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Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Evening Sports Musings-I got to watch some of Orlando's final regular-season game; they lost to Milwaukee in a game that had the seventh seed on the line-Orlando now gets to play Detroit in the first round. Rewind the tape three years-Ben Wallace and Chucky Atkins to Detroit for Grant Hill in a forced sign-and-trade. Grant's played a grand total of 47 games in three seasons, doing his best Sam Bowie imitation. Would Orlando trade Hill for Wallace straight-up today? Ya, youbetcha! Good luck for us Piston fans. It's interesting to see the lack of pro sports fandom down here; with the exception of the Bucs, things are very low key. You don't here casual conversation about the Magic or Lightning here compared with the talk about the Pistons or Wings back in Michigan. Is it a lack of tradition? More outdoor things to do? Eating too many of those hot boiled peanuts (one Florida thing I don't yet get)? Too much college football on the brain? Nice Terry Pluto piece comparing LeBron James to Carmello Anthony; Pluto, who's from James' home town Akron Beacon-Journal, make the case for Anthony being a better #1 pick. Pluto also pointed out that the D-Rays have signed John Rocker to a minor-league contract. Maybe he can explain those hot boiled peanuts. Strangely, none of the Bay-area (Tampa Trib, St. Pete Times, Lakeland Ledger) papers have reported on it yet; I had to Google for an Atlanta Journal-Constitution piece to confirm it. This is one of the salary cap casualties-Junior Seau becoming a Dolphin and only for either a fourth or fifth rounder. The best analogy I can think of was when San Francisco got rid of Y.A. Tittle, trading him to the Giants for a no-name guy name Lou Cordileone who replied "They traded me for Tittle? Just Me?" I remember reading about that story as a kid and I'm surprised that I'm about to ruin a Googlewhack for "me for Tittle?" Tittle went on to lead the Giants to a NFL title. May Junior do likewise. Oh, yeah. Some guy for the team formally known as the Washington Bullets played his last game this evening. This time, I think His Airness is retired for good. The best two-guard in history, to be sure, and probably the best player in history. He could shoot, pass, dunk (ya think?) and play defense. There may be a more complete package someday (infuse #23 with Magic's passing skills, maybe) but don't count on it.

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