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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

These Ideas Come From a Genuine Bird Brain

February 11, 2005|Lisa Dillman | Times Staff Writer

Precision always did go hand-in-hand with basketball legend Larry Bird. Basketballs are meant to be shot from long distance. And, darn it, shirts should be tucked in, not flying through the air like kites.

Larry had that and plenty more to say in an interview in February's GQ magazine. He spoke about getting "so sick" of having to scout high school kids, told how to fix the ills of the NBA and detailed his dislikes.

"A wristband should not be worn on your biceps," Bird told Peter Richmond. "A headband should be worn on your forehead, not on top of your head, cocked back. That bothers me.

"It's a professional league. The baggy shorts hanging down -- I have a problem with that. But that's the way I am. I always had my shirttail tucked in."

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Add Bird: The Indiana Pacers' president of basketball operations is realistic about turning the clock back in certain departments. He was asked whether he could still win a three-point shooting contest.

"No. I tried it," Bird said. "I can't get it there anymore."

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Trivia time: Which five players were taken ahead of Bird in the 1978 NBA draft?

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High drama: So much for Jason Giambi's slipping quietly into town. As if that ever were possible in the midst of baseball's steroid controversy.

He met with a small group of reporters Thursday in New York, and apologized but wouldn't say why he was doing so. This back-page headline in the morning New York Post had attempted to set the tone: "COME CLEAN"

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Your house: There are temporary jobs, and now it appears there are temporary naming rights.

Bids can go up on a couple of websites for the day-to-day naming rights of what was once known as the FleetCenter in Boston. That's the home of the Celtics and the Bruins.

Richard Krezwick, president and chief executive of Delaware North, had an idea. How about honoring his dog, a terrier named Rollie? "He's a big sports fan," Krezwick said. "He watches hockey religiously."

That would be back in the old days, when hockey was played.

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Prank talk: Jose Antonio Reyes, who plays for Arsenal in England's Premier soccer league, thought he was talking to the vice president of the vaunted Spanish club, Real Madrid. He told him that he was interested in playing in Madrid and was not happy in London.

Not only was he not speaking to a team official, however, but to an impersonator on a radio comedy show in Spain. His honest words were for all to hear on the show called El Tirachinas.

He'd better hope that his current boss, Arsenal Coach Arsene Wenger, understands Lo siento. That's "I'm sorry" in Spanish.

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Trivia answer: Mychal Thompson, Phil Ford, Rick Robey, Micheal Ray Richardson and Purvis Short. Under the rules at the time, Bird was selected as a junior eligible, played his senior season for Indiana State, then joined the Celtics.

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And finally: Cyclist George Hincapie, speaking to Outside magazine of an impending 186-mile race: "It's not hard until the final 25 miles, where there are a couple of climbs. They wouldn't be tough on their own, but after 160 miles, anything hurts."

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