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The New Jersey Peace Accords, etc.

“It’s a new year. Wonder if Dennis Rodman knows that?” That’s how Sam Smith (Chicago Tribune) led off his New Year’s column, which included these predictions:

Jimmy Carter is called back from Bosnia-Herzegovenia to coach the New Jersey Nets; Don Nelson and Chris Webber are signed to be the new cohosts of “Crossfire;” Seattle coach George Karl is hospitalized after muttering the word “Pippen” for several days; Detroit’s Grant Hill gets a triple double, delivers a baby at halftime and finds a cure for baldness during a fourth-quarter timeout; Gary Payton attacks Kendall Gill after Gill reveals the ending of “Police Academy 9.”

And Payton - with an NBA title in the balance throws the ball off the backboard to a streaking Sarunas Marciulionis, who records the league’s first air dunk.

Tale of Dale

Leave it to Louisiana State’s Dale Brown to get a technical OFF the court. Troopers say Brown cursed a state police lieutenant and flaunted his position while trying to get an assistant coach out of a speeding ticket last month.

The report says Brown’s efforts were enough to warrant arrest, but the officer who had clocked the coaches going 82 mph in a 65 zone wanted to avoid further conflict.

Police spokesman Ronnie Jones said the officer was “fairly certain that Brown would have resisted arrest and that someone would have gotten hurt … and I assure you it would not have been the trooper.”

Brown allegedly said, “Would it make a difference if I told you that the Israeli basketball coach and a deputy sheriff are in the car?” According to the report, Brown then told the officer: “I’m the coach of LSU and have been here for 24 years. Does that mean anything to you?”

How Great Thou Aren’t

The basketball wasn’t particularly inspiring in last week’s 82-81 Los Angeles Clippers win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, although Pooh Richardson and Pat Durham did manage to provide a little entertainment.

During warmups, ex-UCLA star Richardson boasted to Clips teammate Gary Grant that “I know this court with my eyes closed.” After shooting 4 for 13 from the field that night, he may want to open them.

Durham cracked, “We’re the Timberwolves. We don’t rely on artistic performances.”

The propeller won on cuts

Bernie Lincicome, writing in the Chicago Tribune after the Bears’ upset of Minnesota: “Cinderella was never more homely. … Steve Walsh was variously rosy and purple from combat, and linebacker Joe Cain appeared to have lost a fight with a propeller…

“Glass slippers may not fit feet with turf toe. And Cinderella’s gown didn’t have to fit over shoulder pads. So what? Beauty is on the scoreboard.”

The last word …

“I’ve got 14 clubs and a 318-pound caddie. Are you kidding?” - Lee Trevino, on whether recent cases of violence against athletes worry him

Tags: column