Easy to Explain Jordan, Difficult to Guard Him

When Michael Jordan goes up for a shot, he seems to have more hang time than the people who go up with him. As Bob Cousy says, "He goes up, stops for a cup of coffee, looks over the scenery, and then follows through with a tomahawk jam."

Asked to explain it, Dr. Lincoln Ford, a University of Chicago physiologist, told the New York Times: "Jordan's center of gravity obeys the laws of physics and rises and falls as a parabolic function, like a rubber ball that bounces to a peak, and then drops, and the speed with which he's falling increases with the square of time.

"But he appears to be hanging up there in the air because he brings his body together, with the ball, and raises the ball as he's falling. It's a trick that sort of fools his opponents. He can do it because he's so strong, so quick, so coordinated and has the right mental attitude."

Advancing another theory is Phil Jackson, Bulls assistant coach.

"Simple," says Jackson, a former NBA player. "Michael Jordan is from another planet."

Add Jordan: Said Hall of Fame guard Walt Frazier when asked how he would guard Jordan: "What I would have done is start off by giving Michael the outside shot, and hope he doesn't hit it."

And if he hit it?

"Then," said Frazier, "I was going to be in for a long night."

More Jordan: Says Hall of Fame forward Rick Barry: "In all my basketball fantasies over the years, I've never even dreamed the things Michael Jordan actually does. He's the most exciting player I've ever seen. I don't think there's anybody who's ever played the game who can guard him.

"I said on television the other day, 'They say all men are created equal, but that was before God created Michael Jordan.' "

Trivia Time: What do managers Dick Williams of Seattle, John McNamara of Boston and Jim Fregosi of the Chicago White Sox have in common? (Answer below.)

When Billy Martin was introduced as the manager of the New York Yankees for the fifth time, he objected to questions about some of his past indiscretions. "Hashing it up," he called it.

Says Steve Jacobson of Newsday: "Holding a man accountable for what he's done before is unfair, of course. That's why former embezzlers are in such demand as bank tellers."

Would-you-believe-it dept.: Don Sutton has won more games than Dizzy Dean and Sandy Koufax combined. Dean won 150, Koufax 165. Sutton has won 323.

Jayson Stark of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that New York Mets announcer Ralph Kiner still is having trouble with names. He referred to Montreal outfielder Mitch Webster as Mitch Miller.

Said Kiner after a brilliant play by Howard Johnson of the Mets at third: "Third base is certainly a reactionary position."

Add Inquirer: Says columnist Bill Lyon: "Whenever someone says, 'That's a good question,' that means the answer won't be."

Trivia Answer: All three managed the Angels.

Quotebook

Dan Pasqua of the Chicago White Sox, on the bat he broke while blooping an RBI single: "It died a hero's death."

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