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NBA free agency might end up as boring rerun

Text messages from press row . . .

July 01, 2010|Jerry Crowe

The Summer of LeBron, which promised to be more exciting than an NBA regular season, might be as anticlimactic as a Clippers-Memphis Grizzlies game in early April.…

If all the big names stay put, where's the fun in that? …

Even if LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in Miami, the Lakers might still be favored to repeat because of their superior size with Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.…

The Lakers' most prominent free agent is Phil Jackson.…

Illustrating how far Tracy McGrady has fallen, the Sporting News lists the former All-Star and two-time scoring champion as only the ninth-best small forward on the free-agent market — behind even journeymen such as Matt Barnes.…

It was far more subtle, of course, but Joe Torre's message to Matt Kemp this week was the same one sent by Ned Colletti to the mercurial center fielder in April.…

Uninspired play is unacceptable.…

If pop-star girlfriend Rihanna truly is a distraction for Kemp, as some suggest, she probably wouldn't be if he were playing anywhere other than Los Angeles or New York.…

Age catches up to everyone — even Roger Federer.…

Edwin Jackson's eight-walk no-hitter for the Arizona Diamondbacks brought to mind Nolan Ryan, who also walked eight in one of his seven no-hitters.…

Former umpire Ken Kaiser, on Ryan's fastball: "To hit it, you have to start swinging on the on-deck circle." …

Michael Vick must be thick as a brick.…

Before Tuesday, a College World Series title hadn't been decided in an extra-inning final since 1970, when Frank Alfano's 15th-inning single lifted USC over Florida State.

Alfano, a retired firefighter, attended a 40-year reunion of his ex-teammates during this year's College World Series.…

Not many teams had stronger, deeper pitching staffs than UCLA, but USC — the University of South Carolina — performed at a higher level in Omaha.…

If James Worthy is "Big Game James," reader and former KABC-TV sports producer Eric Corwin of Pasadena e-mails to suggest, Derek Fisher should be "Big Swish Fish." …

DJ Khalil, co-producer of Eminem's chart-topping new "Recovery" album, is a son of Walt Hazzard, the former UCLA All-American, Lakers guard and UCLA coach. …

Born Khalil Abdul-Rahman, the producer was a point guard at North Hollywood High and Morehouse College in Atlanta.…

Chris Johnson, dismissing Adrian Peterson's claim to the title, tells the Sporting News, "No way possible there should be a debate about who's the best running back in the NFL." …

The Tennessee Titans' 2,000-yard man says he wants to be nicknamed "Every Coach's Dream." …

Oakland Raiders backup Kyle Boller, reportedly set to marry former Miss California Carrie Prejean this week, was an All-Southern Section quarterback at Newhall Hart High.…

From ex-NFL lineman Conrad Dobler, like former Vice President Dick Cheney a Wyoming alumnus: "When he was there, he wrote a book; when I was there, I read one." …

John Calipari called Kentucky's having five players taken in the first round of the NBA draft "the greatest night" in the program's history, conveniently forgetting the seven nights before his 2009 arrival in Lexington when the Wildcats actually won NCAA championships with lesser talent.…

Instead of gloating, Calipari might try explaining how the country's most talented team didn't reach the Final Four.…

On this date 20 years ago, Andy Hawkins of the New York Yankees gave up no hits against the Chicago White Sox — and lost, 4-0, when the Yankees committed three eighth-inning errors.…

Hawkins, the Texas Rangers' bullpen coach, took a shutout into the 12th inning of his next start — and lost that one too, 2-0.…

Drew Brees, following Len Dawson and Bob Griese, is the third Super Bowl-winning quarterback from Purdue.…

Noting that British Petroleum will remain a main sponsor for the 2012 London Olympics, Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald writes, "The Games are scheduled to go off on schedule, but afterward the cleanup will take 16 years."

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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