- The Washington Times - Monday, January 22, 2001

The NBA is caught in the tedium of another interminable season.

You can tell by the number of shaky heads.

Byron Scott is letting the Nets get to him. He's not the first coach to be at a loss in the Meadowlands. He won't be the last.

"Not trying to be negative toward women, but it was almost like women's basketball against men," Scott told the Newark Star-Ledger following a loss in Philadelphia.

You don't have to try to be negative with women's basketball. You just have to watch a game. The women take care of the rest.

"Guys hit them and they squirm and everything, and they kind of shy away," Scott said.

It is funny he should mention how men and women respond to being hit.

Joumana Kidd dialed 911 after taking a hit from Jason last week. The hit followed a french fry to the face. If you're scoring the action at home, that is a french fry to the face and a blow to the mouth, an unusual one-two combination.

Police arrested the Suns point guard after noting Joumana's swollen lip and the blood, not ketchup, in her mouth.

That sounds like a job for Olden Polynice. He impersonates a police officer in his off hours, which is different from his impersonation of a center with the Jazz. There is no law against the latter.

Polynice threatened to make arrests on two separate occasions last fall after flashing an honorary badge from the Los Angeles Police Department. Community service is one of his penalties, if a community will have him. This reveals the harmony in Polynice's life. He plays small. He also thinks small, if a fake badge is more convincing than a 7-foot, 250-pound body.

Small thinking must be contagious.

Marcus Camby received a five-game suspension after he tried to sucker punch Danny Ferry.

Jeff Van Ankle Weight interceded and ended up with 12 stitches.

This brings to two the number of times Van Ankle Weight has failed to utilize his testosterone in a persuasive manner. The first time, he caught a ride on Alonzo Mourning's ankle.

Van Ankle Weight swears he has learned his lesson, which is: He is not a fighter. He is a rider and a bleeder.

Gary Payton finally talked himself into a one-game suspension with the Sonics, which is a step up for him. He threatened to beat up Paul Westphal earlier in the season before the Sonics fired Westphal for his own safety.

Beating up the coach is discouraged in the NBA, although not unprecedented.

"I wasn't choking P.J.," Latrell Sprewell said after choking P.J. Carlesimo. "I mean, P.J., he could breathe."

That was his medical opinion anyway.

Nate McMillan spent a sleepless night deciding Payton's fate, stuck as he was between a beating on the court and a beating off it. Neither is any fun.

Isaiah Rider has become the voice of reason in the contretemps involving Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, which could be taken as one of the signs of the apocalypse. Rider is usually a team-killer, not a team-healer, excluding his background in understanding and preventing premenstrual syndrome at UNLV.

Mark Cuban, the geek owner of the Mavericks, is trying to improve the quality of officiating in the NBA. The help is not appreciated. At least Cuban has deep pockets.

When the going got tough in Boston, Rick Pitino quit on the Celtics. Now he is looking for a soft landing spot in the college ranks, where he undoubtedly will instruct his players not to quit on him.

Sports build character. Or so they say.

Life is not always fair. CWebb, who was run out of town by the woman from Connecticut, is an MVP candidate.

In a related development, Jason Williams has adopted the James Carville-inspired space-alien look, and Rick Adelman still has a bad mustache.

Washington is not irrelevant, thanks to the NBA All-Star Game next month. Michael Jordan is expected to be up to the challenge on Fun Street, if not in the building. That counts as progress to those who equate sightings to victories.

On a positive note, Rod Strickland has avoided arrest the last two weekends.

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