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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Lakers owner Jerry Buss hospitalized as he battles cancer 02.15.13 at 7:56 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Bruins at Sabres, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Sharks at Blackhawks, 87:30 p.m. (NHL Network)
College hockey: Boston University at Maine, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: All-Star Celebrity Game, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Rising Stars Challenge, 9 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Iona at Manhattan, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Green Bay at Cleveland State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Georgetown at Cincinnati, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Lakers owner Jerry Buss' battle with cancer reportedly has taken a turn for the worse. (AP)

♦ Longtime Lakers owner Jerry Buss, who is battling cancer, has been hospitalized in the intensive care unit and has been visited by former players who are saying what they fear will be their final goodbyes, according to multiple reports.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have stopped by, while a report from radaronline.com indicates the players were visiting Buss because of “what they expect to be his final days.”

Buss, 79, has been hospitalized several times in recent years. His son, Jim, who oversees basketball operations for the team, said Thursday that his father was “doing fine” and declined to offer any details.

The Lakers have won 10 championships under Buss’ ownership, which began in 1979. Despite his health issues, Buss has continued to be involved in team decisions, including the hiring of coach Mike D’Antoni in November.

♦ Legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully denied former catcher Mike Piazza‘s accusations that Scully “crushed” him in the media and helped turned the fans against him, leading to Piazza’s trade from the team in 1988.

In his new book, Piazza blamed Scully for referencing the player’s contract negotiations during an interview in 1988 and implying Piazza was not showing loyalty to the club.

“That’s not true at all,” Scully told the Los Angeles Times. “As God is my judge, I don’t get involved in these things. I can’t imagine I would ever put my toe in the water as far as a player and his negotiations.

“I have no idea where he is coming from. I really have no idea. I can’t imagine saying something about a player and his contract. I just don’t do that, ever. I’m really flabbergasted by that reference.”

♦ High-powered NBA agent David Falk, who also is a Wizards season ticket-holder, called Washington Post columnist Mike Wise and took the team to task for its inability to compile a quality roster.

“The team is going nowhere,” said Falk, who is perhaps best known for serving as Michael Jordan‘s agent. “[Coach] Randy [Wittman] is doing a great job with minimal talent. You’re one of two things in the NBA: either one player away from contending or you’re rebuilding. The Wizards are in limbo. I love [general manager] Ernie [Grunfeld] and [owner] Ted [Leonsis], but I’d rather have Orlando’s team in four years.”

Another one of Wise’s targets was point guard John Wall, the No. 1 overall pick in 2010.

“He doesn’t have a feel for the game,” Falk said. “He only knows how to play one speed. … You can develop your jump shot all you want, but if you don’t know how to play more than an up-and-down game by the time you’re about 20 as a point guard, the chances of learning are very slim. I don’t see it happening.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 15, 1985, which Massachusetts-born NHL player scored his 42nd goal of the season to break the league record for American-born players?

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Read More: David Falk, Jerry Buss, John Wall, Michael Jordan