JUICY QUOTES -- PAUL FEIN

Sleeping tablets were my problem. No one knew of the medication I was anaesthetizing myself with ... I took the stuff for years. -- Boris Becker, revealing in his 2003 tell-all book, `Wait, stay a moment,' that from early 1987, stressed-out and lonely, he resorted to medication to sleep and often used whisky and beer. The medication made him melancholy, sleepy and ineffective in matches, including his 1990 Wimbledon final loss to Stefan Edberg.-

Sleeping tablets were my problem. No one knew of the medication I was anaesthetizing myself with ... I took the stuff for years.

-- Boris Becker, revealing in his 2003 tell-all book, `Wait, stay a moment,' that from early 1987, stressed-out and lonely, he resorted to medication to sleep and often used whisky and beer. The medication made him melancholy, sleepy and ineffective in matches, including his 1990 Wimbledon final loss to Stefan Edberg.

I have another idea of standards. I don't even tell my best friends what my last girlfriend was like in bed so I'm certainly not going to do it in public.

— Boris Becker, insisting that his book is not like other celebrity books.

Great hair. And the madness he creates in people. There was only one day during Wimbledon when he wasn't in the sports sections of the English papers. It's fun to watch it all from a distance.

— Tennis star Andy Roddick's chief impression of soccer icon David Beckham.

I believe God put me here for a reason, that's to carry on a tradition.

— LeBron James, the highly touted high school player and No. 1 NBA draft pick who now plays for the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers.

We want to bring the league to another level. I think that's what everybody's looking at us to do, to bring the league up where it used to be.

— NBA rookie and No. 3 draft pick Carmelo Anthony, a 19-year-old phenom who led Syracuse to its first NCAA title in March.

If I could change tennis, it would be organising all the bodies of tennis. It's sort of absurd to have so many people, so many organizations, working separately — in some cases, arguably, even against each other — for sponsorship dollars, for air time, for branding. If everybody literally put aside their own agendas and they came together and sold tennis as an entire package, worldwide, all the year, the amount of growth and progress you would see would be incredible.

— Tennis champion Andre Agassi, proposing the creation of a commissioner as a means of unifying the disparate factions.

If leaving the Lakers at the end of the season is what I decide, a major reason for that will be Shaq's childlike selfishness and jealousy.

— Los Angeles Laker superstar Kobe Bryant, telling ESPN that he was tired of taking the high road after public criticism from teammate Shaquille O'Neal.

I am totally amped for this show. I'm just this guy who happens to play tennis, but my life has become this circus. It's a wild ride, and I've given `The Tour' producers total access ... except my bedroom — sorry, I have to draw the line somewhere!

— Andy Roddick, the extroverted U. S. Open champion, who will allow cameras to follow him from May to September next year during the ATP Tour for his own reality show.

Of course. I need him, he needs me, we need each other. He's the yin. I'm the yang. Opposites attract. We're just different. Off the court, he does his thing. Off the court, I do my thing. -- Shaquille O'Neal, when asked if he felt comfortable with Kobe Bryant as his teammate.-

Of course. I need him, he needs me, we need each other. He's the yin. I'm the yang. Opposites attract. We're just different. Off the court, he does his thing. Off the court, I do my thing.

-- Shaquille O'Neal, when asked if he felt comfortable with Kobe Bryant as his teammate.

It's not just any 47-year-old. It's Martina. When Michael Jordan left those shoes on the floor and came back it wasn't just any old guy, it was Michael Jordan.

— Tennis legend Martina Navratilova, who won two Grand Slam mixed doubles titles and seven other women's doubles titles in 2003, dismissing her age as a non-issue.

I don't know how much they want it. I'm wondering because for them to play as little as they do with the bodies that they have I'm thinking something's wrong here.... For the both of them to have as many (physical) problems as they've had you know I wonder how much they want to play or what kind of training they do when they're not playing.

— Martina Navratilova, dubious about injuries and lengthy absences from competition of Venus and Serena Williams.

Whether Serena and Venus can recapture the 1 and 2 spots (in 2004) is going to be a fascinating story because neither one has played since Wimbledon. If they're not rusty, then I'm the Queen of Sheba.

— Tennis legend Martina Navratilova.

The way I see it, the more matches I win, the cooler I get. You can ask anyone who knows me, I'm still the biggest dork that ever lived.

— Happy-go-lucky tennis star Andy Roddick, who dates singer-actress Mandy Moore, after appearing as a cool guest host in the long-running weekly comedy programme, "Saturday Night Live."

The whole country is celebrating right now. Everyone is happy. It's comparable to the Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson fight. I'm a legend in the making. But I still want to be as humble as I was before.

— Hard-punching IBF world super bantamweight champion Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines, after he upset universally-recognised featherweight champion Marco Antonio Barrera of Mexico, with an 11th round knockout in a non-title fight.

Evander could have retired a long time ago as one of the greatest heavyweights ever. If he keeps going, people won't remember him that way. They'll remember him on the floor or having to be saved by the referee (as he was in the Toney fight when his own corner stopped the bout). That's the last picture they'll have of him.

— Mickey Ward, the valiant fighter who recently retired after losing to Arturo Gatti, on former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, 41, who has lost six of his last eight fights yet recently said, "I believe a setback is nothing but an opportunity for a comeback."

What bothers me is people who say my situation is hard for my teammates, and I should be mindful of that. Be mindful of that? Why? Because you have to answer a couple questions here and there? I'm living this. I am living this. Everybody else is watching me live this. What's hard about that?

— NBA superstar Kobe Byrant, the defendant in a highly publicised rape case, who has 10 bodyguards for security, in ESPN The Magazine.

The guy has more natural flair and talent for the game than most — I mean, than anybody really.

— Andy Roddick, after he was outclassed by Roger Federer in the semifinals of the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup in Houston.

I cannot believe how well I played.

— Swiss sensation Roger Federer, after going undefeated in five Tennis Masters Cup matches and routing Andre Agassi 6-3, 6-0, 6-4 in the final.