Morning briefing: Clippers’ comeback is the latest Hollywood thriller

Steve Ballmer
Clippers owner Steve Ballmer celebrates after his team rallied to beat the host Warriors in Game 2 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series Monday night.
(Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

A historic NBA playoff finish on an otherwise mundane Monday menu of TNT broadcasts might end up marking a seismic shift with ticklish La-La-Land celebrity loyalties.

“Sleepless in Hollywood” might better define the Billy Crystal-adjacent Clipper Nation folks who saw their team trail the defending champion Golden State Warriors by 23 points at halftime in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series and heard Charles Barkley declare the Clippers as terrible as burnt toast.

Sure, the deficit expanded to 31 points with 7:31 left in the third quarter, but it was, according to Lawler’s Law, a fait accompli when it became 100-80 with more than a quarter to go against a team so destined for more Californication celebration that it just had its own segment on CBS’ “60 Minutes.”

But the Warriors, co-owned by entertainment venturist and co-Dodgers overlord Peter Guber, have some rival L.A. rooting interests that don’t have a wagon hitched to the losers-of-late Lakers.


Consider what Oscar- and Emmy Award-winning director-producer-screenwriter James L. Brooks unashamedly tweeted out late Monday via @canyonjim after the Clippers’ 135-131 victory: “I don’t care who knows it. I cried at the end of the Clippers comeback win. And, to the biggest class of free agents in NBA history, the line forms to the right to become part of this team.”

Just so we and LeBron James are clear: What are the nuances of the NBA’s tampering rules again in this post-Magic Johnson executive era? Or will this end up simply becoming, to borrow a Brooks movie title, as good as it gets for these Clippers?

Fashionably 42

UCLA baseball followers duly noted how the Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryce Harper used Jackie Robinson Day on Monday to sport a blue-and-gold Bruins arm sleeve, batting gloves and cleats during his team’s home game against the New York Mets. A nod, of course, to Robinson’s career at UCLA (and to the fact that Harper and UCLA are endorsed by Under Armour).


The Dodgers’ Brooklyn throwback uniforms used in their game against Cincinnati also were specially tailored. Yet according to Paul Lukas’ Uni Watch website, noted for its “obsessive study of athletics aesthetics,” the execution “was a bit of a hodgepodge.”

The B cap logos “were comically large” compared with what Robinson wore in 1947, Lukas wrote. He also noted that the blue 42 on the back of the jerseys was much bolder than average and that there was a “discernible tailoring modification” by using raglan sleeves instead of set-in sleeves.

Whatever best suits the occasion and nostalgic concession-stand sales.

Odds and endings

Tiger Woods’ payout for his historic Masters victory came to $2.07 million from a $11.5-million purse. Then there’s a $1.275-million payout James Adducci received for Woods’ win.

Adducci, a 39-year-old self-employed day trader from Wisconsin, said he never made a sports bet in his life but went to two other places with $85,000 in cash, stuffed into a backpack he bought at Walmart, before the SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino OK’d his wager on Woods to win at 14-1 odds. He received his giant cardboard check Monday.

Adducci, who admits to having a mortgage on his home, two student loans and two car loans, told that his wife didn’t push back much on the bet.

“She said to me, ‘I can’t stop you from doing this, because if [Woods] wins, I’ll never forgive myself,’ ” Adducci said. “She’s a keeper.”


Keeping it real, he says he wants to buy a new garage door with the winnings. At least let your wife pick out the color. How does Woods’ Sunday Red sound?

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