SuperSonics versus the fresh Bulls shapes up as a short, not-so-sweet series. . . .

Any team willing to give up much for Charles Barkley, 33 and injury prone, should think again about it. . . .

The New Jersey Nets' investment in Rick Pitino would have been sound. . . .

Pitino is one of those coaches who makes a difference, whether it is college basketball or pro. . . .

Before his successful stint with the New York Knicks, he opened eyes by bringing a talent-poor Providence team into the 1987 Final Four. . . .

What a duel of goaltenders--John Vanbiesbrouck of Florida vs. Patrick Roy of Colorado--the Stanley Cup finals ought to be. . . .

The difference in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday was Vanbiesbrouck over his Pittsburgh counterpart, Tom Barrasso. . . .

It turns out that the trade that sent the draft rights to Eric Lindros to Philadelphia for Peter Forsberg, Mike Ricci, four other players and two future draft choices on June 30, 1992, was a terrific one for the Avalanche franchise that was then located in Quebec. . . .

With what would have been Philadelphia's first pick in the 1993 draft, Quebec selected goaltender Jocelyn Thibault, who was sent to Montreal this season in the Roy deal. . . .

I thought comparisons between New York Met rookie shortstop Rey Ordonez and Ozzie Smith were premature until the double play Ordonez executed in the eighth inning Saturday on Eric Karros' ground ball that had base hit written all over it. . . .

Just imagine what Mike Piazza would be hitting if he had enough speed to leg out an infield single once in a while. . . .

Fox's first Saturday baseball telecast didn't knock me over. . .

News item: The U.S. women's softball team, tuning up for the Olympic Games, has a 30-shutout streak. Reaction: I guess the softball isn't juiced up this year. . . .

Analyst Steve Garvey is saying the right things on CBS and ESPN during the College World Series, but could use a little more energy. . . .

I still don't understand why major league baseball doesn't wait until the end of the CWS to conduct its June draft, which will be Tuesday. . . .

The well-balanced Detroit Tigers are last in the American League in hitting, pitching and fielding. . . .

Albert Belle must want to know why that guy ran into his forearm the other night. . . .

When wide receiver Rex Hudler of Bullard High in Fresno visited Michigan State during a recruiting trip in 1978, Spartan wide receiver Kirk Gibson showed him around campus. . . .

"I asked Gibson if he could show me the baseball facilities," said Hudler, who is now a hot Angel hitter. "He said, 'Aw, that's a sissy sport.' " . . .

Hudler's tour guide at Notre Dame was Joe Montana. . . .

Mike Salmon, younger brother of Angel outfielder Tim Salmon and a former USC defensive back, is playing safety for the Rhein Fire of the World League of American Football. . . .

Cigar paid only $2.20 to win the Massachusetts Handicap on Saturday, but a $2 win parlay on him during his 15-race streak would be worth $28,787.60. . . .

If Cigar could attract 22,169 to Suffolk Downs in Boston for a virtual walk-over, he should be able to draw 50,000 at Hollywood Park on June 30 when he tries to tie Citation's win streak in the Gold Cup against Soul Of The Matter, among others. . . .

The 10th consecutive NCAA women's track and field title won by LSU surpassed the nine won by Coach Dean Cromwell's USC men from 1935 to 1943. . . .

The national high school record 800-meter clocking of 1:46.45 by Michael Granville of Bell Gardens High in the state meet prelims on Friday night would have been good enough for fifth place in the NCAA finals. . . .

Break up the Galaxy! . . .

The best of ESPN's new promotional spots is that featuring former Minneapolis Laker star center George Mikan, 71. . . .

My favorite name in racing is quarter horse BillyJoeJimBobSmith.

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