Before Artie Lang tries to off himself again, HBO officially kills ‘Joe Buck Live’


A statement today from HBO president Ross Greenburg on why “Joe Buck Live” had a nice three-show run, but it’s not going to make it to Show No. 4:

“Joe Buck is one of the premier broadcasters in our industry. It was a privilege to work with him at HBO. Joe worked tirelessly on the three shows, and we appreciate his professionalism and immense talent. We have made the decision not to continue his talk show, and wish him all the best and continued success with his wide array of responsibilities at Fox Sports.”

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Phil Jackson’s more mixed messages: We get to the finals, it looks good I’ll be back … if not ….


On today’s episode of the Dan Patrick Show (KLAC-AM 570 radio; DirecTV Channel 101), Lakers coach Phil Jackson , in New Orleans prepping for tonight’s contest against the Jazz Hornets, said it about what would make him not return next season:

“Well, you know, there’s a variety of reasons, one, wearing out your welcome so to speak, wearing our your message with your players…(they) get immune to the style. … You watch how the emphasis on what you put into practice and into a scheme. Most of that is in the playoffs, it’s just a whole other level of play. That’s when execution and discipline takes place…I would consider it an unsuccessful season if we’re not in the Finals.”

On if the Lakers are in the Finals, he’s more than likely coming back:

“A good chance of it.”

On if the Lakers don’t get to the Finals:

“I’ll have to think long and hard about it. I think we only have five guys coming back off this roster. There’s a real swing effect coming back with these players. We have one guard signed coming back, Sasha Vujacic, but Farmar, Fisher, Bryant, and Shannon Brown are all free for a move or re-signing.”

On if he would retire as a champion if the Lakers win this year?

“I hold that option, that’s for sure. It’s certainly an option.”

Other stuff ….

On if would leave the Lakers to coach for Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Bobcats:

“I can’t see myself picking up and leaving to go back to the East.”

On how much of the NCAA Tournament he has been able to watch:

“Between interruptions and between games, on the nights or afternoons they play, I got to see a couple of games that West Virginia played, a couple games Butler played, a Duke game yesterday after practice here in New Orleans. … Haven’t really got to see Michigan State, but I saw them in the Final Four last year and of course Tom Izzo does a good job with them.”

On if he filled out an NCAA Tournament bracket:

“No, I did not. I don’t know enough about college basketball to fill out a bracket. I feel kind of out of the curve as far as these young players now.”

Now go read a book.

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DirecTV will fatten up on ESPN’s 3D channel this summer

I’m trying to get my kids to eat better — heck, I’m trying to cut all the garbage out of my diet — and ESPN isn’t helping.

The all-sports net, indirectly facilitating the slothing of America and quick-fix, feed-your-face-in-front-of-the-TV dieting, expects great things from its launch of a 3D channel in June, in time to do a bunch of the World Cup games from South Africa.

DirecTV has their backs on this. Thank goodness.


The satellite dish channel said today it has cleared a spot for ESPN3D on its 3D channel lineup.ESPN 3D is supposed to have about 85 live sporting events a year — think X Games, the 2011 BCS title game and this fall’s ACC title game, but it starts with 25 World Cup games, launched on June 11 with South Africa-Mexico.

“And we tried to get people to watch soccer (years ago) … and that didn’t work,” says David Letterman in the clip above. Watch and learn, while going after that dangling carrott that ESPN offers in 3D.

“Watching ESPN’s comprehensive lineup of sports programming in 3D will be like having your own virtual seat at all of your favorite sporting events around the world. We are excited to be the first and only distributor to announce the launch of ESPN 3D and we look forward to announcing additional 3D partners throughout the year,” said Eric Shanks, DirecTV’s executive vice president of entertainment in a press release.

In a three-tiered approach to 3D, DirecTV will have something called N3D, which will have the ESPN 3D programming, in addition to stuff provided by CBS, Fox Sports, Golden boy Promotions, HDNet, MTV, NBC, Turner and AEG Digital media. A second 3D channel will have 24/7 3D pay per view events, and a third will have 24/7 on-demand programming.

DirecTV HD customers will receive free software upgrades to enable the 3D experience. By the way, you also need a 3D television set (which started to go on sale last month) and, of course, them kooky 3D glasses.

If they help you read the labels on the containers of food-stuff you purchase, all the better, too.

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MLB Net’s next 30-in-30 project: Get every team in a live game in April


To start the 2010 Championship Season of Major League Baseball, the MLB Network is going to have all 30 teams make it into a live game broadcast in April.

Talk about your 30 pieces of silver.

It starts with the Yankees-Red Sox telecast on Tuesday, April 6 with Bob Costas and John Smoltz calling it at 4 p.m. — the first time Smoltz will do a game for the network as he tries to decide whether he’s really retired or not.

