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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Karl May Be on the Outside Looking In Again

June 09, 1996|EARL GUSTKEY

Is history repeating itself?

George Karl has coached the Seattle SuperSonics to two division championships the last three seasons but has never won an NBA title.

In the 1988-89 and 1990-91 seasons, Karl was coach of the now-defunct Albany Patroons of the Continental Basketball Assn. His teams won the Eastern Division title both seasons and in the second one, the Patroons went 28-0 at home during a 50-6 regular season. That's a better percentage than the SuperSonics' 64-18 this season.

Of course, the Patroons suffered the same playoff fate the SuperSonics have become used to. They lost to Wichita Falls in the semifinals.

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Add Karl: In 1989, Karl was between jobs in the CBA and showed up at the Chicago Bulls' preseason camp to watch practice.

The treatment he received from Bull Coach Phil Jackson wasn't what he expected.

"Phil made me sit outside and watch through the glass," Karl said. "That honked me off."

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Trivia time: What trainer has won the most consecutive Belmont Stakes?

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Worm pop: Would you eat a lollipop that's called The Worm, is shaped like a bloated worm and has Dennis Rodman's face on it?

Custom Confections of Boise, Idaho, thinks you not only will, but that you'll spring for the suggested retail price of 99 cents.

The company hopes to sell 15 million of them by the end of the year. The United Center, where the Bulls play, has ordered 15,000, the firm said.

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For what it's worth: The NHL took in $398 million during the 1989-90 season, according to the league's figures. It forecasts revenue this season of $920 million, up 131% during a period in which the number of teams increased from 21 to 26.

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Triple flub: Harry Balogh, famed 1930s boxing public address announcer at Madison Square Garden, once introduced triple champion Henry Armstrong thusly: "Introducing the only man to hold three titles simultaneously and at the same time. . . ."

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Grass is greener . . . : From the Denver Post's Todd Phipers: "Why do I get this feeling that Rick Pitino turning down the Nets' job because his 'heart is in Kentucky' is about as heartfelt as Magic Johnson's retirement?

"When the right NBA offer comes, the only bluegrass Pitino will see any more is on the fairway."

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Sign 'em up: The Sporting News' "Caught on the Fly" column, on California basketball star Shareef Abdur-Rahim's flip-flops on turning pro:

"When Shareef goes pro for good, Fly's got the first endorsement deal done: Waffle House."

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Trivia answer: Woody Stephens with five from 1982 to '86 with Conquistador Cielo, Caveat, Swale, Creme Fraiche and Danzig Connection.

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And finally: Bull backup center Bill Wennington recently presented a trophy to teammate Steve Kerr as "Moth of the Year" for always showing up when TV lights are turned on.

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