From today’s ESPN NBA pregame show, Dodgers minority owner and former Lakers minority owner and current front-office title-holder Magic Johnson blathered on about the current Lakers’ situation:
“Jim Buss, brother, you gotta job to do. ‘Cause if you don’t do it, you gonna hear it from me.”
Is Mike Brown safe?
“Right now,” said Magic, laughing.
Magic led up to that ultimatum by saying: “First of all, you gotta pick up (Andrew) Bynum’s option. I think they’re going to definitely do that. Bynum and (Pau) Gasol, those are your tradable pieces. You build still around Kobe (Bryant), still great no matter what his age is, still dominant as a player.
“So to me they have to get younger and more athletic because Oklahoma City is athletic, young, fast. The team to beat is the team that knocked you out. That’s Oklahoma City and the San Antonio Spurs. Josh Smith is out there, he’s not happy. Call Atlanta. You’ve got Gasol sitting there.
“You don’t know what Dwight Howard wants to do. Give Orlando a call. They would love to have Bynum in return for a Dwight Howard if he doesn’t want to stay.”
It took Jon Barry to point out that $70 million is tied up in Gasol, Bynum, Bryant and Metta World Peace (whom he calls “Artest”). Who wants Gasol if it’ll cost them $38 million over the next two years?
“Who’s that?” Magic asked as Barry was making his point.
“Gasol,” Barry answered.
Magic collected himself to call Gasol the “best big man in basketball” once you get past Bynum, Howard and Tim Duncan. “No body has more skills than Gasol, but the problem is you got him sittin’ at the high post — yes, Mike Brown’s offense drives me crazy! — so how can you really say this guy’s skills are eroding? I’ve seen this man dominate. If a team wants a big man, you have to call the Lakers.”
That wasn’t even the least outrageous stuff thrown against the wall on the show.
Aspiring reporter Chris Broussard said his multiple sources tell him the Orlando Magic are going to talk to Shaquille O’Neal about their open general manager job.
“Keep an eye on that one, that would stun everyone, including me,” Broussard said.
From a Kings’ Prime Ticket special that appeared about seven years ago, in celebration of the team’s 20th year with the cable channel:
Also check out Barry Melrose’s Hollywood-centric memories of the ’93 season in his NHL.com-scripted essay posted today (linked here), as well as Bob Miller and Jim Fox remembering the ’93 season from the broadcast booth (linked here).
Granted, prostate problems concern all men at a certain age.
But how long have these somewhat shady Joe Theismann testimonial ads been popping up on ESPN, where the one-time “Monday Night Football” analyst details issues he’s had in the past during a broadcast when he’s had to constantly run to the restroom?
He’s now mouthing off about a “super” new product where “I don’t have go as often and I don’t have to get up at night as much.”
It’s a bit more practical than what Fox NFL studio analyst Jimmy Johnson still does for a male enhancement suppliment. Still, I think I’d visit a doctor first before giving a credit card over the phone based on a Theismann recommendation (see: Steve Garvey, sued, not guilty, for endorsing a weight loss system).
The NHL announced today the schedule for the 2012 Stanley Cup final, and while five of the seven games are set to air on NBC’s over-the air channel — KNBC-Channel 4 in L.A. — Games 3 and 4 will be on the NBC Sports Network.
Not a dream sequence for Kings fans. Those are the two guaranteed home games for the Kings against the winner of the N.Y Rangers-New Jersey series.
You know what Spicoli said about his surfing competition. Right, Stu?
Here’s how it unfolds (times PDT):
==Game 1: Wednesday, May 30: Kings at N.Y. Rangers/New Jersey, 5 p.m., Channel 4
==Game 2: Saturday, June 2: Kings at N.Y. Rangers/New Jersey, 5 p.m., Channel 4
==Game 3: Monday, June 4: Kings vs. N.Y. Rangers/New Jersey at Staples Center, 5 p.m., NBC Sports Network
==Game 4: Wednesday, June 6: Kings vs. N.Y. Rangers/New Jersey at Staples Center, 5 p.m., NBC Sports Network
==Game 5: Saturday, June 9*: Kings at N.Y. Rangers/New Jersey, 5 p.m., Channel 4
==Game 6: Monday, June 11*: Kings vs. N.Y. Rangers/New Jersey at Staples Center, 5 p.m., Channel 4
==Game 7: Wednesday, June 13*: Kings at N.Y. Rangers/New Jersey, 5 p.m., Channel 4
=* if necessary
The Kings are only the second No. 8 seed to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals (Edmonton in 2006), the seventh team to reach the Stanley Cup Finals in 14 games (12-2 record) since 1987 when the NHL went to a four-round best-of-seven series format. No team has done it in fewer games, the first NHL team to win eight straight road games in a playoff year.
