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JERRY CROWE

Denver Nuggets love their tattoos

Text messages from press row ...

May 21, 2009|JERRY CROWE

The Denver Nuggets must rank among the most heavily tattooed teams in NBA history -- and that's after trading ink magnet Allen Iverson to the Detroit Pistons last November. . . .

Especially unusual are the red lips behind Kenyon Martin's right ear -- a tribute to rapper Trina, his girlfriend. . . .

You can hardly blame him, of course, but Blake Griffin sounded less than thrilled when the Clippers won the NBA draft lottery, noting unsmilingly in an ESPN interview that he would "make the most of whatever situation I'm put in." . . .

Griffin, by the way, wore No. 23 at Oklahoma with the blessing of the late Wayman Tisdale, who gave his permission even though the number had been retired in Tisdale's honor. . . .

The Clippers should add a ping-pong ball to their logo. . . .

You have to wonder, after Carmelo Anthony's brilliant performance in Game 1, where does the high-scoring Nuggets forward rank in Jerry West's pecking order? . . .

Casey Blake has hit 19 home runs since joining the Dodgers last summer, only four fewer than Manny Ramirez. . . .

Bobby Abreu has yet to hit one for the Angels. . . .

Baseball's top 10 players, listed 1 to 10, according to a Sporting News panel: Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, Johan Santana, Manny Ramirez, Hanley Ramirez, Chase Utley, Roy Halladay, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Chipper Jones. . . .

Also in the top 50: Vladimir Guerrero at No. 37, Chad Billingsley at No. 42 and Torii Hunter at No. 44. . . .

Interleague play has not been good to the Dodgers, whose 30-51 record over the last five seasons ranks among baseball's worst. . . .

The Angels over the same period are 50-40. . . .

The debate over Michael Vick's future as an NFL quarterback will have as much to do with questions about his passing ability as it will concerns about his character. . . .

With or without Brett Favre, the Minnesota Vikings are scheduled to visit Green Bay on Nov. 1. . . .

Reader Robert Page of New York e-mails to remind that the late broadcaster Van Patrick gave the nickname "Fearsome Foursome" to the Detroit Lions' early 1960s defensive line of Alex Karras, Darris McCord, Sam Williams and Roger Brown. . . .

Brown later was traded to the Los Angeles Rams, joining a more famous "Fearsome Foursome." . . .

President Obama, speaking at a fundraiser this week, joked that he told Notre Dame's president, Father John Jenkins, that the controversy surrounding the commander in chief's recent appearance on campus "paled in comparison to what to do about the football team," adding, "That's an issue we may not resolve in my four years." . . .

Somewhere, no doubt, Charlie Weis' ears were burning. . . .

Remember that scene in "Pulp Fiction" where John Travolta's character is incredulous that milkshakes cost $5? . . .

Fifteen years later, they go for $6.75 at Angel Stadium. . . .

Except for those in Chicago and Raleigh, N.C., few hockey fans probably would object to another Stanley Cup finals matching Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins against the defending champion Detroit Red Wings. . . .

Veteran Southland horseman Henry Moreno, who has trained nearly 900 winners since the early 1960s, is a half-brother of Carlos Moreno, one of several leading candidates to replace retiring Justice David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court. . . .

Congratulations to Chapman second baseman Tyler Hadzinsky, named to ESPN the Magazine's Academic All-District VIII baseball team after earning the same honor as a goalkeeper for the Panthers men's soccer team a few months ago. . . .

The original 1969 NCAA basketball championship banner that hung in Pauley Pavilion, autographed by John Wooden, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and others, will be auctioned at UCLA's "True Blue Celebration" fundraiser, June 6 in the Wooden Center. . . .

Information: TrueBlueCelebration.com or (310) 206-3302. . . .

Winning isn't everything: Rather than give up a chance to pocket a reported $550,000 guarantee for playing at Michigan in October, Delaware State will forfeit a conference game against North Carolina A&T scheduled for the same date. . . .

Noting that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger would like to sell several California landmarks to raise cash amid the state's growing fiscal crisis, reader Bill Littlejohn e-mails to suggest that the Coliseum and San Quentin State Prison be packaged to create a "Raiders special."

--

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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