Speed Read: Pacers Make Kobe’s Milestone Moot

Congratulations to Kobe Bryant for scoring his 22,000th career point against the Indiana Pacers last night. Your reward? A total fourth-quarter collapse by your team’s defense and a head-scratching 118-117 loss. Personally, as I gift I’d rather receive a pair of socks, or even a gift certificate to Arby’s than that.

Lakers bench after loss to Pacers

(Sasha - wha’ happened?)

The reason the Lakers blew a 15-point fourth quarter lead was simple: they stopped playing defense. They gave up 32 points in the quarter and six offensive rebounds, the last being Troy Murphy’s tip-in that gave the Pacers the victory. It’s the first Lakers loss to a bad team this season, but knowing the team’s recent history of falling victim to seemingly overlooking bad teams. (Between them and the USC football team, there must be something in the LA water.)

Meanwhile, Dallas Stars winger Sean Avery’s mouth has gotten him in trouble yet again. He’s been suspended indefinitely for “inappropriate public comments” after running his mouth before a game against the Calgary, specifically targeting Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf, who happens to be dating Avery’s ex, hottie actress Elisha Cuthbert.

Elisha Cuthbert

Here’s Avery’s comments. If you look closely, you can see his teammates praying for an errant piece of Sputnik to come crashing down on him:

A class act, that Sean Avery. USA TODAY breaks down some of his recent “greatest hits“, including his swipe a few years ago at French-Canadians. This is Avery’s first season with the Stars, but he’s already managed to alienate his team. Dallas owner Tom Hicks said that the team would have suspended Avery if the league didn’t, and teammates like Marty Turco are already sick of his act. And we know how opponents feel about him.

Which loudmouth would you most like to see get a case of permanent laryngitis?

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USC Player’s Dad Unloads On Coach Pete Carroll

Every time USC football seems to get back onto a roll, something bad happens. Injuries, upset losses, NCAA investigations.

Pete Carrol Vidal Hazelton

(Vidal Hazelton’s (r) father sent a tersely-worded missive to Carroll) 

Has Pete Carroll lost control of the USC football program?

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This time, an astonishingly blunt letter from the father of USC wide receiver Vidal Hazelton has surfaced online that details his dissatisfaction with Pete Carroll’s USC football medical staff. Even stranger is the reaction of Vidal’s grandmother, who contradicts his father’s assertions and says, “My (grand)son is drama. I don’t know what he’s talking about.

Uh, wot?

OK, well here’s the angry letter that was fired off by Dexter Hazelton, and posted at Scout.com. (Vidal’s father is also claiming he doesn’t know how the communique ended up online.)

I am at a complete loss for words because my son, Vidal, has not received
treatment on his ankle and quadriceps since the team’s return to Los Angeles
on Saturday evening. As you know, Vidal suffered a contusion to his
quadriceps muscle and sprained his ankle during the UVA game. To date (for
over 36 hours), (1) his ankle has not been X-rayed and (2) he has received
no treatment to either injury, other than having a boot placed on his ankle.
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Blog Jam: ‘Boom Goes The Dynamite’ Gets a Job

• DEADSPIN happily informs us that the “Boom Goes The Dynamite” guy has found himself a real life sports reporting job.

Boom Goes The Dynamite guy

• WITH LEATHER will happily rain on the Olympic beach volleyball parade.

• BLOG OF HILARITY finds USC WR Vidal Hazelton going the Vince Young/Jeff Reed route in having some shirtless fun with his buddies.

• MR. IRRELEVANT finds a classic Redskins hog hat that’s the tops.

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