Etc...

Hey, the sky's the limit

Pranksters saw a golden opportunity to have some fun when a one-quarter interest in the ancestral home of Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian was put up for auction on the Internet. First, you should know that Chen was born into a poor family and that the dwelling is a simple red-roofed farmhouse. Well, OK, it's also something of a local tourist attraction and might become even moreso if Chen wins reelection two weeks hence. So what would you guess is the high bid for that quarter share? At last report - thanks to the pranksters - $30 million. (The estimated market value of the house is about $30,000.) Grumped one auction participant who genuinely seems to want the quarter share: "The people who are bidding irresponsibly had better be able to pay or they'll have to take legal responsibility." By the way, Chen has kept a quarter share, too, so he and the winner will be partners.

Lawrence Who? new hoops coach joins unknowns list

Lawrence Frank is a most unlikely record-breaker. When named interim head coach of pro basketball's New Jersey Nets Jan. 26, he was a virtual unknown with no previous head-coaching experience. Nor did he play in the NBA, in college (where he was a team manager at Indiana University), or even in high school. Nevertheless, the league's youngest coach recorded 14 straight wins for the best start yet for a coach or manager in a major professional sport in North America. The complete list of National Basketball Association coaches with no NBA playing credentials:

Terry Stotts Atlanta
John Carroll Boston
Jeff Bzdelik Denver
Eric Musselman Golden State
Jeff Van Gundy Houston
Hubie Brown Memphis
Stan Van Gundy Miami
Flip Saunders Minnesota
Lawrence Frank New Jersey
Tim Floyd New Orleans
Gregg Popovich San Antonio
Kevin O'Neill Toronto - National Basketball Association

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