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Kings game pinch-hits for a silent Frank McCourt

I’m sorry, I really am, and that doesn’t even begin to make amends for what I’m about to do to you.

You deserve better, and it’s too bad USC and UCLA have crummy basketball teams -- nothing to write there. The Lakers are off, the Clippers are away and Super Bowl media day is best covered by the media that is there.

I had planned on better, a treat really for each and every one of you because Frank McCourt is talking again, making that announcement for some reason while I was on vacation.

Saw it in the paper, though, the headline reading, “McCourt gets back in the game.” It was such big news The Times had two reporters, Dylan Hernandez and Bill Shaikin, write the story.

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You can imagine my excitement, the timing perfect with the signing of someone named Johnson and GM Ned Colletti’s declaration the team is now set.

So much to talk about, and as everyone knows by now, Page 2 spends more time with the Dodgers than any other team in town. I could talk Dodgers baseball with McCourt for hours and hours without ever changing the subject, if you know what I mean.

So I sent a text to the Dodgers asking whether it would be best for me to meet with McCourt in his Beverly Hills office now that he is talking again.

“Mr. McCourt has chosen not to speak to you,” came the reply from a team spokesman.

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I’m so sorry, I really am. You are now reading a hockey column because McCourt chose not to speak to me.

In fact, from this point on, it will be like reading a column written by Dwyre, who only scribbles about things no one cares to read like golf, boxing and horse racing.

You would think Dwyre was born to write hockey, but when I told him I was going to the Kings game, he wanted to know if Gretzky was still playing.

Now you know why the newspaper has Dwyre sticking with golf this week: there’s always a chance he will score an interview with Bobby Jones.

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a Kings game. Years. I remember asking to speak to the team’s GM before a game only to have the team’s PR guy say, “Can’t you see I’m eating?”

Later, Tim Leiweke, the big Anschutz honcho, would ask that I go to a game, agreeing if he had Beckham sitting next to me. But apparently hockey does nothing for Beckham either.

But here I am, the PR guy eating again I see, so no way I was going to ask to talk to anyone with the Kings. Fortunately, I ran into broadcaster Bob Miller, one of L.A.'s great assets unless he’s really slipped the last few years.

I used to listen to him back in the days when I hung out with Jason Allison at morning skates, and later with Jeremy Roenick. I went to a number of Kings games a year, and loved listening to Miller and Jim Fox. Too bad they don’t do baseball games.

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But the Kings weren’t any good, and even worse after a while. They just weren’t very interesting, management doing nothing but buying time while fans bought tickets, and while I’m told the Kings are better now, no way of knowing it while sitting in Staples.

There were so many empty seats, and as hot as the Kings have been, the place felt flat. I’ve heard more cheering at Clippers games, and sometimes fans were even cheering for them.

Maybe it was just one of those nights, L.A. having only so many hockey fans and with something else to do -- understandably they couldn’t find anyone to take their tickets.

The first period ended with no score, and while Dwyre loves writing about nothing happening, it would have been also way past his bedtime, so in his honor, I went home.

I have no idea who won, but that’s all right.

HOW’S THIS for being classy and community minded? Koufax & Torre, two Dodgers, are going to appear together Feb. 27 because, as you know, all the Angels are boring.

Yet, even though it will be a Dodgers-dominated event, Angels President John Carpino e-mailed offering 30 radio and another 30 TV spots to advertise the night because “it’s going to help kids in our community,” as he put it, as well as offering prime placement on the team’s 57 Freeway electronic billboard.

Don’t know whether owner Arte Moreno had anything to do with it, but he hired Carpino.

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TODAY’S LAST word comes from a number of well wishers upon Page 2’s return from vacation:

Danielle Finn: “Normally I can’t stand you, but I actually found myself missing you while you were on vacation. You remind me of a fat, lazy dog who smells that you try to get away from, but as soon as it spends a day at the groomer, you feel like something’s missing in your life. Welcome back, I think.”

That might be the nicest thing anyone has ever said.

Respectre007: “Believe me, I don’t read your articles, [but] I saw Kobe’s name mentioned. That was the most pathetic and sorry wasted article ever. You ought to be shot three times.”

Kobe would’ve emptied his chamber.

t.j.simers@latimes.com


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