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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

All That Hate in Miami Doesn't Make It Easier

May 08, 2000|MAL FLORENCE

To the Hartford Courant's Jeff Goldberg, one old Tim Hardaway quote comes as close as any to summing up the essence of the NBA rivalry between the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat.

"I hate them with all the hate that you can hate with," Goldberg remembers Miami's Hardaway saying, maybe after P.J. Brown body-slammed Charlie Ward in 1997 and probably before Allan Houston knocked the Heat out of last year's playoffs in the deciding Game 5.

"Can you hate more than that?" the Heat point guard added. "If you can, I hate them more than that."

This year each team's coach has encouraged his players to get past the ugly aspect of the matchup, and Miami's Pat Riley has tried a philosophical turn.

"Do we have to beat them to get over a mental hump?" Riley asks. "Or to make my life better? Or to ensure my peace of mind so when I'm 65, I won't have any nightmares? No. I'm past that now."

Maybe Sunday's game helped.

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Trivia time: Who holds the NBA playoff record for most field goals in one quarter?

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Easier to watch: Syndicated writer Norman Chad explained the TV advantage the NBA has over the NHL:

"Basketball is a perfect TV sport, all the players on the court can often be captured from a single camera angle. Hockey is the imperfect TV sport, the action moves a bit too fast with a tiny puck that looks like a runaway bread crumb."

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Let's hope so: Tom FitzGerald in the San Francisco Chronicle: "Calling all nicknames for new Raider kicker Sebastian Janikowski.

"He's been dubbed the Polish Cannon, but that seems entirely too derivative of former Philadelphia Eagle quarterback Ron Jaworski, a.k.a. the Polish Rifle. Can't we do better than that?"

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More Janikowski: Torben Rolfsen of Pacifica, Calif., says: "Let's just hope he kicks field goals the way he likes his vodka--straight."

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Cheap shot: From comedy writer Jerry Perisho: "A two-week investigation led to charges filed against a man who allegedly stole over $30,000 worth of sports memorabilia from former quarterback Jim Kelly.

"Hmm, I didn't think 'Second Place' rings were all that valuable."

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Get it? Garth Woolsey of the Toronto Star on John Rocker: "Who knows when he'll mature? Perhaps many moons from now."

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Here's the pitch: Bernie Lincicome in the Chicago Tribune: "Kerry Wood has been the most celebrated invalid since the Venus de Milo."

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Trivia answer: Sleepy Floyd of Golden State, 12, against the Lakers on May 10, 1987.

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And finally: Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves, on why his team couldn't match Portland's physical play:

"We're not like the Knicks. We're not known for throwing you to the ground, kicking you. The only person who stomped somebody in Timberwolves history was Christian Laettner, and he did that back at Duke."

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