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Morning briefing

Limit one crybaby per order

May 06, 2008|Peter Yoon | Times Staff Writer

Papa John's pizza, responding to threats of a regional boycott of its chain, is offering large, one-topping pizzas for 23 cents to Cleveland-area customers Thursday as homage to Cavaliers forward LeBron James.

Last Friday in Washington D.C., the pizza company sponsored T-shirts with James' jersey No. 23 and the word "Crybaby" over it, in place of the name. James had complained about hard fouls during the Cavaliers' playoff series against the Washington Wizards prompting Wizards center Brendan Haywood to call James a crybaby.

The shirts drew the ire of Cleveland fans and led to the apology from Papa John's, but the Wizards are the ones crying now -- Cleveland won the series.

Trivia time

James was 20 years 80 days old when he scored 56 points in a 2005 game against the Toronto Raptors and became the youngest player in NBA history to score 50 points in a game. Whose record did he break?

Like father, like son

Kobe Bryant isn't the only member of his family to enjoy basketball playoff success.

Joe Bryant, Kobe's father, coached the Tokyo Apache to the final of Japan's professional league playoffs, where the team lost to the two-time defending champion Osaka Evessa, 65-56.

Still, it was a nice turnaround for Bryant's team, which was a league-worst 12-28 last season but finished 27-27 this season.

"That's the only reason I'm here, to help the Japanese players," Bryant said. "I really take pride in watching them grow."

Fired up

The New Orleans Hornets were on fire during a 101-82 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of their Western Conference playoff series Saturday night -- and they weren't the only ones.

Team mascot Super Hugo soared through a burning ring of fire before dunking a basketball as part of the entertainment between the first and second quarters.

Putting out the flames proved difficult, however, and workers needed foam extinguishers to get the job done. That caused a mess on the court and resulted in a 19-minute delay for the cleanup.

What a racket

Tennis legend John McEnroe, 49, won an Outback Champion Series title Sunday, his first victory in 13 tries on the over-30 circuit.

Along the way, he defeated Jim Courier, Pete Sampras and, in the final, Aaron Krickstein.

"For my favorite fan base -- 75-year-old women -- this proves to you that you can still be young at an advanced age," McEnroe said.

Shortchanged

NCAA career rushing leader Danny Woodhead was not selected in the NFL draft, but he's in the New York Jets' minicamp after signing a free-agent contract.

Part of the reason Woodhead was not drafted, despite rushing for 7,962 yards in four years at Division II Chadron (Neb.) State, is his height.

Listed at 5 feet 7, he said he's actually 5-7 1/2 .

"People forget the half-inch," he said.

Punched out

Kansas City Royals left-hander John Bale broke his pitching hand after punching a door at the team hotel Friday night.

But at least the team won't have to put Bale on the disabled list -- he's already on it.

Bale was upset because he experienced pain in his already ailing elbow after pitching a simulated game.

"Very unfortunate," Royals Manager Trey Hillman said, according to the team's website. "He's embarrassed about it."

Trivia answer

Rick Barry, who was 21 years 261 days old when he scored 57 points against the New York Knicks in 1965.

And finally

Jessica Simpson told Glamour magazine that blaming her for the struggles of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, her boyfriend, doesn't make much sense.

"Everybody takes everything out on me," she said. "But that was ludicrous. I don't understand why they think that I would be a distraction to Tony. Do they really think he can see way far up in that box? No."

--

peter.yoon@latimes.com

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