Nov. 5, 2003
Mark Messier:
Ageless, charismatic hockey all-time great moves past Gordie Howe to the No. 2 spot on the NHL career points list.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Don't let last night's Nuggets performance fool you: 60 total points (7 in 3rd Qtr?!) and 1-of-13 FG shooting for Carmelo Anthony?

'Melo had to be looking ahead -- with the rest of us -- to tonight's epic head-to-head with LeBron (in the Cavaliers' home opener, no less).

Head-to-head glance:
    'Bron  'Melo
PPG    18   13.8
RPG   7.3    5.5
APG   7.7    2.5
FG%  46.9   33.9
Min  40.7   30.8
Rec.  0-3    2-2
In their last H2H meeting (as preps in '02), LeBron outscored Carmelo 36-34 -- but Anthony's team won.

That reads like a good template for their rookie years (careers, too): Cavs struggling despite LeBron's individual ultra-brilliance; Nuggets, led by Anthony, steadily rising in the West.

Here's another prediction: Tonight's battle (8 p.m., ESPN) will be a ratings high-water mark -- it's the must-see show of the fall NBA schedule.

Missing Duncan
What does it mean to the Spurs to miss Duncan for the next few weeks? Considering they barely beat the Heat last night, yesterday's contention that they aren't a playoff team without him seems just about right.

Gold Gloves
Like Jack at the Oscars, Raymond at the Emmys and any has-been star over 40 at the Grammys: baseball's overrated, reputation-driven Gold Glove awards make All-Star Game voting-by-rep seem earnest.

1 Best young NBA rivalry debuts today: LeBron vs. Carmelo
2 LeBron's first Nike shoe debuts today (I need a pair!)
3 Matrix 3 debuts today -- and there better be answers
1 Bulls as NBA's rising young team: Nope, they stink
2 Rockets as still a year away: Coach V.G. ahead of sked
3 Booing Kobe: Only motivating him (31 pts Tues vs. Bucks)
Let's start competing "Web Gem Awards," promoting some undervalued defensive players aced out by the "rep" guys.

Roddick TV
If the TV producer shopping around the Andy Roddick reality-TV series really wants to create a hit, there's a simple tagline: Moore Mandy, less Andy.

(BTW: Andy's off-court performance chops get a test when he hosts SNL this weekend.)

Jeter = Martyr?
Was the Yankees' disclosure yesterday that Derek Jeter played the W.S. with an injured thumb meant to:

(a) Be a belated excuse?
(b) Promote DJ as martyr?
(c) Manage '04 expectations?
(d) All of the above

Politics and Sports
How fascinating and unusual is it that Democratic Presidential contender Howard Dean is polling his supporters over his campaign-finance strategy? It would be like every NFL GM asking fans who to draft in the first round.

I'm all for that kind of populism, but there's an old sports saying: When a coach listens to the fans, he usually ends up sitting with them.

Bowling Green QB
Josh Harris:

I was all set to make a great case for him as a Heisman guy -- until No. 15 BGSU lost at Miami (Ohio). At the top, the MAC is brutal!
Today on
P2: Camelo vs. LeBron
CBB: Big East a hoops beast
NFL: Power Rankings
Ranking Athletes
Who Should Have
24/7 Reality Shows:
LeBron James
He's a ratings machine
Vibrant off-court life
NCAA coaches
Too hot for TV! (DVD only)
Derek Jeter
Just the dating life ...
Kobe Bryant
Already coming in '04 ...

Andy Pettitte will poke around with free agency ...

Local economy is in the tank, yet Miami has a spare $73 mil to throw at a Marlins stadium that fans won't even bother to fill...

When comparing to the the future, souped-up version, this season's version of the Big East puts the "lame" in lame-duck ...

Here's a shocker: UConn women's hoops is preseason No. 1 ...

Direct from the "Where-Are-They-Now?" File: Maurice Clarett (remember him?) dropped his lawsuit against Ohio St ...

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