Dating back to last year, the Kings have won 10 straight road playoff games – an NHL record for consecutive road playoff wins spanning more than one year.
AdAge.com reports today (linked here) that David Beckham is behind Samsung’s promotion of the new Galaxy Note smartphone — smart move, considering his connection to the Galaxy, and that the ads are part of its push to be seen and heard during the London Olympics, where Becks will be playing for his native land.
“I came through tranistor radios in Flatbush and followed the sunset across the country.
I went passed Ruth with Aaron and between Buckner’s legs.
I was there for perfection and with men who limped to greatness.
I’ve been there in celebration and defeat.
Through changing eras and ages.
And the whole time, you’ve always been right there with me.”
It aired on Sunday’s Dodgers-Cardinals ESPN telecast, and several versions of this have popped up on YouTube.com — and since been taken down because of ESPN copyright issues.
This one is back up, but in case it also goes down, the text of the Vin Scully narration is above. You just need to hear him speak it to have the real impact:
The Dodgers said today that Hall of Fame broadcaster Jaime Jarrn, in his 54th season as the Spanish-language voice of team, will be “honored” with a T-shirt giveaway on Monday, June 11 when the Dodgers face the Angels.l
The first 30,000 — that’s treinta mil — will get the shirt that features Jarrin’s home run call: “Se va, se va, se va … y despidala con un beso!”
(Loose translation: Going, going, and gone! Kiss it goodbye.)
The next night, by the way, the Dodgers are giving out Mike Scioscia bobbleheads. If he’s still managing the Angels by then.
“The Dodgers and our fans are extremely fortunate to have Hall of Famer Jaime Jarrn as our voice in Spanish,” said Dodgers minority owner Magic Johnson in a statement. “Jaime is a Los Angeles icon, one who has inspired several generations of Los Angeles Latinos to dream big. He’s been instrumental in instilling a love of Dodger baseball throughout the Los Angeles area. We salute Jaime, a Dodger institution, and are grateful for all that he has given to the Dodgers and to Dodger fans.”
A native of Ecuador, Jarrn had never seen a baseball game until he moved to Los Angeles. His first experience with baseball involved watching the Dodgers on a televised broadcast in 1955 when they won their first World Series championship by defeating the New York Yankees. He began regularly attending minor league games at Gilmore Field and Wrigley Field from 1955 until the Dodgers moved to L.A. in 1958. e was given one year to prepare for his Dodgers’ Spanish-language assignment, prepared by William Beaton, the station manager at KWKW. During his first six years with the Dodgers, Jarrn and a partner would recreate the games in the studio while listening to Vin Scully and Jerry Doggett on the radio.
The Dodgers issued the following statement in response to inquiries regarding an altercation that occurred after yesterday’s game at Dodger Stadium:
Last night, at approximately 8:40 p.m., two vehicles were involved in a minor collision as they were exiting near Dodger Stadium’s Gate C. According to witnesses, the drivers of the vehicles immediately confronted each other and this led to physical contact between them. Three male friends of one of the drivers also became involved in the altercation. Los Angeles Dodger security personnel and uniformed LAPD officers arrived on scene within moments and apprehended both of the drivers and the three males.
The quick security response prevented the confrontation from escalating further. All persons involved in the incident were examined for injuries at the scene and provided with immediate medical attention. One of the drivers and a female passenger were transported to a local hospital and subsequently released. The other four men involved in the incident were taken into custody.
Northeast Area of LAPD is investigating the incident with the full cooperation of the Dodgers.
Dodger President Stan Kasten had the following comment regarding the incident: “We have made it clear that we are fully committed to providing a safe, family-friendly environment for all of our fans, and the very quick and effective response by our personnel and the LAPD officers on the scene shows that they were properly deployed and fully engaged in this effort.”
Highlights of the week ahead in sports, both here and afar:
AP photos by Mark J. Terrill Lakers forward Pau Gasol and center Andrew Bynum react to a call in the second half of Saturday’s Game 4 loss. The Thunder won 103-100.
THIS WEEK’S BEST BET
NBA Western Conference semifinals: Lakers vs. Oklahoma City:
Game 5: Monday in Oklahoma City, 6:30 p.m., TNT.
Is it too much to ask for the Lakers’ traveling circus to put on a couple more performances before this already tweaked-up season officially ends? They’ve found very entertaining ways to lose every which way possible to the Thunder in the first four meetings, so at least you get your TV money’s worth. Sure, they could be the ones with a 3-1 series lead and in a close-out situation. But that would require Kobe Bryant’s fourth-quarter shooting percentage to improve, as well as his coaxing abilities to get Pau Gasol more involved. A comeback wouldn’t necessarily be anything of epic proportions, but, considering the birth certificates, it’d be one for the ages. Sit tight, take hold, Thunder road.
MLB: Dodgers at Arizona, 6:40 p.m., Prime:
Chris Capuano (5-1, 2.34 ERA), tonight’s Dodgers starter, is just 1-4 lifetime with a 4.14 ERA lifetime against Arizona in six starts. The series continues Tuesday and Wednesday, 6:40 p.m. on Channel 9, after the two teams split their two-game series a week ago in L.A.
MLB: Angels at Oakland, 7:05 p.m., FSW:
Manny Ramirez is supposed to join the A’s, but not until the end of the month. By which point, he’ll have served out another PED suspension, and perhaps given up on trying to come back at age 40. You can still try to keep foolin’ ‘em. These two AL West rivals also meet Tuesday (7:05 p.m., FSW) and Wednesday (12:35 p.m., FSW)
NHL Eastern Conference finals Game 4: N.Y. Rangers at New Jersey, 5 p.m., NBC Sports Network:
Rangers coach John Tortorella, when he isn’t keeping things in the room, is ripping the Devils for acting devilish on selling penalty calls and skirting the rules. Wait’ll he runs into the Kings in the next round. New York can put this series away with wins today and in Game 5 back in New York on Wednesday (5 p.m., NBC Sports Network). The Stanley Cup finals could start at early as Saturday at Madison Square Garden. Or, not until the middle of next week.
NBA Eastern Conference semifinals Game 5: Philadelphia at Boston, 4 p.m., TNT:
With this series tied at two, “it’s a swing game, but it’s a swing game for both teams,” Boston coach Doc Rivers says. “Game 5s and Game 7s are pretty much the same.” No, not really.
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, center, flanked by teammates Trevor Lewis and Jonathan Bernier, has to watch the final minutes of Game 4 tick off while he came off the ice for an extra attacker Sunday. The Coyotes won, 2-0.
NHL Western Conference finals Game 5: Kings at Phoenix, 6 p.m., NBC Sports Network:
It’s May sweeps in the TV world, but not again for this Kings’ mini-series. Look how spoiled you can get. “That was Coyote hockey,” said Phoenix forward Ray Whitney after Phoenix’s 2-0 Game 4 win at Staples Center. “A lot of effort, a lot of blocked shots, and some timely goals by Shane Doan. And, of course, Smitty (Mike Smith) in the net. That’s kind of the equation for us. When you have nothing to lose you throw it all out there and you see what happens.” The Kings’ generosity in Game 4 affords them the option to go where they’re much more comfortable — on the road, where they’ve won seven straight in the post season. If needed, Game 6 is at Staples Center (Thursday, 6 p.m.) with Game 7 in Phoenix (Saturday, 5 p.m.), both on NBC Sports Network. “We are still in a good position,” the Kings’ Anze Kopitar said. “That’s why we have to hit the reset button, refocus and make sure we have a lot of energy for Tuesday.”
WNBA: Sparks vs. Seattle, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., NBA TV:
The original home opener that was supposed to be played Sunday night is bumped to this date because, well, the team is very accomodating. The Sparks stormed back to win their season opener against the Storm on Friday night.
Seattle Storm’s Ann Wauters, left, tries to keep the ball from the Sparks’ DeLisha Milton-Jones in the first half of a WNBA opener last Friday in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
MLS: Galaxy vs. San Jose, Home Depot Center, 7:30 p.m., KDOC-Channel 56:
David Beckham celebrated the Galaxy’s 1-0 loss to Chivas last Saturday by bringing the family out to the Kings’ Game 4 playoff game against Phoenix on Sunday. Five non-wins in a row will force you to attend other team’s games where victories are almost nearly certain.
MLB: Washington at Philadelphia, 4 p.m., ESPN2:
Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels faces rookie Bryce Harper again. If you need any reference point to this … you haven’t been paying attention. Why not read the new John Grisham novel, “Calico Joe,” and see if there’s any correlation. ESPN sends analysts Nomar Garciaparra, Mark Mulder and reporter Pedro Gomez to join Dave O’Brien on the call. Just in case.
MLB: Angels at Seattle, 7:10 p.m., FSW:
A Chone Figgins update: He’s hitting just .180 with as many homers (2) as stolen bases. Do the Angels want him back? The teams also go at it Friday (7:10 p.m., FSW), Saturday (4:15 p.m., Channel 11) and Sunday (1:10 p.m., FSW). Saturday is a turn-back-the-clock promotion, where the Angels will wear their old Pacific Coast League uniforms while the Mariners wear Seattle Rainiers duds. How rustic. Eddie Bauer should sponsor it.
MLB: Dodgers vs. Houston, Dodger Stadium, 7:10 p.m., Prime:
Clayton Kershaw (4-1, 1.90) goes for back-to-back shutouts in the opener, but the highlight of the weekend series might be the fact you can bring your dog to the park on Saturday (6:10 p.m., Prime). No reflection on the opposing team. Probably. Or the IR-bound Juan Uribe. Dodger Dogs can be consumed in moderation as well for the finale (Sunday, 1:10 p.m., Prime).
College baseball: USC at UCLA, Jackie Robinson Stadium, 6 p.m.:
It’s strange, but their only previous meeting was a 7-2 Bruins’ victory in the Dodgertown Classic at Dodger Stadium, when both were ranked in the top 25. USC, which finally ended a nine-game losing streak last weekend, has dropped below .500 and can’t even think about the post season, so this three-game road series will end the year (they also play Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.). The Bruins, who had won nine of 10 going into last Sunday’s game at Cal, are likely headed to the regionals June 1-4, which could lead to the super regionals (June 8-11) and College World Series (June 15-26).
MLS: Galaxy at Houston, 11:30 a.m., NBC Sports Network:
They’re the two teams that made it to the finals a year ago. Don’t bank on a repeat.
Motor sports: Indianapolis 500, 8 a.m., Channel 7:
The 96th running of the world’s most famous auto race will go without 81-year-old Jim Nabors singing “Back Home Again in Indiana” – Gomer is on the DL needing heart surgery soon. We’ll power through with Long Beach Grand Prix champ Will Power going after his fourth straight IRL victory, starting from the No. 5 spot behind pole sitter Ryan Briscoe. He has a commanding lead in the IRL standings with 180 points and he’s collected 15 career victories — but no bottle of milk yet at the Indianapolis finish line. Three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves is second in the standings with 135 points.
JR Hildebrand (right), who as a rookie last year was one last turn away from an Indy 500 win before he hit the wall and slid across the finish line second, is tied for seventh with 83 points, with Ashley Judd’s husband, Dario Franchitti, who won the race two years ago, limping in at 10th with 82 points. Tragically, the defending champion won’t be back. Dan Wheldon won the race in 2011 — his second after doing it before in 2005 — but it was the final win of his racing career, as he was killed in the final IRL race of the season in Las Vegas.
NASCAR: Sprint Cup Coca-Cola 600, Charlotte Motor Speedway, 2:30 p.m., Channel 11:
Kevin Harvick ended up winning last year when Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran out of gas a half-mile from the finish line and coasted across in seventh place. They ended up running 402 laps and 603 miles — the longest event in NASCAR history.
Tennis: French Open, first rounds, 2 a.m.; ESPN2; 7 a.m., Tennis Channel, 9 a.m. (delayed), Channel 4:
Maria Sharapova will start as the women’s favorite, even though she’s never won this Grand Slam event. She toppedreigning Roland Garros champion Li Na 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5) in the Italian Open last week when play was twice interrupted by rain and the red clay turned to mud. The women’s and men’s finals would be in two weeks.