Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Morning Briefing Eye Openers

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Morning Briefing Eye Openers

Article excerpt

The Chicago Bulls are down 2-0 to the New York Knicks in the NBA's Eastern Conference semifinals. And the blame for this can be laid solely at the sneakers of one player.

Not at SCOTTIE PIPPEN's feet, despite his fourth-quarter futility.

And not at the sizable sneaks of the Knicks' enormous PATRICK EWING or sharpshooting JOHN STARKS.

Nope, it's all the fault of the Bulls' TONI KUKOC, writes BERNIE LINCICOME, the Chicago Tribune columnist, who proceeds to crucify the Croatian Kukoc.

Opening salvo: "For sale: one Croat. Barely used. Barely useful."

Kukoc fails to jar Mason: "Kukoc has single-handedly turned (Knicks' Anthony) Mason into the kind of basketball player they make signature shoes for. . . Kukoc has made your classic off-the-bench, knuckles-first thug into a wispy behind-the-back dribbler and authentic game force."

Best line: "Mason has upholstered Kukoc like a rented couch."

The clincher: "Take the next-best player out of Arkansas and forget the best player in Europe."

*****

Parliamentary Pause: ALAN BORDER's retirement from test cricket was a media event that even made the Australian Parliament call a temporary halt to business. But the world's most prolific batsman himself is at a loss to understand what the fuss is all about, reports the Deutsche Press Agentur.

Both houses of parliament stopped business as politicians of different persuasions paid tribute to Border, who bowed out recently after a world-record 156 test matches in a career covering 16 years. It was the lead item in Australia's news.

Border can't figure all the fuss. He asks why an ordinary person, even if he is an extraordinary cricketer who notched a phenomenal 11,174 runs in a career that began with his debut against England in 1978 in Melbourne, is a hero to his fellow countrymen.

But jiminy, cricket is not just a sport but a national craze in Australia.

*****

FRED WILPON, the New York Mets' co-owner, is diversifying.

Wilpon recently announced that a kids' theme park, conceived by the Nickelodeon Cable network, will be erected at Shea Stadium.

"This is a segue to what will happen in entertainment in the future," Wilpon said the other day. …

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