Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard, set to share the spotlight in the NBA Finals, almost shared an NBA locker room. . . .
In 2004, if the Clippers had moved up to No. 1 in the lottery instead of No. 2, they would have drafted Howard, at the time a precocious high school star from Atlanta. . . .
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday, June 04, 2009 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 National Desk 1 inches; 45 words Type of Material: Correction
Tennis: Jerry Crowe's column in Wednesday's Sports section said that Roger Federer's next appearance in a Grand Slam final would be his 19th, breaking a tie with Pete Sampras for most by a male player. In fact, Ivan Lendl appeared in 19 Grand Slam finals.
That also was the summer the Clippers nearly signed Bryant, so if fate had been kinder to Donald Sterling's team, Howard and Bryant might have wound up as teammates. . . .
With the Clippers. . . .
LeBron James says he bolted the playoffs without so much as a handshake for the Orlando Magic because "it's hard for me to congratulate somebody after you just lost to them." . . .
When else would you? . . .
By the way, if the Magic's Hedo Turkoglu is known as the Michael Jordan of Turkey, do Turks consider Michael Jordan the Hedo Turkoglu of the United States? . . .
Nobody misses Manny Ramirez more than Andre Ethier, who hadn't hit a home run since his teammate was suspended until Tuesday against Arizona. . . .
Though Pepperdine has produced some 30 major leaguers, it's still rare for two former Waves pitchers to oppose each another as Randy Wolf of the Dodgers and Dan Haren of the Diamondbacks did April 12 and again Tuesday night. . . .
The last time Vladimir Guerrero and the running-in-place Angels did not lead the American League West entering June was three years ago, the only time in the last five seasons they did not reach the playoffs and win at least 90 games. . . .
Where's the love for Torii Hunter among All-Star voters? . . .
The USC-UCLA football game, scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff Nov. 28 at the Coliseum, has been played at night only five times previously but never in the last 32 years. . . .
It has started after 6 p.m. only once -- in 1945, when USC defeated UCLA in a game that kicked off at 8:30. . . .
TV wasn't to blame for that one. . . .
Vince Young would be best served showing a little patience with the Tennessee Titans and waiting his turn behind Kerry Collins, who is 37 and about to start his 15th NFL season. . . .
Danica Patrick is a master at keeping her name in the news. . . .
Predicting that newly appointed Executive Director Jerry West won't have an easy time luring Tiger Woods back to the Northern Trust Open, reader Victor Bulaich of Inglewood e-mails to suggest, "Not even Zeke could get Eldrick to play at Riviera." . . .
Writes Matt Hayes of the Sporting News, "When his career is complete, Tim Tebow will be the greatest amateur player ever in a team sport. No one affects the game like he can." . . .
Lew Alcindor did. . . .
Ex-Angel Tim Salmon, awarded an honorary doctorate from Grand Canyon University three years ago, added a business degree from the college when he graduated last month. . . .
Calling Gail Goodrich the greatest Southland-bred Laker is not a knock on Jamaal Wilkes, Byron Scott, Michael Cooper, Keith Erickson or any of the more than 20 other former Southern California high school stars who've played for the Lakers, but Goodrich is the only one in the Hall of Fame. . . .
Scott, by the way, is only one of three former Lakers from Morningside High in Inglewood, the others being Elden Campbell and Stan Love, father of Kevin Love. . . .
Frank Burke of Los Angeles High, who cleared 12 feet 3 inches in the pole vault to finish fifth at the L.A. City championships in 1944, would have finished fourth with the same mark last week. . . .
Worth checking out on YouTube: Kevin Laue, a 6-10 center from Pleasanton, Calif., who last week accepted a scholarship to play basketball at Manhattan College next season despite being born with a left arm that ends at the elbow. . . .
Roger Federer's next Grand Slam final will be his 19th, breaking a tie with Pete Sampras for most by a male player. . . .
Chris Evert played in 34. . . .
The theory that mass candy consumption could be the reason for the prodigious dips and spikes in Lamar Odom's energy level surely will bring snickers from knowing parents. . . .
And Snickers from Lakers foes.