April 18, 2003
Prep QB John David Booty:
Skipping senior HIGH SCHOOL season to play at Southern Cal full year ahead of schedule. Wannabes: To "go NCAA" early too, just hit those books.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

34 and 12 in a 107-102 loss? Sounds like the template for LeBron's NBA rookie year.

Fellow one-name celebs like Sapp, Spike, Bow-Wow, Carmelo and idol Air himself watched King James cap his prep career with another shoe-sponsored all-star game MVP trophy. Hyperbole to call him hoops' "best prep ever?" Between skills, impact and scrutiny, can't name anyone better.

Next up: A ridiculous sneaker-deal auction ... warily watching the NBA Lottery in May ... cash, and lots of it.

NBA Playoffs
Barstool Talking Points (East): How's Ben Wallace's health? (Detroit in 5) ... Bucks surging; Nets struggling (Milw. in 7) ... Ron Ar-testy is must-see TV (Indy in 6) ... AI glamorous, Hornets not (N'awlins in 7).

B.T.P. (West): Spurs just need to stay healthy (SA in 5) ... Kings on crusade; Jazz still here? (Sacto in 5) ... Blazers crazy, unpredictable; Mavs scared of success (Portland in 7) ... Bad draw, KG (L.A. in 5).

Roy, KU Lovefest
Displacing the Masters as the week's reigning non-protest: Rather than make Williams uncomfortable for bolting the program, 2,000 fans paid standing-O tribute to former coach (teary-eyed, what else is new?) at the Kansas hoops banquet.

One shouting moment: During a lull, one angry KU fan shouted "Traitor!", to which Nick Collison's dad yelled back, "You ought to be ashamed of yourself!"

The heckler's comeback should have been: "Easy for you to say,

1 Lakers-T'wolves: Sunday's Game 1 "must-win" for each
2 WNBA season on line: Labor-negotiation deadline today
3 "Holes": Hottest story since "Potter" hits movies
1 St. Bonnie scandal: Coach, AD officially given boot
2 Ump attacker: $250K bond; charged w/ felony, stupidity
3 Arkansas violations: Athletes overpaid for summer work
Mr. My-Kid-Is-Graduating!" You always think of these things hours after the fact.

Wilkens Out
Refreshing to see NBA player bucking "retro-respect" craze: "We should look for a coach that understands the game today," Vince Carter said of ousted ("by mutual agreement") Lenny Wilkens. "To heck with the past." Ouch, baby, very ouch -- but fair.

Easy for other players to sport old unis and spout "respect elders"; they're either in the playoffs or have promising futures. Toronto's got neither.

Ottawa Advances
What if ... The cash-strapped Senators didn't get their bankruptcy-protection financing of $3.9M to cover playoff costs? Would they have stopped playing? Would the Philly-Toronto winner have chipped in? Would fans?

Must Read: Logo-gate
Funny, Oakland never seemed to have a problem with Tampa's old "fancy" pirate, back before the Bucs whipped their butt: The Raiders have asked a judge to prevent the Bucs (and the Panthers) from wearing their uniforms for games in California, claiming infringement on the Raiders' trademark rights. That's Super Bowl-sized lingering bitterness.

But what if a judge issued the injunction? Alternate Bucs "California-only" logo suggestions: Middle finger, Super Bowl ring, Super Bowl ring on middle finger, word "Scoreboard."

Hard-luck Antonio McDyess:
Will reportedly sit out most of NEXT year for another knee surgery.
NBA Playoffs: Who wins it all? Vote at SportsNation.
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WNBA labor talks down to wire
Bullet Proof Monk
Roy's warm reception from KU

First "ThunderStix," now "Fowl Towels": Anaheim sports fans like their gimmicks ...

Initial approval given to nationwide "mercy rule" in high school hoops ...

"Where Are They Now?" Files: Carlos Baerga delivered 7 RBI and 2 HR in D'backs win. Meanwhile ...

Be afraid (very afraid): Curt Schilling threw 4-hitter, got 1st win ...

Sorenstam, on the 76.5 over/under for her PGA prospects: "Well, I can do better than that"...
No street cred, no problem: Kobe still has top-selling NBA player jersey ...

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