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Commission May Have Made One Omission

Times Staff Writer

Evander Holyfield, a former heavyweight champion, has been banned from boxing in New York by the state’s athletic commission, which cited the fighter’s “diminished skills and poor performance.”

Noted Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times: “George Steinbrenner, still stinging from the New York Yankees’ 4-9 record against Tampa Bay, is reportedly pestering the commission for similar sanctions against the Devil Rays.”

Trivia time: Last Oct. 31, Drew Brees completed 22 of 25 passes in a 42-14 victory over the Oakland Raiders, setting a San Diego Charger single-game record for passing accuracy -- 88%. Who held the previous record?

Sibling rivalry: TNT has hired Reggie Miller as an NBA commentator and will be paying him a nice salary. Said his sister, Cheryl, who also works for TNT: “I think I’m going to have to call my attorney. He once again is getting more money than I am.”

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Another perk: Said Miller, of working on the same network as his sister: “Mom and Pops won’t have to look too hard to find us.”

But who will rebound? Reggie Miller will work as a studio analyst and game commentator, at times joining the announcing team of Marv Albert and Steve Kerr at courtside.

Said Albert: “When Reggie joins us, we may have the best shooting backcourt in the NBA.”

Taking a shot: Kerr, in evaluating the off-season moves by NBA teams for Yahoo.com, wrote of the Lakers, “Coach Phil Jackson wants a big guard who can help run the triangle, but so far the Lakers have come up empty-handed.... The capped-out Lakers haven’t done a whole lot to improve their roster.”

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Another shot: Jerry Bembry of ESPN the Magazine isn’t sold on former Washington Wizard forward Kwame Brown’s blossoming as a Laker.

“If Kwame finally finds his game in L.A., we’ll have a redemption story,” Bembry wrote. “And if he doesn’t, well, at least Phil will have a chapter for his next book, ‘What Was I Thinking?’ ”

Will he be game? Responding to Bob Costas saying poker isn’t a sport and that it belongs on the Game Show Network, Ian Valentine, a GSN executive, said, “We agree with Bob that poker belongs on GSN, but characterizing poker fans as degenerates seems harsh.

“We’ll hold a seat open for Bob in our next ‘Celebrities vs. Pros.’ Then he can decide whether poker is a sport or not.”

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Trivia answer: Rick Neuheisel, who completed 19 of 22 passes (82%) in a 17-13 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the strike season of 1987.

Neuheisel set an NCAA passing accuracy record while at UCLA, completing 25 of 27 passes (93%) against Washington in 1983. That record stood until 1998, when Tennessee’s Tee Martin completed 23 of 24 (96%) against South Carolina.

And finally: Of the Holyfield ban, KFWB’s Bret Lewis said, “We’re not sure if it’s his slurred speech, diminished ring skills ... or willingness to be on ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ ”

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Larry Stewart can be reached at larry.stewart@latimes.com.


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