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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

Hollow Side to All-Star Commercial Success

January 05, 2002|Mal Florence

Jerry Greene in the Orlando Sentinel: "You've got to be impressed with Grant Hill. He is running second among forwards in the East for the NBA All-Star game. Imagine how far ahead he would be if he could walk!

"Who does this voting? Don't tell me it's the NBA fans. If you are an NBA fan, surely you have noticed Hill will not be playing this season, just as he didn't play last season.

"But there he is, trailing only Toronto's Vince Carter in his group. And he's the ninth-leading vote-getter in the entire league."

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Trivia time: Who holds the Laker record for three-point field goals in a quarter?

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He's b-a-a-a-ck: After scoring 51 and 45 points in recent games, Michael Jordan told the Washington Post: "My legs are coming back. That was how I was playing all summer before I broke my ribs and got off rhythm. If I can keep the tendinitis away, I'm sure you can see that type of game again."

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Get him: The late Dick Schaap, a former newspaper guy, was also the sports world's chief raconteur. He once said: "The guy who ought to be commissioner of baseball is Fidel Castro because he speaks Spanish, he's had a lot of dealings with Washington, and he played the game."

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Now they will: San Jose Shark defenseman Gary Suter has to be careful with the medication he takes while battling a stomach virus because he will be subjected to drug testing during the Winter Olympics next month. "I just swallowed a lot of cork to plug me up," he told the San Jose Mercury News. "They don't test for cork."

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Chop suey shock? Dallas Maverick center Wang Zhizhi, the first Chinese player in the NBA, on the biggest adjustment he has had to make: "I've had a lot of dishes in Chinese restaurants in the United States that I never had in China."

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Quarterback sneak: Jay Leno on the San Diego Chargers' firing of Coach Mike Riley: "As he left the facility, they actually searched his duffel bag. Isn't that unbelievable? Apparently they wanted to make sure he wasn't trying to make off with Doug Flutie."

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Right on: ESPN's Lee Corso before Wednesday's Orange Bowl: "I don't care if it's Brock Berlin or Irving Berlin or Rex Grossman, Florida will blow out Maryland."

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Bay Area blues: Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle on the departures of Tyrone Willingham, Jason Giambi and Johnny Damon:

"Ah it's great to be here in the Bay Area, only one rung below the big leagues.

"Like Sinatra crooned in that song about the Bay Area, 'If I can make it here, I'll make it even bigger somewhere else."'

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Trivia answer: Glen Rice, six, against Portland on May 5, 1999. He finished with eight, tying the club record held by Nick Van Exel.

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And finally: The Washington Post's Sally Jenkins wasn't much impressed by the "national championship" Rose Bowl game:

"The bowl championship series put its product on the field ... evident for all to see. If there was any lingering doubt that its soul-selling, mercenary made-for-television national championship is a failure, that doubt was resolved before the first half ended between top-ranked Miami and its controversial opponent, Nebraska. The game had all the appeal of an arranged marriage."

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