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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Maybe It's the Foul Weather in Portland

April 05, 2001|MAL FLORENCE

Scottie Pippen of the Portland Trail Blazers has had the distinction of being a teammate of Rasheed Wallace and Dennis Rodman, the "T" men for technicals in the NBA. But Pippen told Michael BeDan of the Rocky Mountain News there's a noticeable difference between the referee baiters:

"Wallace is still more professional because he never draws any long suspensions. And he comes to games and practices and other things when he's supposed to."

Rodman, when he teamed with Pippen in Chicago, would be absent for long stretches because of suspensions. He was out 18 games his first season as a Bull and 25 the second, the latter including 11 games for kicking a cameraman.

Nonetheless, Wallace has the NBA record for technicals in a season with 40--and counting.

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Trivia time: What is Tom Weiskopf noted for in the Masters tournament?

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Baseball banter: A sampling of David Letterman's "Top 10 Things a Manager Didn't Want to Hear on Baseball's Opening Day":

* "OK, who kicks off?

* "Is it OK if I leave after the sixth inning to beat the traffic?

* "Their pitcher is cheating--he throws a ball that curves."

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Boys will be boys: Bernie Lincicome in the Rocky Mountain News: "Phillies outfielder Pat Burrell and Pittsburgh pitcher Kris Benson, both of whom confessed to assorted shenanigans in Penthouse, will confer and agree that both thought they were talking to Popular Mechanics."

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More baseball: Broadcaster Skip Caray on Monday's one-game Atlanta Brave-Cincinnati Red "series": "I don't think I've ever been involved in a game before where both teams are trying to sweep a series."

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Still more baseball: And from comedy writer Alan Ray to the San Francisco Chronicle, predicting a rash of balks during opening week: "It happens every time a fan looks at the price of concessions."

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Challenge him: Scott Ostler in the San Francisco Chronicle, commenting on the Masters tournament: "Sending Tiger [Woods] to the first tee here with a two-tournament [and three-major] winning streak is like giving a 100-meter sprinter a running start.

"Still, I'm rooting for [Vijay] Singh, because what golf needs is a rivalry at the top. Golf could use a Sampras-Agassi, a Jack-Arnie, a McGwire-Sosa, a Kobe-Shaq."

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Splitting hairs: From Caught on the Fly in the Sporting News: "Buzzing around NFL owners' meetings, taking in debate on proper head wear within the league dress code, Fly could not help but wonder: Does the league consider Bud Adams' hair a skullcap or a bandanna?"

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West is best: Ten NBA Western Conference teams have records of .500 or better compared to seven in the Eastern Conference.

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Looking back: On this day in 1967, Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia 76ers set an NBA record with 41 rebounds in a 115-104 victory over the Boston Celtics, giving the 76ers a 3-0 lead in the Eastern Division playoffs.

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Trivia answer: He recorded a 13 on the par-three 12th hole in 1980.

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And finally: Dave D'Allesandro in the New Jersey Star-Ledger: "John Stockton turned 39 last week, which would be remarkable if not for the fact that he has already decided he'll play when he's 40.

"To put his age in perspective, consider that Stockton is older than two NBA coaches [Nate McMillan is 36, Scott Skiles is 37] and the same age as four others [Doc Rivers, Byron Scott, Isiah Thomas and Jeff Van Gundy]."

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