Jan. 22, 2004
Duke marksman
J.J. Redick:

Annoying, but critical to success: Redick (26 pts in W over Maryland, 5/6 3s) is to college hoops what now-booted Sam was to "The Apprentice."
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

The Nets are moving to Brooklyn! And there's no excuse like relocation for the chance to change a team name. My three suggestions:

The Crossovers ("X-Overs"):
Homage to the borough's legacy of fancy dribblers. Bonus: Nod to the team's relocation.

The Hot Dogs:
Homage to the borough's legacy of fancy-dribbling showoffs. Bonus: Nod to Coney Island's top export.

The Fever:
Homage to the borough's legacy of passionate sports fans. Bonus: Nod to BK's greatest movie character, Tony Manero. (Plus: "Saturday Night" tickets: Half price!)

Final Four Preview
If prematurely projecting Final Four teams was like picking stocks, here's what I'd advise as your broker, based on last night's Top 10 results:

No. 6 L'ville: Buy.
Pitino is top college CEO.

No. 5 Cincy: Sell.
Exposed by L'ville pressure.

No. 3 St. Joe's: Hold.
Cupcake sched inflates value?

No. 1 Duke: Strong buy.
And it pains me to type it ...

Raiders SNAFU
Forget the "Was he or wasn't he" hiring questions surrounding new not Raiders head coach Sean Payton. Old news. The real issue this morning: Al Davis doesn't have a coach.

The hiring snafu works out for the best if he waits the 10 days until the Super Bowl is over, then hires either of the Patriots' lead assistants, though both are seemingly a little too "veteran" for Oakland's dirty old man, who likes 'em young (coaches, that is).

D-Miles Traded
Who's got the over-under on new Blazers detainee Darius Miles' inevitable first "incident"? I think if I proposed "By the end of

1 NBA: How fast before "Brooklyn Nets" T's hit NY streets?
2 CBB: Louisville is for real; so is Duke. (Cincy is not.)
3 NFL: Raiders remain coachless; Payton returns to Big D
1 Darius Miles' cachet: Even movie-star status won't help
2 Ageless Jesse Orosco: Retires at 46; began career in '79
3 Favre at the Pro Bowl: But worthy Matt Hasselbeck is in
All-Star Weekend," I'd lose my shirt to the "Unders."

So instead, I'll say "Before the Feb. 19 NBA trading deadline, when he's shipped off to the Knicks with Rasheed Wallace for Allan Houston, Frank Williams and Kurt Thomas." Just a suggestion ...

Mock Drafts
With slightly infinitely more reliability than Democratic primary prognostication, Mel Kiper's first mock came out yesterday. (See "Q It Up," right.)

No. 1 (Chargers):
QB Eli Manning J. Garner

No. 2 (Raiders):
WR L. Fitzgerald G. Union

No. 3 (Cards):
QB B. Roethlisberger K. Knightley

No. 4 (Giants):
OT N. Gallery K. Bosworth

No. 5 (Redskins):
TE K. Winslow M. Bello

No ... wait: That's my mock draft.

Trinidad Un-retires
His motivation? Call it a "hate-triangle" -- Trinidad owes Hopkins a whupping; meanwhile, De La Hoya owes Trinidad a

whupping. Most likely, they all owe the beach-house contractor some cash, and super-hyped rematches will make them all a lot of it.

Arbitration Idol
What if the three American Idol judges were put in charge of MLB arbitration hearings next month? The answer: "Arbitration Idol."

Contestant: Albert Pujols
'03 salary: $950K
Asked: $10.5M | Offered: $7M

Randy: What's up, Dawg? Yeah, yeah, I'm feelin' you.

Paula: Power? Average? I'd say you have it all!

Simon: Where were you in late October? Sitting at home staring at your telly? I'm sorry, this year the bar is set a little higher.

Street-crime victim
Keyshawn Johnson:

For the first time ever, "Keyshawn mugged" isn't a self-referential phrase about his me-first attitude; it's a police report.
Today on ESPN.com
P2: Super Bowl's 100 Greatest Moments
MLB: Which stats matter
IN: Mel Kiper's Mock Draft #1
More Nicknames For Brooklyn NBA Team
Nod to Dodgers, team stinking
D'oh! Baseball team owns it
Honoring BK's biggest park
D'oh! Taken by USBL team
OK, just keep it as is

In literally the biggest marriage of sports and pop culture in TV history, Giants QB Jesse Palmer will be announced as the next "Bachelor" (full analysis coming tomorrow) ...

Sweeping nation today (but tired by Monday): Howard Dean "Scream" dance remixes. But it heralds the Era of Apple's cool "GarageBand" ...

LeBron Watch: Bum ankle will keep him out of tonight's game vs. Kings and likely more over the weekend. There should be NO rush ...

White Sox import Japanese career saves leader immediately installed as "best MLB nickname": Shinga Takatsu, a.k.a. "Mr Zero" ...

Truth to Ashton/Demi wedding rumors? Perhaps, or maybe just a p.r. ploy to spike interest in Kutcher's new movie, opening Friday? ...

Gary Payton can't carry the star-less Lakers alone; loss to Grizzlies last night is L.A.'s third in four games ...

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