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Monday, June 2, 2003
Updated: June 10, 9:56 AM ET
Page 2 Quickie: May 30, 2003

The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

What's the lamest sports cliche? "Take 'em one game at a time," at least in the NBA playoffs. The Spurs seem to dismiss that and focus on the big picture: First to four wins. The philosophy makes for some pretty ugly mid-series performances, but they're the team heading out of the wild West to the Finals.

If everyone has been quick to remove the Mavs' "soft" label during their deep playoff run, the Spurs' "choker" rep should get a similar treatment after last night, thanks to unlikely hero Kerr, that overwhelming 34-9 fourth quarter and a turnabout-is-fair-play collapse by the Mavs.

NBA Coaches
Sixers Degrees of Separation: Kentucky's Tubby Smith is a lead contender for the 76ers job, Philly Inq. reporting. (If so, so much for that "pro-experience only" candidate trend.)

Meanwhile, Jeff Van Gundy says he doesn't want that job, but the NY Daily News says the Cavs will likely make him an offer, which he has yet to commit to saying he actually wants.

As for Larry Brown, word (from the Wash. Post and others) that the Wizards are hot for him confirms Abe Pollin lives in Bizarro World.

Stanley Cup
The "Season of Jiggy" is over: His mo' has disintegrated over the Devils' two Cup-opening shutouts, including last night's 3-0 win. Now, NJ's Martin Brodeur should have your complete attention. You might say he's "pulling a Jiggy," but in hindsight, maybe Gigeure was "pulling a Marty" all along.

Red Sox-D-Backs Trade
Red Sox Nation, like everyone else, indelibly associates new acquisition Byung Hyun Kim with

his 2001 Series flubs -- to the Yankees, no less. In Red Sox '03 pitching tradition, he can't help but underachieve; at least let him do it as a starter.

ACC/Big East
While ACC honchos toured the Miami campus Thursday, the Big East reportedly is offering the 'Canes $9 million a year for the next five years to not defect. For that loot, they could just import LeBron and some scrubs.

PGA Memorial
So much for layoff rust: Tiger shot an opening-round 67 (log-jammed with six others), sitting three back from early leader Charles Howell III. It's like the TLC show "While You Were Out": While Tiger has been out, he's lost the intimidation factor.

U.S. Olympic Hoops
If a slot on the Olympic-qualifying team was touted as being so

"coveted" by legit NBA stars, why does USA Basketball insist on maintaining the "Laettner" (a.k.a. college-player) spot, particularly when they officially filled it Thursday with Nick Collison, who may not even be Top 20 in the draft?

Spelling Bee
P-O-C-O-C-U-R-A-N-T-E: Couldn't tell you what it means, but to National Spelling Bee champ Sai Gunturi it was worth $12,000 and a lifetime of living up to what you accomplished at 13 -- and worth a priceless amount to the Dallas junior-high bullies who covet rare bee-champ beatings.