Says Hardaway, now a Miami Heat guard: "Billy Owens don't have no heart. He has a lot of talent, but his heart is like an ant. He's a coward."
Says Owens, now with the Sacramento Kings: "When I came to the team, players told me about [Hardaway], said he'll be below-the-belt or whatever, and I shouldn't trust him. He was exactly what the players were saying. He was sort of like a brown-noser."
Eddie Sefko of the Houston Chronicle sums it up: "Actually, they're both right. Hardaway is a manipulative little cancerous demon and Owens is gutless and uncaring about the team effort."
Trivia time: Ohio State's John Cooper, who coached Arizona State in the 1987 Rose Bowl game, will be the third coach to bring teams to Pasadena on New Year's Day from different sides of the country. Who are the other two?
Peacemakers: Five football players were ejected and eight personal fouls called when Arizona State defeated Arizona, 56-14, causing concern at both universities. Coaches Bruce Snyder of Arizona State and Dick Tomey of Arizona got together and wrote a joint letter "to all fans of the Arizona State-Arizona rivalry."
They urged "fans, friends and alumni of the two universities to assist us over the next 12 months to promote the health of the rivalry."
Reason enough: Bob Verdi, columnist for the Chicago Tribune, explains why he's so pleased that the major league baseball labor situation is settled:
"What really matters is that, for at least the next five years, when it's time to look for scores and highlights in the morning, we won't have to deal with yet another snapshot of dour Donald Fehr, the union's cleanup hitter, staring down another of management's marshmallow representatives."
Vote of confidence: San Diego Charger linebacker Junior Seau, talking about Coach Bobby Ross before Sunday night's drubbing by the New England Patriots: "He's the kind of coach who can take average players and win if he had to."
Another Samson? Chicago Blackhawk right wing Tony Amonte, who ranks among the NHL's goal-scoring leaders with 19, believes there's a link between his success and his shoulder-length hair. He's determined to let his locks grow.
"My wife has been all over me to get a haircut," he told the Chicago Sun-Times. "And so has everybody else. But I'm just going to keep it this way for a while. If things start going the wrong way, I'll get it trimmed."
Trivia answer: Hugo Bezdek, Oregon, 1917, and Pennsylvania, 1923; and Pete Elliott, California, 1959, and Illinois, 1964.
And finally: When the St. Louis Rams made wide receiver Isaac Bruce the second-highest paid wide receiver in the NFL, it gave them five key players signed for at least two more years. Enough for quarterback Tony Banks to claim, "We have a chance to create a type of dynasty."
To which Adam Schefter of the Denver Post commented, "A fat chance."