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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Playoff Losses to Knicks Are Killing Riley

May 24, 2000|MAL FLORENCE

Dan LeBatard of the Miami Herald commenting on Heat Coach Pat Riley after a devastating 83-82 loss to the New York Knicks in the seventh game Sunday of their playoff series:

"Riley left New York once upon a time, to build something here, but the Knicks keep taking a wrecking ball to his dream parade down Biscayne Boulevard.

"Riley, pale as a ghost, perfectly upright, made the slow, sad walk down a corridor to meet the media afterward. He looked like dead man walking."

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More Miami: Bob Ryan in the Boston Globe: "The brainwashed Heat are like members of a Doomsday Cult who are slowly learning that their most cherished beliefs are just so much propaganda."

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Trivia time: What is the NBA playoff record for fewest points in the third quarter?

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Don't muzzle him: One of the stipulations for Bob Knight retaining his job as Indiana's basketball coach is that he has to be civil to the media. There are, however, some members of the media who hope that part of him doesn't change.

"He's much more interesting when he's glaring at you, daring you to ask a question that he might not want to answer," said Gene Wojciechowski of ESPN the Magazine. "I don't want him to go away. He's too good of a quote."

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Hack-a-thon: Jerry Greene of the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel, on Portland's repeated fouling of Shaquille O'Neal in Game 1 of their playoff series Saturday:

"From what I hear, by the time Shaq got back inside after picking up his morning paper from the lawn, the Blazers had fouled him six times."

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Simple plans: The playbooks of some college football coaches are being auctioned on the Internet.

Gary Shelton of the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times says the Tampa Bay Buccaneer playbook of fired offensive coordinator Mike Shula "was going to be auctioned off too, but someone lost the napkin."

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You tell him, Mom: Joe Posnanski of the Kansas City Star recalls that when he wrote his first baseball story for a newspaper many years ago, his mother told him:

"I like your story, but you know that part where you talked about a team having an unearned run? Well, who are you to say that they didn't earn that run? What makes you such a big shot?"

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No wizardry: Tony Kornheiser in the Washington Post, on Michael Jordan's problems in finding a coach:

"If the Wizards wanted [Mike] Jarvis, why let money stand in the way? If what Jarvis wanted was too pricey by, say, a half-million a year, Jordan could be creative. He could've said to Jarvis, 'You want extra money? I'll put you in a commercial with me.' Who wouldn't want to see Jarvis in Hanes underwear? OK, I take that back.'

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FYI: Croquet was so popular in old Hollywood that Harpo Marx built a $50,000 temperature-controlled room to store his mallets.

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Looking back: On this day in 1974, in what was billed as the biggest matchup of two local fighters, Bobby Chacon stopped Danny "Little Red" Lopez in the ninth round before 16,080 at the Sports Arena. Each fighter went on to win the world featherweight title.

The two will be feted at a luncheon Friday in Hollywood.

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Trivia answer: Six, by Atlanta against Boston on May 6, 1986.

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And finally: Before Jayson Stark joined ESPN.com he was a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. A sampling of one of his columns:

"June 17, 1985: Mets pitcher Bruce Berenyi hurt his arm and had to visit Dr. James Andrews in Columbus, Ga. Berenyi made his own reservations and got on a plane, and flew to Columbus.

"That was the good news. The bad news was: He flew to Columbus, Ohio."

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