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THE INSIDE TRACK | Morning Briefing

An Old Friend Expects Jordan to Be a Real Wiz

March 02, 2000|MAL FLORENCE

What does Magic Johnson think about Michael Jordan running the Washington Wizards?

"I'm glad Michael is doing this. And I'm glad he's doing it with the Wizards," Johnson told Michael Wilbon of the Washington Post. "Now, he has to let everybody know to be patient. This isn't going to happen in one year, it's not going to happen in two years. You have to take your lumps for two years. I know he knew that coming in.

"My advice: unload everything. You know what he's going to do? He's going to unload everything and wait for Vince Carter! Ha ha! He's just trying to figure out who is going to be available in two years or three years after he's dumped all those $10 [million] and $15-million salaries that take time to dump."

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More Magic: "Look, guys want to play for him, and just about every black ballplayer in the league would love to play in D.C. You've got this incredible magnet here: M.J., D.C., and the new arena. If they ever have a winner here, this place will be rockin'. I laugh when I hear people wondering why Michael decided to come here. He handpicked the best situation possible. He loves this."

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Trivia time: Other than UCLA, how many Pacific 10 Conference schools have won the men's NCAA basketball championship?

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Rubbing it in: Headline in the New York Daily News after the Miami Heat, without Alonzo Mourning, defeated the Knicks, 85-76, Monday night: "Knicks Loss Is Not Zo Funny."

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The Sparky file: Some words of wisdom from Sparky Anderson, voted into Baseball's Hall of Fame on Tuesday:

* "You don't have to be a Harvard professor to manage baseball. In fact, I think you're better off having an IQ like mine."

* On Detroit Tiger rookie pitcher Rusty Meacham in 1991: "What I like about him is that he's scared, but he's not afraid."

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Help! Scott Hoch, after Davis Love III routed him in the World Match Play quarterfinals: "Where's Tonya Harding when you need her?"

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More Harding: From David Letterman: "I understand she hit [her boyfriend] with a hubcap because apparently the bottle of Wild Turkey was not empty."

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Like a missile: In his new book, "The Goose Is Loose," Rich Gossage recalls playing for the Chicago White Sox with Dick Allen, who once hit a line drive back through the box and over the center fielder's head that left Tiger pitcher Mickey Lolich sprawled in the dirt for what seemed like five minutes.

Asked why he had stayed down so long, Lolich said: "Because I thought the ball was going to ricochet off the wall and kill me."

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Looking back: On this day in 1962, Wilt Chamberlain scored an NBA-record 100 points in leading the Philadelphia Warriors to a 162-147 victory over the New York Knicks in Hershey, Pa.

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Trivia answer: Four: Oregon, 1939; Stanford, 1942; California, 1959, and Arizona, 1997.

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And finally: Jim Armstrong in the Denver Post: "Here it is a month later, and Juan Gonzalez still refuses to sign that eight-year, $140-million offer from the Tigers.

"Why am I thinking the working stiffs in the car factories are going to have a hard time relating to this guy?"

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