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Text messages from press row...

Unlike the New York Yankees, the Lakers seem to have little trouble filling their premium seats -- and at premium prices. . . .

As Jack, Kanye, Leo and all the rest well know, the face value of courtside seats for Lakers games at Staples Center jumped from $2,600 apiece during the regular season to $3,500 for the first round of the playoffs and $4,000 for the second -- and will continue climbing as Kobe Bryant & Co. advance. . . .

Would you believe $4,500 apiece for the Western Conference finals and $5,250 for the NBA Finals? . . .

At those prices, $125 for valet parking sounds like a steal. . . .

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Speaking of parking, Jerry Buss probably is getting a little tired of the vanity plates on his Rolls-Royce: 9XWCHMP. . . .

He’d love to make it an even 10. . . .

Buss, by the way, turns 75 in June. . . .

Sports Illustrated calls the Dodgers’ under-27 core “arguably the game’s best” and says Chad Billingsley & Co. “have the look of a team that will once again be playing deep into October.” . . .

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On the other hand, the Arizona Diamondbacks were 20-8 in April last year and didn’t even make the playoffs. . . .

In Texas, Andruw Jones is finally showing signs of life. . . .

Torii Hunter, at his current torrid pace, would hit 64 home runs, more than double his career high of 31. . . .

That championship contender Tim Floyd seemed to be building at USC has vanished into thin air. . . .

Lew Alcindor was the U.S. Basketball Writers Assn. player of the year in 1968, reader Robert Trout of La Costa e-mails to note, meaning that UCLA can claim a Heisman Trophy winner (Gary Beban) and college basketball player of the year in the same academic year. . . .

Only Randy Moss enjoyed a greater NFL rookie season than Eric Dickerson of the Los Angeles Rams, according to a show that debuted Wednesday night on the NFL Network and counted down the top 10 debut seasons in league history. . . .

As a rookie in 1983, Dickerson rushed for 1,808 yards. . . .

Jennifer Allen of Palos Verdes Estates, an NFL Network reporter, is the mother of three young boys whose names should be familiar to Rams fans: Roman, Deacon and Anton Lamar. . . .

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Her father was George Allen. . . .

Hall of Famer Deacon Jones says of Mario Williams, the sack-happy Houston Texans defensive end famously taken ahead of Reggie Bush and Vince Young with the No. 1 pick in the 2006 NFL draft, “He’s going to make people forget all of us.” . . .

The Ducks have found more giant-killing goaltenders since the turn of the century -- Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Jonas Hiller -- than the Kings have uncovered in their entire history. . . .

As Teemu Selanne understated this week, “When you have a good goaltender, you have a good chance to win.” . . .

Writing about Rafael Nadal in the upcoming issue of Time magazine, Serena Williams notes, “I want to be like him. . . . He’s a champion whose desire to win is the same as the desire of a lion to eat -- stalking his prey with force and speed.” . . .

Continuing the feline theme, reader Geno Apicella of Placentia e-mails to suggest that underwhelming Lakers center Andrew Bynum “shows the inspiration of a fully fed kitten.” . . .

With I Want Revenge favored Saturday in the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby, the odds of 2009 producing a Triple Crown winner are 7-1, according to BetUS.com. . . .

Congratulations to former UCLA golf coach and Bel Air pro emeritus Eddie Merrins, set to be inducted Tuesday into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame at Port Lucie, Fla. . . .

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“Field of Dreams,” released 20 years ago this month, won a MovieTickets.com poll to determine the greatest baseball movie of all time, with “Major League,” “The Natural,” “Bull Durham” and “Eight Men Out” rounding out the top five. . . .

“Fear Strikes Out,” meanwhile, is a personal favorite. . . .

Female fans of Sasha Vujacic call themselves Vujachicks and follow their shaggy-haired hero at sashavujacic18.com. . . .

“Na Na Hey Hey, Kiss Him Goodbye,” sung by Lakers fans at the end of Monday’s series-clinching victory and a longtime staple at sports events, was a chart-topping hit for Steam in 1969. . . .

Reader Peter Rhalter of Los Angeles e-mails to note that while Vin Scully and John Madden are great announcers, “it’s a slam dunk that no one’s ever been better than Chick Hearn.” . . .

In this debate, Rhalter contends, the Jell-O’s jigglin’.

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jerome.crowe@latimes.com


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