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Knicks Arrive, but Riley Has Been Delayed

May 04, 1997|MAL FLORENCE

If the Miami Heat doesn't defeat the Orlando Magic today in the final game of their best-of-five series, the New York Knicks will be almost as disappointed as the Heat.

The Knicks wrapped up their series against the Charlotte Hornets in three games and have been eagerly awaiting a confrontation with Miami and former Knick coach Pat Riley.

A recent headline in the New York Post read:


"The Miami Heat, we know they've been saying all season long that they want New York. Now they have us, so just be ready," said the Knicks' John Starks.

Not so fast, John.

Trivia time: Which was the first horse to win the Triple Crown--Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes?

Heavens, no! Providence sophomore guard God Shammgod is turning pro, prompting Joe Posanski of the Kansas City Star to comment: "Is it possible that God will not be a lottery pick?"

Listen to the kid: Hitting contest winner J.P. Ramirez, age 9, to Houston Astro first baseman Jeff Bagwell: "Your batting stance is all wrong."

A few? John McEnroe, in an acceptance speech after being inducted into the Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame, concurring with the U.S. Tennis Assn.'s desire to name the U.S. Open Stadium in memory of Arthur Ashe:

"I was hoping for the John McEnroe Stadium, but I guess I questioned just a few too many line calls."

Commission Impossible: Mike Dodd in USA Today: "We've had 34 space-shuttle launches since baseball had a commissioner. We can photograph slush on a Jovian moon, but we can't put a man in the commissioner's office on Park Avenue."

What's next? The NHL has put an end to the throwing of octopuses on the ice (in Detroit) and plastic rats (in Miami), but a fan at a Montreal Canadien-Devil game in New Jersey somehow hurled a pig's head after a goal by the Devils' John MacLean.

That prompted the Miami Herald to wonder: "How do you sneak a pig's head into an arena?"

FYI: Portland's arena football team is called the Forest Dragons. Scary, huh?

Looking back: On this day in 1994, Charles Barkley of the Phoenix Suns scored 56 points against the Golden State Warriors in an NBA playoff game. Phoenix won, 140-133.

Trivia answer: Sir Barton in 1919.

And finally: Caught on the Fly in the Sporting News has a career plan for Michael Jordan: "If/when Zen Master [Phil Jackson] walks after the Bulls' last best shot at winning a title, then the Bulls could do no worse than Mike as player-coach. The reasons are threefold:

"1) It's option No. 1 for the Bulls to remain a contender; 2) it's a way to retain M.J. by offerin' a new challenge in the post-Phil Jax era; and 3) the last, best reason is Mike doesn't wanna stop playin' hoop, but he ain't about to lace up namesake sneaks for Tim Floyd."

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