Letters: Welcome back, Phil Jackson


Phil Jackson’s decision to return to the Lakers for one more season shows what an unbelievable competitor the man is. There could be no better time for him to retire than immediately after a hard-fought seven-game victory over the Boston Celtics for the NBA championship, and fortunately for us Lakers fans, he still wants more.

“Just when I thought I was out ... they pull me back in!”

Jim Gillespie


If Bill Plaschke is right that we couldn’t possibly win without Phil, guess there is no reason to keep my season tickets after next year. Thanks Bill, you’ve saved me a bundle.

PJ Gendell

Beverly Hills

The ecstasy of Lakers’ sycophants over the Zen Master’s return is hilarious. Jackson is the NBA’s Bernie Madoff — a flimflam man who is all style and no substance. Jackson has never won a title without having the best player in the league on his team. He was outcoached in the Finals by Larry Brown and Doc Rivers and is as much a “coaching legend” as Pat Riley, the guru who consistently lost with Knicks and Heat teams that did not have superior talent.

Jackson gives new meaning to John Wooden’s maxim: “Never mistake activity for achievement.”

Mark S. Roth

Los Angeles

Futbol fever

It is no upset and no surprise when the United States does not make it past the round of 16 in a world team tournament in a sport we are basically uninterested in, probably primarily because of a lack of scoring and the exercise of skills too subtle for appreciation by our typical “Monday Night Football” crowd.

Andrew Sacks


On soccer’s quadrennial worldwide stage, we are told repeatedly that a goal is not a goal. If FIFA officials were the arbiters of truth, rain would be dry and the sun would be made of ice.

Spike Bragg

Long Beach

Fools I Find Arrogant (FIFA) seem to relish their referees’ abject failure to know when a legitimate goal is scored. In a sport where scoring is minimal, such failures make a mockery of the World Cup. Especially in a knockout tournament. Would a goal-line camera review take away from the purity of the sport?

Bruce N. Miller

Playa del Rey

Maybe Bill Plaschke respects the game of soccer, but he doesn’t understand it. Any person who knows the game can see that the U.S. is overrated at No. 14 in the world, so it is an “underdog” when it plays the likes of Slovenia, Algeria and Ghana.

The U.S. team wins by heart and determination. It is slowly closing the gap but is still slightly behind the world in skill and technique. It epitomizes the American dream that even if you’re not as talented, you can still win if you don’t give up. Leave the soccer articles to Grahame, Bill.

Eugene Hwang


At least we won’t have to hear how popular soccer has become in this country for another four years.

Jeff White


Suggestion for FIFA for the 2014 World Cup: Kill a goat, remove its stomach and stuff it with straw to use for the official ball. By doing this, the beautiful game will be spared even more indignities caused by pesky technological advances.

Warren Hile

Sierra Madre

Why so Blue?

Last Sunday evening at Dodger Stadium was just like old times: Joe Torre managing the Yankees to another victory.

Bud Chapman


Dear Mr. and Mrs. McCourt,

I half-carried a sobbing son from Sunday night’s painful loss to the Yankees and while he moaned about the team, I could not help but think of the amount of money being spent on lawyers that could be used for another pitcher. Or two.

Could you please go out for a dinner alone, have a nice bottle of champagne and reminisce of pleasant memories of your life and then agree to each fire one of your really expensive lawyers?

J.C. Gustafson


What exactly does Dodgers General Manager Nick Colletti do, because he is obviously not allowed to make any personnel moves?

Jerry Moore


Time and time again, Joe Torre brings George Sherrill into a tight game, and time and time again, Sherrill disappoints, continuing to prove that his career in the American League was a fluke. Last year, his Dodgers record shows that he allowed more baserunners than his low ERA would lead you to believe. This season, Sherrill has consistently looked bad again.

Sure, Broxton has blown some saves in the ninth, but that is as rare as Sherrill looking sharp. George, on the other hand, has become disgustingly reliable and has added a new dimension to the old saying of things we wish we could avoid: “death, taxes and Sherrill.”

Mike Cirasole


George Sherrill has taken Eric Gagne’s nickname:

“Game Over”

Larissa Grashian

San Dimas

When Matt Kemp needs a role model in giving maximum effort, he should not look to Manny Ramirez or Garret Anderson; he should look to Reed Johnson or Jamey Carroll. Them or that kid that does the Journey song in the eighth inning.

John Thompson


When did Andre Ethier become a classless brat? It’s easy to be smug and all smiles when you’re hitting walkoff home runs. But it’s tougher to have class when it doesn’t go your way. Every time poor little Andre has an unsuccessful at-bat, he’s tossing helmets, shattering bats and trashing dugouts.

Kevin Brown. Jeff Kent. Milton Bradley. And now Andre Ethier. Welcome to the Dodgers, Andre.

Matt Nelson

Studio City

Base comments

What was Fox thinking when it put Tom Lasorda and Reggie Jackson together in the booth last Saturday? What did they think would happen? Did they think Tommy had forgotten or forgiven Jackson’s cheating? I was at that game and I haven’t either. But that was as uncomfortable a 10 minutes as I’ve seen on TV in a long time.

What’s next, Tommy and Dave Kingman?

David Weber

West Hollywood

After Carlos Zambrano’s mini-meltdown this past week, Manager Lou Piniella actually had the nerve to say that Zambrano’s behavior was “unacceptable.” Really, Lou? At least Zambrano kept his fit to the dugout, which is far more than can be said for you! It’s OK for you to pull second base out of the ground and take it home. But Zambrano turning over the Gatorade is unacceptable? Gimme a break!

D.S. Adam


Clean it up

A suggestion from a former NCAA athlete to the powers that be: If you’re really serious about running a clean program, simply put in a clause in the coach’s contract stipulating that if violations occur under your watch, the university will seek retribution in the form of the coach’s entire salary during the years in which the violations occurred. Right now, the player moves on to the pros and makes a bundle, the coach gets another job with a fat contract, and the university is the one left holding the bag. Enough is enough.

Warren Brooks

Los Angeles

What’s worse? A football player receiving illegal benefits or three felony arrests of team players? Where was the institutional control Dan Guerrero and UCLA athletics should have had? Where was Coach Neuheisel? Shouldn’t they have known more about these three accused felons? Just wondering.

John Mark

Newport Beach

I do not know the three young men involved or the circumstances in the alleged felony theft, but when a coach refers to stealing as a “terrible mistake” and a “lapse in judgment,” someone doesn’t get the point.

Tom Blood

Huntington Beach

Good advice

There should be a congressional rule that every congressperson must have a large copy of John Wooden’s “Pyramid of Success” on their office wall. Perhaps it would act as a road map for our elected officials.

Don Weston

Woodland Hills

Naked truth

It must be nice to be Michael Vick, one of the few people I can think of who can improve his public image by attending strip clubs.

John Broecker

Lake Forest

Too much

Darko Milicic getting a four-year, $20-million contract is Exhibit A, B, C, D and E and all the proof anyone needs to show that owners have no one to blame but themselves for the financial mess the NBA is in right now.

Erik Schuman

Fountain Valley

Too loud

After watching Wimbledon and the World Cup the last few days, I’m trying to decide which is more annoying: the sounds of women tennis players shrieking like hyenas every time they hit a ground stroke or the constant drone of vuvuzelas coming from the stands in South Africa during the soccer matches.

Hard to say, but there is one thing about which I am now certain — the TV mute button is the greatest thing ever invented.

Richard Turnage



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