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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Payback Time Wasn't Something He Relished

March 09, 2001|MAL FLORENCE

During spring training in 1994, Brian L. Hunter, then with Houston, reported to his first big league camp and found a check for $8,000 from the players' association in his locker.

He didn't know what it was for, but took the money and went on a major shopping spree. Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh's camp, veteran Brian R. Hunter was missing his check. Said Brian L.: "It took me two years to pay it back."

Now the Brian Hunters are with the Philadelphia Phillies and the answer to a trivia question: the only major league team with two Brian Hunters with different middle names.

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Trivia time: Who holds the NBA record for free throws made in a game without a miss?

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No hard feelings: Sacramento's Vlade Divac told ESPN's Dan Patrick about being traded from the Lakers to Charlotte for the draft rights to Kobe Bryant in 1996: "At the time I felt terrible, but it was a good move by the Lakers. I would do the same thing if I was general manager."

Patrick: "You would trade you?"

Divac: "For Kobe, absolutely."

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Job option: Jerry Greene in the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel: "Seems like San Diego is the perfect spot for Doug Flutie. He could play football in the fall and ride at Santa Anita in the spring."

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* "Best thing about watching the PBA bowling tour on TV is the wives whenever the guys leave a wide-open split. It's so easy to read their thoughts: 'There goes the new swimming pool. There goes little Jimmy's braces.' "

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Vicious! Elliott Harris of the Chicago Sun-Times, on the Chicago Bulls' general manager: "Wouldn't putting together one more dog team qualify Jerry Krause for the Iditarod hall of fame?"

New home? Scott Ostler in the San Francisco Chronicle: "What will the umpires do with the old strike zones that they are discarding? Considering the unusual and creative shapes of those strike zones, they would make a fine exhibit at the S.F. Museum of Modern Art."

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Snobbery: In an interview in Newsday, New York Met left-handed pitcher Tom Martin said, "I don't personify the typical left-hander. I try to hang out with as many right-handers as I can."

On the same day the interview appeared, a local paper ran a photo of Martin that inadvertently was flopped, making him appear to be a right-hander. Said Martin: "I wonder how my stuff was."

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Trivia answer: Dominique Wilkins of Atlanta, 23, against Chicago on Dec. 8, 1992.

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And finally: If former Dallas quarterback Troy Aikman finishes his career with the Chargers, it will be appropriate. Three NFL Hall of Famers spent their last years in the league in San Diego.

Former L.A. Ram defensive end Deacon Jones played for the Chargers in 1972-73 before his final season with the Washington Redskins in 1974. Tight end John Mackey closed out his career in San Diego in 1972. Another former Baltimore Colt, quarterback Johnny Unitas, spent his last season in San Diego in 1973.

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