Even home isn't sweet for mysterious Bullets

March 30, 1995|By PHIL JACKMAN

Reading Time: Two Minutes.

Yes, they were back from an 0-4 trip out West which, to their relief, went mostly unnoticed and, as expected, they were as bewildering as ever. The Washington Bullets did everything you're supposed to do to win last night against Miami. They had more steals and blocks, made all their foul shots and got a standoff in the rebounding and turnovers department.

Then, Chris Webber had a big night, 29 points and 19 rebounds, and the supporting cast was adequate. Besides, Miami was missing its big guard, Billy Owens, and its scoring leader, Glen Rice, was all but invisible in the first half. What this and any alleged homecourt advantage added up to last night was a 101-97 NBA victory by the Heat. Anybody have any fresh ideas for this 18-51 aggregation?

* If the baseball strike does nothing else but get the baseball-card collecting hobby back to innocent fun for youth it will not have been in vain. The "industry" has taken a huge hit of late.

* One of the mysteries of the ages is, considering all the years the NCAA tournament has been around (57) and how many centuries the soon-to-be-razed Boston Garden has stood (it was built by the Myles Standish Construction Company), how come the Gahhhden never hosted one game?

* Some sharp media type recently asked Arnold Palmer which golfers he watched on television as a youngster and he replied gently, "When I was growing up [in the '30s and '40s], they had just found radio."

* There's a law in the book in this state prohibiting lawmakers (Sen. John Pica) from introducing and supporting legislation that helps their employers (Orioles owner Peter Angelos). It is acceptable if the lawmaker (Pica) files a disclosure form pointing out the possible conflict of interest, but the rub is Pica filed his disclosure a week late and in terms that it is said "obscured the real conflict," according to folks questioning the ethics of the whole affair. The Guv gave tacit approval, signing this bit of silliness into law.

* St. Louis Blues hockey coach Mike Keenan's complaint that team management "promoted superstar status [for some] without the team concept and filled the building [with fans] without developing a winning culture," pretty well applies to every professional sport these days . . . and some of the money-making amateur sports, too.

* The immediate impression upon learning that the well-advertised Nick Bolletieri Tennis Academy is branching out to include baseball was, how soon before sore and dead arms become the order of the day? The academy has done yeoman work as a breeding ground for pro tennis (if not developing scholars), but injuries (Jimmy Arias and Aaron Krickstein, for example) always seem to be part of the curriculum.

* A viewer watching Michael Jordan pour in 55 points against New York (on national TV, no less) had every reason to be mystified as to why the Knicks weren't at least knocking him to the floor a half-dozen times as is their wont. It might have been the easiest 55 Michael ever will make, not being double-teamed or muscled, but he'll pay when the playoffs commence.

* From what we've seen of Andre Rison as a wide receiver of the Atlanta Falcons over the years, and the six moving vans he requires to handle all his baggage, doesn't the five-year, $17 million contract the Cleveland Browns gave him seem excessive? Plus, is Vinny Testaverde up to delivering the ball consistently at this point in his career?

* The common thread floating throughout the movies and documentaries "Hoop Dreams" and "Heaven is a Playground" and "Hardwood Dreams" and "Blue Chips" and other attempts at telling the "real story" of college recruiting is that players are being used and abused and absolutely no attempt is being made to help them with their misguided dreams. Such a premise is fallacious to a fault.

* Too bad state 4A champ Lake Clifton (23-1) and 2A champ Dunbar (25-1) didn't get together to decide which was the best team in this precinct. Both made the top 25 nationally and were fourth and seventh in the East Region.

On second thought, folks are still conducting lively discussions over which, Dunbar or Calvert Hall, was better when they finished 1-2 in the nation in 1981-82.

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