Work in Sports
Trumping the Donald
Real estate tycoon mixes with sports superstars
Posted: Monday December 06, 1999 05:00 PM
By Aimee Crawford, CNN/SI
NEW YORK -- Donald Trump isn't used to being upstaged. But even the master of self-promotion was overshadowed by the star power at Sports Illustrated's 20th Century Sports Awards show.
The real estate tycoon and presidential wannabe made the rounds at the VIP Awards Show pre-party. On his arm was his first lady of the moment -- Melania Knauss, a Slovenian-born model who speaks four languages but apparently isn't up on her sports knowledge.
Those weren't sweet nothings the Donald was whispering in Melania's ear as the couple made their way through the crowd. They sounded a lot like "talking points."
Before introducing to her to Yankees' Joe Torre, the Donald informed his date: "This is the manager of the Yankees. They won the World Series. In baseball."
"Tell George I said 'hi'," said Trump. To which Torre replied: "Do I have to?"
Celtic in need of seltzer?
Someone asked Bill Russell, honored as one of the seven "athletes who changed the game" about his habit of throwing up before taking the court during his playing days.
"That was part of getting ready to play," said Russell. "I did it every game, starting in college."
His former coach, Hall of Famer Red Auerbach, concurred: "One time, as we were taking the floor before a game, I realized he hadn't thrown up. So I went out to him and said 'Russell, go vomit.' He did and we won."
Overheard offstage ...
Billy Crystal, if you could go back in time and be one athlete at one time in one situation, who would you be?
Crystal: "Derek Jeter on a date with Mariah Carey." ...
Arnold Palmer, when asked if being honored ever got old: "I'm the one who's old. It's fun to see what's happening in sports. The stock market keeps going up and so does sports." ...
Basketball player of the century honoree Michael Jordan on who, um, influenced his career: "To say that I would have been the same Michael Jordan without watching Oscar Meyer ... er, Oscar Robertson ... I think I'm hungry, that's what it is." . . .
The flag from the 18th green at Pinehurst, the site of this year's U.S. Open, signed by Tiger Woods, brought $17,000 in a pre-show memoribilia auction.
Hockey player of the Century winner Wayne Gretzky: "It's the first time I have been back here at the Garden since I retired, so I felt a little sad because I wasn't playing."
Piazza goes platinum
Mike Piazza is sporting a new look. The Mets backstop has decided to see if life is any better as a blonde.
"It took four hours," said Piazza of the process of dyeing his 'do. "First it was orange, then it came out green. We finally got to this shade and I said 'good enough.'"