?More than 48% of all the games played in the 32 years the NBA has been in existence have ended with a victory margin of eight points or fewer. The most common margin is two, which has occurred 1,081 times.
?Thirty-five players on NBA rosters last season went to college in California. Of these, 31 played in the Pac-10, and of those, 13 played at UCLA, which provided more players than any other school in the nation. The runner-up, with eight, was North Carolina.
?An early lead is likely to mean victory. Last season the team that led after the first period went on to win the game 64.7% of the time. The halftime leader won 70.7% of the time, and the third-period leader 81.4%.
?The nicknames for Darryl Dawkins' dunk shots are: In Your Face Disgrace, Lefthanded Spine-Chiller Supreme, Sexophonic Turbo Delight, Earthquake Breaker, Flop-A-Dop, Look Out Below, Gorilla, Dunk You Very Much, Hammer of Thor, The One We Owe You and the No Playin Get Out of the Wayin Backboard Swayin Game Delayin.
Boris Alexandrov, star Soviet forward, has gotten the boot from the national ice hockey team and from Moscow's Central Army club, the Canadiens of Russia. The Communist youth newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda reports that Alexandrov "arrived drunk for training" and was "guilty of physical aggression" on and off the ice. In short, he had become "too egotistical."
Privately, the Soviets say he was acting just like a North American pro.
Shoplifters are having tough sledding these days, thanks to increasing use of electronic systems that set off alarm bells. Particularly sporting shoplifters.
Oddly enough, stores selling sports apparel get ripped off more than other retail outlets. According to George Harbin, senior vice-president of Sensormatic Electronics in Deerfield Beach, Fla., the largest manufacturer of what they call electronic article surveillance equipment, sporting-goods stores lose 4% to 5% in sales a year because of shoplifting, as compared to 3% for other kinds of retail stores. "You're talking about a loss of $40,000 to $50,000 a year for a store that does $1 million in business," he says. "By installing an electronic system, a retailer can cut that 4%-to-5% loss to around 1%. A retailer can live with that because he figures he's going to make a 1% error in his stock anyway."