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DON’T EXPECT A COMEBACK FROM LAYDEN

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IT'S BEEN OVER seven years since Frank Layden resigned as Jazz coach 17 games into the season, but he hasn't looked back. While Magic and Michael are making comebacks, don't expect to see Layden back on the sidelines anytime soon.

Or anytime ever."I had my shot," said Layden in an interview last week. "The only thing that eluded me was a championship. But the rest was fun. I had a good run."

Actually, Layden added, he may have been better served to exit sooner. The grind of the travel and the pressure to win was beginning to wear on him. "My only regret, if I have any, is that I went a little longer than I should have," said Layden. "But I got out on my own terms."

Since then, Layden has had numerous opportunities to return to coaching - among other things. "I've had A.D. (Athletic Director) offers, G.M. (General Manager) offers and coaching offers, on the pro and college level," he said.

One pro team said if he'd accept the job it wouldn't even look at any other candidates. "They said you can have the job," said Layden. "I said, 'I'm not interested."'

As for his job as Jazz President, which includes making speechesand public appearances on behalf of the team, he said, "I think I've got the best job in the world."

AEROFLOT ARENA?: In the race to build new arenas, it's also becoming a race to find a good name. According to Mike Downey of the Los Angeles Times, all the good airline names are already gone.

"I wouldn't know what to call a new football stadium here (in Los Angeles). All the good airlines are taken. We already are too late to be the United Center, the America West Arena, the Delta Center, the Continental Airlines Arena, the Trans World Dome . . . About all we're left with is Lufthansa Stadium. Either that, or Virgin Atlantic Field. This is what happens when you wait too long.

"We'll probably end up naming the place after a bank, or some company that manufactures weed whackers. Waiting is our specialty. They say L.A. people leave early, but truth is, we arrive late. For example, Cleveland gets to keep the name Browns for its NFL team. Seattle gets to keep the name Seahawks, if it loses its team. Ahhh, but did anybody here think to keep the name Rams, before we let our team leave? No, we were too busy making sure Georgia Frontiere got on the plane."

PRE-PUBESCENT: Clippers' rookie Brent Barry, after playing in the NBA All-Star Weekend's rookie game, on teammate Kevin Garnett: "It's funny. Schick sponsors this game and Kevin can't even shave yet."

TOUGH TICKET: Back when the Celtics were playing in the Boston Garden, getting a seat was next to impossible. It still is, not to mention pretty expensive.

Before tearing down Boston Garden, team officials saved seats 14,000 or so from the venerable arena. The seats are being offered for sale at $250 apiece. According to the Boston Globe, there is a waiting list of 4,300.

ADD LAYDEN: The best part of not being a coach is the freedom, Layden added. You aren't bound to small details, like being at practice.

"I like to go and watch training camp," Layden said. "But I also like being able to to decide not to go. I like being able to decide, no, I'm gonna go play golf."

SHARP SHOOTERS: Fans of college basketball in Utah are may not know it, but they're seeing some of the best shooters in the nation.

In last week's men's NCAA basketball statistics, Utah schools had a stranglehold on the free throw shooting numbers. Utah's 78.3 free throw percentage was No. 1 in the country, followed by Weber State (77.5) and BYU (76.8).

Individually, local players were high in the national stats, as well. Weber's Jimmy DeGraffenreid was No. 9 (88.9), while Utah's ben Caton was No. 14 (86.8) and BYU's Randy Reid No. 21 (85.7).

QUOTEFILE: Tim Mayenknecht, Vancouver Grizzlies spokesman, on his team being caught in the middle of an environmental battle over the endangered Grizzly bear: "I guess we should have picked an animal that has been extinct for 65 million years, like the Raptors."