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NBA Finals teams offer plenty of sites

By GREG AUMAN

© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 8, 2001


Far too many sites are devoted to the teams in the NBA Finals. The easiest choices are often wrong turns. Iverson.com is a financial investment company, and larrybrown.com is about the former Redskins running back. Here are some to check out:

shaq.com: The big fella's official site loses points because its main poll asks how many games the Finals will go, and on Thursday, "another sweep" was still an option, good for 57.1 percent of the vote. That's either outdated or a humble reference to "another sweep" like the one Philadelphia handed the Lakers in 1983. For what it's worth, the Shaq Bobble Head doll can be yours for $18.

patcroce.com: A great site, beginning with the over-the-top intro page (see him riding his Harley; hear his mantra, "I feel great!"). The biography page includes baby pictures, and another page has links to no fewer than 12 charities. Download a 45-second clip of the 76ers owner bungee jumping or a video of him rappelling from the rafters of the First Union Center. The man's personality is the antithesis of Vince Naimoli.

krambis.tripod.com: This is frightening, not just because there's a shrine devoted to Kurt Rambis but because once you're there, you can buy a Rambis mug, T-shirt or mousepad ("the kind of mousepad that dives after a loose ball!").

alleniverson.com: Disappointingly, it asks, "Want to know a little more about Allen Iverson?" and the answer is hardly, well, "The Answer." The site's only link is to his bio page at nba.com, wasting a great domain name. And before you get your A.I. sites confused, the new Steven Spielberg movie is at aimovie.com.

zales.com: This seems insignificant, but it's worth mentioning because it's the store where Lakers star Kobe Bryant bought his wife her 7-carat diamond engagement ring last year. It supposedly cost him $100,000, which doesn't come close to meeting the old two-months-salary rule.

eBay.com: Los Angeles is heavily favored at this auction site, with 2,376 items turning up in a search for "Lakers," more than double the 1,009 auctions relating to the 76ers.

A pair of floor seats for Sunday's Game 3 in Philly went for $4,500 on Thursday, but that's nothing compared with a rare 1996 Bryant card with a bid of $13,500.

HELP US OUT: We want to know the sports sites you like best. Which one gives you the most baseball insight? Which one breaks the most NFL news? What college basketball page do you go to for the buzz? Send us your thoughts on the industry's big three: ESPN.com, CNNSI.com and CBS.Sportsline.com, as well as other sites you visit. E-mail aumanac1@aol.com and say which site is the best and why. If a site isn't getting the job done, tell us about that, too. We'll include some of your thoughts in a package this month.

TID-BYTES: Just what the Rays need: The link to All-Star balloting at devilrays.com was down Thursday afternoon. A bigger question: Which Ray on the ballot gets more votes: Felix Martinez or Vinny Castilla? ... Just in time for the NBA Finals, Tampa-based BigPros.com launched shaqshirts.com last week.

The site sells purple and gold Superman-logo shirts for $20, with a portion of the proceeds going to children's charities in Los Angeles.

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