The lack of control demonstrated by the Clippers and Rockets, these highly paid, supposedly professional athletes, was appalling. First of all, they all were wearing "I Have A Dream" T-Shirts to honor Dr. King's legacy. Yet they proceeded to turn the contest into a Crips vs. Bloods-type confrontation.
I understand every athlete is not on a conscious level as let's say, Ali, Curt Flood, Bill Russell, or even Colin Kaepernick. Still let's be mindful that due to your notoriety, you as African American males are prone to scrutiny from the public's eye. So with that being said, let's demonstrate an elevated level of self-respect and squash the pettiness.
The image of a scowling Chris Paul charging the Clippers' locker room — bringing along several towering teammates for backup — suggests a new nickname: Little Rocket Man. Thankfully, as your article informed us, he was "stopped short" by security before he could wreak havoc on his former teammates. Whew!
So the little State Farm guy couldn't get along with the coach or the coach's son or Blake, or DeAndre. And this time CP3-year-old wanted in through the back door of the Clippers' locker room to talk some mess after another loss to his former team? Anyone notice who's the common denominator and who's the (little) jerk?
Jack Von Bulow
When this fan thinks of Chris Paul, some things come to mind. 1) overrated, 2) always carries the ball, 3) never a winner, and most of all, 4) unlikable.
Dylan Hernandez sees LaVar Ball as a charming, personable shoe salesman. Somehow he missed that his shoe business is being sued by suppliers for lack of payment. But it's really not a big deal because this shoe salesman/con man thing is just a side gig . His full-time deal is exploiting his sons. But he does it with a big smile and a twinkle in his eye. Right, Dylan?
The Dylan Hernandez defense of LaVar Ball was like a lot of Laker free throws — wide of the mark. You don't have to be Donald Trump to be a personality. I don't know how often LaVar lies, but his remark about the Lakers not playing for Luke Walton definitely crosses the Trump line. No amount of smiling and eye-twinkling keeps that from being divisive. LaVar should stick to real trash talking — like Zo is better than Steph.
While Dylan Hernandez says we need to "get used to him being around" and that LaVar Ball's popularity stems from a lack of personality in sports, Hernandez misses one point: We keep hearing about LaVar Ball because the media keeps telling us about him. Stop writing and talking about him and maybe, just maybe, we won't continue to be haunted by him. I for one think that would be great.
I'm so tired of Luke Walton's constant refrain that the Lakers lack "toughness". Isn't that the coach's job to find and use players who want to play hard?
Finally Elgin Baylor gets his due as his statue will be placed at Staples. No. 22 made pro basketball big time in Southern California. Many of us as kids developed the same neck twitch that Baylor used on his dribble drive.
I wonder if the Clippers are going to cover up Elgin Baylor's statue during their games like they do the Lakers' banners .
On the Bruins
Just read the Sunday interview with Dan Guerrero by Ben Bolch. It was a dream interview for the UCLA PR department. All of the questions were soft with little follow-up by Mr. Bolch. Every answer provided by AD Guerrero sounded like a candidate running for office.
As an example, Guerrero stated that Lonzo Ball was a "very good student." Wow. I have yet to hear Lonzo Ball speak a complete sentence of more than five words without using incorrect grammar. The English department at UCLA must be proud. Luckily for Mr. Ball, he does not have to speak properly to cash those huge paychecks from the Lakers.
Russell D. Beecher
Dan Guerrero said "there was a spike in both donations and ticket sales" after Chip Kelly was hired. Of course there was. There was a spike in ticket sales from enthusiasm about the Kelly hiring, but no particular spike in philanthropy other than that UCLA won't sell a prime football ticket unless there is a contribution at a specified level. Because that level can be as much as three times the face amount of the ticket, the cost is actually four times what the ticket says it should be. But, at least UCLA provides the opportunity to itemize a deduction from the ticket purchase.
Mark S. Greenfield
So Dan Guerrero thinks it's about the "trajectory." No, Dan, it's not about trajectory, but about results. The trajectory of Jim Mora's tenure was great for the first two years, but he never won anything, much less championships. Trajectory only matters if it results in hardware. Until he grasps that, Guerrero's trajectory should be out the door!
William David Stone
Although, perhaps, not quite the kiss of death the cover of Sports Illustrated is purported to be, articles in The Times recently touting Aaron Holiday's arrival at greatness, preceded yet another six-turnover game. Admittedly a great talent, Holiday still, more than any player I've watched, takes more furious, pell-mell trips into the lane without a clue of what he's going to do with the ball when he gets there. He needs to play more with his head than his God-given physical talent, which by now, Coach Alford should no longer need to be stressing.
So Steve Alford and the Bruins didn't know Thomas Welsh was hot during the loss to Colorado. I guess they didn't hear me screaming at my TV?
Wynalda? Why not?
Dylan Hernandez' article is spot on. Eric Wynalda is the gamble we need to assemble creativity, player talent, foreign/MLS experience and the American way. I only hope that he utilizes all his resources, including Sunil Gulati, Juergen Klinsmann, Bruce Arena, Sigi Schmid, Ralph Perez, Bill Peterson, key players and youth leagues.
I would appreciate knowing Wynalda's perspective on recruiting Latino and other foreign-born/hyphenated-American players who possess the passion and single-minded dedication to the sport as well as expanding our professional leagues to include all of North America south of the border.
Bruce Cort Daniels
Running Springs, Calif.
Upon further review, further review is ruining football and basketball.
Trying to watch a college or pro football game in an enjoyable and continuous basis has become impossible. While coaches challenges are valuable, the constant stoppage of play by offices in New York who are not part of the action has become absurd. It has led to interpretations of "rules" that the game was never meant have influence the outcome, and calls by one person isolated from the action that completely reverses the true intention of the play and flow of the game. Likewise in basketball, where holdups can take 3-4 minutes trying to see whose fingernail the ball may have flicked off in slow motion.
Baseball has been much truer to what the replay intentions is all about. If not challenged, the play stands, and a crew chief on the field decides if a play is reviewed. And the flow of a baseball game has improved because of it.
Corona del Mar
It's not that easy
Not that I think for a moment Dodgers brass will change their minds now that they have successfully managed to get under the luxury tax threshold for this season, but their plans to once again coast to a Western Division title and hope for the best in the playoffs just hit a serious pothole as the hated Giants have seemingly fixed their offensive problems signing Evan Longoria and Andrew Mccutchen. A division title can no longer be taken for granted, but rest easy Dodgers fans, a financially successful season has been assured.
RIP, Dan Gurney
It is typical of The Times not to cover any form of automobile racing in any great depth. But, to practically ignore the passing of someone who truly fits the title of icon is very disrespectful. It took me several times looking through all sections for mention of Dan Gurney's passing.
What set Daniel Sexton Gurney apart from his peers was the fact the he did not know he was Dan Gurney. A nicer, more down to earth gentleman you could not find.
Allen R Kuhn
It's a bit ironic that the previous two Rams regular starting quarterbacks are starting for the Vikings and Eagles in the NFC title game. Throw in Sam Bradford as Nick Foles' backup for good measure. Shades of Norm Van Brocklin, Billy Wade, Frank Ryan, Roman Gabriel, Bill Munson and Ron Jaworski trade-aways. Did I miss any?
Fort Bragg, Calif.
After hearing the CIF Southern Section basically declared open season on high school kids jumping from athletic factory to athletic factory, Mater Dei football has announced they will travel to Tuscaloosa in September to open up against Alabama, then return home for a "breather" game against Boise State.
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