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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

One Game, and He's Already Trade Bait

November 02, 2001|Paul Gutierrez

Kevin Kernan of the New York Post pontificates on Michael Jordan's comeback:

"There's really only one solution to this mess. Jordan should trade himself to a contender after Dec.15, when free agents can be dealt.

"Jordan, who was president of basketball operations of the club last year, is no longer part of Wizards' management so he can have GM Wes Unseld make the deal.

"Free agent Jordan should have signed with another club. At the age of 38, he should be on a team that has a chance to make a dent in the playoffs. Who knows, maybe he can even get a future draft pick for himself and then, when he wants to come back and play Mr. Front Office again, he'll have something to show for Jordan the player."

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More Kernan: "If Jordan wants to play Don Quixote, let him chase windmills with a team that has a remote chance of doing something. Go to the Jazz and join old men John Stockton and Karl Malone in a quest to overthrow Shaq and Kobe. Go to the Lakers or come to the Knicks, the Garden loves you now. Don't waste yourself with the Wizards, Michael. Get out while you still can."

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Trivia time: Who are the seven L.A. Lakers whose jerseys have been retired and what are their numbers?

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You can go home again: Almost 10 years after announcing that he was HIV-positive, Magic Johnson will return to his college stomping grounds tonight for an exhibition game between his traveling team and Michigan State.

Johnson, 42, led the Spartans to the 1979 NCAA title and his East Lansing, Mich., high school squad to a state championship in 1977.

"With Magic in the house, it's a different house," Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo said. "It's going to be one of the most exciting things that's going to happen here."

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Dark reality: Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star Tribune doesn't understand why teams continually let the New York Yankees off the hook, especially the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 4:

"This wasn't the Bronx. This was Transylvania. It was Halloween and Count Dracula was on the prowl.

"These fools from Arizona. They thought Dracula could be killed by hammering him, beating him or shining a spotlight on him.... Haven't these serpents from the desert been paying attention? Didn't they see the Count's team come back from what appeared to be fatal wounds two weeks ago against Oakland?

"Listen, you snakes, and listen good: The only way to kill Count Dracula is by driving a splintered Louisville Slugger through his heart. And, it's a giant heart, so it would be a good idea also to drive one into The Count's head--right between the eyes."

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Trivia answer: Jerry West, 44; Wilt Chamberlain, 13; Elgin Baylor, 22; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 33; Magic Johnson, 32; James Worthy, 42; Gail Goodrich, 25.

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And finally: "Saturday Night Live" alumnus Dennis Miller has heard the criticism thrown his way since entering the "Monday Night Football" broadcast booth. But Miller believes he has filled bigger shoes before, he told Chuck Finder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

"Listen, it might be hard following ostensibly what Howard Cosell was doing years ago. It's a lot harder following Chevy Chase at the 'Weekend Update' desk. You talk about legends."

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