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The Question Man Leaves His Mark on NBA Playoffs

Some burning sports questions that someone has to ask, by golly: Now that the Los Angeles Raiders have moved their training camp to Oxnard, will the city of Santa Rosa sue for the Raiders’ return, citing eminent domain?

Did anyone notice that the Lakers won the NBA title this time without Reggie Jackson’s help? A stat nut pointed out to me that in both ’80 and ’82, Reggie hit his eighth home run of the season the same night the Lakers wrapped up the NBA championship. Last Sunday, Reggie, who has seven homers, went 0 for 2.

Do you find yourself lying awake nights wondering who Rocky Balboa (Sly Stallone) will next catapult to stardom, after launching the film careers of Mr. T and then Hulk Hogan?

Would history have been different if the Lakers, in the 1962 draft, had selected John Havlicek instead of Leroy Ellis?

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Does anyone really care that John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors refuse to play for the U.S. Davis Cup team because of the new requirement that U.S. players sign a good-conduct pledge?

Has anyone ever watched a Davis Cup match?

Wouldn’t that tennis event be more popular, at least to American fans, if the organizers stuffed the trophy with money and called the tournament the Davis Cup o’ Gold?

Can anyone refute the logic of Lee Smith, Chicago Cub relief pitcher, in explaining why he never indulges in friendly chit-chat with opposing hitters? Said Smith, “They keep my old lady from going to the mall.”

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Will Johnny Carson insist on a good-conduct pledge from John McEnroe when McEnroe gives Carson the six free tennis lessons that are part of the escrow agreement in McEnroe’s purchase of Carson’s home?

Pedro Guerrero in center field? Why didn’t someone think of that before?

Now that the painful memories have been soothed, wouldn’t it be nice if some local TV station would dig out film of a classic Laker-Celtic playoff game from 1962, or ’69, and televise the game? If they can re-run vintage performances of Humphrey Bogart and James Dean, why not Bill Russell and Jerry West?

Wouldn’t you like a front-row seat the first time the Freezer (Morris Johnson, 314-pound offensive lineman, Packers) goes door to door with the Refrigerator (William Perry, 318-pound nose tackle, Bears)?

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How about the first ozone showdown, probably a couple of seasons away, between 7-5 Chuck Nevitt and 7-6 Manute Bol?

Wasn’t the cutest poster of the NBA playoffs the “We Want Boston!” sign held aloft by a fan in Denver when the Nuggets trailed the Lakers, three games to one?

For silliest stat in sports, does anything top the won-lost records of national anthem performers?

What with the excitement of Lakers vs. Celtics, did anyone notice that Fred Newman, Caltech ’60, bettered his own world record for most free throws in 10 minutes, sinking 322--while missing 29--in the Caltech gym last month? Fred used two balls and two rebounders.

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Will Red Auerbach send Newman a telegram, telling Fred that he was just lucky?

Despite CBS’s programming judgment, wouldn’t you rather see Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s hook shot than Hale Irwin’s chip shot? Wouldn’t golf be more exciting if they let an opponent guard the shooter?

Is Charles Barkley good enough yet to make the Olympic team?

Does anybody really feel sorry for the Golden State Warriors, who had the NBA’s worst record but because of the draft lottery got stuck with the No. 7 pick in the draft? Aren’t the Warriors the team that couldn’t use Jamaal Wilkes, Bernard King or World Free? Didn’t the Warriors cut Derek Smith, now a sensational Clipper? Didn’t they send Robert Parish and a draft pick (used to get Kevin McHale) to Boston for Joe Barry Carroll?

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Why is it, considering their obvious aptitude, that so few NBA referees have gone on to become great Shakespearean actors?

Is basketball Coach Jim Valvano of North Carolina State still steamed at Rollie Massimino of Villanova? They went shopping together in Florence, Italy. Valvano found a beautiful leather briefcase. “Hand-made by my son, who only makes one each year,” said the proud shopkeeper, who rang up the $600 sale. Just then Massimino spotted the briefcase and said he had to have one, too. “No problem,” the woman said. “I’ve got another one in the back room.”

Isn’t it time to end the debating and bickering by finally putting it to a vote: Who is the greatest first-base coach in major league baseball?

Will someone explain this one to me? Ross Porter, play-by-playing Wednesday’s game between the Dodgers and Reds, said: “I asked pitching coach Ron Perranoski if (Bob) Welch (the Dodgers’ starting pitcher) has a pitch limit today. He said, ‘No, unless he throws too many pitches.’ ”

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