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It Makes Sense? It Can't Happen

THE WORD is, Michael Jordan will return and play for the Charlotte

Hornets. You look at your calendar and realize what day it is. You will

not be fooled this April 1st.

Unfortunately for basketball fans, the Jordan-to-Hornets report is

wishful thinking. It qualifies as one of several April Fool's jokes you

wish were true. Like these:

Jordan Buys Islanders: In an unusual move but a welcome one for

suffering Long Island hockey fans, Jordan wrests control of the NHL's

most pathetic franchise. This became possible when Howard Milstein

followed his heart, which was never in Uniondale, and bought the

Washington Redskins.

"I don't know much about hockey," Jordan said with a shrug,

"but I sure won't run this team the way a slumlord would."

Jordan said his immediate plans are to fire Mike Milbury, steal

Scotty Bowman and build a new arena.

McGwire Gives Up Andro: Determined to go for a "clean" run this

time, Mark McGwire has announced he no longer will use the controversial

supplement androstendeione. McGwire said the obscenely heavy influence

he carries with Little Leaguers was a factor in his decision to stop

taking the juice. McGwire said he hopes to hit 20 homers this season.

Vitale Grows a Backbone: College basketball commentator Dick

Vitale has stopped snuggling up to every coach. Vitale said he will be

more objective and will stop playing his audience for suckers. The new

Vitale said Bob Knight is "a not-for-P-T-Per who should've given up the

rock years ago," said Roy Williams "can flat-out not coach in March" and

called Bob Huggins "a crybaby, a real diaper dandy."

Olympic Chief Resigns: Embarrassed by the payola scandal that

has infiltrated his administration, IOC head Juan Antonio Samaranch said

he will step down immediately. Samaranch said he feels personally

responsible for the mess caused when IOC members accepted gifts from the

Salt Lake City committee. He added that, as president, he should be held

accountable, even though he admits no wrongdoing. Samaranch plans to

settle into retirement at a mountaintop mansion he recently purchased in

Park City, Utah.

Micheal Ray Richardson Signs 10-Day Contract: The Nets,

desperately reaching for any solution for their miserable season, will

bring a former player back for a look. Richardson is 43 and has spent

the last dozen years playing in Europe, Asia, South America, Mercury,

Jupiter and Mars.

On his first day, Richardson took one look at the condition of

the Nets, a team once believed to be on the rise, and used a line he

made famous years ago: "The ship be sinking."

Giants Release Kerry Collins: Saying it was done too hastily,

the Giants admitted their goof and reversed an earlier decision to sign

Collins. Coach Jim Fassel and general manager Ernie Accorsi said their

mistake was spending only five minutes investigating Collins' checkered

past. They agreed to terminate the contract once they saw the

quarterback's highlights since he led Carolina to the NFC Championship

Game in January, 1997. That footage, too, lasted just five minutes.

Holyfield Joins Priesthood: Boxing champ Evander Holyfield,

citing a higher calling, has decided to leave the ring for good.

Holyfield said he needed to find another avenue to express his deep

devotion to religion. Among the values Holyfield cites in his new job is

abstinence, which can help prevent children being born out of wedlock,

which Holyfield insists is morally wrong.

Eugenia Williams Undergoes Corrective Surgery: Williams, one of

three judges with an obstructed view of all 12 rounds of the

Holyfield-Lennox Lewis fight, was successfully treated for cataracts

yesterday. During pre-surgery testing, doctors discovered Williams had

trouble spotting Rick Majerus when the Utah coach stood in front of her.

Once her sight was restored, she was promptly fired by Don King.

Doctors are planning a similar procedure for NFL referee Phil

Luckett.

Clippers Sold: An era of incompetence finally ended when Donald

Sterling agreed to unload the Clippers. Ever since they moved to L.A.

from San Diego in 1983, the Clippers have been the disgrace of the NBA,

firing coaches, bungling draft decisions and fumbling away free agents.

Sterling said the team deserved to be in the hands of a caring,

attentive and devoted owner, and that's why he decided to sell to Howard

Milstein.

Artest Delays NBA: Sophomore Ron Artest has chosen to put his dream

of professional basketball on hold and return to St. John's for at least

another year. Artest said although he has thought long and hard about

the NBA, he thought a lot longer and harder about that Ohio State game.

"My family's needs can wait," Artest said. "What's best for me is

to continue my education, enhance my knowledge of the world and to

improve my basketball skills. The NBA doesn't need another raw hopeful

who'll do nothing but get on-the-job training while fans pay premium

prices. That's why the game is so shoddy today."

Duke's Elton Brand, citing the UConn game, reportedly will stay

in school as well.

Tyson Reaches Out to King: Disgraced boxer Mike Tyson, speaking

by phone from the big house, said he intends to repair his fractured

relationship with promoter Don King. The split occurred when Tyson

accused King of bilking him of millions the last time he was

incarcerated. Tyson said he telephoned King last week and offered an

olive branch, which King quickly accepted. King is scheduled to hold a

jailhouse meeting with Tyson today.

On second thought, someone already pulled that prank.

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