- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 24, 2002

Welcome to the Sunday Column, where everybody gets a fair shake even Russians, Canadians and South Koreans.

Maybe the IOC should just give all the athletes a gold medal kinda like they do in my kids' rec league.

Making the cover of Sports Illustrated might be the kiss of death, but as Sarah Hughes showed, there's definitely no Time Magazine Jinx.

Every time I see Jason Sehorn do a TV commercial, I become more convinced that he's the NFL's Anna Kournikova. Much more sizzle than steak there.

Speaking of the tube, did you notice that ESPN was hyping its college basketball coverage last week as "Judgement Week"? Guess they can't afford any copy editors up in Bristol, Conn. The word, as most people know, is spelled j-u-d-g-m-e-n-t (which the network finally figured out later in the week).

Amazing, isn't it? They spell judgment wrong, but they have no problem with Sikharulidze.

After watching Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and David Duval go down in the first round, I'm beginning to think the Match Play Championship should have a loser's bracket.

Memo to the Wizards: Since the high socks didn't produce a win, you might want to try nylons.

His knees are bothering him. His scoring has dropped off. He got shown up by Kobe out in L.A. I can feel another 50-point game from Michael Jordan coming on.

Just call him Juwan "Trading Deadline" Howard.

All the maneuvering at last week's NBA deadline Juwan to Denver, Nick Van Exel to Dallas, Jalen Rose to Chicago, Ron Artest to Indiana got me to thinking: What are the biggest deadline deals in the last, say, 25 years? Here are a half-dozen possibilities:
1979 Bob McAdoo from New York to Boston for three '79 No. 1s and Tom Barker.
The Knicks drafted Bill Cartwright, Larry Demic and Sly Williams, but the Celtics made out much better. They dealt McAdoo to the Pistons for what turned out to be the first pick in the '80 draft, and used that to get Robert Parish and Kevin McHale.
1980 Alex English and an '80 No. 1 (Carl Nicks) from Indiana to Denver for George McGinnis.
English blossomed into a big-time scorer for the Nuggets, averaging at least 25 points for eight straight seasons. McGinnis' Indiana homecoming, meanwhile, was a disaster. He was waived two years later at the age of 32 and never played again.
1980 Bob Lanier from Detroit to Milwaukee for Kent Benson and an '80 No. 1 (Kenny Carr).
Lanier was the missing piece for the Bucks. They averaged 54 wins over the next four seasons and reached the Eastern finals in '84.
1982 Bill Laimbeer and Kenny Carr from Cleveland to Detroit for Phil Hubbard, Paul Mokeski and '82 No. 1 (John Bagley) and No. 2 (David Magley).
What would the Pistons have been in the late '80s without their chief Nasty Boy, Laimbeer?
1989 Adrian Dantley and a '91 No. 1 (subsequently traded) from Detroit to Dallas for Mark Aguirre.
Poor AD missed out on two rings ('89, '90) because of this swap, reportedly instigated by Isiah Thomas, Aguirre's pal.
1995 Clyde Drexler and Tracy Murray from Portland to Houston for Otis Thorpe, the rights to Marcelo Nicola and a '95 No. 1 (subsequently traded).
The Rockets went on to repeat as champs that year, something they might not have done without Drexler's 21.4 points. (Thorpe was averaging only 13.3 for them.)

Actually, Juwan has some competition for Mr. Trading Deadline honors. A number of other active players have also been dealt twice at the deadline, including Kenny Anderson, Chauncey Billups, Sam Cassell, Doug Christie, Tyrone Corbin, Mark Jackson and Thorpe.

Trivia question: Another Two-Time Deadline Guy currently plays for the Wizards. Who is he? (Answer below.)

Was it as weird for you as it was for me when ex-Bullet Frankie Johnson replaced ex-Bullet Scott Skiles as coach of the Suns?

That wasn't the first time, by the way, that one Bullets alum succeeded another as coach of an NBA team. It also happened in Chicago in '82 (Rod Thorn following Jerry Sloan) and in Philadelphia in '94 (John Lucas/Fred Carter), '73 (Gene Shue/Kevin Loughery) and '60 (Alex Hannum/Paul Seymour).
And, of course, it happened with the Bullets in '86 (Loughery/Shue) and '88 (Wes Unseld/Loughery).

In case you were wondering, Hannum and Seymour were original Bullets. That is, they played for the first Baltimore franchise, which was a member of the NBA from '48 to '54 (when it ran out of money).

Answer to trivia question: Christian Laettner is the member of the Wizards who has been dealt twice at the trading deadline in '96 from Minnesota to Atlanta and last year from Dallas to Washington.

Not to rain on Willie Thrower's funeral procession, but he wasn't the first black quarterback in the modern era, as the obituaries claimed. Willie did, indeed, throw some passes for the Bears in 1953, but seven years before that, Kenny Washington played quarterback for the Rams in their opener against the Eagles.
Washington tends to be remembered as a running back, which he was for most of his three NFL seasons (1946 to '48). But he started out as a quarterback (after being a single wing tailback at UCLA) and filled in for the injured Bob Waterfield in the first game of '46, completing one pass for 19 yards. Two weeks later he was shifted to fullback, and he never saw action at QB again.
A case of not-so-subtle racism? Hardly. Waterfield was the league's reigning MVP and had a Hall of Fame career. He was also experienced in the T formation, an offense that was new to Washington. Still, it's a shame Kenny didn't get more of a chance to show what he could do at quarterback. He had a world-class arm and could heave the ball from one end zone to the other.

Now that Steve Spurrier has signed former Florida wideout Chris Doering, it's probably only a matter of time before he tries to talk ex-Gator Cris Collinsworth out of retirement.

Can't help but be amused by Marty Schottenheimer's staff hirings out in Chargerland. His offensive (Cam Cameron) and defensive (Dale Lindsey) coordinators are both former Norv Turner assistants.
Here's the really funny part, though: He's turned over almost all of his much-maligned offensive staff after telling Redskins fans, "I anticipate no changes," in the wake of last season's 16-points-per-game debacle.
But, hey, he's San Diego's problem now.

And finally, its seems Angels pitcher Ramon Ortiz (Sunday Column, Feb. 17) wasn't the only major leaguer who was fudging his age. According to the folks at Baseball America, "Stricter visa regulations in the wake of September 11 [have forced] several Latin American players … to reveal that they're a few years older than we thought. … So far, 15 players have added years to their lives, and we expect to find out about more."
Among the offenders: Indians pitcher Bartolo Colon (28, not 26), Braves shortstop Rafael Furcal (23, not 21) and Yankees infielder Enrique Wilson (28, not 26).
On the plus side, they'll qualify for their pensions that much sooner.

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