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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Wooden Tells A Tidy Tale in His Book

June 11, 1997|MAL FLORENCE

In a new book, "Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court," former UCLA basketball Coach John Wooden tells a neat story:

"I frequently received letters from custodians after we played an away game, telling me our basketball team had left the locker room neater and cleaner than anyone who had visited during the year.

"The locker rooms were clean when we departed because I asked the players to pick up after themselves. I believe this is just common courtesy. . . . Are managers and custodians the players' servants?"

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Trivia time: Which team holds the record for most points in an NBA championship series game?

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Don't hold back: Jayson Williams of the New Jersey Nets, who had been critical of Coach John Calipari during the regular season, let his feelings spill in an article he wrote for GQ magazine.

Williams portrayed the first-year coach as controlling, dishonest and self-centered. The forward has since said he expects to be traded during the off-season (no kidding).

Calipari said he had not read the article, adding, "My wife thought it was interesting."

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Perfect fit: Dennis Rodman wants to be a rap music star, prompting this comment from Jay Leno: "Have you seen those rap musicians? You know, they have the reputation for the goofy clothes, the easy women, the nose rings, the tattoos . . . I hate to see Dennis getting mixed up in that lifestyle."

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Veteran savvy: The Dodgers' Wilton Guerrero was suspended and fined for admitting he used a corked bat.

"A typical rookie mistake," wrote Joe Knowles of the Chicago Tribune. "A veteran like [Albert] Belle would know enough to claim it was a conspiracy perpetrated by the opposing team."

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Hard times: From humorist Earl Hochman: "To prove how broke he is, O.J. Simpson says he not only is playing with borrowed clubs, but worse, his golf cart is a Yugo."

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Sick society: Diamond Duck, the female mascot of the minor league Richmond (Va.) Braves, on being assaulted by a fan: "I'm so frustrated by the fact that people don't respect mascots anymore."

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Yawn: Shortstop Ron Jaroncyk, the New York Mets' first-round draft pick in 1995, on why he is retiring from baseball at 20: "I always thought it was boring."

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Looking back: On this day in 1978, Nancy Lopez finished a record 13 under par to win the LPGA championship by six strokes over Amy Alcott.

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Trivia answer: The Boston Celtics, with 148 against the Lakers (114) on May 27, 1985. The Lakers, however, won the series, four games to two.

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And finally: Melissa Isaacson of the Chicago Tribune on some things you may not know about Utah:

* "State law forbids Dennis Rodman from exhaling within state lines.

* "John Stockton is actually Steve Garvey's long-lost twin.

* "What a waste. All that salt and no margaritas."

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