To the list of garments NBA players are now forbidden to wear, tights. Beforethe season commissioner David Stern instituted a dress code for players off thecourt; next he'll reportedly address their on-court looks. According toESPN.com, Stern has decided that next season players will not be permitted towear tights, even for medical reasons. Earlier this year LeBron James worefull-length hose (above) for eight games to keep his sore knee warm. "Idon't see a reason [for the ban]," James told the Akron Beacon Journal."Guys are not just wearing them just because they're trying to make afashion statement, because they're not cute at all."
The WBO heavyweight title, by Sergei Liakhovich of Belarus in an upset decisionover Lamon Brewster. The 29-year-old Liakhovich (23-1) was considered a weakerpuncher than Brewster, 32, but the challenger had the upper hand for most of agrueling fight, even though he was knocked down twice. "Lamon hit veryhard," said Liakhovich, who won on all three judges' cards. "Then hefelt my power." Brewster agreed with the decision, telling the Belarusian,"You earned it, baby. We both deserve to be at the top, but youwon."
By former heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, his bid to become mayor ofKiev. The Ukrainian native, 34, who retired from boxing in November because ofa knee injury, had never before run for public office, and he conceded theelection to Leonid Chernovetskiy before the polls closed in Ukraine's capitalcity on March 27. "I tried to be the leader," said Klitschko, who won22% of the vote. "But it is important to know how to win and how tolose."
By at least two Phillies season-ticket holders who thought they were getting ateam highlight DVD, a Spanish-language cockfighting video. ProAction Media ofPhoenix, the DVD's manufacturer, said that the scenes of battling chickens wereincorrectly labeled. The Phillies sent the highlight video to 4,000 fans aspart of a promotional package designed to encourage season-ticket renewals.
At age 89, former 49ers head coach Howard (Red) Hickey, the inventor of theshotgun formation. Hickey (above) played for the Cleveland Rams' 1945 NFLchampionship team and went 27-27-1 as San Francisco's coach from '59 to '63.But he made his mark on the NFL in a '60 game against the Colts: He spread hisreceivers and moved his quarterback a few yards behind center, calling the setthe shotgun because it sprayed receivers all over the field. The 49ers droppedthe formation after Hickey quit, but it became a staple of NFL game plans afterCowboys coach Tom Landry revived it in the '70s.
For defamation by former Austrian ski coach Walter Mayer, IOC president JacquesRogge and World Anti-Doping Agency chief Dick Pound. Mayer was banned from theOlympics after he was accused of doping his athletes at the 2002 Games, but hewas spotted in the Olympic Village in Turin; he fled when police raided theapartments of Austria's cross-country and biathlon teams, crashed his car intoa police blockade and was apprehended. Pound later told reporters that dopingequipment had been found in the raids, and Rogge added that Mayer"organized" Austria's doping efforts. Said Mayer's lawyer, HerwigHasslacher, who filed the suits in Vienna, "It is not true."
By former pro wrestler Nikolai Volkoff, a run for a seat in the Maryland statelegislature in September. A popular villain during the 1970 and '80s who woreSoviet-themed costumes and sang the U.S.S.R.'s national anthem before matches,the 6'3", 300-pound Volkoff (right) is actually a Yugoslavian native andbecame a U.S. citizen in '70. He has been a code inspector in Baltimore for 10years and will seek a spot in the House of Delegates as a Republican in thestate's Seventh District. Volkoff, 59, has not outlined his platform, thoughhe's upset with taxes and the cost of living. He lamented to the AssociatedPress that he used to spend "Two dollars for 20 cans of sardines, and nowfive dollars will get you only six cans."
And charged with taking part in a drug ring, Daniel Green, the father of NorthCarolina basketball player Danny Green. Last Thursday, New York state policeseized 462 pounds of cocaine valued at $40 million; police say Green, 39, wasallegedly "attempting to negotiate the delivery of a significant quantityof cocaine from Mexico." Green, who was one of three people arrested, wascharged with conspiracy, possession of a controlled substance, possession ofmarijuana and criminal use of drug paraphernalia and is being held on $7.5million bail. The younger Green was a 2005 McDonald's All-America at St. Mary'sHigh School in Manhasset, N.Y. As a freshman with the Tar Heels this season, heaveraged 7.5 points in 15.3 minutes per game.
Turnovers by the Bucks in their win over the Pacers last Saturday, an NBArecord for the fewest turnovers in a game.
Three-pointers made in the third quarter by the Bucks in their win over theSuns on March 28, an NBA record for the most in one period.
