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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Basketball Sense Isn't Only Sense Shown by Coach

May 16, 1997|MAL FLORENCE

Lute Olson, coach of Arizona's NCAA basketball championship team, received an award Tuesday in New York.

On the previous Sunday, he and his wife, Bobbi, went to a Broadway show, "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," featuring Whoopi Goldberg, rather than to the Knicks-Miami Heat playoff game a few blocks away.

"Why? We've been married 43 years," Olson said. "I think it would be nice if we were married 44."

Trivia time: When did the Lakers last advance to the NBA Western Conference finals?

Flea franchise: Cincinnati Red owner Marge Schott recently sent a small bag of "good luck dog hair" down to the team's clubhouse.

"Not only did the struggling Reds lose again," said Michael Ventre of MSNBC, "but now they can't stop scratching."

Low man: Eddie Sefko of the Houston Chronicle, commenting on Toronto Raptor Coach Darrell Walker's $200,000 salary while other coaches are making millions:

"Sort of like being the mayo-squirter on the burger assembly line."

Party line: House speaker Newt Gingrich was a guest sportscaster on Atlanta's WXIA-TV on May 4. As a videotape showed Pittsburgh Pirate right fielder Emil Brown dropping a fly ball that allowed two Braves to score in a 3-1 victory, the elated Gingrich said, "I love it when they hit to right field."

Clip and save: Michael Jordan might be interested in this observation by Michael Wilbon of the Washington Post:

"The New York Knicks are definitely the best team in the East right now--yes, better than the Bulls."

Simple game: Dave Hansen, getting more playing time at third base for the Chicago Cubs since rookie Kevin Orie was put on the disabled list because of an injured shoulder, on his approach to hitting:

"I try to be like Little League: See ball, hit ball."

Soaked: Cleveland's Matt Williams after the Indians and Detroit Tigers had played through three hours of rain at Jacobs Field:

"They had a two-hour window to get this game in. That window was closed all day."

Looking back: On this day in 1925, Flying Ebony, ridden by Earl Sande, became only the fourth field horse to win the Kentucky Derby, scoring a 1 1/2-length victory over Captain Hal.

Looking back again: On this day in 1912, American League President Ban Johnson handed Detroit's Ty Cobb an indefinite suspension after Cobb went into the stands at New York's Hilltop Park to fight a heckler.

Trivia answer: 1991, when the Lakers defeated Portland before losing to Chicago in the NBA championship series.

And finally: Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post points out that the Pirates have a minor league pitcher named John Dillinger:

"His control isn't much to talk about, but they say the kid's got a gun for an arm."

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