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To Cooper, Leslie is sort of a Wilt Abdul-Russell

February 08, 2009|Lisa Dillman

Basketball star Lisa Leslie may not be retiring just yet, not until after this upcoming Sparks season, but her announcement was time for those around her to reflect and make historical comparisons.

"I get a chance to see three of the best retire," Sparks Coach Michael Cooper said. "And be alongside of them, to play with them, and to coach: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and now Lisa Leslie."

His nickname for her was "Smooth."

"I've always said this young lady is like three people," he said. "She's like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell, all rolled up in one. That's how good she is."

Cooper went on to break it down and finished up that line of thought, adding: "And her ball-handling skills were better than all three of those players."

Trivia time

What was the former name of the America's Cup yachting race?

More Lakers vs. Celtics

From TNT's Lakers-Celtics game on Thursday, the most-watched regular-season game on TNT since 1996 (when Johnson had just come out of retirement and was facing Michael Jordan's Bulls):

Karl Malone, at halftime in the studio: "How much talent can God bless one guy with? Lamar Odom is one of the most talented guys, 6-10, he can do a lot of things. Last I checked he wanted a new contract. Hey, step up, big fella."

Announcer Doug Collins: Kobe Bryant "can miss 10 straight and think he's hot, that's the beauty of great players, it's 'next play, next play.' "

Heidi, British style

There seems to be a run of TV snafus of late, on both sides of the pond.

On Super Bowl Sunday, there was a programming mishap and some folks in Arizona had their football viewing interrupted by an offering from an "adult cable channel."

Though there was less explaining to do to the children, there was no shortage of anger in Great Britain when the network ITV inexplicably missed Everton's game-winning goal against Liverpool in a crucial FA Cup encounter.

Instead, fans were shown a commercial. Talk about, as they say over there, losing the plot.

The Brits, take two

Manchester City's new acquisition, striker Craig Bellamy, was one step ahead of his checkered reputation, speaking of transgressions of years past.

"If I ever do a book, which I won't, the title will be: 'Don't Google me,' " the Welshman told reporters.

And the sequel?

How about "MySpace is My Space"?

Trivia answer

It was called the Hundred-Guinea Cup in 1851, when the U.S. schooner America won the race.

And finally

Bo Jackson told Leighton Ginn of the Desert Sun about life at Auburn with Charles Barkley.

"Any time the pizza truck came and was going to the basketball players' room, the football players would go up and not ask for pizza, but demand pizza. They were living in our dorm," Jackson said.

"Barkley was smart. Barkley would call up and he would order three pizzas, two for him and one for the football players coming in."

--

lisa.dillman@latimes.com

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