A RARE experience for the TV sports junkie in HK. Channel hopping! Last Friday I was flicking between college football and the NBA. ESPN International's US College Football show featured the WAC clash between Brigham Young University's Cougars and San Diego State's Aztecs. BYU zoomed out to a big lead and the Aztecs' staged an exciting but futile late comeback, finally losing 35-28. Simultaneously Prime Sports were showing the New York Knicks beating Orlando Magic live from Madison Square Garden. In the end this took more of my attention. Prime have scored big with their pre-game show in the Hong Kong studio. Expert analyst Tom McCarthy brought a touch of class to the proceedings. Looking tanned and relaxed McCarthy proved his calm demeanour was well placed as he talked us through the NBA's new rule changes before the game - aided by action clips and diagrams of the court. At half-time and full-time McCarthy again contributed with insightful observations, revealing an insider's knowledge of the game. That air of authority comes naturally to a man who coached Boston College to the final eight of America's prestigious NCAA championship in 1983. Hong Kong resident McCarthy now works as a basketball consultant throughout the Asia region. Said McCarthy this week about his first NBA live pre-game appearance: 'I felt a bit nervous and hope it didn't show. I love talking about basketball so I hope to convey some of that enthusiasm when I'm on air.' I think he's already doing that with his colourful observations such as when he explained the importance of New York's homecourt advantage McCarthy opined: 'It's their house and they won't take kindly to burglars coming in and taking something away.' THE most dramatic and yet ambiguous sports television pictures this week were carried on news bulletins. I made BBC World Service quickest on the draw with the Bruce Grobbelaar affair. They were the first to show the notorious scene of Grobbelaar and his quaintly-termed 'former friend' Chris Vincent in a hotel room. Vincent is the ex-associate who went to The Sun newspaper to expose the former Liverpool goalkeeper's alleged bribe-taking. In the hotel a concealed camera revealed . . . well, what exactly did it reveal? We saw Vincent handing Grobbelaar a package which the public-spirited do-gooders at The Sun claim was payment for throwing an upcoming match. It was hardly grounds for a lynching nor proof of bribery and match-fixing by the former Liverpool goalkeeper, though. A picture may be worth a thousand words but the words may all be lies. The hotel room action continued with Grobbelaar setting aside the package on a chair. Or did he drop it? Even in the act of accepting a bribe did Bruce fumble? After all, clownish mistakes and cackhanded ball control are what he's most famous for. Why would anyone feel the need to pay him to let in goals when it comes so naturally to him anyway? TWO weeks back I looked on the bright side of the Major League baseball strike by saying it allowed the limelight to fall elsewhere - on the Japan Series. This week we were given a chance to see another place far off the Major League's beaten track - the Arizona Fall League. This is what's called an instructional league for players hoping to get a chance at the big time (or break back into it). One such player is Michael Jordan, former master of all he surveyed in basketball, now just a bit player in baseball's road show. But Jordan is a bit player who attracts the crowds and the cameras. And he was the reason why Prime Sports carried extensive highlights from the game between the Scottsdale Scorpions and the futuristic-sounding Sun Cities Solar Sox. This was fascinating viewing. When Jordan the ex-NBA superstar turned to baseball he struggled early on with the Birmingham Barons. Sceptics scoffed. But Jordan has persevered and in this game looked quite the part. It was almost as if the script was written for him. In fact he went two for three, drew one walk and scored three runs as his Scorpions beat the Solar Sox 5-3 and he was named best player. In the small arena you could discern shouts from the fans and players, including one 'Oh s**t' from a batter who swung at a ball that dipped away. The other obvious difference from big-time ball was the preponderance of errors. Especially by the Sox's catcher. Yet Jordan seemed to fit in comfortably with all this. Sure, he looked more athletic, lithe and tall than his more solidly built teammates. But there he was sharing a joke with the opposition basemen, then coming up smiling after sliding in the dirt to third. Happy as a pig in it (his element, that is).WITH Jordan away the NBA still goes on. ESPN showed Friday night's [Saturday morning HK time] game featuring Charlotte at Milwaukee. It was a first chance for HK viewers to see the Bucks' now infamous Glenn Robinson in action. Robinson, nicknamed 'Big Dawg' was the Bucks' number one draft choice who coolly requested a US$100 million 13-year contract recently. The Bucks signed Robinson, aka 'Big Dawg', for a mere US$70 million. Poor devil. How will he make ends meet? Well, as hard as I looked but I couldn't see US$100 million-worth, or even US$70 million, emanating from the TV screen. True he didn't fall over his shoelaces but he didn't catch the eye like, well, like Charlotte's Tyrone 'Muggsy' Bogues, for example. The diminutive Bogues measures up at 1.6 metres (five feet three inches) in his stockinged feet which leaves him hip-high to most of the genetic skyscrapers who populate this league. Yet he still plays a mean game from point guard. Now speaking as one of the vertically challenged I knew I'd found my team in the Hornets several years ago as soon as I saw Bogues impishly doing his bit for the undersized. And now Charlotte have signed the 1.77-metre (five feet, 10 inches) Michael Adams from the Bullets. A height of 1.77 metres might be passable in most spheres of life but on the hardwood courts it's pygmy size. 'Under six foot, don't apply would seem' to be the general job specs in the NBA. But Charlotte seem to be pursuing an equal ops agenda for shorties. And fair play to them.