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NBC's sports series ''Inside Stuff''

NBC’s sports series ”Inside Stuff” — The weekly show giving fans a look at their favorite athletics off the basketball court

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Why did Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan get cut from his high school varsity squad? What does a Miami Heat pregame pep talk sound like? Was Sir Slam from Lovetron (aka Darryl Dawkins) the first man to shatter a backboard? Inside Stuff, a weekly show, plans to go around the world, inside the locker room, and over the rim, all to tell fans everything they ever wanted to know about hoop — but were too far down the bench to ask. (And no, Dawkins wasn’t the first — Chuck Connors, TV’s Rifleman and a one-time Boston Celtic forward, has that honor.)

The show, airing Saturdays at 12:30 p.m., is a collage of basketball news, including trades, rumors, and scores; the week’s most memorable on-court sights and sounds (courtesy of microphones worn by coaches and referees); plus great moments in NBA history. There will also be plenty of features: a basketball version of George Plimpton’s Paper Lion, with cohost Ahmad Rashad working out with the 76ers and playing in a preseason game; a visit to L.A. Laker Magic Johnson’s fantasy basketball camp for executives in Hawaii; and a segment trailing some NBA rookies from the draft to tryouts.

Rashad, a former Minnesota Viking, will be joined by Julie Moran (a reporter on Julius Erving’s ESPN sports show). Executive producer Don Sperling says the show, produced by the NBA, won’t ”spend a lot of time on stories covered in depth on the sports pages and TV news shows. We’ll focus on the fun stuff.”

That means some offbeat angles: Sportscaster Marv Albert will do a hoop version of his Achievement Awards, a collection of bloops and blunders; long, tall Piston John Salley will hang out in the locker room , chatting with players; and a Siskel & Ebert- style movie review feature will showcase two stars known for strong opinions (the NBA’s hoping for Sixer standouts Charles Barkley and Rick Mahorn). Their highest praise: two very big thumbs up!

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