It's not easy being on late-night television.
Marv Albert, the veteran NBA announcer for TNT, was in town for the Lakers-Chicago Bulls game Thursday night. On Wednesday, Albert was a guest on the "Jimmy Kimmel Live" show. The musical star was rapper 50 Cent.
As Albert arrived, with an entourage of one, TNT public relations specialist Jeff Pomeroy, there was a sudden scuffle when a multitude of 50 Cent protectors seemed unfamiliar with Albert. There was shouting ("It's Marv Albert," yelled a Kimmel show guard, a pronouncement that seemed to have no effect on the 50 Cent phalanx.) There were obscenities. A fist or two flying. A "Don't you put your hands on me" pronouncement.
And finally Albert made it to his waiting room, relatively unruffled but slightly puzzled. "Did you see that?" Albert said. "I thought they were kidding, but then I realized they weren't."
Kimmel said Albert's appearance was at his request. "I've been a fan of Marv's for a long time," the late-night host said. "I appreciate great broadcasters who are distinctive. I like somebody who brings a real personality to the job but in a professional way. Your job is to call games, not tell jokes, not make yourself a personality. I think Marv is great."
Perhaps 50 Cent's people would have recognized Albert had the broadcaster just walked down the hallway saying, "Yessssss!"
Albert said he thinks the Lakers will miss the injured Luke Walton more than people might expect. "He's such a perfect fit for Phil Jackson," Albert said. "Luke is so under the radar, but when they put him in, the ball gets distributed. The Lakers need guys like that."
Honoring Lakers, all year long
Fox Sports West is offering extra Lakers programming in honor of the team's 50th season in Los Angeles.
For example, Sunday at 9:30 p.m., after the Lakers play Oklahoma City (6:30 p.m.), FS West will show Game 4 of the 1987 NBA Finals, the game when the Lakers beat the Celtics, 107-106, and in which Magic Johnson's running sky-hook with two seconds left won the game.
Also during the season, during the "Lakers Live" pre- and postgame shows, there will be 50 four-minute vignettes called "Golden Days, Purple Knights," highlighting key Lakers moments juxtaposed against historical Los Angeles events. Actor Wendell Pierce does the voiceovers.
A fun game might be to count the empty seats at Pauley Pavilion while watching the winless Bruins play host to Cal State Bakersfield at 7:30 p.m. on FS West. Equally painful for USC football fans? Checking out what an unbeaten team looks like when Boise State plays at Utah State at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
Good on Saturday
If you didn't fork over the bucks to watch the fight live, the Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto bout is on HBO at 10 p.m. We won't spoil the results for you. Some rivalry college football games: Ohio State at Michigan at 9 a.m. on Channel 7 and, at the same time on Versus, Harvard at Yale (unless you have DirecTV, in which case, never mind); at 4:30 p.m., it's Cal at Stanford on Versus (unless you have DirecTV, in which case, again, never mind). Are you DirecTV people missing Versus yet? And with many Pacific 10 Conference championship implications, Channel 7 has Oregon at Arizona at 5 p.m.
Good on Sunday
At 11 a.m., check out some of the best U.S. women's figure skaters at the Skate Canada competition on Channel 4. Reigning U.S. champion Alissa Czisny, 2008 U.S. champion Mirai Nagasu and 2009 national bronze medalist Caroline Zhang will represent the U.S.
The Golf Channel will carry the final LPGA tournament of the year, the LPGA Tour Championship, at noon. Michelle Wie's first LPGA event victory last weekend earned the Golf Channel its second-highest rankings of the season (beaten only by Day 3 of the Solheim Cup, where Wie also starred).
Wie dropped out of this weekend's event because of an injury.
Best of the NFL offerings is the desperate Chargers at suddenly vulnerable Denver at 1:15 p.m. on Channel 2.
ESPN will have the MLS Cup championship game between the Galaxy and Real Salt Lake at 5:30 p.m. David Beckham has finally made it to the finals. Might be worth a peek instead of the Eagles and Bears at 5:15 on Channel 4.