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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

He Wonders If Jordan Has Any Ring Regret

June 23, 2002|Mal Florence

Jay Mariotti of the Chicago Sun-Times on Michael Jordan: "His biggest mistake was not accepting the $1-million offer from Phil Jackson last summer and winning another ring.

"That way, he wouldn't have played 40 hard minutes a game during the first half of the season, which wore him down, and turned his experience bittersweet....

"And while he would have done some unprecedented standing and watching while Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant dominated, I suspect his soul would have been soothed by winning."

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Trivia time: Who holds the record for most minutes played in an NBA Finals game without a turnover?

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No historian: Florida's Luis Castillo was asked about the significance of tying Rogers Hornsby's 80-year-old record for the longest hitting streak (33 games) by a second baseman.

"Who?" said Castillo, whose streak ended at 35 games Saturday night.

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Killer instinct: Jackie MacMullan of the Boston Globe: "Who is the greatest athlete of our time? Is it Tiger Woods? The master of mental warfare in a grueling individual sport? Or is it his good friend Michael Jordan, the wonder boy of team competition, who, in his prime, was known to slay rivals with alternate use of physical and psychological daggers?

"I find myself tempted to concede the edge to the regal golfer over the regal basketball icon. I test my theory with the man who has developed close friendships with both Woods and Jordan.

"Charles Barkley, a future NBA Hall of Famer, plays golf with Tiger twice a month. And remains one of Jordan's confidants.

" 'It is impossible to say which one of them is more competitive,' Barkley explains. 'The thing that separates them both is they just don't like winning, they enjoy stomping people.' "

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Offensively offended: Not everybody is a fan of baseball at Coors Field in Denver.

"The games here are too long--too up and down," Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter said after a 14-11 loss to the Rockies in a three-game series that had more than 70 runs. "I'm happy to be out of here. This has been ridiculous."

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Soccer stuff: Ron Rapoport of the Chicago Sun-Times: "Soccer cheap shot from James Bone of the London Times: 'At last a World Cup that George Bush can understand....

" '[He] admits that he is as befuddled by the strange sport of soccer as he seems to be by, say, global warming or the Middle East peace process.

" 'It does not necessarily help that the Washington Post calls football Osama bin Laden's favorite game.' "

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NBA's appeal: Laker Coach Phil Jackson on the attraction of the game: "The one thing about basketball is that the drama changes every night.

"We hope they can run like a play on Broadway, but they don't. There are different lines for everybody."

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Trivia answer: Dan Majerle of Phoenix, 59 minutes against Chicago on June 13, 1993, three overtimes.

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And finally: When he broadcast the famous Ice Bowl game in Green Bay in 1967, Jack Buck turned to his radio partner Frank Gifford and said: "Excuse me while I have a bite of my coffee."

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