January 9, 2003
Mark Jackson:
Slow-footed, quick-thinking future NBA coach tops 10,000 assists for his career.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Memphis lost to the Clippers in L.A. last night on what would have been Elvis' 68th birthday, and the clever arena people played No.-1 hit "Return to Sender" when the scoreboard screen showed spectator (and ex-Clip) Darius Miles sitting behind the basket. Sounds like a column theme:

All Shook Up
The glare remains on NFL refs. To avoid future debacles, NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced an immediate policy change: ALL on-field officials will huddle on calls in dispute, effective this weekend. Expect extra-tightly called games that run long.

Unrelated, but notable: He also said changes to the coin-flip-driven OT policy (just a Super Bowl away from being the sports world's biggest fiasco) are "unlikely." Speaking of coin flips, one won't be necessary to determine draft order after all, the NFL said: the Cowboys pick fifth in the draft, the Cards sixth. Any more reversals this week?

Suspicious Minds
Most outrageous playoff side-story: Steelers LB Joey Porter said he's motivated by Titans strength coach Steve Watterson, who Porter claims spilled hot coffee on him on the sidelines during Tennessee's 31-23 win on Nov. 17. The Titans say it was an accident and dispute Porter's accuracy: It was chicken broth. Watterson denies any intent. In an interesting twist, Porter says he has it on tape. So let's see it!

Jailhouse Rock
'97 World Series hero and current S.F. Giants pitcher Livan Hernandez was arrested yesterday for allegedly trying to whack another guy with a golf club. Lucky for him he allegedly matched his '02 Series performance; he couldn't find the strike zone then, either.

It's Now or Never
Finding a more productive use for golf clubs, the PGA Tour's 2003

1. What effect will massive scrutiny have on NFL refs?
2. How upset is Theo Epstein's boss that he can't get Colon?
3. Can any cheesy bachelors be good enough for Trista?
1. Why would "Guy Gone Wild" Artest appeal suspension?
2. Does Nolan Richardson III's resignation taint Dad?
3. Will Vince Carter return to struggling Raptors on Friday?
season tees off today in Hawaii with the Mercedes Championship, which brings together all the 2002 tournament winners. Well, except the two biggest names: Tiger Woods (still nursing injury) and Phil Mickelson (on vacation). But the upside for everyone else is that it is probably the best shot any of them have of winning this year. Prediction: Defending champ Sergio Garcia repeats.

Stuck On You
The Bengals' coaching search is coming down to the wire. According to several reports, the team wants a coach in place by this weekend. The Cincinnati Enquirer says owner Mike Brown apparently likes Tom Coughlin, whose agent denies a rift over control issues between the team and his client, but Brown's daughter, EVP Katie Blackburn, is rumored to like Marvin Lewis.

Good Luck Charm
Usually an NBA star's favorite scrub can avoid being waived (see Shaq/Madsen), but Dirk Nowitzki's buddy Adam

Harrington was dumped after the U.N.-like Mavs made an offer to French sharpshooter Antoine Rigaudeau, who must still wriggle out of his Italian League contract. After missing out on Jimmy Jackson, maybe the Lakers should pick up Harrington.

Viva Las Vegas
Shaq made a cameo at yesterday's Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, virtually battling keynote speaker Bill Gates in the upcoming XBox game Midtown Madness 3.

Reader Mail
Thanks to Quickie reader John Armstrong, who reports recent NBA single-game 3-pointers-made record-holder Dennis Scott is playing in the USBL down in Melbourne, Florida.

Shawn Kemp:
Absolutely abused by Yao Ming in Rockets' first win in Orlando in 11 years.
Which NFL playoff underdog has the best shot at winning?
Vote at SportsNation.

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