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Posted: Thursday, August 31, 2000 12:00 am | Updated: 3:37 pm, Mon Jul 11, 2011.

I guess that some things never change. Once again the New York Liberty lost to the Houston Comets in the WNBA Finals. The Liberty are so used to being runners-up that next season they ought to change their name to the Bridesmaids. The Liberty are so used to finishing second that Avis would be wise to become their chief corporate sponsor.

The National Basketball Association wholly owns the WNBA and there is no denying that they treat their women’s league as a second class subsidiary. The best WNBA players are paid a fraction of what their male counterparts earn.

In addition, WNBA teams fly on regular commercial flights as opposed to charter trips the way NBA teams do. This held true even for the WNBA Finals. I guess the Liberty should consider themselves fortunate that the WNBA did not make them return from Houston on a Greyhound bus.

The most humorous aspect of the Knicks’ ill-fated attempt to trade their franchise player, Patrick Ewing, was reading the vitriolic comments of the Knicks’ beat writers in the tabloids who all thought they had seen the last of the sourpuss center.

The Post’s Kevin Kiernan was openly rejoicing Ewing’s imminent departure in print last week. Unless the Knicks can revive some trade interest, the team’s perennially tense locker room should even be more so this year.

For years the Hamlet Cup held in Commack was considered a joke by most of the players on the ATP Tour (the men’s professional tennis body). The tournament was considered to be little more than a chance for a few name players to get a last minute tuneup before the start of the U.S. Open.

The few tennis stars who did make the journey to Commack had to be coaxed there with the guarantee of sizable appearance money. Last year many thought that the highly ranked Chilean, Marcelo Rios, deliberately tanked his first round match in order to literally take the money and run. Whether that was true or not, Rios was not invited back to this year’s Hamlet.

Rios was not missed. While Hamlet Cup officials still can’t get either Andre Agassi or Pete Sampras to make the trip to Exit 52 of the L.I.E., they were able to attract their best field of players ever.

Among the recognizable tennis stars who participated this year were defending champion Magnus Norman (who retained his title), Alex Corretja, Carlos Moya, Richard Krajicek, heartthrob Jan-Michael Gambill, Patrick Rafter and Michael Chang.

Chang conceded to the Chronicle that his primary motivation for finally competing in the Hamlet Cup was to get some practice in under game conditions for the more prestigious and lucrative U.S. Open, but he did add, “This suddenly has become a pretty good tournament.”

Long Island City native, and former St. John’s Red Storm star, Ron Artest, is hoping to earn the starting shooting guard spot for the Chicago Bulls this year. Artest is going to have to beat out such sharpshooting veterans as Hersey Hawkins and Ron Mercer. Bulls officials are concerned about the fact that Artest weights over 250 lbs., a weight which is considered quite heavy for a guard.

Yankees home run thumping, designated hitter, Glenallen Hill, has muscular biceps which would shame Popeye. The soft-spoken Hill is a gentle giant and is one of baseball’s great characters. Hill fears very few men but openly admits to suffering from arachnophobia. Don’t even joke about spiders in Hill’s presence.

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