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JERRY CROWE

Text messages from press row . . .

June 12, 2008|JERRY CROWE

Sasha Vujacic, who helped shoot the Lakers back into the NBA Finals, owes a debt of gratitude to Lisa Estrada, longtime director of the Laker Girls, who suggested at midseason that Vujacic make a move to keep his hair out of his eyes. . . .

Noticing that Vujacic was forever sweeping his long locks from his face, Estrada says she jokingly scolded him, "Stop fiddling with your hair." . . .

She suggested he wear a headband -- "not like a girl headband, but a headband" -- and, at his request, offered several alternatives, among them the black suede hair band the Slovenian has worn the last few months. . . .

Asked if she feels any responsibility for Vujacic's big game, Estrada laughs and says, "Well, I hope so. No, I'm just kidding. No, no, no, that's all Sasha. I'm just glad he was open to listening to what I said about his hair." . . .

Truth be known, she'd rather he wore it shorter. . . .

When Kobe Bryant plays like he did in Game 3, well-heeled fans don't mind shelling out $3,700 for courtside seats or $200 for valet parking. . . .

OK, those fans never do. . . .

Stubhub on Wednesday was offering two courtside seats for $22,858 each. . . .

Exclaimed ABC's Mark Jackson on Tuesday, after Bryant faked Ray Allen into the popcorn machine and made a clutch fourth-quarter jumper, "What I don't understand is playing him straight up. You are saying, 'Ray Allen, it's your job to stop Kobe Bryant.' It's not going to happen in our lifetime." . . .

As Allen carried the Celtics' offense in Game 3, you could imagine Staples Center attendee Spike Lee saying to himself, "He got game." . . .

For what it's worth: Kevin Garnett and the Celtics split the first four games in each of their previous three playoff series, losing Game 4 in all three. . . .

Speaking of Garnett, Celtics Coach Doc Rivers pooh-poohs the notion of KG's ramping up his attention to detail in his first Finals appearance, saying, "He can't get any more intense. I don't think it's humanly possible." . . .

Just wondering: Aren't all shots at Staples Center from downtown? . . .

The Celtics' ownership group calls itself Banner 17. . . .

Seven of the Celtics' 16 titles were won with victories on an opponent's home court, one at the Sports Arena and two at the Forum. . . .

Reader Tom Scheerer e-mails to note that Game 3 of the 1959 Finals was played in the St. Paul Auditorium, meaning that the Lakers-Celtics rivalry actually encompasses five Lakers home courts, two in Minnesota. . . .

Former NBA player Wayman Tisdale's new album, "Rebound," debuted at No. 1 on Billboard magazine's contemporary jazz albums chart, selling 5,555 copies during its first week in stores, Nielsen SoundScan reports. . . .

Pennsylvanian Jim Furyk in 2003 was the last player from North America to win the U.S. Open, preceding victories by Retief Goosen of South Africa in '04, Michael Campbell of New Zealand in '05, Geoff Ogilvy of Australia in '06 and Angel Cabrera of Argentina in '07. . . .

The NBA may be ambivalent about oft-injured Josh Shipp, but UCLA Coach Ben Howland gladly welcomed him back into the fold. . . .

Mauricia Grant, a former technical inspector who alleges racial and sexual discrimination in a $225-million lawsuit filed against NASCAR, was recruited to the stock car racing sanctioning body by Magic Johnson. . . .

Congratulations to Sue Enquist, who was a part of 11 national championship softball teams at UCLA as a player and coach and was inducted Monday night into the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame in New York. . . .

Had it been football instead of baseball, UC Irvine's season-ending 21-7 loss to Louisiana State would have been a lot easier to take. . . .

Reader Bob Brown of Simi Valley e-mails to note that Larry Yount, father of Stanford pitcher and Dodgers draft pick Austin Yount and brother of Hall of Famer Robin Yount, was a pitcher on a championship-winning West San Fernando Valley Pony League team and was scheduled to throw out the first pitch before Game 5 of the 1963 World Series at Dodger Stadium. . . .

The Dodgers' Sandy Koufax-led sweep of the New York Yankees "obviated the need for any further activity," the Simi Valley Royal High math teacher writes, "so instead Larry got to throw out the first ball on Opening Day 1964." . . .

Seven years later, in 1971, Larry was scheduled to make his major league debut for the Houston Astros but suffered an elbow injury while warming up. . . .

He never pitched in the majors.

--

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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