Arrow-right Camera


Cheap Seats

Thu., Jan. 8, 1998

Catch the buzz

Tampa Bay punter Sean Landeta is nostalgic for electric football.

“The games kids play today are so modern and advanced, they’re head and shoulders above what we played. But they don’t promote the togetherness we had. Electric football was plain and simple. You’d turn it on and watch the little men move around the field.”

Isn’t he talking about football on TV?

Hook, line and sinker

When Don Nelson took over as general manager of the Dallas Mavericks, he received a five-year deal worth $7.2 million. But when he replaced Jim Cleamons as coach, Nelson agreed to remain as coach for two more seasons in which he will be paid $9 million for doing double duty, an increase of approximately $6 million for that time period.

Now Nelson has underwritten his son’s future with the announcement that Donn, who resigned Friday as a Phoenix assistant, will succeed him as the Mavs’ coach in 2000-01.

It must be nice having a dad who has the entire Dallas organization and most of the NBA bamboozled.

Bury the Nuggets

Denver Nuggets 7-foot-3 center Priest Lauderdale, who recently took a plate of nachos with him when he climbed onto the exercise bike, has his weight down from a preseason 338 to 319. But while his statistics (4.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 9.8 minutes a game) and salary ($630,000) are modest by NBA standards, his investments are not. Lauderdale, 24, has already bought two apartment buildings, a funeral home and a radio station in his native Chicago.

“Everybody needs a place to live,” he said. “Everybody dies, and I just like music. Plus, I’ve got to do something with my money. I can’t just squander it away.”

That makes two Nuggets with an interest in the dead. Former Nuggets forward Calvin Natt owns and runs the Calvin Natt Family Mortuary in Denver.

Judging by their on-court performance, the entire franchise has an interest in the dead.

One class act

Western Michigan coach Bob Donewald was the latest Bob Knight disciple to defend the controversial Indiana coach.

“The man has no equal,” Donewald said. “(I’m) distressed that people, young kids, who have their own problems are using him for a scapegoat.

“When (Knight) steps down at Indiana University, feel sorry for the man who replaces him. Oh, he may look nice. He may say the right things. He may be a pretty boy. But his life is going to be miserable as soon as all those critics realize he can’t measure up.

“I don’t understand where you media are coming from, but I guarantee you this. You’re not going to replace him, because there isn’t another one. He’s in a class by himself. Take a look at the record.”

Knight is in a class by himself, but only because no one else wants to be around him.

The last word …

“They run like deer, jump like deer and think like deer. All that talent, and they’re .500. They play on talent, no brains.”

- Houston forward Charles Barkley on a Washington team led by Chris Webber, Juwan Howard and Rod Strickland

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

Click here to comment on this story »