Letters: Get out those Lakers umbrellas
Southern California gets a few drops of rain, and news stations call it “Storm Watch 2010.” Everyone goes crazy. The Lakers are similar to that storm watch. When there are a few drops of rain or — in the Lakers’ case —a few losses, the sky is falling.
Kind of like the people in SoCal expect sunny weather every day, fans expect the Lakers to win every game. In both cases, it’s unrealistic to demand such perfection. Want to see a real storm? Look at New Jersey’s weather and then take a look at the Nets’ record in the standings.
So here we are, seven games shy of the playoffs and firmly believing that the Lakers lack of depth, aging and potential early departure from postseason play must serve some purpose. If nothing else, it should be the flash point that stirs anger, rankles the sensibilities, causes frustration and instills disappointment into every Lakers player, owner, coach and fan’s heart. It’s time for Dr. Buss, Jeanie Buss and Jimmy Buss to reassess the level of competition in the NBA, where many teams are significantly better compared to last year and successfully challenging the Lakers with a lack of regard. Better yet, maybe someone needs assert themselves and knock on Mitch Kupchak’s door to tell him that the Lakers have decided to go in another direction, a polite euphemism for Donald Trump’s favorite phrase.
So Kobe Bryant isn’t happy with his teammates?
Kobe has had shooting games this year of six of 19, five of 20, seven of 21, seven of 24, three of 17, two of 12, eight of 24 and four of 21. He has had seven turnovers three times, eight turnovers once and nine turnovers twice. This is a “team leader” who in the past has thrown Andrew Bynum, Phil Jackson and Shaq under the bus. He quit on his team in the second half of a playoff game in Phoenix and let’s not forget Colorado.
Kobe, just shoot the ball and shut up.
I love the Lakers and I love Kobe but what a mistake this new deal is. The Lakers did the right thing when the writing was on the wall with Shaq — why can’t they read the same writing with Kobe? His best days are behind him and LeBron is available. Business is business and this was bad business.
The Lakers miss Bynum when he’s not playing and miss him when he is. Now I know why he’s called a “can’t miss player.”
Are the Lakers on spring break too?
Said Trevor Ariza: “Like I said before, it was out of my hands …"
Oh really Trevor? Horse dung. The last time I looked it’s the player who tells his agent what to do — not the other way around.
If Ariza really wanted to stay in Los Angeles he would have instructed his agent to get a deal done for the best money possible under the circumstances. And I guarantee that, in time, the much-beloved hometown boy and erstwhile UCLA alum would have made up the difference in Southland endorsement money, to say nothing of a real chance at a second NBA championship..
So Trevor claims he’s perfectly happy where he is? What else is he going to say to the Houston brass — “I curse the hour and damn the day you Texas yokels brought me here”?
I doubt it.
I love Derek Fisher. He is a wonderful human being and a fine basketball player. However, he is done. For Fisher to say he still has basketball left in him and that he is a better defender today than he was two years ago is a joke.
Fisher can still hit a clutch shot, but he can’t do anything else. He is repeatedly torched by his opposing point guard and God forbid he drives to the lane. The next layup he makes will be his first.
Here’s one fan hoping that Derek doesn’t embarrass himself and try to play on after this season. It’s time that he puts on a suit and joins the ranks of coaches. I am sure he will make a terrific one.
Out of the Blue
Plaschke, Plaschke, Plaschke, you’re at it again. Not that Vicente Padilla is Roy Halladay or Tim Lincecum, but how many teams have one of those? Padilla has the makeup and stuff to be a No. 1 starter, his issues have been with his attitude and in case you haven’t noticed he has kept that in check with the Dodgers. The reason Torre chose Padilla is simple, take the pressure off Kershaw and Billingsley and he knew Padilla’s psyche would benefit more from the honor than Kuroda!
Much has been made of the Dodger’s lack of an ace starting pitcher, including Plaschke’s article last Sunday lampooning the choice of Vicente Padilla as the opening day starter, yet, L.A. Times sportswriters are living in a dream world. Roy Halladay, 32, whom writers seemed to have sights set on, has thrown at least 220 innings in six of his last eight seasons and is probably headed for arm trouble. Do the Dodgers really want to enter into a multi-year agreement with another potential Jason Schmidt? Both Chad Billingsley and Clayton Kershaw could become a shut-down, one-two duo in the years to come. When Billingsley is on, he’s one of the National League’s best pitchers, and Kershaw is freakishly talented.
A blockbuster trade for Halladay would have thrilled Plaschke and company, but the Dodgers’ conservative approach of developing their own pitchers, much like the Angels’, will probably benefit them in the long run.
In these tough budgetary times, the California Tax Board and the IRS owe the taxpayers an explanation on how the McCourts can afford $18 million in legal fees, $950K in monthly spousal support, seven Holmby Hills homes and the profits from the Dodgers; but still pay no state or federal taxes.
On opening day I wouldn’t be surprised to hear, “Today’s attendance is a sellout, for which the Dodgers, and the McCourts’ divorce attorneys, thank you.”
Is a 96-team basketball field enough to get every BCS school in the tournament? Why doesn’t the NCAA just give them all automatic bids and let the remaining 230 schools fight over the five or six bids left? It’s all about money, right?
Exactly what will be the point of the regular season if everybody and the Clippers are invited to the NCAA tournament?
Craig P. Fagan
Well, another “heralded” UCLA recruit from the class of 2008 is gone. I think it is safe to say “Bobo” Morgan turned out to be another recruiting “Boo Boo.”
If Tiger Woods fails to make the cut at the Masters, will the last two rounds on Saturday and Sunday be canceled?
In reading “Klein Pulls All the Stops,” (March 31) on the success thus far of the UCLA baseball team, one harks back to the other school in Los Angeles that has a baseball program. You might recall it used to be legendary? Whatever happened to it? Is it now a “club sport”? “Intramural”?
Then again, when USC hired as head coach a guy whose only claim to fame was going into the stands at Wrigley Field in search of a Dodgers cap-stealing drunken fan, one has to wonder if Athletic Director Mike Garrett forgot the other sport he played at USC.
I’ve heard excuses for the downfall of the program being that USC’s recruiting is difficult due to having to offer partial-scholarships and given that USC is an expensive institution to attend ... blah, blah, blah. But Stanford is more costly to attend than USC, and its college baseball program seems to do quite nicely.
Cut your losses, Mike: If you will not put more effort into the baseball program to make it a “revenue generating” sport — please terminate it already. Of course, the way to make it a revenue-generating sport is to annually field a team capable of making it to the College World Series, which, last I heard, rewards conferences and universities playing there with the dollars of advertisers via ESPN.
Howard P. Cohen
Let me get this straight; Tim Floyd will again be making the big bucks, O.J. Mayo is making millions and Mike Garrett keeps his job. Yet, the kids who had nothing do with the alleged cheating were ruled ineligible for the postseason.
Seems to me the NCAA should be worried about this and not about how much more money the 32 additional teams will bring into their coffers.
It’s easy to see why St. John’s didn’t wait till April 1st to announce the hiring of Steve Lavin. This sounds like a gag no matter what day you hear it.
The Los Angeles Times welcomes expressions of all views. Letters should be brief and become the property of The Times. They may be edited and republished in any format. Each must include a valid mailing address and telephone number. Pseudonyms will not be used.
By mail: Sports Viewpoint
Los Angeles Times
202 W. 1st St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
By fax: (213) 237-4322