Right after that, MLB Net will do the Angels’ home game against the Twins, but it won’t be carried in Southern California because FSW has the rights to it.

Even more cool, a series of weekday afternoon games will air on the MLB Network in April, starting with Colorado at Milwaukee at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 7. The best: Monday, April 18, when the Red Sox host the Rays at Fenway Park on Patriot’s Day — 8 a.m. start PDT.

A Thursday night MLB Net package will be produced by the network with its own broadcasters. Otherwise, the games pick up the call of the home-team broadcasts and broadcasters.

The schedule:
== April 6, 4 p.m.: Yankees @ Red Sox (MLB Net team); 7 p.m., Twins @ Angels (blacked out locally, airs on FSW)
== April 7, 10 a.m.: Rockies @ Brewers
== April 8, 9:30 a.m.: Dodgers @ Pirates (blacked out locally, airs on Prime Ticket); 12:30 p.m.: Mariners @ Athletics; 4 p.m.: Cubs @ Braves (MLB Net broadcast)
== April 9, 1:30 p.m.: Braves at Giants
== April 10, 6 p.m.: Athletics @ Angels (blacked out locally, airs on FSW)
== April 12, 4 p.m.: Reds @ Marlins
== April 13, 10 a.m.: Angels @ Yankees (blacked out locally, airs on FSW); 1 p.m.: Diamondbacks @ Dodgers (blacked out locally; airs on Prime Ticket)
== April 14, 10 a.m.: Red Sox @ Twins
== April 15, noon: Nationals @ Phillies; 4 p.m.: Angels @ Yankees (blacked out locally, airs on FSW)
== April 16, 11:15 a.m.: Astros @ Cubs
== April 17, 6 p.m.: Tigers @ Mariners
== April 19, 8 a.m.: Rays @ Red Sox (Patriots Day; Boston Marathon Day)
== April 20, 4 p.m.: Phillies @ Braves
== April 21, 9:30 a.m.: Royals @ Blue Jays
== April 22, 10 a.m.: Indians @ Twins; 4 p.m.: Dodgers @ Reds (blacked out locally, airs on Prime Ticket)
== April 23, 5 p.m.: Tigers @ Rangers
== April 24, 6 p.m.: Cardinals @ Giants
== April 27, 4 p.m.: Dodgers @ Mets (blacked out locally, airs on Channel 9)
== April 28, 9 a.m.: Padres @ Marlins; 12:30 p.m.: Phillies @ Giants
== April 29, 11 a.m.: White Sox @ Rangers, 4 p.m.: Yankees @ Orioles (MLB Net production)
== April 30, 11:15 a.m.: Diamondbacks @ Cubs; 4 p.m.: Twins @ Indians

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Play it forward: March 29-April 4 on your sports calendar

Highlights of the week ahead in sports, both here and afar:


NHL: Kings at Minnesota, 6 p.m., FSW:

We have a feeling that had the Kings stayed home, they’d have floor seats for the Black-Eyed Peas concert at Staples Center tonight and heard “I Gotta Feeling” played live instead of on someone’s iPod hooked into the arena speakers.

NBA: Lakers at New Orleans, 5 p.m., Channel 9:

The BYOB (Bring Your Own Bynum) roadie continues, with Laker bench candidates stepping up to see who can fill the spot vacated (again) by the injured center.



NHL: Kings at Nashville, 5 p.m., FSW:

Check out the BB Kings’ Blues Club in Nashville, on the corner of Commerce and Second Avenue, downtown in “The District,” one block west of the river and four blocks east of the Nashville Convention Center. Look, I gotta half-off coupon (linked here). Maybe the other Kings can use it if they snap their seven-game losing streak against the Predators.

NBA: Clippers at Milwaukee, 5 p.m., Prime Ticket:

Since Feb. 19, the Bucks have gone 15-3 (with games to play Friday and Sunday afternoon), but one of those losses was by eight points to the Clippers at Staples Center on St. Patrick’s Day.


NBA: Lakers at Atlanta, 4 p.m., Channel 9:

That buzzer-beating dunk thrown down last week by the Hawks’ Josh Smith — aka, J-Smoov — to beat Orlando goes down as one of the all-timers. Even better than most Kobe buzzer-beaters to win a game.



NHL: Kings vs. Vancouver, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:

Line up early for your Ryan Smith bobblehead, and buy up your “Black in Black” alternate jersey ($79.99, Team LA Store), which the Kings will wear at home during the playoffs (should they get there based on the fact they’ve clinched nothing yet).

MLS: Galaxy vs. Chivas USA, Home Depot Center, 8 p.m., ESPN2:

SuperClasico is the tomato sauce mom used to dump on our Spaghetti-O’s at dinner time. It was runny, without much taste … but we digress.

