Sunday, August 15, 1999

A SECOND OPINION




BY JENNIFER SCROGGINS
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Welcome to “A second opinion,” the UC Bearcat memorial edition. They punch horses, they don't graduate, they lose to Temple. And here are some other exploits, as brought to you by newspapers across the country.

        First, an item on junior-college wundertransfer Ruben Patterson, courtesy the Los Angeles Times:

        “At least he will be remembered now.

        “Having left the Los Angeles Lakers after an uneventful rookie season — six minutes a game in 24 appearances — Ruben Patterson signed a three-year contract with the Seattle SuperSonics, departing amid boasts about how he routinely shut down Kobe Bryant in practice.

        “A player normally would catch heat for such comments, but it's no certainty in this case, since Patterson had trouble catching anything. One writer nicknamed him Ruben Paddlehands.

        “"Honestly, I dominated Kobe and everybody,' Patterson told the Seattle Times after signing the free-agent deal.

        “"They called me "the Kobe stopper.' He hated when I guarded him, and he knows it to this day.'

        “So why didn't Patterson play more?

        “"Politics,' he said. "You have Kobe, $70 million — you know they are going to play him. Then you have Glen Rice, who's been in the league a while. Then you've got Rick Fox. I was just a rookie.'”

        BUT PATTERSON DIDN'T stop there, folks ...

        “"I can't wait,' he said of the first game against the Lakers, Nov.30. "I'm going to tell G.P. (Gary Payton), Vin Baker, all those guys, "That game, I'm all out.' Because I just want to beat (Bryant) so bad. I told him personally: "If I'm ever on another team, I'm going to go against you and I'm going to kill you.' Exact words.

        “"But Kobe is a good player. I'm not going to knock him.'”

        Of course not. Wouldn't dream of suggesting it.

        MEANWHILE, IN a perpendicular universe, Nick Van Exel had signed a seven-year contract with the Denver Nuggets, a deal that reportedly will pay him $60 million to $80 million, depending on incentives.

        All this came after a season in which he shot 39.8 percent overall, 30.8 percent on three-pointers.

        He said he wants to improve his accuracy. He also said he wants to shoot less. Van Exel was second in shots only to Antonio McDyess on the Nuggets in 1999 and took nearly 300 more than No.3 on the team, Chauncey Billups.

        “I hope I don't have to shoot the ball as much,” Van Exel told the Denver Post.“But if it comes down to it, you guys know I'm not shy.”

        Shy? Of course not. Wouldn't dream of suggesting it.

        SATURDAY WAS Farmer's Day at Cinergy Field.

        My friend Jim suggests that if the Reds really want to have Farmer's Day, they should play the game at 5 in the morning.

       



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