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Remember how Kobe Bryant's marketability was destroyed after he was accused of sexual assault in 2003? (The case was dropped and Bryant reached a settlement with his accuser.) Well, his jersey is again the top NBA seller in the U.S. "I think he's back," CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell told me. "Will a blue-chip brand that's not associated with basketball ... go with him? That's the last step. But he's close to being the league's most marketable player."
UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel has a theory why so many freshman QBs—USC's Matt Barkley and, before he suffered a broken jaw, the Bruins' Kevin Prince, to name two—are starting. Many coaches fail to cultivate capable backups, so when a star leaves, the race to replace him is wide open. "The guys who've been in the wings haven't been coached," Neuheisel said. "No one is [that far] ahead of [a freshman]."
Line of the week
It's been more than a month since Raiders coach Tom Cable allegedly broke assistant Randy Hanson's jaw during an argument. So why is the Napa, Calif., police investigation taking so long? Fox's Jay Glazer knows: "The other Raiders assistants in the room at the time fear Al [owner Al Davis] more than the law."
Now Hear This
Listen to the podcasts at danpatrick.com/interviews
1. Orlando's Dwight Howard chats about the NBA preseason.
2. Michael Moore discusses his film Capitalism: A Love Story.