Notes on a Scorecard

Now we will find out exactly how valuable Michael Jordan was. . . .

With Jordan, the Chicago Bulls have won three consecutive NBA championships. . . .

Without him, the highest they probably will finish this season is third in the Central Division. . . .

He says he has run out of challenges, but next year he will be able to accept the challenge of lifting the Bulls back into championship contention. . . .

Jordan joins Magic Johnson, Sandy Koufax, Jim Brown and Rocky Marciano among the few prominent athletes who have announced their retirement during the prime of their careers. . . .

However, at 30, Jordan is the youngest of the NBA stars to retire. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was 42, Elgin Baylor 38, Julius Erving 37, Wilt Chamberlain 36, Rick Barry 36, Bill Russell 35, Larry Bird 35, Oscar Robertson 35, Jerry West 34 and Johnson 32. . . .

Of course, in this age of multimillion-dollar endorsements, Jordan can afford to leave the sport early. . . .

His love for the game showed when he said, "I've never had a job. I don't want one now." . . .

Moments before Jordan's announcement, KMPC played a Clipper commercial featuring him as part of a seven-game superstar package at the Sports Arena. . . .

For a while, I thought the Jordan news conference Wednesday morning would conflict with the last inning of Game 1 of the Toronto Blue Jay-Chicago White Sox series. . . .

Baseball should feel fortunate that the Jordan story overshadowed the 3-hour 38-minute American League playoff opener in which the winning team issued 10 walks. . . .

You might not like the designated-hitter rule, but it is the only reason Frank Thomas is able to play against the Blue Jays. . . .

The most sought-after free-agent pitcher will be right-hander Mark Portugal, who won his last 12 decisions for the Houston Astros. . . .

Anyone who says the San Francisco Giants choked doesn't know baseball. . . .

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"Rudy" is a movie about Notre Dame football that even USC fans will enjoy. . . .

Last week's bye couldn't have come at a better time for Brigham Young, which faces UCLA Saturday night at the Rose Bowl and Notre Dame next week at Provo. . . .

This is homecoming week for USC Coach John Robinson, who played at Oregon and spent 12 seasons there as an assistant coach. . . .

The Trojans have given up 56 points in second quarters and 44 in the other three quarters combined. . . .

Ronnie Lott, who returns to face the Raiders on Sunday, quickly has become the leader of the New York Jets' defense. . . .

The Green Bay Packers are trying to trade holdout outside linebacker Tony Bennett, who probably would bring a first-round draft choice. . . .

Genaro Hernandez's defense of his World Boxing Assn. junior-lightweight title against Harold Warren on Monday will be the 40th world championship fight at the Forum in the last 53 months. . . .

There is still talk of a Hernandez-Oscar De La Hoya bout, but Hernandez, unlike De La Hoya, has little trouble making the 130-pound limit and has considered dropping down to 126 and challenging for the featherweight title. . . .

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Thomas Hearns, who begins his latest comeback Nov. 6 on the Riddick Bowe-Evander Holyfield card, has rejoined the stable of his original manager, Emanuel Steward. . . .

Former Pasadena sportswriter Paul Allen, 26, will become one of the youngest track announcers ever in California when he begins calling the races at Bay Meadows today. . . .

It was nice to see Pittsburgh Penguin center-assistant coach Bryan Trottier win the first faceoff of the season against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday. . . .

A Sabres' advertisement in a Buffalo newspaper says: "Last year, Rob Ray spent 211 minutes in the penalty box. This year, he's gonna get tough." . . .

Congratulations to Ross and Lin Porter, who became grandparents for the first time when their daughter Rosalyn gave birth to Catherine Ann Schantz in Eureka on Monday. . . .

If you think Larry Johnson's $84-million, 12-year contract with the Charlotte Hornets is exorbitant, consider that Barbra Streisand will make as much as $20 million for two concerts at the MGM Grand. . . .

Miami sources report the Heat has offered Glen Rice and Willie Burton to the Clippers for Danny Manning. That should be very tempting. Rice would be the outside shooter the Clippers lack.

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