The most important celebrity at Staples Center on Monday night wore no baseball cap, beard stubble or attitude.
The most important celebrity at Staples Center did not have torn jeans, a pouty smile or affected swagger.
But, like the rest of them, he didn't stroll in until the second quarter.
And, at times, it did seem as if he wasn't really watching the game.
And, no, we're not sure when he's coming back.
On a night when Will Ferrell or Leonardo DiCaprio filled the room, the most important celebrity was Andrew Bynum.
Only there is no humor here, and the drama is real.
On a night the Lakers smoothly paved over their first-round series against the Utah Jazz with a 107-96 victory and a four-games-to-one clinching, there remained an unsettled rumbling.
Bynum or sell?
It's Monday night, I am here at Staples Center of all places watching this debacle, still thinking more and more these days how lucky we are to have such a good team in town.
It's fun, they're really fun and what's wrong with thinking they can go all the way, parade and all?
They might lose on occasion, but the bench is contributing in a big way, everybody knows who is going to have the ball in their hand when they get the chance to close, and while we've heard ad nauseam that Andruw is not getting it done, we're so beyond that now.
Jones is in Texas, the Dodgers have the best record in baseball, 11 straight home wins -- and if only the Lakers could be as good as the Dodgers at home.
But here we are -- the very best witnesses to what a promising young player can mean to a team if only a little patience is shown.
But enough about Andrew Bynum and the god-awful Lakers.
Clippers owner Donald Sterling, accused of racism and embracing a "vision of a Southern plantation-type structure" in a lawsuit filed in February by Elgin Baylor, will be given a lifetime achievement award next week by the NAACP. . . .
Leon Jenkins, president of the Los Angeles branch of the civil rights organization, says of the much-maligned Sterling, "He has a unique history of giving to the children of L.A.," revealing that the owner donates anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 tickets a game to youth groups for nearly every Clippers home game. . . .
Noting that the NAACP had made plans to honor Sterling before Baylor filed suit, Jenkins says, "We can't speak to the allegations, but what we do know is that for the most part [Sterling] has been very, very kind to the minority youth community." . . .
Baylor didn't mention that. . . .
It doesn't sound as if Jaycee Dugard got to see a sports page.
Box scores were not available to her from June 10, 1991 until Aug. 31 of this year.
She never saw a highlight. Never got to the ballpark for Beach Towel Night. Probably hasn't high-fived in a while.
She was not allowed to spike a volleyball. Or pitch a softball. Or smack a forehand down the line. Or run in a 5-footer for double bogey.
Now, that's deprivation.
Can you imagine? Dugard was 11 when she was kidnapped and stashed in Phillip Garrido's backyard. She was 29 when she escaped. Penitentiary inmates at least get an hour of TV a day. Dugard was cut off from everything but the elements.
How long before she fully digests the world she re-enters? How difficult to adjust to such cataclysmic change?
More than that, who's going to explain the fact that there's a President Obama?
Dugard's stepfather says she's going to need a lot of therapy — you think? — so perhaps she should take a respite before confronting the new realities.
So, Jaycee, whenever you're ready, here's what you've missed:
•Barry Bonds, who was just leading the Pirates to their second NL East title, wound up breaking Henry Aaron's home run record. How did such a skinny guy manage that? We'll deal with that later.
•Well, actually, some baseball players began taking drugs in order to hit more home runs and throw faster fastballs. Football players, who had cornered the market on most of their drugs, began driving drunk, slapping their wives, selling drugs, and killing people. The baseball players caught more grief.
•Michael Jordan did indeed win the big one, and five others.
•Yeah, this golfer really is named Tiger Woods.
•Stock car drivers now marry international models and are invited to the White House.
•Domed stadiums, like the ones in Houston and Minneapolis, are considered obsolete, or at least unfit for baseball.
•John McEnroe became a respected television analyst, just as tennis adopted a replay system that eliminated the need for McEnroe to argue.
•Magic Johnson is a billionaire businessman, and most of us have forgotten just why he had to retire.
•You missed absolutely no Servite victories over Mater Dei in football.
•Or World Series championship for the Dodgers.
•Or Stanley Cup championships for the Kings, even though Wayne Gretzky took them to the Finals in 1993.
•Mike Tyson now makes fun of himself in movies.
•The Anaheim Ducks won the Stanley Cup in '07. Yeah, a hockey team came to Anaheim. Yeah, they built an arena in Anaheim.
•I know you've had trouble digesting all this so far, but they also built a basketball arena at USC. Honest to God.
•A guy from East L.A. named Oscar De La Hoya now makes boxing contenders rich and famous. Just as he did when he was boxing.
•The Angels won a World Series. When you learn who they beat, you'll understand why.
•Speaking of the Giants they did not move, but they did get a new stadium downtown. The Florida Marlins, who did not exist when you left, won two World Series and are getting their own ballpark. Even if you were there, it's hard to believe.
•For the most part, fans have stopped doing The Wave.
•In fact, you don't see many beach balls in Dodger Stadium or Angel Stadium anymore.
•The two NFL teams that we used to have? They've been gone for 15 years. You haven't heard anyone complain about that? Neither have we.
•Jackie Autry isn't in charge of the Angels anymore, as you might have surmised by looking at the standings.
•Joe Torre now manages the Dodgers, after a fruitful detour through New York. Tommy Lasorda? Sure, he's around. He hasn't called?
•You disappeared a couple of months before John Daly came into our lives at the '91 PGA. Who's John Daly? Never mind.
•Todd Marinovich showed why careers aren't played on paper.
•USC is one of college football's elite programs, three coaches later.
•The Red Sox won two World Series, which proves that history is bunk. The White Sox even won one. But not the Cubs.
•Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played but never threatened Vladimir Guerrero's record for most consecutive swings.
•One blessed constant remains: Vin Scully.
•And ballplayers, who always invent the slang no matter what ESPN would have you believe, came up with an expression for a home run that you might appreciate.
Congratulations, Jaycee. You left the yard.
This is the second time that Sean Salisbury has taken a picture of his dick with his cell phone. See, once, I get. Twice, though!Sean Salisbury was employed at Dallas radio station 105.3 (who knew!) but apparently he's already out. You'll never guess what the rumor is as to why he was let go.
According to one source close to the station, Salisbury "freaked out a station promo girl after sexting her".
He showed up wearing a black Kobe Bryant jersey and a dark San Diego Padres baseball cap, only one of which he could explain.
"I decided to wear the black Kobe Bryant jersey because he is the 'Black Mamba,' " he told reporters.
And the cap?
"I just love the SD; the logo looks great," he said.
So he's a Padres fan?
"Is there a baseball team here?" he asked. "I didn't realize there was a baseball team in San Diego."
Not only did he not realize there was a baseball team in San Diego, he didn't even know San Diego was in San Diego.
"I'm learning a lot of different ways of California," he said. "Is this Southern California?"
When told that, actually, San Diego was the definition of Southern California, he seemed pleased.
"I'm happy to be a Southern Californian, or whatever you want to call it," he said.
Vitamin X said:It looks they've got a couple neo-cons subbing in for the weekend, and a couple of them have already vomited out a piece or two on the Olympics and failure to get them in Chicago for 2016. Just really terrible drivel going on over there.