Golf: PGA Houston Open, first round, 1 p.m., Golf Channel (second round also on Golf Channel, rounds three and four on Channel 4)

Last tuneup before the Masters is actually played in Humble, Tex., actually. Lord, it’s hard to play Humble.

Golf: LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship, first round, 2 p.m., ESPN2 (round two also on ESPN2 at 2 p.m., round three on ESPN2 at 4 pm., final round Sunday on Channel 2 at noon):

The first ladies major, in Rancho Mirage, at Mission Hills Country Club on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course. Par 72. 6,673 yards. That’s all we got.

College basketball: NIT championship, 4 p.m., ESPN:

Winner gets to pretend they belong in the field of 65 for next year’s (most likely) expanded NCAA tourney. And it could be, egads, North Carolina.



NBA: Lakers vs. Utah, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW, ESPN:

A couple of skulls belonging to a newly discovered dinosaur that they’ve called an Abydosaurus mcintoshi, which that roamed around Utah about 150 million years ago, was documented by a German science group recently. It was found near the Dinosaur National Monument in Utah’s badlands. These creatures were said to be long-necked, plant-eating dinosaurs, a descendant of the brachiosaurus, one of our all-time dino favorites. That, and the thesaurus.

Exhibition baseball: Dodgers at Angels, 7:05 p.m., Channel 13:

With Ronald Belisario back, we’ll see if he has visa problems getting from the Dodgers’ camp in Glendale, Ariz., to Anaheim. We believe he’ll be in Arizona for quite awhile getting that arm, and excuses, in shape.


College basketball: NCAA men’s tournament, Final Four: Butler vs. Michigan, 3 p.m.; Duke vs. West Virginia, 5:30 p.m., Channel 2:

If this is how your bracket played out, you’re lying. At least we have the Butler story. “Hoosiers” and everything. We’ll get behind them and dedicated it Dennis Hopper.


Horse racing: Santa Anita Derby, 2 p.m., Channel 4:

The 73rd running of the important Kentucky Derby prep race, the Santa Anita Derby has produced 15 winners on the first Saturday in May, including 1978 Triple Crown winner Affirmed. Last year’s winner, Pioneerof the Nile, finished second to longshot Mine That Bird in the Kentucky Derby. Bob Baffert’s Lookin At Lucky, right, the West’s leading Kentucky Derby contender, is listed as probable to stay here and race instead of going to the Arkansas Derby on April 10.

NBA: Clippers at Denver, 6 p.m., Prime Ticket:

Sadly, the Nuggets try to forge ahead without coach George Karl on the bench.

NHL: Kings vs. Ducks, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:

Would the Ducks like to help the Kings sweat out their playoff spot? Definitely.

Exhibition baseball: Angels at Dodgers, Dodger Stadium, 1 p.m. (MLB Network, 8 p.m., delayed):

Attention Dodger Stadium vendors: Make sure you don’t underestimate the crowd and run out of hot dogs, like you did during the USC-UCLA baseball game a few Sunday afternoons ago.

Documentary: “The Guru of Go,” 2 p.m., Channel 7:

ESPN is trying a new idea, carving out a two-hour block on Saturdays on ABC and calling it “ESPN Sports Saturday.” Included in this first two-hour block is the documentary on Paul Westhead’s days coaching basketball at Loyola Marymount and a look back 20 years ago at the passing of Hank Gathers.


MLB: N.Y. Yankees at Boston, 5:05 p.m., ESPN2:

Major League Baseball surprises no one with having the Yankees and Red Sox face off at Fenway Park on Easter evening to start the regular season. The surprise here is that the Red Sox’s Clay Buchholz appeared in an ESPN promo with the Yankees’ Nick Swisher, trying to coax the catcher into singing “Sweet Caroline” … with a little help from actor Adam Scott.


NBA: Lakers vs. San Antonio, Staples Center, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7:

Tim Duncan isn’t always going to shoot 2-for-11, as he did in the Spurs’ nine-point loss to the Lakers last week. He took only four shots in the second half — missed all of them — and had two blocked. One of those was by Pau Gasol, after Duncan took an inbound pass and tried to get a 14-footer off before the 24-second clock expired. Duncan scored 6 and had a +/- of -12; Gasol was just 4-for-11 shooting and ended up with 10 points, but had a +/- of +12.

NBA: Clippers vs. New York, Staples Center, 6:30 p.m., Prime Ticket:

Steve Perrin at blog points out: “At least we’ve got the off-season starting in less than three weeks.”

College basketball: NCAA women’s tournament, Final Four in San Antonio, 4 and 6 p.m., ESPN:

UConn, and three others, will be there.

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