NBA hijinks: Bogues vs. Muresan


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Certainly one of the best highlight package inclusions of the NBA season occurred when, on a defensive switch, Charlotte's Muggsy Bogues ended up with the responsibility of guarding Washington's Gheorghe Muresan, who went right to the hoop and pushed it down through. For the uninitiated, Muresan (7 feet 7) holds a 28-inch height advantage over Bogues (5-3) and, when they extend their arms upward, it increases to about four feet.

On the other hand, picture Big Gheorghe hawking Muggsy in the open court.

* Here's how quickly the picture changes in this lockout-shortened NHL campaign. By losing to the Philadelphia Flyers the other night, the Washington Capitals fell from fourth to sixth in the conference standings dictating the Stanley Cup playoff pairings.

In other words, they went from having home ice advantage against the Bruins to opening on the road against Pittsburgh, where they happen to play tonight. The topsy-turviness will continue every day from now until May 2, so daily overreaction is a bad idea.

* The battle between two Marylanders, champion Vincent Pettway (37-4) of Baltimore and challenger Simon Brown (43-3) of Mount Airy, for the International Boxing Federation junior middleweight title at USAir Arena April 29 has a heckuva co-feature: Bernard Hopkins (26-2) vs. Segundo Mercado (17-2) for the IBF 160-pound crown. These two fought a draw last time out.

* Just two more days until Orioles baseball returns to your radio dial, gang, the game against Texas Thursday arriving via WBAL at 1:05 p.m. For a half-hour of commercials, tune in at 12:37. Home Team Sports will be there, too.

* When he committed to Georgia Tech (verbally), the so-called best schoolboy in the country, Stephon Marbury, said he favored Tech, "because they treat point guards right." He still contends he's bound for the ACC despite rumors Jerry Tarkanian (Fresno State) has his ear, but when asked how long he would remain in college before NBA-ing, he said, "I'll stay as long as I have to."

* American Civil Liberties Union, take notice! An English soccer player was fined $10 by the league he plays in for ripping off his shorts after scoring a goal in a big match. What's the world coming to when a guy can't express his joy in an individual manner any way that makes him feel special?

* Considering the combined record of Princeton and Brown against their lacrosse brethren in the Ivy League, 43 up and none down, one suspects that the Harvards, the Yales and the Columbias are not too hot on the sport yet.

* With 27 sellouts in 38 home games and a franchise-record game average approaching 17,000, the Bullets are riddling the long-held theory that you have to win to be successful. Unless something extremely unlikely happens in the next week, the club is going to cruise past 60 losses in fifth gear, giving it an average yearly record of 25-57 in the '90s. Of course, the Bullets still could blow a 20-win campaign.

* Forget about the ACC hoops tournament making it up to these precincts in the foreseeable future. The USAir Arena didn't even bid for the years running up through 2003, perhaps thinking the place would be a huge planter because the pro franchises herein will move to an arena in downtown Washington.

* Ismael Kirui, the Kenyan who ran off and hid from the field while establishing a record for 10 miles (45:38) on the roads at the Northern Telecom Cherry Blossom race Sunday, is the world champion at 5,000 meters, still holds world junior records in the 3,000 and 5,000 and has won his share of international cross country events, too. Kirui is just 20 and he averaged 4:33.8 per mile.

Countrywoman Rose Cheruiyot's time of 51:40 was also a world best, her second in two weekends. She's 19.

* "Tyson," HBO's movie on the recently released ex-heavyweight champ Mike Tyson, certainly doesn't want for stars, George C. Scott playing Cus D'Amato, Paul Winfield playing Don King and Tony LoBianco checking in as one of Mike's trainers. Michael Jai White plays the lead in the show running April 29 at 8 p.m., and HBO is hoping to pick up enough brownie points so Tyson will favor its pay-per-view setup when the time comes.

* Jack Nicklaus has never been known for his snappy patter following a golf win, but this isn't bad after his recent victory in the Senior Tour Tradition tourney: "I was hitting the ball all over the planet. Thank goodness it's a small planet."

* Randy Smith, honcho of the San Diego Padres, made a perplexing statement while chewing the fat with ESPN Sunday Night Baseballers Jon Miller and Joe Morgan during the Phoenix-Las Vegas Pacific Coast League game: "The eight-month layoff [strike] may have been good for the game; the opportunity is there to get the fans interested again."

* Folks interested in attending the Wes Unseld Fantasy Basketball Camp July 13-16 at St. John's College in Annapolis should call (301) NBA-DUNK and have $1,350 to spare. Bullets season-ticket holders pay $995. Wes will be joined by ex-Bullet Rick Mahorn, which does not bode well for expert instruction on guard play.

* Local fighters have to be asking themselves what a guy has to do to get ahead in the boxing game. Mike Whitfield was working four-rounders a short while back when he moved up and was put to sleep by Sam Hampton in just one round. Regardless, Whitfield, with his 3-6 record, goes in an eight-round main event at Martin's West tonight against unbeaten Russian heavyweight Alex Moskiev (13-0).

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