News Clips— Needle Exchange

NOTHING GETS sports fans riled like feuds and rivalries.

And the Seattle Storm, the city's fan-starved WNBA franchise, is doing its best to get things stirred up with Los Angeles Sparks' star Lisa Leslie. A quick review: When Storm rookie Lauren Jackson and her Australian team met Leslie and the U.S.A. squad in the Olympic gold-medal game, the two tangled on a rebound and Jackson ripped out Leslie's hair-extension ponytail. (We realize that Allen Iverson and Dirk Nowitzski got teeth knocked out during the recent NBA playoffs, but the new league's got to start somewhere.)

The Seattle Times touted the June 16 Storm/Sparks showdown as a potentially hair-raising event, and both local papers and the Los Angeles Times worked it into coverage of the game, which the then-undefeated Sparks won 73-60.

A more important number: The Storm, mired just under the 4,000 mark in home attendance, drew 6,964 fans to the Leslie vs. Jackson hair-pull.

James Bush

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