Text messages from press row ...
Are Kobe Bryant and the Lakers that good, or were Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets that inattentive and uninspired? . . .
The Nuggets weren’t the first 50-win team to be swept in a best-of-seven first-round playoff series -- they weren’t even the first swept out by the Lakers, that distinction going to the 1971-72 Chicago Bulls -- but they seemed oddly distracted . . .
Kudos to Phil Jackson’s crew for taking advantage. . . .
Anthony, his May calendar wide open again this year, won more NCAA tournament games during his one season at Syracuse than he has won NBA playoff games in five seasons with the Nuggets. . . .
The Memphis Grizzlies, whose shuttling of Pau Gasol to the Lakers is the gift that keeps on giving, weren’t the first team to trade him. . . .
In 2001, the Atlanta Hawks made Gasol the third pick in the NBA draft before sending Lorenzen Wright, Brevin Knight and Gasol’s rights to the Grizzles for Shareef Abdur-Rahim and the rights to Jamaal Tinsley. . . .
The Boston Celtics, who’ve got their hands full already with Joe Johnson and Josh Smith, are lucky Gasol didn’t stay in Atlanta. . . .
Johnson made like Michael Jordan on Monday night. . . .
For those keeping track, the Charlotte Bobcats will be the eighth NBA team coached by Larry Brown, who also coached two teams in the American Basketball Assn. and in college at UCLA and Kansas. . . .
Note to ABC’s Michael Wilbon, who in naming Jerry West one of the NBA’s top clutch performers cited West’s memorable shot “to beat the Knicks in Game 3 of the 1970 Finals.” As Lakers fans sadly know, the shot only tied the score, the Lakers lost in overtime and the Knicks won the series in seven games. . . .
If nothing else, adding shops and restaurants at Dodger Stadium will give fans a reason to visit in October, when all is usually quiet in Chavez Ravine. . . .
UCLA freshman Kevin Love co-stars in “Gunnin’ For That #1 Spot,” a documentary by Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys that debuted Monday night at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. . . .
Love and 23 other high school stars, Arizona-bound former Compton Dominguez High point guard Brandon Jennings among them, were brought together in the summer of 2006 for the “Elite 24" All-Star game at Harlem’s famed Rucker Park, an outdoor court that has served as a proving ground for legends such as Julius Erving, Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. . . .
The film, which focuses on Love, Jennings and six others as they prepare for the game, opens June 27 in Los Angeles. . . .
Encapsulating in one day the divergent fortunes of UCLA’s two most high-profile athletic programs over the last 50 years, Rick Neuheisel lost his quarterback Saturday on the same day Ben Howland retained his. . . .
Patrick Cowan might be more sorely missed than Darren Collison would have been, if only because Howland has a strong group of freshmen coming in. . . .
UCLA’s Josh Shipp has a better chance of making another shot over the corner of the backboard than he does of being taken in the NBA draft, but it makes sense for him to make himself available to gauge interest. . . .
Why doesn’t every other college player do the same? . . .
Ashley Force and Danica Patrick must have tuned out those tired old cracks about the questionable abilities of women drivers. . . .
Roger Clemens’ life is spinning into a country lament. . . .
Perhaps the Rocket could join “longtime family friend” Mindy McCready in singing a duet of Gram Parsons’ “How Much I’ve Lied”: This fancy that I’m on has been going on too long, it’s time to stop pretending things are real. . . .
Rafael Nadal, a winner over Roger Federer on Sunday at Monte Carlo, has won 19 of his 24 titles on clay and has lost only once in a clay-court final. . . .
That was against Federer last May at Hamburg, Germany. . . .
You have to wonder what was going through Dwayne Jarrett’s mind Saturday when no wide receivers were taken in the first round of the NFL draft. . . .
A year ago, when Jarrett gave up his final season of eligibility to make himself available for the draft, six wideouts were taken in the first round and Jarrett, a two-time All-American at USC, was the 45th pick. . . .
Not waiting another year may have cost him millions of dollars. . . .
USC, which had its national championship hopes knocked off course by Stanford last fall, had 10 players taken in the draft. . . .
Stanford had none.