Last Thursday, for the first time since Michael Jordan filed suit against her, Karla Knafel, his former mistress, appeared in court. Wearing horn-rim glasses, very little makeup and a long sweater over loose slacks, Knafel, 39, listened as Jordan's lawyers accused her of extortion in a preliminary hearing. Jordan, who had an affair with Knafel 10 years ago, sued her last October, alleging that she threatened to go public with details of their relationship unless Jordan paid her $5 million. Knafel has countersued, claiming Jordan agreed to the payment to protect his image, not because he was threatened. Despite the legal wrangling, Knafel holds out hope that she and Jordan can stay friends. "I loved Michael, and I still have warm feelings toward him," she said after the hearing. "I am shocked by the recent ugly events."
?The 1,500 people who showed up for a welcome-home celebration for Elizabeth Smart in Salt Lake City's Liberty Park were entertained by a familiar face: Thurl Bailey. The former Jazz forward, who has been performing and recording music since he retired in '99, played songs from his recent R&B release, I'm Not the Same. The Smart saga hit Bailey close to home-she was found about a mile from his office. "I didn't know how much the world was paying attention to Elizabeth Smart," says Bailey. "It was surreal. I had friends I used to play with in Italy who called and wanted to talk about it."
?For Burlington radio listeners Vermont's early exit from the NCAA tournament—the Catamounts lost their first-round game 80-51 to Arizona—had a silver lining. It meant their favorite radio personality was back. Vermont coach Tom Brennan is half of "Corm and the Coach," the morning drive-time team on WCPV that in Vermont draws more listeners than Don Imus or Howard Stern. Brennan and straight man Steve Cormier are known for skits like "What the eff is Ozzy saying?" as well as spinning classic rock and making obscenely early phone calls to friends, including Brennan's opposing coaches. "He's genuinely funny," says BU coach Dennis Wolff, who regularly gets called at 6 a.m. "I have fun with it...other than the time." Brennan was on the air Monday, bragging about his team's performance in Salt Lake City. "Hey, it was my job to win the press conference, and I did," he said. He also disclosed that the Rolling Stones often chartered the same jet the team took to the tournament, prompting Brennan to liken himself to Mick Jagger: "I turned to my wife and said, 'You need to turn into a 19-year-old Brazilian girl.' "
? Warren Sapp's musings on feminine beauty: "When we think we've seen the most beautiful woman in the world, here comes the next one." The Bucs' All-Pro tackle tested that theory Monday night as a judge at the Miss USA pageant in San Antonio. He got the gig at Michael Jordan's 40th-birthday party last month, when his good friend and event organizer Donald Trump—Sapp and Trump have been tight since meeting at a Mike Tyson fight in '97—extended the invitation. "It's been a wonderful year?' Sapp told SI. "It just keeps getting better?'... Tennis champ Goran Ivanisevic says Wimbledon might be his final tournament (he hasn't recovered from left-shoulder surgery he had last year) but that doesn't mean he's about to relax in retirement. The 31-year-old Croatian and his girlfriend, Cosmo cover model Tatjana Dragovic, are expecting their first baby, a girl, in May. Says the 2001 Wimbledon champ, "That will give me something to do: Change nappies and play with her."