ALL-STAR BREAK The omission of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony
from this Sunday's NBA All-Star Game means viewers must catch the
precocious pair in Friday's Rookie Challenge or not at all.
That's a nice break for TNT, which is airing the rookie game in
prime time (9 p.m. EST) for the first time. "It gives us a huge
lift," says TNT coordinating producer Jeff Behnke. "Not only
having LeBron and Carmelo, but having them on the same team."
ALL-STAR MISTAKE ABC devotes only five Sunday afternoons to its
regular-season NHL coverage, which makes it frustrating that
premium broadcast time and promotional energy are expended on the
All-Star Game. Yes, the match showcases elite players, but its
low energy level and soft play (two years ago fans in L.A.
laughed when the Flyers' Jeremy Roenick leveled the Sabres'
Alexei Zhitnik with the game's only check) don't represent the
genuine article and do nothing to sell the sport to potential
hockey converts. Three days before Sunday's exhibition, ESPN
aired a Red Wings-Avalanche game in which Detroit sniper and
future Hall of Famer Brett Hull scored in OT for a 3-2 win in
hockey's richest rivalry. Now, that sort of game might actually
hook a viewer who happened upon it.
MOGUL AFFAIR Excerpts from Yankees owner George Steinbrenner's
visit with Donald Trump on NBC's The Apprentice last Thursday:
Trump: "I love you."
Steinbrenner: "I love you, too."
Trump: "You talk about winning; this guy's a winner."
Steinbrenner: "The secret to winning is desire. You've gotta want
Steinbrenner: "You're a special guy."
Trump: "No, you're a special guy."
C'mon, fellas, you're both special. --D.G.H.