They Didn't Consult With Their Expert

Magic Johnson was stunned when NBC broadcast a report last weekend that he might not play in the Olympics. Why? Because Johnson happened to be working for NBC at the time as an analyst for the Lakers' playoff game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Johnson has reaffirmed his intention to play at Barcelona.

"I don't want there to be any doubt," Johnson told Jan Hubbard of Newsday. "For anyone to say I'm not going to be at the Olympics, that's crazy."

Johnson said his doctors are enthusiastic about about how he is doing.

"I work out three times a day, and I'm getting better and better," he said. "I get checked every two or three weeks, just to make sure everything is all right. Everything is great. My T-cell count is wonderful. Everything."

Trivia time: Which Yankee player has two numbers retired?

The answer man: Eddie Murray of the New York Mets, a man of few words and a lot of home runs--he hit No. 400 this week--was asked by a New York reporter to talk about switch-hitting.

Said Murray: "That means I can hit right-handed and left-handed."

End of conversation.

Stick to coaching: Coach Phil Jackson of the Chicago Bulls predicted before the playoffs that the Detroit Pistons would defeat the New York Knicks in the first round and face the Bulls.

Resume city: Denver Nugget General Manager Bernie Bickerstaff said there are 15-20 active candidates for his club's coaching job.

Diet news: Celtic center Robert Parish, 38, the oldest player in the NBA, has not eaten fried foods since 1976.

Apparently he is taking the advice of the late Satchel Paige, who, among his six rules for staying young, warned: "Avoid fried meats, which angry up the blood."

All-cafeteria: In Chicago, they are reinforcing the training table in anticipation of the potential matchup between the Bears' 325-pound William Perry and 340-pound Louis Age, an 11th-round draft pick.

DeBerg factor: Tampa Bay Buccaneer quarterback Vinnie Testaverde isn't quite sure what to make of the news that fellow quarterback Steve DeBerg is a teammate again.

Said Testaverde: "Steve went to San Francisco, he left, and Joe Montana became a great quarterback. He went to Denver, he left, and John Elway became a great quarterback. Then he came here, he left, and I still haven't become a great quarterback. Now he's back so we're starting over, I guess."

For the record: Two Aaron Boones in one Morning Briefing item apparently are too many. The USC athletes were scrambled in Wednesday's edition. The volleyball Aaron Boone is from Huntington Beach, the baseball Aaron Boone from Villa Park.

More of the same: When track historian Dick Bank called to say it was Robert Bonds, not his brother, former major leaguer Bobby Bonds, who won the state long jump in 1964 as reported here, it turns out that it was Bank who was mistaken.

Robert Bonds won both state hurdle titles in 1960. Bobby Bonds, father of Barry Bonds, won the state long jump in 1964. Both Robert and Bobby Bonds attended Riverside Poly High.

Trivia answer: Cliff Mapes. He was wearing No. 3 when the Yankees decided to honor Ruth. So Mapes switched to No. 7, which Mickey Mantle later used.

Quotebook: From Philadelphia Eagle owner Norman Braman on sports talk-show hosts: "I don't pay any attention to those goons."

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