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HILL: Forget March Madness, here's April Anarchy

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Randy Hill

Veteran columnist Randy Hill is a frequent contributor to FOXSports.com.
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It's called "April Anarchy," because "April Madness" has been set aside to define what occurs when a credit card is held hostage by my niece. April Anarchy is an NBA phenomenon. And while we were experiencing our March Madness benediction, the NBA was in the grip of many strange events. By comparison, the March Madness autopsy has been fairly tame. The tastiest college hoops story of this week was supplied by Cincinnati Bearcats center Donald Little. Little, whose performance against UCLA's Dan Gadzuric seemed criminally negligent, was arraigned on felony charges for allegedly roughing up his own roommate. The alleged roughing included an alleged burning of his alleged roomie with an alleged cigarette. That qualifies Donald to share this sentence with ex-UC center Art Long. Art, who now is employed by the Seattle SuperSonics, once sucker-punched a law-enforcement horse that refused to vibrate after Long popped a quarter into its mouth. According to a source who's snitching outside his weight class, the horse is seeking a rematch on FOX's Celebrity Boxing. FOX likes the idea, but is waiting for Long to become a celebrity. Anyway, despite Little's contribution, college basketball's peculiarities have nothing on the NBA. For example, it was reported that former New York Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy could be the next sideline screamer for the WNBA's Washington Mystics. This seems only slightly less plausible than Woody Allen agreeing to direct a music video. The report, which was vigorously contested by the Mystics, Van Gundy, Allen and Bill Parcells, turned out to be the spawn of a vicious April Fool's Day prank. Good thing, too. Grabbing the leg of the opposing team's center and refusing to let go might be more of a problem in the WNBA. But don't doubt that when a solid NBA coaching opportunity arises, Jeff's "got next." Until then, he's hoping actor Bronson Pinchot becomes prominent enough to require a stunt double.
  • Another unusual circumstance was recorded in Washington, D.C., where Michael (Out for the Season) Jordan scored a lonely deuce during Tuesday's loss to the L.A. Lakers. MJ, reduced to 12 minutes by knee and frequent-birthday problems, doesn't even start for the Wizards these days. Instead, he witnesses his teammates' first-quarter predicament while peddling a stationary bike. On Tuesday, he entered the game and could have been described as stationary Mike. This third-coming of MJ has been glorious and painful. As the best player in NBA history, Jordan had achieved the status of hoop god; now, as a part-time cyclist, he looks more like a saint. If Jordan wanted a yellow jersey that bad, he could have played for the Lakers.
  • Kwame Brown, the high school kid Jordan selected with the first choice in last summer's draft, threw in 14 garbage-time points vs. L.A. Some of those occurred while the 6-foot-10 Kwame was working against crafty vet Robert Horry. Brown, registered as a failure by nitwits who join the uproar whenever a kid refuses to use all four years of college eligibility, even looked good on the low post. Now that the Wizards are eliminating the silly dribbling addiction from Kwame's game, fantasy-league watchdogs are eager to find out what Brown can do for them next season.
  • Vince Carter, a first-stringer on your "next Jordan" team, is done for the season. But in the first six games without him, the Toronto Raptors — who must think they're the Seattle Mariners — won six times. I can't recall exactly what Vince injured, but he probably wrecked something while dancing for that Gatorade commercial. It could be a while before Carter is able to perform another 360-degree dunk. The only degree that serves him now is the one he scored during last year's playoffs.
  • That leads us back to the world of college basketball, where Maryland's Juan Dixon and Lonny Baxter are being celebrated for using up all of their eligibility. OK, Dixon and Baxter both deserve credit for many things. But the presumed delay on lucrative NBA careers is not one of them. Sure, they may play in the league next season, and Dixon should be a first-round pick. But neither Terp was required to deal with a lottery-level temptation last season. Dixon may have been a second-round pick, and Baxter wasn't inspiring cartwheels. The kid who did conquer the temptation was Duke's Jason Williams. Williams, a likely choice as the draft's first pick last season, returned because he enjoyed the college experience. Celebrate that. However, don't assume that returning to a college program is the preferred tactic for adding on-court "maturity." Williams still couldn't make a free throw when it mattered. Maybe an NBA coach can help him with that.
  • Serial talker Charles Oakley of the Chicago Bulls has been advocating Detroit's Ben Wallace for the honor of NBA Most Valuable Player. That's just beautiful. Objectively rendered, too. And it's probably a coincidence that young Wallace, like Oakley, attended Virginia Union after befriending Charles at a basketball camp. Ben, who plays a wicked power forward for the Pistons, should be named something. He does lead the league in rebounding and shot-blocking. He also averages 7.5 points per game. That's fine, the guy knows his role. But San Antonio Spur Tim Duncan is second in rebounding, sixth in swatting and averages, oh, 25 points per game. His team has a superior record in the varsity conference. Don't get me started on the worthy qualifications of Gary Payton, the 1-2 Lakers punch, Tracy McGrady, Kevin Garnett and Allen Iverson. Every general manager out there would love to employ Ben Wallace. But I doubt that any of these sharpies would trade Duncan for him.
  • I didn't forget Sacramento's Chris Webber. C-Note-Webb finally fielded a question about the Detroit man who allegedly gave heaps of cash to prospective Michigan Wolverines. Chris, who has dated a woman named Banks, said the claim that he received more than 200 grand wasn't true. I believe him. That kind of loot would have put the Fab Five over the salary cap.
  • Since being hammered by ESPN during an 0-for-22 start, Atlanta's Jacque Vaughn has hiked his field-goal success rate to 47 percent. The New Jersey Nets are praying for ESPN to work similar critical mojo on brick-or-treater Jason Kidd. Randy Hill can be reached at his e-mail address: rhill@foxsports.com.
  • Tagged: Bulls, Pistons, Lakers, Timberwolves, Nets, Knicks, Magic, 76ers, Kings, Spurs, Thunder, Jazz, Wizards, Raptors, Grizzlies, Ben Wallace, Robert Horry, Kevin Garnett, Jason Kidd, Tracy McGrady, Chris Webber, Tim Duncan, Gary Payton, Jacque Vaughn, Kwame Brown, Vince Carter, Jason Williams, Cincinnati, UCLA, Washington, Michigan, Virginia, Duke, Maryland, Radford, Brown, Detroit, New Mexico

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