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JERRY CROWE

For openers, Lakers are in a bad spot to chase a title

Text messages from press row.

May 03, 2011|Jerry Crowe
  • Lakers guard Kobe Bryant reacts after missing a shot during the final seconds of the Lakers' loss to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals on Monday.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant reacts after missing a shot during the final seconds… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

Easy won't do it for Kobe Bryant and the careless Lakers, who must now buck history to stay on top.…

Only once has a team rallied to win an NBA championship after losing its series opener in each of the first two rounds of the playoffs, as Andrew Bynum & Co. just did.…

And unlike the Lakers, Rudy Tomjanovich's resilient 1994-95 Houston Rockets lost their series openers on the road.…

Pau Gasol, the second-best Laker, has been the second-best Gasol in the playoffs, outshined by younger brother Marc.…

Sports fans seem to be singing the national anthem with renewed vigor since Monday's killing of Osama bin Laden.…

Twitter reaction among athletes to the Al Qaeda leader's death has ranged from the controversial (Rashard Mendenhall: "It's amazing how many people can HATE a man they have never heard speak") to the laudatory (Matt Hasselbeck: "Stating the obvious: Navy Seals are studs") to the silly (ex-USC linebacker Brian Cushing of the Houston Texans: "I wish i could have sacked osama bin laden before he was killed").…

The Dodgers lost 15 times during the first 27 games of Andre Ethier's hitting streak, matching the number of times the New York Yankees lost during Joe DiMaggio's 56-game run.…

The Dodgers also had a losing record during Willie Davis' club-record 31-game hitting streak in 1969.…

In 1944, when the Dodgers introduced the royal blue uniforms they'll wear Wednesday as part of a throwback promotion, a newspaper report called Branch Rickey the "Schiaparelli of Flatbush," referring to Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, and suggested that the new duds would make the Dodgers "the Beau Brummels of baseball," referring to 19th century English fashion icon Beau Brummel.…

A less enthused observer, however, said the uniforms would make Dem Bums "look just like a girls' softball team." …

Angels fans would have preferred Carl Crawford over Vernon Wells, of course, but neither has been a bargain.…

Zach Randolph, described by Kevin Durant this week as the NBA's best power forward, spent 39 games with the Clippers two seasons ago before they traded the left-hander to the Memphis Grizzlies for Quentin Richardson in July 2009.…

A month earlier, the Clippers had drafted Blake Griffin.…

Coach Leslie Frazier, telling reporters he'd like surprisingly high draft pick Christian Ponder to be the Minnesota Vikings' opening-day starting quarterback: "We've got our Matt Ryan, we got our [Joe] Flacco, we've got our [Mark] Sanchez right there." …

A Sporting News ranking of the top 10 prospects in next year's NFL draft, topped by Stanford's Andrew Luck, includes USC teammates Matt Barkley at No. 2 and Matt Kalil at No. 9.…

"Barkley has the talent to push Luck as the No. 1 overall prospect," Russ Lande writes, "if he really steps up." …

A Sporting News ranking of the top 20 undrafted players from this year includes oft-injured ex-USC center Kristofer O'Dowd, whom some pegged as a potential first-round pick a year ago.…

In the wake of last week's spectacle in London, a USA Today reader poll crowned Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen the sports world's equivalent of a royal couple.…

Runners-up, in order of votes garnered: David and Victoria Beckham; Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf; Mike Fisher and Carrie Underwood; Dario Franchitti and Ashley Judd.…

Lakers fans wonder: Where's the love for Khloe and Lamar? …

Tom Glavine, a Kings draft pick before launching a baseball career expected to land him in the Hall of Fame, is part of a group of investors hoping to buy the Atlanta Thrashers. …

Glavine was the 69th pick in the 1984 NHL draft, taken 102 picks before Hockey Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille.…

The top pick was Mario Lemieux.…

Glavine's former Atlanta Braves teammate, John Smoltz, missed the cut in his Nationwide Tour debut by 27 strokes.…

Written in gray letters on a scarlet background, a message on a billboard in Michigan is a none-too-subtle jab at embattled Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel: "Liar, liar, vest on fire!"

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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