Things can get nasty during the playoffs - both off and on the court. A letter last week in the Seattle Times took the Sonics to task for being "non-competitive." It was signed "Marshall Glickman, Portland."

Glickman is the Portland Trail Blazers' senior V.P. for marketing and his father Harry is the club's president.The letter included such inflammatory remarks as, "Why should teams like our Portland Trail Blazers have to play first-round games with non-competitive teams like the Seattle `Sub-Par' Sonics?"

What makes this story particularly odd is that Glickman never wrote the letter. Someone else reportedly sent the bogus letter to the Seattle newspaper and put Glickman's name on it.

The Times published a correction on Tuesday and planned to publish an authentic letter from Glickman.

"I just want the Sonics to know I wouldn't write a letter like that," said Glickman.

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The idea in signing Jeff Malone last summer was to take the pressure off the Mailman, Karl Malone, on the inside.

And though few would argue that the acquisition of Jeff Malone hasn't helped the Jazz, the Mailman says he may still never see the day when people are playing him one-on-one.

"Jeff's done a great job," says the Mailman. "But I haven't noticed any difference as far as double and triple teaming goes. I still seem to have a lot of people on me all the time."

After wrapping up the first-round series against the Suns, Jazz Coach Jerry Sloan added, "I don't know how many guys they had guarding Karl Malone - they had four or five different guys (during the night) - but I put him out there for I don't know how many minutes. And he was terrific."

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He is one of the biggest pieces of excess baggage in the NBA. With two years remaining on his contract that pays about $5 million total, Ralph Sampson is usually considered a burden to the Kings.

Sampson isn't so excited about Sacramento, either. After the team's final game he reportedly used profanity to describe the city and front office and challenged reporters to print what he said.

"I'll be back," said Sampson of next season, "but it won't be here."

They may not beat the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference playoffs, but they certainly have in the talking department.

Last week, Indiana's Chuck Person was in particularly rare form. A Chicago Tribune article chronicled how in last Sunday's win over the Celtics, Person made seven three-point shots. The highlights:

- "Reggie, let me have one more three. Reggie, I want one more three," Person reportedly yelled late in the game.

- "I love it. National TV. Parquet floor. Those (expletive) banners. The leprechauns. They were all trying to stop me, and no one did."

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Jazz President Frank Layden reiterated numerous times after his name came up as a candidate for the Miami coaching position, that he wasn't serious about the job.

Apparently Layden's flippant comments during an NBA radio network broadcast caught the Miami Heat by surprise, too. The day after his remarks hit the wire services, Billy Cunningham, the team's limited partner, sounded surprised.

"No question Frank Layden had a great career as a coach," said Cunningham. "But it kinda catches you off guard. His name wasn't even on the list we had when we started because I thought Frank had gotten on with his life. But I guess he's someone you have to consider."

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For those planning on paying top dollar for seats in the new Jazz arena, here's a comparison from Charlotte.

The rights for 10 center court season tickets to the Hornets games were auctioned off two weeks ago for (gulp!) $97,500. And that didn't even include payment for the tickets themselves.

A developer who had reportedly gone bankrupt had the tickets, and since he was a charter season ticket buyer, he had the right to sell them.

Rights to four second-row center seats were auctioned for $71,000 and those to two third-row center seats went for $20,500.

And you thought movies were getting expensive.

ODDS AND ENDS: Jazz guard Darrell Griffith, who was named in the Deseret News as one of Salt Lake's "Best Dressed" men, says there is one key to making the list. "It all depends on where you shop" . . . Resigning Miami Coach Ron Rothstein: "Bill Fitch still has the best line of all. War is hell. Expansion is worse" . . . The Jazz and Suns are truly familiar adversaries. Not counting summer league meetings, they have played one another 19 times over two years, including exhibition, playoff and regular season games . . . As exciting as the fireworks show prior to the Jazz's first-round playoff game with the Suns was, it doesn't go over so well with the players. Coaches say the delay can force players' adrenalin to get too high while waiting for all the pregame hype to finish . . . Karl Malone, responding to a reporter's question about what he was thinking of during a dunk: "Face . . . but you wouldn't know anything about that."