Sports Beat, 1-17-08

--Don't look now, but the Lakers have the best record in the Western Conference. But with Andrew Bynum out for eight weeks, some think that designation could end soon, as they lead Phoenix by a half game and host the Suns tonight.

Some Laker fans are quietly whispering their fears about Bynum's long-term prospects. So much hope is invested in the young center, and he's now proven that he has the talent to make it. But he missed much of his high school career with injuries, his body wore down last season, and now he's out for eight weeks subluxation of the left knee cap. Lakers trainer Gary Vitti wasn't all that comforting in a news conference yesterday.

"Andrew has some predisposing factors skeletally if you see him -- a little bit knock-kneed, wide pelvis -- [that] makes him prone to this type of thing," he said.

If you're a Laker fan, then hope it doesn't happen again, even though he's "prone" to it. In the meantime, the Lakers are considering signing Chris Webber.


--Norm Chow's surprise firing by the Tennessee Titans has fueled speculation that he might become the offensive coordinator for UCLA. We know that Rick Neuheisel is interested in the offensive guru.

"At this point in time, I'm going to sit back and stay home and walk the dog and think about some stuff. My wife and I have been apart for three years and we're going to enjoy being together," Chow said.

Part of the reason why Chow and his wife have been apart is because the Chows still maintain a home in Manhattan Beach. If Chow goes anywhere next season (and he's getting paid $1 million annually by the Titans for two more years), then UCLA's location would figure to work in their favor. Still, Chow doesn't quite sound like someone who wants to step immediately back into coaching.

"I may take a step back for a year, try to learn and grow from being off," Chow said. "Pete [Carroll] did that one year. A lot of people do that."

If Chow gets hired by UCLA, then it would be an absolute coup for the Bruin football program. A staff of Rick Neuheisel, DeWayne Walker, and Norm Chow would be one of the best in the country. One person who won't be joining the UCLA staff though is USC assistant Ken Norton, who chose to remain with the Trojans instead of leaving for his alma mater.

January 17, 2008 9:18 AM • Native Intelligence • Email the editor
 

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