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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Talk About Your Goodwill Ambassadors . . .

March 19, 1997|MAL FLORENCE

Sam Smith writing in the Chicago Tribune: "You can insert your own joke for this one:

"The Dallas Mavericks, with lots of 'Three Js' merchandise remaining after dealing off Jason Kidd, Jamal Mashburn and Jim Jackson, have donated the stuff to a Dallas charity.

"The charity distributed it to an orphanage in Romania, a leper colony in India and a reservation in South Dakota."

What, the Salvation Army wouldn't take it?

Trivia time: Who holds the NCAA men's basketball tournament record for the highest field-goal percentage?

Bay Area influence: John McClain in the Houston Chronicle: "As best we can tell, the Eagles' Ray Rhodes is the first NFL coach to wear an earring. His taste in earrings must have been acquired in San Francisco, where he coached, certainly not in Mexia (Texas), where he grew up, or Fort Worth, where he went to college at TCU."

Sticks and stones . . . : Scottie Pippen of the Chicago Bulls and Larry Johnson of the New York Knicks have a long-standing dislike for each other. In a war of words, Pippen got in this shot:

"He's [Johnson] one of the worst defenders in the league. I've accomplished things accidentally in my career more than he's accomplished on purpose."

His retreat: Horacio Llamas, the first Mexican-born player in the NBA, has a unique nickname: "Bano," which is Spanish for bathroom.

He got the nickname from Kevin Johnson when he signed with the Phoenix Suns on Feb. 21. The reason, Johnson said, is that Llamas is always in the bathroom.

FYI: Even though Nick Faldo is the defending Masters champion and a three-time winner of the tournament, he's not the favorite to win the event in April, according to Golf Digest magazine. Faldo is listed at 14-1.

Tiger Woods missed the cut as an amateur in the 1996 Masters. However, he's the magazine's 10-1 favorite.

Looking back: On this day in 1972, the Lakers beat the Golden State Warriors, 162-99, for the most lopsided victory in NBA history.

Trivia answer: UCLA's Bill Walton, 68.6%, 12 games, 1972-1974.

And finally: Matt Fish, who is on a 10-day contract with the Miami Heat, is wearing his 20th uniform since coming out of North Carolina Wilmington in 1992.

He has tried out or played for nine NBA teams, including the Clippers, and five CBA teams.

He also played in Italy, Japan, France, Canada, Argentina and Puerto Rico.

Said Fish: "I'd just like to go somewhere for a little bit to have a bank [account], a phone number, somebody to cut your hair."

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