• SHARE

NEW YORK — If Sacramento Kings president Geoff Petrie, a two-time NBA Executive-of-the-Year winner, wants to earn permanent Petey Props, he will apply for the NBA’s first legal exception.

You know, just in case those nasty federal perjury charges force C-Note Webber to vacate the monarchy for minimum security. Should the league inexplicably frown on Sacramento’s petition, I understand ex-Michigan booster Ed Martin is prepared to underwrite the $4.5 million exception from his petty cash drawer.

Since Don Chaney took over the sidelines, the Knicks have played like they’re a Spike Lee movie. If I’m Chaney, I play Latrell Sprewell and Allan Houston together in the backyard until they drop; 90 percent of the time they would have a favorable post-up mismatch . . . By my count, Patrick Ewing will become one of the elite players in the league when his number is retired by two clubs — the Knicks and Gold (strip bar in Atlanta).

If I’m Mavericks coach Don Nelson, next time my zone is penetrated and exposed by a Kobe-like attack organism, I adjust by trying some other defensive concept to regain the rhythm of the rain — which means upgrading the perimeter coverage; in other words, inserting Raja Bell or Adrian Griffin into the dispute.

Despite injuries to Mike Bibby, Peja Stojakovic, Hedo Turkoglu and Scott Pollard, the 18-5 Kings (eight-man roster) are dominating the Pacific Division. That’s why, to date, Rick Adelman gets my vote over Eric Musselman as Northern California coach of the season.

Alert camera directing caught Michael Jordan governing the Wizards in the final huddle of a recent 3-point win over Detroit and Kobe scolding trainer Gary Vitti, who was administering to his needs on the bench. Not exactly shining moments for Doug Collins (idly standing by) or Bryant.

Wizards center Kwame Brown was so upset after a DNP-Jordan decision against the Knicks, he contacted the NCAA, NAIA and the YMCA.

A billboard in downtown Portland reads, “Boycott Blazers. We need a team that can beat L.A., not women and the justice system.” . . . Blazers forward Bonzi Wells says, “It’s tough to go out there and play hard when you don’t feel anybody is supporting you. Negative things happen when everyone is negative around you.” The reporter wanted to continue the insightful interview, but his editor summoned him back to planet Earth.

In the midst of one Portland columnist advocating a prompt deportation of Blazers president Bob Whitsitt and coach Maurice Cheeks, and a national critic pinning the blame on owner Paul Allen for the caravan of customized Jail Blazers over the last six seasons, Damon Stoudamire pleaded innocent to misdemeanor grazing in the grass charges stemming from his joy ride home from Seattle with teammate Rasheed Wallace and another member of the cartel.

To appease their fans, the Blazers have been sponsoring door-to-door visits by players as part of their work-release program. Team co-captains, Sheed and Weed, refer to them as tokin’ appearances.

While ingesting the Rudy Tomjanovich-Kermit Washington 25th anniversary-of-the-punch sensory overload, one thought keeps creepin’ round my back stairs: If Rudy T is sincere about forgiving the blackballed Kermit, why not rescue him from murkiness by simply hiring him for his staff?

Truth is, only Tomjanovich can wash away Washington’s scarlet letter.

Despite their slow start, the Clippers say their goal is to make the playoffs or, at least, have half of their games televised locally. . . . At 14-6, the Hornets are off to their best start since the Larry Johnson days . . . Paul Silas doesn’t expect Elden Campbell back into the starting lineup until mid-Mardi Gras . . . Every bit of jewelry (a great deal of it uninsured) belonging to Mike Dunleavy’s wife was stolen from their Fort Worth, Texas, home recently while the family was away.

Timberwolves forward Wally Szczerbiak could be out until January with a dislocated little toe. The good news is, while sidelined, a few more of his teammates have learned to spell his last name correctly.

In that same vein, someone who closely monitors the Timberwolves confesses, “I never thought I would say this, but Minnesota really misses Terrell Brandon. He’s not a pure point guard, but he’s a better than average passer and a great shooter.”

The Heat set a franchise record by scoring a mere 22 points the first half against the Blazers recently. The good news is, they also own the league record for fewest points (19) in a second half. Brian Grant summed up the situation when he proclaimed, “I’m sick with myself, just as everybody else better be sick in here.”

According to sources, the NBA Developmental League lost $22 million its first year . . . If the Grizzlies somehow make the playoffs during Hubie Brown’s three-year reign, he pockets a $1 million bonus . . . Unofficially, Celtics forward Vin Baker leads the league in getting layups blocked from behind . . . From what I’m told, BET chairman Bob Johnson now appears favored (over Larry Bird’s group) to be awarded the Charlotte expansion franchise.

The Bulls have announced they’re changing the name of their arena (United Center) to the Bankruptcy Center . . . Dallas owner Mark Cuban was so upset about the Mavericks’ frightful loss to the Lakers last week, that he fined himself $500,000.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW