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Morning briefing

June 06, 2008|Gary Klein | Times Staff Writer

Trade still haunts Grizzlies

Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley is tired of criticism for the giveaway, er, trade that send Pau Gasol to the Lakers for cake-tossing center Kwame Brown, rookie point guard Javaris Crittenton and future draft picks.

But he told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports that General Manager Chris Wallace might have waited longer before pulling the trigger with the Lakers.

"I don't know if I got the most value," Heisley said. "Maybe our people should have shopped [Gasol] more and maybe we would have gotten more, done a better deal. Maybe Chris did call every team in the league. I don't think he did but maybe he should've . . ."

Ya think?

Pau-pourri

In debunking Celtics-Lakers rivalry myths, New England native Bill Simmons of ESPN magazine took the NBA to task about the Gasol transaction:

"Jerry West's old team (Memphis) gift-wrapped its best player for the team that once employed West for 40 years, taking back a pupu platter (Kwame Brown, a third-string guard and two [crummy] picks).

"This happened even though the Lakers' season would have been over without a center. Had this trade taken place in a fantasy league, it would have led to three weeks of vicious e-mails, crumbled friendships, guys quitting and maybe even a fistfight. In the NBA, it led to the Lakers being presented the 2008 Western Conference trophy by . . . yup, a crying Jerry West.

"The NBA, where chicanery happens."

Trivia time

Today is the one-year anniversary of what Southern California sports milestone?

Pucks and yuks

Comedian Jay Leno got into hockey, sort of, during his Thursday night monologue. Some snippets:

"Congratulations to the Detroit Red Wings. They won the Stanley Cup last night. They beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3 to 2. The Mayor of Detroit was so excited, he hugged both his wife and his mistress. . . .

"Did you see that footage from downtown Detroit? People setting fires, turning over cars, shooting guns in the air. And that was before the game. That was just another Wednesday in Detroit. . . .

"The Penguins congratulated the Red Wings on their victory, but said they are not yet ready to concede the championship at this time.

"Maybe Saturday."

Geddy collection

Rush singer and bassist Geddy Lee not only signs autographs, the veteran Canadian rocker collects them.

Lee donated nearly 200 baseballs, all autographed by former Negro Leagues baseball players or backers, to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo.

Lee visited the museum last year, a museum official told the Kansas City Star.

"I wasn't here, but another employee walked him through the museum, and apparently he fell in love with the place," marketing director Bob Kendrick said. "He already had a huge respect for the Negro Leagues, as the collection shows, and this brought it home to him."

Trivia answer

A year ago today, the Ducks clinched the Stanley Cup with a 6-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators in Game 5 of the finals at the Honda Center.

And finally

Flip Saunders, fired by the Detroit Pistons, deserves some time off after successive coaching gigs with the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Pistons.

"A guy can deal with only so many nut jobs before needing a break," wrote St. Paul Pioneer Press columnist Tom Powers.

"Few coaches have had to deal with the likes of Latrell Sprewell and Rasheed Wallace almost back to back.

"It's time to go to the cabin. And to lock the door behind him."

--

gary.klein@latimes.com

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