November 3, 2004
Chris Mihm:
Shaq who? L.A.s new big man tallies 23 and 12 as Lakers beat Nuggets.
QUICKIE LIVE! 9-10 a.m.

The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Kobe plays team ball, Dirk lights up Kings for 33, Pistons stifle T-Mac and Yao (combined for just 25 points).

And did you see the size of those rings the Pistons received?

The NBA is off and running with a full slate of games today -- 13, including an ESPN doubleheader:

Heat at Nets (8 ET): Shaq remains a game-time decision. He wants to be out there, but Heat should play it safe and sit Shaq until the hammy is OK.

Lakers at Jazz (10:30 ET): Kobe scored 25 on an off-night. How much can he score if he's on?

Other NBA Plotlines
Here are five teams the Quickie is most interested in watching this season:

1. Grizzlies. Are Pau Gasol and teammates ready for another big leap forward?

2. Pacers. Could/should have beat Pistons in playoffs.

3. Jazz. New additions Boozer and Okur make Jazz most underrated team right now.

4. Mavericks. Hey, we like offense.

5. Knicks. Yeah, right.

SportsNation Election
The fans of SportsNation have spoken. Hank Lombard of the Purists beat Destiny Sweetwater of the Progressives. The ballot initiatives went this way:

*Yes on an MLB salary cap.

*Yes on a college football playoff.

*No on age restrictions in pro sports.

*No on All-Star Game determining home-field advantage for World Series.

Tony Parker: Reportedly signed 6-yr, $66M extension
Pudge Rodriguez: Wins 11th Gold Glove, tops Bench's 10
Jim Bunning: Hall of Famer returns to Senate
Ty Law: May miss 4-6 weeks with bad ankle
Troy Percival: Angels won't attempt to re-sign
Kyle Orton: Purdue QB questionable for Saturday
*Yes on playoff games starting no later than 8 ET.

*No on MLB instant replay.

*Yes on banning advertising on uniforms.

*No on college athletes being paid.

Pedro Files
"My heart is with Boston," says Martinez. But it sounds like he can see the writing on the wall:

"I hope I get another chance to come back with this team, but if I don't, I understand the business part of it."

Martinez is coming off a 7-year, $90 million contract. He'll be lucky to get half that this time around.

AL Gold Gloves
Statheads are going nuts over Derek Jeter's first Gold Glove. By all statistical measures, Jeter's range is below average for a SS. For instance, Miguel Tejada had 134 more assists (in just 80 more innings).

This is just another example that the Gold Gloves long ago ceased to have much meaning, that production at the plate is as important as production in the field.

No Back-tracking
Diamondbacks say they'll stick with Wally Backman as manager even though reports surfaced about a fourth-degree assault charge after an altercation with a female family friend in 2001 and a DUI arrest while managing in the minors in 1999.

D-Backs officials say they were unaware of the issues, but that's no excuse for being lazy and not doing their homework. Fiery is one thing, but hiring a manager with an assault charge on his record is inexcusable.

--David Schoenfield

Latrell Sprewell:
Receives citation for arguing with police officer during traffic stop. As a passenger.
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NBA Preview
Athletes Who Could Be Politicians:
Curt Schilling
Not shy about debating
Tom Brady
Pretty boy has winning touch
Sean Casey
Already nicknamed "The Mayor"
Shaquille O'Neal
Popular in Florida
Keyshawn Johnson
Lots of talk, no results

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Voters in Arlington, Texas, agree to pay $325 towards retractable-roof stadium for Cowboys ...

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Schilling's surgery delayed until next week, as doctors wait for inflammation to go away ...

Mike Cameron says he's willing to move to right field if the Mets want to pursue Carlos Beltran ...

Dan Marino says Roethlisberger reminds him of himself as a rookie. Hard to disagree ...

Golf World magazine reports Tom Lehman will be named 2006 Ryder Cup captain ...

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