For those of you who still think that Lakers fans don't want the team to tank: The only NBA arena where you'll hear "Beat L.A." is Staples Center.
First, Dwight Howard, then Carmelo Anthony, then Pau Gasol and now Kevin Love say no to the Lakers. Why is that? Probably because they see a team floundering at the bottom for the last three years, a team that has traded five of the last six first-round draft choices, a team that traded four draft choices for an old guy with a bad back, a team that said no to Phil Jackson as a coach to hire Mike D'Antoni instead. The stars that said no to the Lakers saw all of this and they must not like what they see.
Magic Johnson is suffering from the fear of irrelevance, so he seeks the microphone like an addict seeks drugs. Seems like every few weeks he has to say something to propel himself back into public light. His obsession with Jim Buss, is becoming troublesome. He is using the Lakers' temporary decline to attack Jim almost monthly. Isn't it ironic that Jim appears to be the more classy person by ignoring Magic's petty attacks?
It was not simply the "deliberate" offense noted by Bill Plaschke that led to Ben Howland's termination by UCLA: It was his total lack of offensive creativity.
In spite of rosters laden with NBA talent, Howland ran a "Triple P" offense (pointless perimeter passing) that was constantly stymied by zone defenses. Among his in-game coaching deficiencies were the whimsical wasting of timeouts, the failure to utilize "two for one" plays at the end of halves, and the inability to take advantage of "fouls to give" situations.
Compounding matters were the bridges he burned along the recruiting trail as he misled several local seniors about UCLA's interest in them.
That Ben Howland remains out of coaching is hardly a surprise to this Bruins fan.
Bill Plaschke is great, if only because he helps me remember the past as better than it actually was.
How to spell relief
I read Dylan Hernandez's' article about the Dodgers "counting on a retooled bullpen" as the season approaches. After watching Don Mattingly handle the last year's staff in the series with the Cardinals I would suggest to Dylan that the Dodgers will need more than a retooled bullpen. They will need a bullpen that is "foolproof."
The Tiger factor
What's the haps with Bill Dwyre? He missed the whole point. It's not about golf at all. It's all about Tiger. Tiger didn't need a sport, he could have been chess master, pianist, yodeler. Tiger's just really, really good at what he does. And his fans love watching him. When he walked away at Torrey Pines, 600-700 people walked away with him. They're not coming back to watch a new generation of golfers.
Tiger is the only reason I watched golf all these years. I won't watch another game of golf unless Tiger wants to play. He can if he wants to. If he doesn't, I won't hold it against him.
When Tiger's on the prowl, there is nothing better in the world to watch on a weekend.
I was trying to come up with the best excuses I remembered athletes using for their various misdeeds or poor performances. There's Jeff Kent falling off his truck while washing it, when he was actually popping wheelies on a motorcycle. There's Sammy Sosa missing a game because he sneezed too hard. But the best has to be Tiger Woods not able to complete his round because he was unable to engage his glutes.
Besides some of the more obvious reasons that it's preferable to watch LPGA tournaments versus PGA Tour golf, others are a) there's no chance (or very little) of having to view dirty, stubble-strewn faces and b) they don't give extensive coverage on the weekend to pros who bailed after the first 11 holes on Thursday.
What's with the continued fascination and tons of column inches for Tiger Woods? At least for now, Tiger should be as irrelevant to the sports section as "9 Chickweed Lane" and "Marmaduke" are to the comics pages.
The Kings honored former coach Barry Melrose on Thursday evening as a part of their "L.A. King Legends Night" series.
They have yet to bestow such honors upon Bob Pulford, who was the first coach in Kings history to bring hockey excellence to the organization in the early and mid-1970s, including the team's first 100-point season (in which they finished second in the division to the Montreal Canadiens).
In choosing Melrose over Pulford, what were they thinking? Were they thinking?
Howard P. Cohen
In their never-ending quest to squeeze out a few more Ducks bucks from their faithful fans, the Ducks are charging their season-ticket holders slightly more for any Game 7 that may take place at Honda Center this year.
That's an interesting decision, considering the Ducks didn't even show up for last year's Game 7 against the Kings.
I was saddened to learn of the passing of NFL Films co-founder Ed Sabol.
The first sports film I remember seeing was Sabol's highlight film for Super Bowl XIV, between the Los Angeles Rams and the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was a masterpiece. With stunning cinematic views of the Rose Bowl and San Gabriel Mountains, John Facenda's booming baritone narration, mesmerizing shots of Vince Ferragamo's and Terry Bradshaw's deep spiral passes, Lynn Swann's and John Stallworth's dramatic touchdown catches, and the thrilling music of Craig Palmer's "Energy," Rossini's "William Tell Overture" and Sam Spence's "Journey to the Moon (Preparation)," Sabol took viewers through an emotional roller coaster of a title game with seven lead changes in telling the story of a resilient underdog that refused to give up and a champion that ultimately prevailed.
Sabol will be remembered as one of America's greatest storytellers.
Stephen A. Silver
Like many college basketball fans, I never enjoyed watching North Carolina's "Four Corners" offense under Dean Smith. The fact that it was highly effective made me even less happy. Now that Smith has passed away, his legacy will certainly be as one of the game's greatest coaches. But that's only half the story. Nearly all of his former players have assured us that he made them not only better basketball players, but also better men. If that's the case, then Smith should be best remembered as someone who left this world a much better place than when he entered it.
Dean Smith vs. Tark: a match made in heaven.
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