Anybody home? It’s the NBA’s Western Conference Finals, and this town just hit the snooze button on the alarm.

I cruised through Isla Vista the other night on my Hell on Wheels – it’s a red fold-up Dahon. It resembles a toy bicycle that a bear employed by Barnum and Bailey might squat on. But I.V. is now quiet? Preposterous.

An eerie silence hung in the air as I passed homes and apartment complexes without hearing the rambunctious yelling from giddy or somber Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings fans. I could have been pedaling through a ghost town in Volochanko, Siberia.

When the San Antonio Spurs ousted the three-time champion Lakers by 28 points last Thursday, I thought TNT announcer Marv Albert just chomped off sideline reporter Craig Sager’s head because he didn’t like his yellow suit. Sager has been shopping with Calvin Klein’s tactless twin, Whiner Klein. But no, the Lake Show was finally cancelled.

Then the Sacramento Kings fell to the Dallas Mavericks 112-99 on Saturday. At least Kings forward Chris Webber can go skinny-dipping with model Tyra Banks sooner than he thought. So he’s got no reason to be grumpy.

I’d take Tyra to the beach any day of the week instead of sizing my finger for an NBA Finals ring.

Big Faces in Small Places

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has strongly lobbied himself for the Cal State Fullerton men’s basketball head coaching gig. Either Abdul-Jabbar’s got too much time on his hands, or he’s been eating too many salted nuts on airplanes. And last time I checked, Donny Daniels, a fabulous ringleader the past three seasons for CSUF, turned the Titans around in 2002-03 before bolting for UCLA on April 18. The Los Angeles native and current Bruin assistant coach has more coaching savvy in one fingernail than Abdul-Jabbar will ever own in his lifetime.

The NBA trade rumor mill starts churning: Minnesota Timberwolves forward and franchise player Kevin Garnett’s career in the Twin Cities is up in the air. The Wolves’ brass may be considering trading “The Big Ticket” to Chicago for half the Bulls’ roster. Da Bulls might even throw in Jordan’s statue outside the United Center to show they mean business. It would be a terrible trade for Minnesota, however. I wouldn’t trade Garnett for anybody except Kobe Bryant and a bag of peanuts. Somebody’s got to keep Abdul-Jabbar happy when he’s hired to be Bryant’s babysitter.