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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

Kidd's Kid Finds His Own Stage to Play on

May 28, 2003|Mike Hiserman

Fans just can't seem to get enough of the young sons of their sports favorites.

Last fall, the focus was on Darren Baker, the 3-year-old son of San Francisco Giant Manager Dusty Baker who was nearly involved in a home plate collision while serving as batboy during the World Series. Now it's T.J. Kidd, son of New Jersey Net guard Jason Kidd.

Extra attention has been focused on the Kidd family since Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan accused Jason's wife, Joumana, a reporter for the television show "Extra" and for NBA Entertainment, of using 4-year-old T.J. as "a prop" to further her own career.

Now Joumana says that T.J., who sits courtside during games and occasionally puts on dribbling and shooting exhibitions after them, has received multiple endorsement offers.

She wouldn't say from which companies, but she did tell Bloomberg News, "We ask T.J. if he thinks that it would be fun. Right now he has no interest. We take it day by day."

Hope that doesn't mean it's a daily question.

Trivia question: What school won the first NCAA softball title and is also the only one to have won three in a row?

Admiral-able: San Antonio Spur Coach Gregg Popovich bristled Tuesday when a reporter asked him to compare David Robinson's final playing days with Michael Jordan's farewell tour.

"They're not comparable situations," Popovich told Associated Press.

For one thing, the coach said, don't expect Robinson to stay attached to the NBA.

"He's got much more sense than to stay involved in basketball," Popovich said. "He's got a lot of interests that actually have impact on the world and have some value, unlike the rest of us."

Frequent fliers: The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Assn. is looking to recruit future freestyle aerialists for its national development program -- gymnasts specifically.

"Come fly with us" is the slogan for advertisements in gymnastics magazines that will start running next month.

If necessary, USSA officials say, the athletes will first be taught to ski.

Sounds reasonable.

The Boss is back: New York Yankee Manager Joe Torre had better watch out. He now has the dreaded vote of confidence from owner George Steinbrenner.

Sort of.

After the slumping Yanks dropped their fifth in succession Monday in Boston, Steinbrenner told the New York Post he would not criticize his manager ... then added that pitcher Jose Contreras should be starting instead of struggling Jeff Weaver.

He also told the Post that he didn't want Torre to feel as if he were being pressured ... then added, "We spent a lot of money, got the people Joe wanted."

On the plus side, Steinbrenner told the paper, "I think Joe will get us straightened out."

And then, "It better happen."

Trivia answer: UCLA won the inaugural championship in 1982, and won three in a row from 1988-90.

And finally: In the new golf book, "First Off the Tee," then-President Ronald Reagan displayed a quick wit when asked before a round at a course in Thousand Oaks what his handicap was.

"Congress," he replied.

-- Mike Hiserman

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