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feud ugly, petty
(AP) - Jim McMahon once said the
way Mike Ditka combed his hair made
the coach’s head look like a pair of
“wing tips.” Ditka didn’t sue.
Steve Sax once said spring-training
workouts with the Los Angeles
Dodgers came with this option: Run
around the field three times or around
manager Tommy Lasorda once.
Lasorda didn’t sue, either.
Last week, Knicks forward Marcus
Camby called his old coach, Butch
Carter of Toronto, “a liar,” and Carter
Few skills serve a coach better than
learning to tell stars what they want to
hear. Carter believes that is hardly the
same thing as lying. Judging by the
damage figure in the lawsuit filed
Friday in New York Supreme Court, the
difference is $5 million.
Talk about a chilling effect: Players
and coaches taking potshots at each
other in the newspapers is practically a
rite of spring. In sports, it’s known as
“bulletin-board material,” generating
stories that bring a simmering rivalry to
a boil. But if Carter’s suit reaches trial,
the practice will be called something
else in legal circles: a license to print
“Inappropriate,” NBA deputy
commissioner Russ Granik said just
before Carter’s Raptors and Camby’s
Knicks opened their playoff series on
Sunday in New York. And here’s why.
A league already alienating fans
because of too many spoiled brats can
not afford bruised feelings. After torch
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WEVE BEEN THERE.
ing Charlotte for 40 points in
Philadelphia’s playoff opener, Allen
Iverson proved he’d saved his best shots
Unhappy over some innocuous
comments by 76ers General Manager
Billy King about the need for mutual
“soul-searching” by the ballplayer and
management, Iverson said manage
ment might be searching for him on
some other team’s roster by this time
Camby used the L-word in an inter
view with a New York newspaper at
midweek, saying that just before he was
traded from the Raptors two seasons
ago, Carter told him and teammate
John Wallace they would form the cor
nerstones of the franchise.
“No one likes him, and no one
wants to play for him,” Camby went on.
“That is the kind of guy that he is.”
Carter said at first that spending
time in Canada had mellowed him to
the point where he was prepared to turn
the other cheek. A day later, though, he
filed the lawsuit in White Plains, saying
it was important to clear his name.
And then Sunday, after the Knicks
beat the poorly prepared Raptors,
Carter said the legal action had a bene
fit the rest of us never even considered:
It shifted the pressure from a first-ever
playoff appearance off his team onto his
“I think I did that,” Carter said. “I
kept the media off them, but I couldn’t
keep Sprewell and Houston off of
Talk about delusions. This is like
the guy who bums down his own house
in response to an eviction notice and
calls himself unselfish. Carter could
have tacked the news clipping with
Camby’s remarks to a locker room bul
letin board, then gone about the busi
ness of getting his team ready to play.
He could have prepared Carter for
those mgged double-teams the Knicks
like to run at shooters that light them up
the way he did during the regular sea
son. Instead, the coach spent too much
time worrying about the wrong court.
Carter missed his first 12 shots as
New York raced out to a 19-point lead.
Camby managed just four points in 24
minutes, playing on a delicate right
knee. Midway through the second
quarter, Camby made consecutive
shots, glared at Coach Carter both
times and appeared to mouth an
obscenity the second time.
In a book just out, Carter accused
his old coach, Bob Knight of Indiana,
of using a racial slur. He also got into a
shouting match with George Karl, his
counterpart at Milwaukee, as the regu
lar season wound down.
“From what I hear,” Camby said, “a
lot of people are mad at him.”
Looks like it works both ways.
Jim Litke is the national sports
columnist for the Associated Press.
Write to him at jlitke.ap.org
afterfirst day of
From staff reports
The Nebraska men’s golf team is
bringing up the rear at the Big 12
Championships after one day of play
at the Prairie Dunes Country Club in
The Comhuskers have a 36-hole
total of 610, seven behind 11th place
Iowa State, which is at 603, and 51
strokes behind championship leader
NU is led by Jim Troy in 47th
place, while J.J. Sullivan and Rob
Arthur are at 154. Marty Smith and
Seth Porter are at 156. Charles
Howell of Oklahoma State is the
individual leader at 132.
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