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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

All Worked Up With No Place for Him to Go

May 05, 1997|STEVE SPRINGER

In an era when big contracts have left many questioning the motivation and integrity of those who coach and play the games, New York Daily News columnist Mike Lupica reminded his readers that it wasn't always this way.

Wrote Lupica: "There was a night 20 years ago in Cleveland, Knicks against the Cavaliers. Red Holzman was still coaching the Knicks, but they were only a .500 team that year and wouldn't even make the playoffs for Holzman. And the Cavaliers were good. They got a 25-point lead that night and held it for most of the game.

"But Holzman kept making substitutions, trying different lineups, calling timeouts. By the end, the Knicks only lost by seven or eight points.

"In the locker room afterward, I asked Holzman about coaching as hard as he had--in a game that really meant nothing--all the way to the buzzer. Holzman took a puff on a cigar and smiled.

" 'My contract says I have to stay around to the end of the game,' Holzman said. 'Besides, where was I gonna go?' "

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Trivia time: George Steinbrenner owns both the New York Yankees and Kentucky Derby horse Concerto. Has anyone won the World Series and the Kentucky Derby?

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Worm has turned: Those with weak stomachs should be advised not to eat breakfast before heading to work this month down New York's FDR Drive. Because when they hit 116th Street, they will come face-to-face with a larger-than-life mural of the Chicago Bulls' Dennis Rodman. Rodman is shown on all fours, naked in full-body zebra-like paint. The 20-foot-by-80-foot mural is a promotion for his latest book, "Walk on the Wild Side."

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Feel left out? Don't. Similar murals are planned for Los Angeles and Chicago.

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Beyond his control: In the Sporting News, Cleveland Indian pitcher Jack McDowell, commenting on his 8.04 earned-run average through 12 starts over two seasons: "I felt good. I threw good pitches, only they just hit me."

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Dept. of Obscure Information: Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek of The Netherlands is No. 5 in the ATP Tour rankings. The last Dutchman to be ranked that high was Tom Okker in 1974.

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Trivia answer: The John Galbreath family won the World Series with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Kentucky Derby with Chateaugay and Proud Clarion.

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And finally: Getting swept out of the NBA playoffs can be a crushing experience.

But not to the Washington Bullets' Chris Webber.

After his team went three and out against the Bulls, Webber immediately looked ahead, telling Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post: "I want to get rid of the Bullets and get on with the Wizards."

Moving into a new arena next season, the Washington franchise is hereafter to be known as the Wizards.

Changing names and courts, however, may prove to be a lot easier than changing their fortunes on the court.

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