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THE INSIDE TRACK | Morning Briefing

There's Always Something in Air This Time of Year

April 19, 1998|LISA DILLMAN

Are we really ready for another spate of stories about whether Michael Jordan should or should not retire?

If it's springtime, it's the NBA playoffs.

And that means it's time for the countless rounds of Jordan speculation.

Details magazine weighed in with its May issue, saying why Jordan should retire. It basically came down to three reasons.

1. Leaving while he's on top.

2. A powerful statement of principle in support of Coach Phil Jackson.

3. It will be fascinating to see what he does next.

Writer Larry Platt, who is working on a book about the NBA season, finished his argument, saying: "The only thing we know for sure is this: He is going to be the most interesting retired person on the planet."

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More Details: In the same issue, New Jersey Net center Jayson Williams makes his NBA pick in the final: Chicago over Utah.

"Not Seattle," Williams wrote. "The Sonics need a guy like me. They don't have any rebounders. If they had a rebounder there, they could win it all."

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Trivia time: Which was the only team to beat the Bulls twice in the 1995-96 season, when they went 72-10?

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No kudos: The Dallas Morning News gave a thumbs-down to the jury that found the NBA guilty of sex discrimination when it did not hire Sandra Ortiz-Del Valle as an official.

"The NBA is easily the most progressive and inclusive of all the major sports leagues," wrote David Moore. "It's the only major professional league that employs two female officials. The NBA may be guilty of certain things, but discrimination isn't one of them."

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Clean steal: Thieves in Ecuador found a new way to operate when they decided to break into the offices of the club soccer team Barcelona in suburban Quito.

The gang of 15 men were wearing replica jerseys of Barcelona and took off with the gate receipts of Barcelona's Libertadores Cup victory over the Chilean club team Colo Colo.

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Active owner: Tom Clancy, author and prospective owner of the Minnesota Vikings, is trying to finish his novel, and was puzzled to hear the NFL is concerned about the speed of the information flow from his ownership group.

"I'm involved as I can be," Clancy told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

"I'm going to be writing a great, big check. How much more involved am I supposed to be? Do you want me to put on a purple jersey and run out on the field and get killed? I'm not big enough."

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Trivia answer: The Indiana Pacers.

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And finally: Formula One driver David Coulthard, on moderation during racing season: "I know drivers who've had a drink even before they go out to do qualifying. Guys who've had a schnapps or something like that, and it hasn't affected their performance. Having said that, it's not to be encouraged."

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