Rivers barely knows Jack


On U.S. Open Sunday, Doc Rivers figured to hear some talk about golf during Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

But it would have nothing to do with Tiger Woods. It would involve a Jack -- that's Nicholson, not Nicklaus.

A seat near the end of the visitor's bench at Staples Center means a spot near Nicholson, and Rivers was asked what they talk about.

"Usually he tells me his golf score from that day, and I always question the number that he tells me," the Boston Celtics coach said. "Other than that, that's about all we talk about."

From his usual courtside seat, Nicholson often looks like he's yapping long after just a brief comment like that, but Rivers said he is not involved in any other conversations.

"Well, that's the beginning of games," Rivers said. "Other than that, he's jawing, but it's not to me. He's just yelling out on the floor."

• NO CONTEST -- Los Angeles Times columnist T.J. Simers served as moderator at a charity event featuring Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully and UCLA great John Wooden on Friday night in L.A., and the acerbic Simers was no match for Wooden.

When Simers referred to Wooden as "the Wizard," a nickname the legendary coach very much dislikes, he said, "I told you not to say that."

When Simers persisted, Wooden said, "If this wasn't for charity, I'd never be here with you."

• EVERYONE'S FRIEND -- Legendary broadcaster Jim McKay, who died June 7 on his farm near Monkton, Md., outside Baltimore, always came across as just a regular guy.

Terry Jastrow, former senior golf producer for ABC Sports who attended McKay's funeral in Baltimore last week, said a story told by McKay's son Sean McManus, the president of CBS News and Sports, exemplified that.

"Sean was at his daughter's high school lacrosse game when he got the call that Jim had passed away," Jastrow said. "He immediately took a train to Baltimore and hailed a cab. He asked the cab driver if he was familiar with the Monkton area.

"The cab driver replied, 'Yes, I know the Monkton area. Did you hear we lost our friend Jim McKay today?' "

Added Jastrow: "That illustrates how Jim was a friend to everyone."

• ONE REGRET -- Among the speakers at the McKay funeral was James Frontlieu, McKay's oldest grandson.

"He said his grandfather taught him how to drive a car and how to drive a golf ball," Jastrow said. "He also said he recently asked his grandfather, whom he called Pappa, if he had any regrets.

"At first he said he didn't, then paused and told James, 'Actually, I do have one regret. I wished I would have played golf more.' "

• SMOKE SIGNALS -- Dwight Perry of The Seattle Times wrote of the Celtics' comeback win over the Lakers in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Thursday: "Cemetery workers swear they could smell cigar smoke wafting up from Red Auerbach's grave."

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