Losses by LSU in the NCAA semifinals, the most of any school that doesn't havea win in the Final Four.
Three-pointers made by LSU in its loss to UCLA last Saturday; Michigan in 1993is the only other team not to sink a three-pointer in a national semifinal orfinal.
Games that are scheduled to be aired in the Detroit Tigers' local televisionpackage, the fewest of any team in the majors.
On the Road with ... MIKE TYSON
In Manchester, England, to referee a bout at the World Cage FightingChampionships, Iron Mike dines with temperamental Man United star Wayne Rooneyand, according to one dinner guest, gives Rooney "one or twoanger-management tips." As for the fight, Tyson explains what qualifies himto be the third man in the cage: "I haven't had any training for this, butif I see an eyeball rolling across the floor, I'll know it's time I gotinvolved." He refs a match with small fighters because, he says, "I wasconcerned one of the bigger fighters may fall on me and cause me somedamage."
In Dublin with his old friend Joe Egan, 40, a former Irish heavyweight champ,Tyson meets a group of schoolkids and lets one 11-year-old beat him at armwrestling. Tyson also finally meets Egan's mom, with whom he's regularly talkedon the phone for 20 years. Says Ann Egan, who calls Tyson "son":"He calls me 'mum,' and he's always said that if ever he came to Ireland,he would not leave the country without visiting me. And he's kept to his wordlike any gentleman would."
The Luo Dian district, which was going to make Tyson--who is in Shanghai forthe opening of a nightclub--an honorary citizen, drops the plan. Says anofficial, "For one thing, it will be the first time Tyson has even visitedour town.... He has also been involved in too many legal and sportingscandals." Two days later, in Beijing, Tyson visits the tomb of MaoTse-tung, whose visage is tattooed on Tyson's arm. "I felt reallyinsignificant next to the remains of Chairman Mao," says Tyson, who waswearing a Shaquille O'Neal T-shirt.
Frost Heaves Watch
SI senior writer Alexander Wolff has founded an ABAteam, the Vermont Frost Heaves, which will begin play in November (SI, Dec. 19,2005). He'll file periodic updates on the team.
I missed going to the NCAA tournament for the firsttime in 26 years, and when people ask why, I tell them, "Because the FrostHeaves didn't get a bid." But last week I still felt part of the mosh-pitrésumé bazaar that is the lobby of the coaches' hotel at every Final Four, forI busied myself sorting through candidates for the Frost Heaves' coachingjob.
Since part of our mission is to use the Internet tobring the New England town meeting to pro sports, the Frost Heaves are puttingthe finalists to a vote of our fans. But only those members of the Bump in theRoad Club, our online community, who are enrolled as of 3 p.m. Eastern time onMonday, April 17, will be eligible. So sign up atwww.vermontfrostheaves.com/bumpintheroad. Then watch your in-box for ane-ballot.
> For more on the team, go towww.vermontfrostheaves.com.
A Notre Dame football star with NFL aspirations turns pro as a pugilist
IF FOOTBALL doesn't pan out for Notre Dame safety andpunt returner Tom Zbikowski, he's always got a fallback plan--one that willalso see him dispense and receive large amounts of pain. Zbikowski, athird-team All-America who had five interceptions and was 13th in the countryin punt returns last season as a junior, has been boxing in and around Chicagosince he was nine. He's dined with Jake LaMotta, he's tried out for TheContender, and he's put together a 75-15 record as an amateur. Last week hereceived clearance from the NCAA to make his professional debut, as aheavyweight, this summer (so long as he doesn't accept endorsement money). AndZbikowski will do it in style: on the undercard of a title bout at MadisonSquare Garden. (His opponent hasn't been determined.) "It'sunbelievable," Zbikowski said. "I would have done this for free, to beable to fight at Madison Square Garden." Then he caught himself, adding,"I probably shouldn't have said that."
Zbikowski, 21, was signed by promoter Bob Arum (whosays the 5'11", 202 pounder reminds him of former heavyweight Jerry Quarry)with the blessing of Irish coach Charlie Weis, who's not concerned about theprospect of such an experienced fighter's getting hurt. Less than two monthsafter the bout, Zbikowski will be back on the football field, which is where hesees his future--for now. "If I'm going to be a [first- or second-round NFLdraft pick], I'm definitely going to go toward football," he said. "Butboxing has always been a part of me. If I can't break into football, I'll tryboxing."
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BIGHITTER Zbikowski scored four TDs last year.
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