Sports Lines

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 March, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 March, 1994, 12:00am

''There were no rules in my day. No one said that you could not complain or swear. Now if you behave badly or swear you are fined. So everyone today plays the same way, very dull.'' - Veteran tennis player Ilie Nastase bemoaning the lack of excitement - and profanities in the modern game. He should know, in his playing days he was the expert.

''When I was at Marseille, I knew more about his reputation off the field. But here, I've discovered a truly great player with skills and a personality which are out of the ordinary.'' - Four months after his transfer from Olympique Marseille, Alen Boksic is already a key player for Lazio, yet the Croatian forward would rather talk about his admiration for England midfielder Paul Gascoigne.

''He only gives the superstars like Michael, Magic, Isiah and Larry credit and respect. That's his claim to fame. It's all a front. He kisses their butts.'' - Scottie Pippen, accusing basketball star Charles Barkley of currying favour with only the big-names of the game. And we always thought Barkley was in the same mould as Messrs Jordan, Johnson, Thomas and Bird and would not need to curry favour.

''I was supposed to play three to Ken in the fours. But he couldn't cope with the pressure of playing skip in the triples so he asked me to take over as skip in the fours. If he can't cope with that, I don't see how he can cope with playing singles in a bigger tournament.'' - Hong Kong lawn bowler Mark McMahon, after Ken Wallis was chosen to play the singles in the Commonwealth Games.

''We don't encourage the promotion of tobacco. Tobacco companies are looking for devious ways of promoting their products.'' - Urbco chairman Ronald Leung Ding-bong, who is also chairman of the Council on Smoking and Health, after tobacco giants Philip Morris' pledge to bring world class sport to the new Hong Kong Stadium. Urbco are the Stadium's landlords.

''Of course I will be talking to the Prince but he is not the kind of guy you can just ring up and say 'Hello can I see you tomorrow?'.'' - French jockey Gerald Mosse, who left Hong Kong for France this week. He is retained by the Aga Khan and must obtain clearance from him before he can apply to ride here for Lawrie Fownes later this year.