IN THEIR DRIVE to win consecutive NBA championships, the Detroit Pistons have adopted a take-no-prisoners attitude, and, as these comments after Sunday's physical win over the Chicago Bulls indicate, Michael Jordan, who suffered a bruised left hip when he was knocked to the floor in the first quarter, is no exception.
Said Dennis Rodman: "He (Jordan) didn't fall down by himself out there . . . I pushed him down a little bit. I thought maybe I could get him thinking not to drive in there again. We've got to keep hitting him until he's out of the game."Said Bill Laimbeer: "Any time you put yourself in position to take those kinds of shots, you're going to hit the floor. That's a fact."
And said John Salley: "We didn't feel bad when he went to the ground hard. Sorry, Michael. I like you and all. But I wouldn't mind if you didn't play the next game."
The Pistons do appear to be fading, however, in the race for the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award.
ADD FREEBIES: To the column that ran Sunday regarding free and magnanimous gestures, add the following:
- University of Utah basketball coach Rick Majerus is offering a free basketball skill development clinic at the Huntsman Center Friday, June 1 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
The clinic is open to "kids, fans and coaches" and pre-registration can be done at any Gart Bros. or Stevens Brown Sporting Goods location. Besides Majerus, Ute players Keith Chapman, Tommy Conner and Jon Hansen will participate as well as Scott Skiles of the NBA's Orlando Magic, who will be flown in for the event.
Why is Majerus doing all of this free of charge?
"He wants people to see the skills he'll show in his camps later in the summer," said a spokesperson in the Ute basketball office. He's new to the area, and wants to get some exposure."
Majerus/University of Utah basketball camps are scheduled periodically from late June through early August.
EVERYTHING BUT . . . STRENGTH: In three weeks golfer Curtis Strange will try to win his third consecutive U.S. Open. Considering that only one other man in history (Willie Anderson, in 1901-1902-1903) has pulled off such a feat, you might think Strange would have something of a superman complex.
But when Golf Digest magazine asked him on U.S. Open Eve if he considers himself a dominating player, Strange said:
"Every dominant player has had a great putter, a good mind, accuracy, and he's had strength. There's no substitute for that. Now, I can be as accurate as a lot of them, I can think my way around the golf course, I make my share of putts once in a while, but I don't have strength.
"And what that relates to is not just hitting the ball a long way all the time. It's being able to get it out of the rough once in a while. Sandy Lyle can get out of the rough from 200 yards onto the green where I couldn't come close . . .
"On the other hand, if you have strength and don't have one of the others, you're not going to dominate either. Nicklaus had pretty much all of it. The closest player I see today who could dominate is (Greg) Norman . . .
"Understand, I'm not putting myself down. Maybe I'm too honest. I feel that I can do very well. I don't feel there's a tournament that I can't win if I play good in it. But the one thing I've never done is fool myself with my ability. I never said I was better than I was."
THE COACHES KNOW PROVO: When the Miami Hurricanes football team visits Brigham Young for their game scheduled Sept. 8 in Provo, not one Miami player will have ever played West of the Mississippi River. It will be the Hurricanes' first Mountain Time Zone game since 1979.
But the Rocky Mountains won't be at all foreign to Miami's coaching staff. Coach Dennis Erickson was the head coach at both Wyoming and Washington State and five of his assistant coaches, including Greg Smith, Sonny Lubick, Dave Arnold, Alex Wood and Bob Bratkowski, have coached in the West. Bratkowski coached at Weber State before joining Erickson at Washington State.
BUMPER STICKER OF THE WEEK: Seen on cars recently in Atlanta: "Go Braves . . . and take the Falcons with you."