July 1, 2003
ACC commish
John Swofford:

Dicey moments and a p.r. strategy a la Hootie Johnson, but got ACC's big prize. No one will remember this drama in five years.
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
FREE.  ASSOCIATION.

What will it be: Ring or bling?

NBA free-agent stars who pay lip service to championships over cheese should put mouth before money and sign cap-friendly contracts with contenders.

Have given up hope this summer for Payton or Mailman signing with title contender, but prize of '04 Kevin Garnett (aka "The Big Talk-It") is getting a year's notice.

Miami: Next?
Practice damage control on Northeast alums by signing BC and 'Cuse to home-and-home football deals. Help ACC undercut lawsuits by agreeing to play WVA and Pitt in future (nothing soothes litigiousness like money).

Big East: Next?
Poach a few teams of its own, notwithstanding hypocrisy of its ACC lawsuit; find Rick Pitino and Louisville a drool cup.

ACC: Next?
Re-tool poaching process for more expansion next year (and there will be a 12th team, if not more).

Baylor Tragedy
Though Patrick Dennehy's mysterious death is still being investigated, at some point, people will scrutinize colleges' responsibility to monitor players in the offseason.

Rivalries Rule
Interleague games boosted MLB attendance by 20 percent from season averages (of course, attendance always jumps in the summer anyway). But MLB will ignore obvious: Sustain fan interest via radical, rivalry-based schedule realignment (yes, that

"DONNA SHALALA FOR BIG EAST COMMISSIONER!"
THE SET-UP: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
1 Wimbledon: Venus-Lindsay, Serena-Jenny, more
2 Prior (Cubs) vs. Wolf (Phils): Two would-be All-Stars
3 Mariners at A's: Catch M's sensation Gil Meche (10-3)
THE SIT-DOWN: RETIRE THESE CONVERSATION TOPICS
1 MJ loses out on Bucks: Old news -- is he eyeing Miami?
2 Russia's Wimby Fab Five: "Ova" -- only Kuznetsova left
3 Tim Duncan as free agent: Return to Spurs not in doubt
 
means putting the Mets and Yankees in the same division).

D-Backs' Dozen
Twelve relatively under-the-radar wins in a row got everyone's attention; next 13 days of intradivision brawling may judge 'Zona as "pretender or contender."

Agassi Out
Sure he's popular with the British (not saying much) and gets "aging-athlete" sympathy, but Andre won't really be missed on the men's side with the far more exciting Andy Roddick on the rise.

NHL Free Agency
Explain this: (Un)retired Dom Hasek is worth $8M to Detroit (already paying CuJo big bucks), but mid-career All-Star Paul Kariya isn't worth $10M to Cup runner-up Anaheim?

Antoine Walker
Glaring Knicks needs (a) More out-of-position players; (b) more guys who demand shots; (c) relieve division rival of albatross; (d) all of the above.

Medal Watch
Roman symbols on Olympic medals offended the Greeks, who host the Games in '04, so the IOC is replacing the look on the medal. Is there an empire-neutral image of an official taking a bribe?

Big East commish
Mike Tranghese:

Good thing he's a BCS insider: Maintaining BCS status likely the only thing keeping him from intramural insurrection.
 
 
Today on ESPN.com
P2: Sports and Religion
NBA: Teams to watch
TEN: Wimbledon
 
"Buddy Hackett"
Talk Show
NBA agents float rumors
 
Catskills
ACC full of punchlines
 
Lunatics/Lovers
GMs may do anything for Kidd
 
Stanley
Nuggets owner to open purse
 
Little Mermaid
B.E. too late to "Scuttle" ACC
 

Now that Miami is an ACC town, rumors of would-be NBA owner Michael Jordan buying into the Heat become even more appropriate ...

When did Jamie Moyer (11th win last night) turn into Greg Maddux? ...

Bonds comparing Pujols to Bonilla (yikes!) is an endorsement similar to saying Kerry reminds you of Dukakis ...
Grunfeld's to-do list for Wiz: Find a PG, find pair of hands among team's big men, track down Kwame Brown's soul, sold 3 years ago ...

OlympiX: Olympics have dumped some track-cycling events for two BMX events in 2008. Next: Beijing mascot Poochie.

All you need to spell "Philippoussis": A-C-E ...


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