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There’s no frustration like Lakers frustration

Text messages from press row.

March 30, 2010|Jerry Crowe

Kobe Bryant has a reason to punch chairs.

The Lakers, even though they've had annual opportunities to get it right, always seem to underestimate how long it might take Andrew Bynum to return from injury. …

LeBron James is heavily favored to repeat as most valuable player in the NBA, according to odds posted at BetUS.com, with Rolling Stone-backed Kevin Durant the No. 2 pick. …


FOR THE RECORD:
UCLA baseball: An item on the UCLA baseball team in Jerry Crowe's column in Wednesday's Sports section said the team was 20-1 after a victory over Pepperdine on Tuesday. The Bruins were 21-0 after that victory. —

Bryant is the third choice. …

Speaking of James, he presumably was kidding when he said of teammate Zydrunas Ilgauskas' return, "It's the biggest comeback since Michael Jordan came out of retirement." …

Darren Collison is a better NBA player than perhaps anybody other than Ben Howland would have predicted. …

The Frank and Jamie McCourt divorce proceedings might be more engrossing than the Dodgers' play this season. …

Prognosticators who picked the Seattle Mariners to supplant the Angels atop the American League West didn't expect Cliff Lee to possibly open the season on the disabled list. …

Before launching a surprising run to the Final Four, Gordon Hayward and Butler lost two of three games in a tournament at Anaheim over Thanksgiving weekend. …

The Bulldogs' only victory in the 76 Classic, by two points over an undistinguished UCLA team, wasn't secured until Hayward made two free throws with less than a second to play. …

Newly hired St. John's Coach Steve Lavin sweated a lot less visibly as an ESPN analyst than he did at UCLA. …

Connecticut women's basketball Coach Geno Auriemma, noting that he is drawn to winners and never pulls for underdogs, "I root for Tiger to win every golf tournament." …

Growing up in Pennsylvania, Auriemma says, his favorite team was coached by John Wooden: "I loved UCLA, loved everything about them. It was probably the fact that they won all the time, and the way they played. …I never wanted to see them lose." …

Lane Kiffin's wife, Layla, was named for the Derek & the Dominos song that is considered a rock 'n' roll classic. …

Get well soon, former USC basketball coach Bob Boyd, who is recovering from heart surgery. …

Greg Norman has listed his home in Jupiter, Fla., for $65 million, the Palm Beach Post reports, making it the seventh-most expensive house currently on the market in the U.S. …

Did Fred "Mad Dog" Carter and the rest of the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers celebrate, a la the 1972 Miami Dolphins, when the New Jersey Nets won for the 10th time Monday night, preserving the 76ers' status as the worst team in NBA history? …

A second-half nose dive by Chris Kaman & Co. has all but guaranteed the Clippers their 18th 50-loss season since moving from San Diego to Los Angeles in 1984. …

The Lakers had one 50-loss season — 35 years ago, the year after Jerry West retired. …

Uber-agent Scott Boras, after noting recently that Washington Nationals rookie Stephen Strasburg was the best amateur pitcher he'd scouted in 35 years, says UCLA sophomore right-hander Gerrit Cole is only a notch below. …

Cole, scheduled to start in Thursday night's Pacific 10 Conference opener against Stanford, had helped the Bruins to a 20-0 start before Tuesday's game against Pepperdine. …

"Guru of Go," a documentary focusing on the Paul Westhead-Hank Gathers-Bo Kimble era of Loyola Marymount basketball, premieres Saturday at 4 p.m. on Channel 7. …

Regarding a recent article outlining the worst rules in sports, reader Lloyd Price of Bonita e-mails to suggest, "Unaccountably, you've omitted from your list the worst rule of all: baseball's designated hitter rule, of course." …

UC Irvine sophomore Charles Jock, who in a meet Sunday at UCLA broke Steve Scott's 32-year-old school record in the 800 meters, is aptly named for an athlete. …

Reader Pat Mooney of Torrance e-mails to remind that the ABA allowed players to continue after their sixth foul, noting that owner Earl Foreman of the Virginia Squires probably summed up the reasoning best when he said it made "no sense" to eliminate the best players and have games decided by "the lower-paid players … and even lesser-paid referees." …

The NBA might want to take note.

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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