A parting shot



Dear NBA fan:

Welcome to this weekend's start of the NBA playoffs!

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1. For me, the highlight of the season was:

a. the emergence of rookie phenoms Vince Carter and Jason Williams

b. the emergence of a team that makes the Wizards look like world champs -- the Orioles

c. the return of Marv Albert in those Victoria's Secret ads

d. Philadelphia coach Larry Brown reconciling with temperamental star Allen Iverson by braiding his hair

2. The strike-shortened, 50-game schedule was:

a. the fault of greedy owners and greedy players

b. nearly as long as Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra's marriage

c. surely grueling for the players and their parole officers

d. 50 games too many

3. The NBA without Michael Jordan:

a. is like the NHL without Wayne Gretzky

b. is like Siskel & Ebert without Siskel

c. is like Washington without Monica

d. might as well be the PBA

4. When I called to purchase tickets, the customer-service agent:

a. said there were still plenty of seats at the MCI Center

b. explained the league's new payment plan: 30 years at an unheard of 6.85 percent

c. reminded me to show up early to catch the players refusing to sign autographs before tip-off

d. couldn't stop laughing

5. When the team's perky dance squad performed during timeouts, I:

a. immediately covered my children's eyes

b. was moved to tears by the tasteful homage to dance legend Martha Graham

c. was glad to see Dennis Rodman on a new team

6. I think the main reason that scoring was

down this year was because:

a. the players were rusty and out of shape

b. the Melissa virus erased most dribble-drives

c. the first lady kept a much closer eye on the president

7. The rivalry I'm most interested in following

is between:

a. Iverson and Charles Barkley in their war of words

b. the new NBA Store and Niketown

c. Ray Miller and the rest of the Orioles

8. I've been particularly impressed by the

defensive efforts of:

a. Alonzo Mourning and the Miami Heat

b. the White House legal team

c. the security staff at Los Alamos National Laboratory

9. If asked to pick this year's MVP, I'd say:

a. the Spurs' Tim Duncan, hands down

b. Kevin Garnett (hey, who's more valuable? KG's making $126 million!)

c. Latrell Sprewell (Congrats on a choke-free season, big guy) d. Gotta get back to you; the final "Melrose" is almost on!

10. The likelihood that I'll go to a game next season is:

a. iffy unless the Wizards draft Steve Francis or Elton Brand

b. dependent on the owners meeting my financial demands

c. about as good as Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky or John Elway actually driving their kids' carpools

Pub Date: 05/09/99

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