Sports Illustrated’s Franz Lidz, asked to name his choice as the magazine’s “Sportsman of the Year” for an SI.com story, selected Kobe Bryant.
Lidz said he made the choice “in the grand tradition of Time, which has conferred its ‘Man of the Year’ prize on the less-than-admirable likes of Adolf Hitler (1938), Josef Stalin ('39 and ’42) and the Ayatollah Khomeini ('79).
“Time’s award [now called the Person of the Year] isn’t supposed to be an honor, just a recognition of impact. And this year no sports world newsmaker had a greater impact than Bryant.”
Wonder where Shaquille O’Neal would place Bryant on his list?
Trivia time: What former UCLA cornerback, a four-year starter, led the AFC in average yards per kickoff return as a rookie for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1986?
Heavenly redundancy: Former Times sportswriter Rich Roberts e-mailed to say, “Arte Moreno, of all people, should understand. Isn’t it silly in our bilingual community of Southern California to name a team ‘The Angels Angels’?”
Los Angeles, in Spanish, means “The Angels.”
Good question: Actor Charlie Sheen, during an appearance on FSN’s “Best Damn Sports Show Period,” was asked what he’d give for an official major league baseball at-bat. “I would trade an Oscar,” Sheen said.
Responded Tom Arnold: “Whose Oscar would you give them?”
Time limit: NBA referee Hue Hollins, speaking at the recent Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission “Basketball 101" seminar, admitted that not every traveling and three-second violation is called.
“If we called them all, 7:30 games would be ending at 11:30,” Hollins said.
No laughing matter: A dejected golfer came into the clubhouse at Santa Anita Golf Course in Arcadia recently after a bad round and told PGA professional Terry Moeller, “Golf is a funny game.”
Said Moeller: “It’s not supposed to be.”
Out of bounds: NFL wide receiver David Boston, now with the Miami Dolphins, recently was charged with simple assault for allegedly bull-rushing and head-slapping an airline gate attendant who tried to stop Boston from boarding a plane.
Wrote Scott Ostler in the San Francisco Chronicle: “Boston is expected to argue that contact occurred within the five-yard bump zone.”
Looking back: On this day in 1960, the Lakers’ Elgin Baylor scored 71 points in a 123-108 victory over the New York Knicks.
Trivia answer: Lupe Sanchez, who averaged 23.6 yards in 25 kickoff returns.
And finally: “The Indiana Pacers’ Ron Artest says part of his reason for asking for time off was to spend more time with his family,” said Channel 9’s Alan Massengale. “However, since Daddy brings home $6 million a year, I’m pretty sure the family will cut him some slack for hanging out at the gym.”
Larry Stewart can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.