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Sportswriters Running Out of Words to Describe Kobe Bryant’s Senior NBA Citizen Feats

Last fall, Sports Illustrated and most other experts promised us a 2012-13 Lakers rose garden. Last night, at the end of a season that has turned out instead to be all about the thorns, Kobe Bryant willed his team to victory at Portland’s Rose Garden.

Bryant is doing things at age 34 that most NBA players ten years younger can only dream of. Even Mr. Hockey Gordie Howe, who just turned 85, is probably shaking his head over last night’s 113-106 one-man show.

So how are sportswriters describing Bryant’s season-high draining of 47 points in a place where the team usually gets stomped? Take your pick: “implausible” (LA Times); “epic” (ESPN Los Angeles); “thrilling” (Yahoo)…

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Shaq, Phil, Jeanie and Fellow Lakers ‘Superman’ Hang Out at HuffPost Live

This was anything but the usual HuffPost Live Google+ hangout. Ahead of tonight’s retiring of Shaquille O’Neal‘s Lakers jersey at Staples Center, host Marc Lamont Hill welcomed Shaq, Phil Jackson, Jeanie Buss and (a little later into the conversation) Kurt Rambis. Before O’Neal, Rambis also famously earned the nickname “Superman” from Chick Hearn.

There’s no better way to get in the mood for tonight’s induction ceremony (or follow it up later) than by watching this half-hour conversation. You know it’s a good HuffPost Live segment when one of the network’s other hosts, Jacob Soboroff, chimes into the chat room with, “One of the great HPL interviews. Well done.”

A favorite part for us was when Buss reacted to Shaq’s first set of comments, explaining that she had never heard the story of what Jerry West told #34 when The Big Newcomer first joined the purple and gold. The story magically ties into what is scheduled to transpire at Staples tonight.

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Matt Kemp Travels to Sesame Street

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp is the latest local athlete to pay a visit to Sesame Street, appearing on the iconic children’s show Thursday.

And since the kid inside of you is wondering, the word of the day was attach.

As in I hope the surgeon who performed offseason shoulder surgery on Kemp made sure to attach it back to his body.

[H/T Big League Stew]

Former Super Agent Leigh Steinberg Celebrates Three Years of Sobriety

According to an interview by AP sports writer Bernie Wilson, it was exactly three years ago on March 21, 2010 that former high-flying pro sports agent Leigh Steinberg officially stopped pounding back the vodka. What that means is that many better things lie ahead in 2013, including hopefully completing an autobiography and regaining NFL Players Association certification as a talent representative.

Steinberg is also in the process of soliciting financing for another Newport Beach sports agency. All in all, the man forever associated with Tom Cruise’s character in Jerry Maguire is authoring a gridiron-worthy comeback story:

On Saturday, friend and business partner Richard Gillam will throw a party to celebrate Steinberg’s three years of sobriety and his real birthday, which is next Wednesday.

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Bill Walton Goes Bill Walton During Broadcast

What happens when you give a loose cannon like Bill Walton a live mic in Las Vegas?

A couple of cringe-worthy moments for the suits at ESPN.

Walton was calling Oregon vs. Washington at the Pac-12 tournament Thursday night and dropped a couple of broadcasting bombs that had Twitter buzzing.

First up, Walton on Ray Lewis:

Walton is making a reference to Lewis’ 2000 arrest following a Super Bowl party in Atlanta. The retired linebacker officially joined ESPN as an analyst on Wednesday. Maybe the murder joke was just hazing on Walton’s part? Welcome to ESPN, Ray.

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Kobe Bryant Vents About Ankle Injury

 

Just when you thought this season couldn’t get any worse for the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant suffered a sprained left ankle in the final seconds of Wednesday’s 96-92 loss to the Atlanta Hawks and is out indefinitely.

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Clipper Accused of Murder After Sick Dunk

If you haven’t seen it by now, Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan had the dunk of the year Sunday night vs. Brandon Knight and the Detroit Pistons.

The dunk was so vicious that not only did Twitter explode, but so did Jordan’s Wikipedia page. According to the Wiki, Jordan was charged for murder after his actions at Staples Center:

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Hugh Hefner Remembers Fellow Man of Leisure Jerry Buss

Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner was on ESPN 710 this morning with Max and Marcellus to give his remembrance of Lakers owner and fellow man of leisure Jerry Buss. Asked if Buss was a playboy, Hef replied “Well I really can’t speak from personal experience.”

Zing!

He continued: “He, as I have tried to do over the years, defied the limitations in terms of age and it was more than simply – he was young for his years and he had as many female friends as males, but he had a great many male friends, too. What he brought to the game as I say was unique and he will be truly missed.”

More transcripts here if you don’t feel like listening.

[Photo of Buss at October 30, 2006 Hollywood Walk of Fame induction ceremony: s_bukley/Shutterstock.com]

H/T Deadspin

Will Ferrell Crashes Lakers Game As An Usher Named ‘Ted Vagina’

When it comes to public hijinks, Will Ferrell is second to none… Well, second to Bill Murray actually. Still, pretty damn funny.

Ferrell was at last night’s Lakers game against the Suns dressed as an usher named Ted Vagina.  Lest you think Ferrell was just having fun, he was apparently there to promote his new movie. Shaq will apparently be featured in this film, because Ferrell angrily escorted him out of his courtside seats at one point during the game. If Shaq is going to show up at a Lakers game of his own volition, no way it’s going to be against a team as terrible as the Suns.

H/T Deadspin

Bill Walton Really Doesn’t Like Ben Howland

Former UCLA legend Bill Walton is an acquired taste when it comes to his broadcasting career.

Some find his broadcast style to be grandiose while others (like myself) think he’s a breath of fresh air who isn’t afraid to speak his mind.

For example, Walton didn’t hold back during Thursday’s ESPN broadcast of UCLA vs. Washington. Attendance at Pauley Pavilion was sparse to say the very least and Walton pointed the finger directly at Bruins head coach Ben Howland.

Via The Big Lead:

Pasch: “OK, well, that’s obvious. How do you play better basketball?”

Walton: “Better style.”

Pasch: “Alright, so, is that the coach? Is that the players?”

Walton: “It’s the coach.

Pasch: “So you’re not a Ben Howland fan?”

Walton: “No.”

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