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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Technically, His Inner Circle Is All That Matters

February 13, 2001|MAL FLORENCE

Rasheed Wallace of the Portland Trail Blazers is the runaway NBA leader in technical fouls with 27, and don't expect him to control his temper or change his personality for the fans, opponents or referees.

"I don't care what they think about me," Wallace told Geoffrey C. Arnold of the Portland Oregonian. "You're not in my inner circle. The only people I care about are my wife and kids, my mother, my brothers and close friends to the family.

"If you're outside my circle, I couldn't care less."

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Trivia time: Jesper Parnevik of Sweden is the defending champion of the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. Who is the only other foreign player to have won the tournament?

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Forget them: Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Tribune, writing on the faltering Chicago Bulls:

"Too much anger and consternation are being devoted to a franchise that doesn't matter and didn't matter long before the man [Michael Jordan] with the amazing Technicolor game arrived.

"My advice is, less outrage on talk radio, more energy for things of real consequence. Rotating the tires on the snow blower, for example."

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Truth hurts: Paul Westhead, former Laker coach and now coach of the L.A. Stars of the American Basketball Assn., said in an interview with Bob Ford of Knight Ridder Newspapers:

"It's an interesting twist to be here [at the Forum]. My office is literally 10 feet from the office I had with the Lakers 20 years ago. I embellished a little bit and told my daughter I had the same exact office, and she said. 'Yeah, but not the same players.' "

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We like it: Hubert Mizell in the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times: "XFL innovations are voluminous. Some ridiculous, but a couple that could find long-range flight, even being adopted by the NFL handbook.

"How about the no-fair-catch rule? It could have added spice to Super Bowl XXXV, in which the Ravens and Giants induced drowsiness with 21 punts on fourth downs."

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Incompatible: Tex Schramm, former Dallas Cowboy executive, on the XFL in an interview with the Dallas Morning News: "It's early in their game. You've got to give it a chance. [XFL founder Vince] McMahon made a big financial success out of wrestling. I just think they are two different animals. I don't think they breed well."

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Reason enough: From the Vent column of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "The best thing about the XFL: One more New York team to root against."

And this: "Atlanta has had its own XFL team for as long as I can remember, except for the Super Bowl fluke: eXtremely bad Falcon Losses."

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Trivia answer: Australia's Bruce Devlin in 1970.

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And finally: Most Minnesota voters think Gov. Jesse Ventura is doing a good job in office, but more than one in three say his role as an XFL commentator is inappropriate.

A recent poll shows that 41% of the respondents believe Ventura is an embarrassment to Minnesota, an increase from the 30% who said they felt that way in a July poll.

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