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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

Scott Torn Between Mousseor Big Move

November 15, 2001|Thomas Bonk

The New Jersey Nets' Web site features a poll on what has been the biggest difference in the team's performance.

The four possible answers are 1, Jason Kidd and Todd MacCulloch; 2, a healthy team; 3, bench support; 4, all of the above.

There's probably no room on the ballot for a No. 5, which would be the coach. And that person is former Laker Byron Scott, in his second year on the bench as the head man with the Nets.

The Nets won only 29 games a year ago, but their 6-1 start this season is the best in franchise history. It's Scott who adapted his coaching manner to a combination of two coaches he played for, Pat Riley with the Lakers and Larry Brown with the Pacers.

Tough, demanding, honest ... Scott says those are the traits he likes to see in himself. Once Scott starts oiling his hair, or gets two or three more jobs, that's when he'll get some attention.

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Trivia time: When was the last time that California was ranked in the top 10 of the final Associated Press football poll?

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Marketing 101: With what product would an NBA rookie be most closely associated? No, not tattoo ink. Milk. At least that's what the NBA thinks, so it closed a deal with the America's Dairy Farmers and Milk Processors to have milk sponsor the league's rookie-of-the-month and rookie-of-the-year awards ... not to mention the all-rookie team and the draft. Meanwhile, the rookie-cookie sponsorship deal is still up for grabs.

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Unleashed: In a public-service announcement for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the New York Giants' Michael Strahan warned pet owners about leaving their dogs tied up outside in cold weather.

Said Strahan: "I wouldn't even do that to a quarterback."

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Jordan update: John Elway has a theory about Michael Jordan.

At a speaking engagement in Dallas, the former quarterback says he wouldn't be surprised if Jordan trades himself to a contender in return for younger players and/or draft picks, then retires again at the end of the season and resumes his front office position in Washington.

It's only a theory, Elway said: "Let's keep it in this room."

Sorry, too late for that now, John.

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More Jordan: Jordan is supposed to have dropped $500,000 at the blackjack tables at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut last week when the Wizards were on the road to play the Boston Celtics. Any more nights like that and he's going to have to start getting paid again.

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Going, going: For what it's worth, Nielsen Media research showed that ratings for TV viewers of major league baseball in the "male teen" demographic was down 50% this year. In fact, the only demographic target area that increased was "men over 50," which was up 7.1%.

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Trivia answer: In 1991, Cal was 10-2 and ranked No. 8.

And finally: Oakland Coach Jon Gruden says the Raiders took the Seattle Seahawks too lightly on Sunday ... and lost, 34-27.

Said Gruden: "I know it sounds corny, but you can't take your eye off that bull's-eye and assume you can throw your little silver hat out there and win games."

Gruden thus wins the week's Mixed Metaphor Award, Coaching Division.

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