Mike D'Antoni has a very selective memory when it comes to keeping things in house. Wasn't he the fellow who proclaimed to reporters in an interview that he sat Pau Gasol down in the fourth quarter "because I wanted us to win the game." If that isn't a slap in the face, I don't know what is.
He and Gasol have been at odds ever since that comment. Now that Gasol is publicly criticizing his coaching, D'Antoni doesn't "understand it." Gasol has every right to be upset and frustrated with D'Antoni. It's too bad that the Lakers management don't seem to share his views.
Mike D'Antoni has gone the Leonard Tose route. He's been calling out Pau Gasol publicly since the day he arrived in L.A., then after Pau issues an innocuous comment about disciplined play after another loss, D'Antoni loses it. Whether Pau's here next year or not, it's time for this overly sensitive, immature and defenseless coach to take the next "buss" out of town so the rebuilding process can start for real.
So D'Antoni is "disturbed" with Gasol for making minor complaints. Gasol should be given a medal for what he has had to put up with. He is essentially playing on a junior college team with a high school coach. That is disturbing. What will be even more disturbing is if D'Antoni is doing anything other than selling peanuts for the Lakers next year.
Craig P. Fagan
Edward Snowden, TMZ, WikiLeaks and Twitter agree with Mike D'Antoni that Pau Gasol should have kept his opinions in house.
Mike D'Antoni at each postgame news conference:
"Blah blah blah tough loss. Blah blah blah guys injured. Blah blah blah played hard. Blah blah blah need to turn this thing around. Blah blah blah next season."
Gary H. Miller
As bad as the Lakers players and coaches have performed this season, management has to take a long look at the training staff. This group is akin to the Keystone Cops. It seems that every injury is poorly or misdiagnosed and each player that comes back from an injury seems to go right back on the injured list. I have never seen a season where a week to 10 days has turned into three months.
We watch a guy sit out for weeks or even months, then he comes back and if air hits him, he's back on the shelf. Perhaps Gary Vitti needs to spend more time in the classroom and locker room instead of wearing a suit and holding a clipboard on the bench.
In order to decide which players to retain for the 2014-15 season, the remainder of this season presents an excellent opportunity to evaluate the combined effectiveness of the Lakers' 7-footers — Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman. By starting together and playing together, their effectiveness in defending the paint and rebounding can be evaluated.
When Kobe returns, with the addition of the new players already obtained, which have given the Lakers depth, perhaps it would be necessary in the off-season only to acquire a quality forward. With Kaman and Gasol on the floor at the same time (with Jordan Hill substituting as required) next year the Lakers could have a formidable team if the two seven footers are effective together.
Howard L. Firestone
While driving down the 101 Freeway the other day, I witnessed a car that displayed the once-popular Lakers flags flowing in the breeze. Engraved on either side of the vehicle were the words "World Champions."
Is this a true definition of a fan or someone who lost a bet?
Turning off the flame
Before the Winter Olympics even got started there were reports that terrorists were in the wings and hotels for housing visitors were still under construction. Well, guess what? The buildings housing all the events were top-notch and the overall competition was spectacular and yes, everyone had a bed to sleep in.
Russia isn't going to get an A for politics, but for those two weeks they made it pleasant to watch and they were a gracious host, to say the least.
Bill Plaschke came to Sochi with a dim view of these Olympics and he wasn't going to let anything change his mind. It's too bad he missed all the joy, heartbreak, drama and competitive fire — the microcosm of human emotion represented by sport — and especially the sweetness of the Russian people. Nothing in the Vancouver, Turin or Salt Lake Olympics compared to the sight of Mishka, the adorable bear, taking the children of the world by the paw and shedding a single tear before closing the Games.
I don't know what closing ceremony Stacy St. Clair attended, but at the one I watched, the athletes were not attending a college history lecture, but rather a fascinating spectacle, during which the figure skaters were particularly interested in the ballet sequence (as was noted by the NBC commentator).
Regarding the stray dogs of Sochi, I have volunteered with rescue groups in L.A. for years. The kill rate in city and county shelters is between 80% and 85%. Those athletes and visitors concerned about the dogs of Sochi, some even rescuing some of them, would do better to show this same concern for the dogs and cats right under their noses.
Boohoo for Blue
"The Dodgers are thinking of sparing Kershaw the exhausting voyage to the other side of the world." Oh, come on. One would think that the team is being forced to sail to Australia on a schooner, hoist sails for two months in the hot tropical sun, sleep in hammocks and survive on salt pork and hardtack.
The reality is the team will travel in first-class comfort on a chartered jet, be fed sumptuous meals, arrive in a matter of hours, and upon landing will be whisked on a comfortable coach to their luxury hotel. They will not have to carry a bag or make any travel arrangements themselves. And did I mention that they're all being paid millions?
Oh, what a terrible ordeal for the Boys in Blue!
The Dodgers are facing quite a dilemma with four established outfielders. Don Mattingly will have some tough decisions to make on the four or five days during the season when Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier are both healthy.
The Dodgers are a public treasure who belong to the people of Los Angeles. I watched the Dodgers on TV with my late grandfather, who also took us to games. It is why I am a Dodgers fan.
Now the Dodgers will be inaccessible to millions of loyal Dodgers fans. Shame on ownership for taking away what makes us who we are as Angelenos. It is ironic that in 2014, with HDTV and the Internet, I will be introducing my 2-month-old son to the Dodgers by listening to the radio.
So the Angels are hoping that Josh Hamilton is ready by opening day.
I hope so too. That would be nice. It certainly wasn't the case last year.
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