A few things you may have missed recently:
•ÊThe 2001-02 Trail Blazers did 'a great job of building team unity.' At least that's what Bob Whitsitt said they did, in his season-ending letter to season-ticket holders and supporters this week. Now that I think about it, I'm happy I could witness the heartwarming evidence of that marvelous bonding experience.
• The NBA's players association has squashed an attempt by the league to expand the first round of the playoffs from best-of-five to best-of-seven. You know, the poor guys just aren't paid enough to play those extra two games.
• The Women's United Soccer Association, in its second season of existence, is dying a quick death. Through the first three weeks of the season, it is averaging 6,899 fans per game Ñ down from 9,021 at the same point last season. The men's pro league isn't doing very well, either. It's like I've said for years Ñ soccer is the sport of the future. And it always will be.
• Meanwhile, while most self-respecting women's leagues are loath to inject much sexuality into their game, the WUSA is going the other way, according to Sports Business Daily. Playboy.com Sports Editor Blair Fischer told Sports Business Daily that the WUSA 'contacted us this year.' Asked if the league requested Playboy.com to conduct a poll to find its most attractive players, Fischer said 'Well, they sent pictures of some of their better-looking players, so that was implied.' Wholesome, huh?
• It was almost a month ago Ñ April 12, to be exact Ñ that Corey Busch sneaked into Portland. It was the fourth visit for the man who currently is Commissioner Bud Selig's consultant on franchise relocation. Obviously, he likes what he sees here. Busch met with some local movers and shakers about the future of major-league baseball here. I understand it was a pretty positive meeting.
• Also from Sports Business Daily: Paul Allen is selling his 5.9 percent stake in USA Networks for $568.7 million 'to raise money to buy cable systems that include some in Los Angeles.' He probably should purchase a couple of systems up here if he really wants to get that Action Sports Cable Network thing of his off the ground.
•ÊI love that Nike commercial that features a fictional Roswell team in the old ABA. With some funky music and digitally doctored footage of old ABA teams, the spots are very cool. It's just a shame that Nike decided to use Vince Carter in the lead role. Toronto didn't play well until Carter got hurt, and his stock has dropped quicker than Enron's.