Contrary to the headline implication in The Times, the Clippers didn't lose to the Thunder because of Donald Sterling; they lost because Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook outplayed Blake Griffin and Chris Paul when it counted.
Doc Rivers is my new favorite coach. I was hoping for a candid interview after Game 5 and he did not disappoint with his honest appraisal of his team and the officials. I think it's pretty clear that the NBA wanted the Clippers and the continued discussion of their embarrassing owner off the national stage. Anyone surprised by some of the calls has not been watching the NBA long.
As a Lakers fan I hope another conspiracy theory comes true when the draft lottery is held next week!
Rick Van Kirk
Bill Plaschke's column splendidly characterizes what happened at Game 5 — except for the conclusion. The Clippers were not cursed in that game, they were gamed — gamed by intimidated "homer" officials psychologically programmed to save their skins before an Oklahoma City crowd. The script couldn't have gone any other way, and the referees played their roles accordingly.
I agree with Doc: If that is the result of instant replay, maybe the NBA should just get rid of it.
Where are they now? It appears that the officials from the USA-USSR finals in the 1972 Olympics are alive and well and officiated Game 5 of the Clippers-Thunder series.
Enjoyed Doc Rivers' tirade against the officials after Game 5. So, let me get this straight. On the call in question, you agree that the Thunder player was probably fouled, yet, after the foul, the refs botched the out-of-bounds call. Let's put this to a parallel test in the justice system: The criminal robs a house, but is set free because the cops didn't read him his rights?
If Jim Healy's iconic radio show were to return to present-day Los Angeles, would one of his signature lines be changed to "Has Leonard Tose gone the Donald Sterling route?"
West Los Angeles
Mitch Kupchak is quoted as saying the Lakers won't be hiring a coach "any time soon." I don't understand. How many great coaches could be available to run a team as storied as the Lakers, especially in light of other NBA teams making their hires as we speak? Maybe the Lakers know something no one else does, but it seems a sense of urgency is in order. Why did they rush to hire Mike D'Antoni so much that they couldn't wait one day for Phil Jackson's answer whether he would coach the team? It's not like anyone was going to hire D'Antoni away from them.
So you're Mitch Kupchak and you've endured watching your team plummet from World Champions to the Pacific Division cellar in only four years. You've had to deal with a new owner who thinks he knows more about basketball personnel than you do. You're piloting a rudderless ship with no compass to guide your way. So what do you do next? You publicly embarrass the only star your organization still has.
Brian C. Gura
Leonard A. Zivitz
With the fuss about hiring Steve Kerr, one would think he is the second coming of Red Auerbach! The truth is Kerr and my cat are tied on the all-time victory list.
Mark S. Roth
Attention, Jim Buss. Mike Brown is available!
The National League West standings at the end of the season should look about same as they did Thursday:
1. San Francisco Giants
2. Colorado Rockies
3. Time Warner Dodgers
4. San Diego Padres
5. Arizona Diamondbacks
Remember: In America greed is good, right? So do me a favor. Stop covering the Dodgers on a daily basis. You don't cover the (pick any non-L.A. team) as we can't see them play on TV either. I am trying to forget the Dodgers, which apparently is OK with Dodgers management, as their game plan is fulfilled — grab the money, and make more money using that money.
As one of the "70-percenters," I only have one thing to say to last week's letter writer who wrote about Dee Gordon's newfound base-stealing prowess and infield acumen resulting from Maury Will's coaching. Thanks for the Dodger update. I'm just grateful Magic and Guggenheim didn't own the Dodgers in the 1960s; otherwise I'd be saying, Maury who?
Not only are Time Warner Cable and Dodger management robbing 70% of L.A. from hearing Vin Scully for nine innings, the lack of TV coverage is subjecting fans to Rick Monday's partial sentences and circuitous thoughts on the radio.
Anything more than a routine grounder to short ties Monday's tongue in knots, and confusion is guaranteed when he multitasks and tries calling balls and strikes while telling a rambling story. However, his worst offense is the inability to tell us the score. Rick, it's up there on the scoreboard, which listeners can't see, thanks to TWC and Dodgers management.
Yasiel Puig hits a home run, flips his bat and the pitcher gets annoyed for being "shown up." In the NBA, players who hit a big shot pound their chest and then dance halfway across the court and their opponent doesn't flinch. Seems like baseball players are a little thin-skinned.
Yasiel Puig should be lighting candles in gratitude that he's not playing in the era of a Bob Gibson, Steve Carlton or Nolan Ryan, to name just three pitchers who would delight in taking his very swollen head off with their very next pitch, after showing them up.
Still on the job
Playa del Rey
I can't tell you how disappointed I was when University of Washington running back Bishop Sankey was drafted by the Titans. I thought for sure he'd become a Cardinal, perform a few miracles, then finish his career as a Saint.
With ugliness currently dominating the media, Bill Dwyre's poignant piece on jockey Victor Espinoza was a jolt to the senses. As a result of a past emotional first visit to the City of Hope, Espinoza has been quietly donating 10% of everything he earns to children with cancer at the facility. Had he not won the Kentucky Derby, none of us would be aware of Espinoza's humanity and generosity. Dwyre's article not only gives us that awareness, but the recognition that there is good in the world to offset the evil.
Gary H. Miller
When it comes to owners, California Chrome certainly has it over the Clippers.
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