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The first guy you cut

It’s long been obvious that Brad Lohaus isn’t the kind of basketball player who’ll take you to a championship. The truth is, he’s the kind who’ll get you fired.

When Jeff Van Gundy succeeded Don Nelson as coach of the New York Knicks last week, he became the 12th coach Lohaus has played for in seven NBA seasons with eight teams. Even more bizarre is that Lohaus played for three coaches in five years at the University of Iowa - Lute Olson, George Raveling and Tom Davis.

In the NBA, Lohaus has gone from mild-mannered K.C. Jones to madman Bill Musselman to stand-up comedian Jerry Reynolds. The others are Bob Hill, Alvin Gentry, Kevin Loughery, Mike Dunleavy, Frank Hamblen, Del Harris and Jimmy Rodgers.

The good news is, Lohaus can put Van Gundy in touch with a good Realtor.

The racer’s edge

Now you know who to vote for - NASCAR king Richard Petty has endorsed Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole for president.

Petty cited Dole’s support for drivers in their effort to prevent the Clinton administration from banning tobacco advertising at NASCAR events.

“NASCAR is facing a major crisis,” said Petty, who is eyeing the job of Secretary of State for North Carolina. “Bill Clinton and his bureaucrats at the FDA want to bar tobacco companies from sponsoring NASCAR events - cutting off our most important source of financial support.

“But Bob Dole has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with our drivers and fans in taking on Bill Clinton and his anti-tobacco, anti-NASCAR regulations. It’s time to put a NASCAR man back in the White House.”

You bet. But does Bob Dole really know his crank from his camshaft?

He’d be perfect - for your team

Reds manager Ray Knight, for one, understands why Boston signed outfielder Kevin Mitchell, despite reports he may weigh as much as 265 pounds.

“I don’t care, he can roll to first base,” Knight said. “He is as good a pure hitter as I’ve ever seen. He hits for power, hits in the clutch and is as smart a hitter as I ever knew. He works a pitcher, knows pitchers. He never makes a baserunning mistake, never throws to the wrong base. He’d make a great batting coach.”

Sure would. Batting coaches don’t take themselves out of the lineup every other day.

On the other hand …

Ken Griffey Jr. would make a good batting coach, too - in about 15 years. In the meantime, a ridiculous Nike ad campaign is pushing him for president. In one commercial, Griffey says America needs a president “who can hit a Mark Langston overhand curveball.”

Langston threw an overhand curve to Griffey in an exhibition game last Tuesday. And?

“He popped it up,” Langston said.

So he can’t keep his campaign promises. He’s perfect.

The last word …

“I used to play golf with a guy who cheated so badly that he once had a hole in one and wrote down zero on his scorecard.”

- Senior Tour player Bob Brue

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo