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The Friday Five

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Trying to make it through a slow Friday afternoon at the office? LAist is here to help with a serving of some of the best Los Angeles-related sports reads we found on the web this week.

1. ESPN's Sports Guy weighs in on Kobe Bryant, Shaun Livingston and Sam Cassell in his annual NBA preview.
"(Sam Cassell) is a guy who makes 3-pointers in the playoffs, then hops around the court mimicking a giant set of testicles. Let's just say he fills a void. Plus, he looks like E.T."

2. The Lakers Blog breaks down the early lessons of the Lakers season.
"This Lakers team will not quit. Chalk it up to Phil Jackson's return, Kobe's maturity, the Power of Smush, or the steadying presence of assistant coach Frank Hamblin if you want. If Wednesday didn't prove it, Thursday did. Last year's squad would have lost that game by 25, letting Phoenix score more than Colin Farrell in a singles club. Instead, the Smushified purple and gold refused to let their opponent get off easy."

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3. Scoop Jackson calls Phil Jackson a hypocrite.
"At what point did Phil Jackson feel that it was his place to take derogatory and demoralizing shots at a culture and walk around as if we were too "illiterate" to understand the subliminal, covert messages behind his comments and beliefs?"

4. Boi From Troy looks at USC and sees the Miami Hurricanes of the late 1990's.
"It seems discipline is Coach Carroll’s number one weakness. On the field, it shows up in the form of stupid penalties, and off the field, it results in LAPD investigations."

5. Bill Curry explains why UCLA's Comeback Kids are flirting with disaster.
"Teams are vulnerable to the narcotic when they know they are pretty good, then use that knowledge as an excuse for poor preparation. They relax just a little at practice. They waltz through their dog-day, first-half performances in the cocksure belief that they can put the accelerator down in the fourth quarter to come away with another epic win. If the team leaders or coaches don't jerk the men back to reality, the result will be a habit that results in losses at the worst possible times, losses that destroy seasons."