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MORNING BRIEFING : Text messages from press row...

November 13, 2009|JERRY CROWE

No offense to James Worthy, but an all-time Lakers starting five should include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Kobe Bryant. . . .

Johnson or Bryant would have to line up at forward, but that's OK because both were better rebounders than Worthy. . . .

As was West. . . .

Worthy averaged 5.1 rebounds a game during his NBA career, Johnson 7.2 and West 5.8. . . .

Bryant averages 5.3. . . .

Bryant, making $23.03 million this season, is the NBA's highest-paid player, according to the San Antonio Express-News. . . .

Rounding out the top five, in order: Jermaine O'Neal, Tracy McGrady, Tim Duncan and Shaquille O'Neal. . . .

All make at least $21 million. . . .

Chris Kaman, by far the longest-tenured current Clippers player, deserves to be on the All-Star ballot, if for no other reason than to attract interest from German voters. . . .

For teams not in the same division, Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts seem to be matched disproportionately against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. . . .

Sunday's game will mark the seventh year in a row the teams have met during the regular season and, if both go on to win their divisions, they'll meet again next season. . . .

Thank you, NFL. . . .

In nine seasons under Pete Carroll, USC has lost only three games at the Coliseum, two against Stanford. . . .

E-mails reader Chris Foster of South Pasadena, noting that two-sport Stanford star Toby Gerhart has followed in some fairly impressive footsteps, "The other Stanford football/baseball player who wore No. 7 did pretty well for himself." . . .

That would be John Elway, who actually wore No. 24 for the Stanford baseball team -- as does Gerhart. . . .

In a column for the Sporting News, UCLA cornerback Alterraun Verner writes of much-maligned teammate Kevin Craft, who helped the Bruins top Washington, "We already know he can play. Most of the people who doubt him are on the outside." . . .

One who isn't is his coach. . . .

NHL scoring leader Anze Kopitar and the Kings sent the Pittsburgh Penguins into a tailspin. . . .

Says agent Scott Boras, making a pitch for Matt Holiday, "Last year we had one club that went out and made a commitment to a franchise player and they won a world championship." . . .

To Boras, apparently, the Angels' eight-year, $160-million offer to Mark Teixeira was less than a "commitment." . . .

Calling it "one of the most overlooked achievements in recent baseball history," former Orange County Register columnist Steve Bisheff e-mails to note that ex-Angel Darin Erstad won Gold Gloves at three positions: left field, center field and first base. . . .

The late Gil Hodges probably would have won more than three Gold Gloves, reader Alan Oken of Hollywood e-mails to note, if the award had been introduced before 1957. . . .

In 1957, when he won his first, Hodges was 33 years old. . . .

"With Manny Ramirez striking out so often late in the season," reader Ralph Snyder of Santa Monica e-mails to suggest, "maybe he should change his name to Fanny." . . .

Manny being Fanny?. . . .

That works. . . .

Promoter David Mirisch, planning a reunion of the original Los Angeles Rams "Embraceable Ewes" cheerleaders, e-mails to note that he has found all but five: Tina Austin, Michelle Kotzen, Lisa Benson, Beth Schaeffel and Anna Upstrom. . . .

Contact: david@dmirisch.com. . . .

Elizabeth Lambert, the New Mexico soccer player who was indefinitely suspended after video of her roughhouse play was splashed all over ESPN last week, was an All-Southern Section player at Lancaster Paraclete High. . . .

Noted ESPN's Julie Foudy, after viewing Lambert's shenanigans, "If you're going to pull someone's ponytail and about snap their head off with it, that's going over the line." . . .

Opening Saturday at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Century City: "Sport: Iooss & Leifer," an exhibit featuring the work of acclaimed photographers Walter Iooss and Neil Leifer. . . .

Information: (213) 403-3000. . . .

Many thanks to FSW for rebroadcasting classic Lakers games, but would it be possible to dub Chick Hearn's "word's-eye view" rather than use the deadly dull national audio feed? . . .

Speaking of Hearn, reader Doug Thomson of West Los Angeles e-mails to note that the late broadcaster once said of feisty forward Tom Meschery, "He'd fight King Kong on a ladder."

--

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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