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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Maybe Problem Was Not Enough Birdies for Bird

May 15, 1997|MAL FLORENCE

Larry Bird, the new coach of the Indiana Pacers, told the Boston Globe of his motivation to get into coaching:

"I am just so competitive, and I am sick and tired of sitting around the house. I need to do something.

"Competition--I've got to have it. I can't get it on with the fat-bellies on the golf course."

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Trivia time: What is the full name of Atlanta Hawk center Dikembe Mutombo?

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Stepping on the Worm: After the Chicago Bulls lost a playoff game to the Hawks before winning the next three games and the series, Bernie Lincicome of the Chicago Tribune suggested strongly that the team should get rid of Dennis Rodman:

"This is the time to kiss him off. Pay him off. Put him on a bus. He doesn't deserve a better ride out of town."

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Forked tongue: Blackie Sherrod in the Dallas Morning News: "In weeks preceding his flight to Boston, U of K Coach Rick Pitino blew fuses in every polygraph in Kentucky with his avowals to stay put."

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Wishful thinking: New York Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter responding to reports that he is dating supermodel Tyra Banks: "I didn't say the rumors are all bad. I just said they aren't true."

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Sign her up: Tom FitzGerald in the San Francisco Chronicle: "OK, ex-champ Riddick Bowe has retired, but, as Don King is probably thinking right now, sister Velma Melton is looking mighty feisty."

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Magic number again: On June 29, 1956, Charles Dumas cleared a world-record height of 7 feet in the high jump at the U.S. Olympic trials at the Coliseum.

Now, 41 years later, the women's world record is 6-10 1/4.

Dumas will be one of 21 former USC athletes who will be inducted into the school's athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday night at Heritage Hall.

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FYI: The Long Beach Ice Dogs, who will play the Houston Aeros tonight in the first game of the best-of-seven International Hockey League Western Conference finals in Houston, have won 34 of their last 35 games at home.

Their last home-ice loss was Feb. 7 to Indianapolis.

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Looking back: On this day in 1984, Magic Johnson set an NBA playoff record with 24 assists against the Phoenix Suns. The Lakers won, 118-102, eventually winning the series, four games to two.

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Trivia answer: Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean Jacque Wamutombo.

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And finally: Steve Rosenbloom in the Chicago Tribune: "The St. Louis Rams recently concluded a mini-camp, and their draft included fourth-round pick Ryan Tucker.

"He's a center from TCU who has been arrested for public intoxication and has been accused of being involved in three barroom fights. This is the same team that drafted Lawrence Phillips with its top pick last year.

"Some teams check a guy's time in the 40. The Rams dust for prints."

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