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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

It's Obvious He's Not in Champ's Corner

April 22, 1999|MAL FLORENCE

Tony Kornheiser of the Washington Post, questioning the Redskins' decision to trade down and draft Champ Bailey instead of taking Ricky Williams in the first round:

"Are you kidding me?

"You have [Ricky Williams] fall in your lap, like manna from heaven, and you pass him up?

"It's not like this guy had one big game, like Edgerrin James. He's had four years of being targeted by every team Texas played, and none of them stopped him.

"The next Earl Campbell. And you shoo him away? And take a cornerback?"

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Trivia time: Who was the first UCLA quarterback drafted by the Chicago Bears?

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The Great Ones: Bernie Lincicome of the Chicago Tribune, comparing Michael Jordan with Wayne Gretzky:

"It's natural to argue who was the greater of the two--Jordan or Gretzky--who meant more to his game and his time.

"I've always resolved it this way. Which is harder, Jordan walking on air or Gretzky walking on water? My answer is that only one them needed to have it frozen."

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Just warming up: The Chicago Bulls set a league record since the inception of the shot clock by scoring only 49 points against Miami earlier in the month.

Jordan scored more than 49 points 47 times in his career, prompting the Bulls' Ron Harper to say: "I can just imagine him using one of his favorite quotes: 'Forty nine-points? I could do that all by myself.' "

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Epic comeback: The Lakers trailed by 28 points in second quarter of Tuesday's game against Golden State, before rallying to win, 106-102, in overtime.

The NBA record for making up the largest deficit to eventually win is held by Utah, which trailed Denver by 36 points in the second quarter Nov. 27, 1997. The Jazz won, 107-103.

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Worn-out millionaires: David Steele of the San Francisco Chronicle, on the current state of pro basketball:

"If ever a slogan fit the lockout-delayed, schedule-compressed, jet-lagged, rubber-legged, rim-clanking, fan-unfriendly NBA of today, it would be this: 'Man, Am I Tired!' "

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What's the proof? Newsweek magazine reports this week that one unnamed Laker said that Dennis Rodman "was coming into practice, if he got there, smelling like pure alcohol."

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Put-down: Houston Rocket forward Scottie Pippen on Greg Ostertag, after the Utah center had 11 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks in a Jazz win:

"That's probably the best he ever played, but that's not saying much."

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Trivia answer: Ronnie Knox, in the third round in 1957.

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And finally: Colorado Coach Rich Donnelly, on the dietary precautions the Rockies took on their trip to Monterrey, Mexico, for the season opener against the San Diego Padres:

"One of the security guys gave us a list of things we couldn't eat--meat, potatoes, salad, water, fish, chicken and Mexican food.

"So that pretty much boiled the things we could eat down to Pringles and Oreos."

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