Notes on a Scorecard

Clipper owner Donald Sterling adores the style--and won-loss record--of Coach Billy Tubbs of top-ranked Oklahoma. . . .

It appears likely that Sterling will dismiss Don Casey at the end of the season and offer Tubbs a lucrative, multi-year contract to replace him. . . .

The Clippers' jinx notwithstanding, the job actually would be a plum. Perhaps no other team in the NBA has more outstanding young talent. And, if the draft were held today, the Clippers would own two lottery picks. . . .

Tubbs, who took the Sooners to the NCAA championship game two years ago, has done his best coaching job this season with an inexperienced team and always has favored the run 'n gun NBA style of play. . . .

The question remains whether the town would be big enough for both Tubbs and sound-alike Jack Nicholson, the famous Laker fan who also owns Clipper front-row season tickets. . . .

Think the difference in political clout had something to do with Notre Dame making the NCAA tournament field and Cal State Long Beach not?. . . .

The snub doesn't figure to do much for Long Beach's chances of keeping Joe Harrington, its outstanding coach who has been interviewed by the University of Miami. . . .

Final Four forecast: Oklahoma vs. Connecticut, Virginia vs. Arizona. . . .

Nevada sports books cannot post odds on teams winning the tournament until Nevada Las Vegas is eliminated. Bets on events involving Nevada schools are illegal and a bet on another team in the tournament is construed as a bet against UNLV. . . .

No UCLA or USC game was telecast here the first three days of the Pac-10 tournament and the Bruins' championship game against Arizona was shown only on a delayed basis. No wonder so many local high school basketball stars, who want to be seen on TV, leave town. . . .

UCLA's Jim Harrick and Alabama-Birmingham's Gene Bartow will meet in the first round of the NCAA tournament Friday in Atlanta. But all four other coaches who have followed John Wooden at UCLA--Gary Cunningham, Larry Brown, Larry Farmer and Walt Hazzard--now are out of college basketball. . . .

Greg Foster, who lettered at UCLA in 1987 and then transferred to UTEP, was voted most valuable player of the WAC tournament. The Bruins could have used him at center this season. . . .

John Thompson showed again after Georgetown's loss to Connecticut in the Big East Conference semifinals that he is one of the few coaches in big-time college basketball who will give full credit to the winning team after a tough loss. He did the same thing after the Hoyas' loss to Villanova in the 1985 NCAA final. . . .

In his NBA career, Magic Johnson never has gone through a season without missing a game. However, he's missed only one in 1989-90 and, as the Atlanta Hawks will attest, looks the picture of health. . . .

Before thinking about Vlade Divac's chances of becoming NBA rookie of the year, remember that David Robinson is a rookie although he was drafted three years ago by the San Antonio Spurs. . . .

With Robinson just beginning his career, why would even Larry Brown possibly consider leaving the Spurs?. . . .

Navy was 26-6 in Robinson's senior year and is 23-61 since. .. .

John Salley should concentrate more on his basketball and less on his comedy routine. . . . Portland may not win the Pacific Division, but deserves some kind of crown for going 11-1 against the Atlantic Division. . . .

The Los Angeles Kings, famed for their giveaways this season, donated $136,000 to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation after the recent Tip-A-King benefit. . . .

Rogie Vachon's son Nicholas, who is too smart to play goal, has been awarded a hockey scholarship to Boston University. . . .

Eastern bettors still refuse to give California-based thoroughbreds their due. Sunny Blossom, the Santa Anita track record holder at six furlongs, won a stakes at Aqueduct by 5 1/2 lengths Sunday and paid $9. . . .

According to the latest weigh-ins, Raider Coach Art Shell has lost 18 pounds in the charity AFC vs. NFC Battle of the Bulge. He's down to 320, but San Diego Coach Dan Henning, down to 201, leads with a 21-pound loss. . . .

I give 80% of the blame for the baseball lockout to the owners and 20% to the players. . . .

No defeat by Pam Shriver should be called an upset. . . .

News item: Jennifer Capriati, 13, loses to Gabriela Sabatini in finals of tennis tournament. Reaction: Must be burnout.

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