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The Inside Track | Morning Briefing

Basketball Hasn't Been Barry, Barry Good to Him

May 28, 2000|MAL FLORENCE

Hall of Famer Rick Barry, tempestuous as a player, is coaching the Florida Sea Dragons of the U.S. Basketball League--and he yearns to coach in the NBA, but hints that he might be blacklisted.

"It's like I'm some kind of ogre," he told Greg Cote of the Miami Herald. "People say derogatory things about me who have never spent five minutes with me in my life. Or over things that happened 25 years ago. It hurts my feelings.

"The GMs and team presidents now, the overwhelming majority are players from my generation. When I played I didn't go out to make friends. Those players didn't like me. So they still don't like me."

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Trivia time: Who holds the record for home runs in a World Series game?

Don't be like Mike: Jim Armstrong in the Denver Post: "You know as well as I do that, if Michael Jordan were playing for the Wizards instead of running them, he'd be ripping the GM in the papers by now.

"Word out of the coaching fraternity is that nobody is in a hurry to work for M.J. after the shabby way he treated Gar Heard, one of the nicest guys in the business."

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More Armstrong: "The squirrelliest team in the big leagues? It has to be the Giants. It's May and they've already had seven- and eight-game losing streaks and a seven-game winning streak."

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Cheap longshot: Bob Smizik in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "In its mad embrace of the cheap home run, baseball is diluting the accomplishments not of players who played 70 years ago but of players whose greatness is fresh in our minds.

"In its thirst to sell tickets, baseball has allowed the most exciting play in sports to become a cheap thrill."

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Clutch surgeon: Jon Stewart, host of "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central, offered this take on Kurt Warner's appendicitis:

"The operation took slightly more than an hour, thanks to the miraculous performance of a third-string surgeon who'd previously only worked in the European and Canadian surgeon leagues."

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Force of habit: Jim Caple of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says Mariner outfielder Rickey Henderson "has changed teams so many times and lived in so many hotels that he dials nine to get an outside line even when he's home."

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Appropriate: Tom FitzGerald in the San Francisco Chronicle: "A soccer goalie can be lonely at times but has to keep a positive attitude, no matter what happens.

"So, you've got to like the name of an 18-year-old goalie trying to make the U.S. women's national team: Hope Solo."

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Trivia answer: Three, by Babe Ruth in 1926 and 1928, and by Reggie Jackson in 1977.

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And finally: Bernie Lincicome in the Chicago Tribune: "Lon Kruger is not the kind of coach a professional basketball player will choke. He is the kind of coach a professional basketball player will ignore.

"I give him two years in Atlanta though it will seem like five. Don't lose the Pan American phone number, Lon."

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