Text messages from press row ...
If it’s true that Kobe Bryant is trying to buy Michael Jordan’s suburban Chicago home in Highland Park, Ill., as the Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday, isn’t the Lakers star putting the cart before the horse? . . .
Or does he know something we don’t? . . .
The last time the Clippers started 3-0, two years ago, they made the playoffs. . . .
The last time they started 4-0, 22 years ago, they did not. ...
Joe Torre cited John Wooden as a mentor during his farewell news conference in New York and at his introductory news conference at Dodger Stadium. . . .
Wooden, 97, says Torre, 67, is more a pal than a protege. . . .
Wooden, who calls baseball his favorite sport, says their friendship dates to the late 1980s, when Torre was an Angels broadcaster. . . .
Says the former UCLA basketball coach of the even-keel new Dodgers skipper, “I admire his managing style so much. He reminds me of one of my favorite managers, Walter Alston. His style is very similar.” . . .
Wooden also is fond of levelheaded Angels Manager Mike Scioscia and notes that, while he’ll probably visit Chavez Ravine more frequently than in recent seasons because of Torre, “I haven’t deserted the Angels.” . . .
Torre, who will wear No. 6, will be the sixth Dodger to wear that number since Steve Garvey left the team 25 years ago, following Jolbert Cabrera, Brent Mayne, Jason Grabowski, Kenny Lofton and Tony Abreu, who wore it last season. . . .
For 20 years after Garvey’s departure, no Dodger wore No. 6, and Garvey says he has been inundated by calls, e-mails and text messages this week. . . .
Garvey, whose number was retired by the San Diego Padres in 1988, says of the Dodgers, “I guess they’ve taken it off the rack. To me, that’s OK. They kept it away for 20 years. I thought that was quite an honor. God willing, I’ll make the Hall of Fame and it will be retired permanently.” . . .
In the meantime, Garvey says, Torre is “a good steward.”. . .
BTW, no Dodger has worn No. 34 since Fernando Valenzuela in 1990. . . .
Just as everyone predicted before the start of the season, USC and California will meet Saturday at Berkeley in a game that could decide the conference championship and probably will have major national implications. . . .
Unfortunately for the teams coached by Pete Carroll and Jeff Tedford, the showdown game with major national implications will be played in a pool, with top-ranked Cal taking on second-ranked USC in a key Mountain Pacific Sports Federation water polo match. ...
A few hours later, the football teams will square off. . . .
Unlike heralded freshman Kevin Love, who makes his UCLA debut Friday night against Portland State, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton were sophomores when they played their first games for the Bruins varsity. . . .
Abdul-Jabbar, then known as Lew Alcindor, made 23 of 32 shots, scored what was then a school-record 56 points and grabbed 21 rebounds in his debut, a 105-90 nonconference victory over USC on Dec. 3, 1966, at Pauley Pavilion. . . .
Exactly five years later on Dec. 3, 1971, Walton had 19 points and 14 rebounds in a 105-49 rout of the Citadel at Pauley. . . .
Love probably won’t stick around for a sophomore season. . . .
Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, who rallied from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit in Sunday’s 24-20 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, trailed or were tied in the fourth quarter of all three of their Super Bowl victories. . . .
The WNBA is starved for attention and former NBA lightning rod Dennis Rodman says that he would like to coach a WNBA team. . . .
What could go wrong? . . .
Art Aragon, a mid-century Los Angeles fighter who was boxing’s “Golden Boy” long before Oscar De La Hoya came along, turns 80 on Tuesday. . . .
Co-coach Jasna Reed, who in 1988 won an Olympic bronze medal in women’s doubles competing for Croatia, says that Texas Wesleyan University is the only college in the United States that awards table tennis scholarships. . . .
Yes, as in Ping-Pong. . . .
As reported by Bay Area blogger Geoff Lepper of the Contra Costa Times, former UCLA point guard Baron Davis looked into the rafters at Pauley Pavilion last Friday during the Golden State Warriors’ morning shoot-around and said, “We should have a banner up there: the only team to make the tournament without a coach.” . . .
Somewhere, surely, Steve Lavin’s ears were burning.