In order to boost attendance for Saturday's game
against the Warriors, the 76ers will give away 5,000 Beanie
Babies to children 12 and younger on a first-come, first-
served basis (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 1/16)....The Patriots
will play the Cowboys in an exhibition game in Mexico City
in late July (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/15)....In N.Y., Bill Madden
reports that NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Mets President Fred
Wilpon have discussed plans to relocate the Mets'
Pittsfield, MA, rookie-league affiliate to Coney Island.
The team "would be the centerpiece of a proposed
multimillion-dollar sportsplex" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/16).
The NHL's anticipated approval tomorrow of the $195M
sale of the Islanders to a new investment group "has been
thrown into doubt," according to sources of Riley, Smith &
Moritsugu of NEWSDAY. Two "insiders" said that the snags
stemmed from "difficulties" Steven Gluckstern "is having in
finalizing a deal to sell his half-interest" in the Coyotes
to partner Richard Burke. The sources added that "[f]ailure
to consummate that deal" would prevent Gluckstern from being
a 40% partner with Howard Milstein, Steven Ross and investor
Daniel Doctoroff in the Islanders investment group. Riley,
Smith & Moritsugu: "Amid a welter of conflicting
information, it was unclear whether the last-minute problems
were minor hangups, a negotiating ploy or a major
roadblock." Islanders Owner John Pickett, asked if the deal
had hit a "major snag": "You're misinformed." Gluckstern
and Milstein would not comment (NEWSDAY, 1/16).
The NV and NM-based Maloof family has bought a 24%
share in the NBA Kings, Monarchs and Arco Arena, according
to Gary Delsohn of the SACRAMENTO BEE. The deal, worth
$37.5M, "fulfills a dream" of the four sons of late Rockets
Owner George Maloof, who have wanted "to re-enter the pro
sports fraternity" after they sold the Rockets upon their
father's death in '80. Gavin Maloof, on the sale of the
Rockets: "That was not one of our smarter decisions." The
Maloofs said it's "nothing but speculation" about whether
they will seek to exercise options contained in the deal to
"buy out" Kings Managing General Partner Jim Thomas and
other partners (SACRAMENTO BEE, 1/15). In Las Vegas, Matt
Jacob wrote that the Maloofs' announcement "immediately
triggered speculation that the Kings would abandon
Sacramento and possibly move to Las Vegas" (REVIEW-JOURNAL,
1/15). But Joe Maloof said that they have "no plans" to
move the Kings, but "would like" the team to play "a few
games" at The Pit in Albuquerque, NM (SACRAMENTO BEE, 1/15).
In Las Vegas, Matt Jacob reported that as part of the deal
with the Kings, the Maloof-owned Fiesta casino "can no
longer book NBA games" (L.V. REVIEW-JOURNAL, 1/15).