The notion that just because a player had a great basketball career it will transfer to management is flawed. I can count on one finger a former player who is an exception to this rule and his name is Jerry West.
Magic Johnson, one of the all-time great players, was a total bust as a coach, not to mention the debacle that was his late night talk show. Now he’s being touted as the Lakers’ savior. His desire to entice Kobe Byant back into the Laker fold is a good indication of his ineptitude in the management arena. True, like Johnson, Bryant was one of the best whoever played, but he wasn’t exactly Mr. Congeniality with other players. Just ask Shaq … or Smush Parker.
The Lakers don’t need Magic Johnson. They need a tried-and-true NBA executive with a resume of smart trades and intelligent draft picks. Let Johnson concentrate on the Dodgers, who, by the way, have won nothing since he came on board.
Gary H. Miller
Maybe Magic was too busy running the Dodgers to notice, but the Lakers were horrible the last few years because of Kobe’s “me-only” mentality. For example, a reporter recently asked Jordan Clarkson when was the first time Bryant sat down with Clarkson and explained to him what was necessary to win in the NBA. Clarkson said no such conversation ever took place.
Given Bryant’s mentality, Johnson’s belief that enlisting Bryant to help the current Lakers’ squad should permanently and forever disqualify Johnson from being the sole voice of the Lakers.
Magic, we are sure you were joking when you said that the first call you would make in your new position with the Lakers would be to Kobe. We know you really meant your first call will be to Jerry West, a builder of champions with a keen eye to find the right talent, in order to gain insight and wisdom.
There will be criticism of Magic Johnson for his approach in discussing his new role as an advisor to Jeanie Buss. They might decry what some feel is an undermining of Jim Buss or Magic’s shaky stint as a Lakers head coach. And all are valid criticisms. However, with all due respect, a 49-point loss and 19-39 record. What would you do?
Rodney K. Boswell
“He’ll say blah-blah-blah, I’ll say blah-blah-blah, OK, let’s go with so-and-so.”
That is supposedly a direct quote from Magic Johnson to USA Today regarding his plan to work closely with Luke Walton. Doesn’t sound like much of an upgrade over Jim Buss, does it?
Good luck Luke.
Turn out the lights, the party’s over. This Lakers’ season, 9-29 in the last 38 games, is a train wreck. Here’s what they should do:
Starters: Ingram, Russell, Nance, Randle, Zubac.
Bench: Williams, Clarkson, Young, Robinson, Black.
Discards: Mozgov, Deng, Calderon, Huertas.
Honorary Captain (of the Titanic): World Peace
Play the kids, Luke, all of them. What have you got to lose?
A basketball icon takes control of basketball operations for an NBA franchise. How’s that worked out in Charlotte?
Advice to Lakers: Avoid the lottery. There might be another LeBron, Steph, or Kevin Durant in this year’s NBA draft lottery, but the Lakers won’t get him. In fact, the Lakers should trade their (now) annual lottery pick and concentrate on the draft’s second round.
The Lakers have excelled in finding good young players late (Clarkson, Nance, Zubac) but have failed miserably with their lottery picks (Randle, Russell, Ingram). Want proof? Guess which group of these Lakers players have a higher shooting percentage, fewer turnovers, more defensive rebounds and steals per minutes played, and consistently outperform the Lakers starters? Here’s a hint: It ain’t the lottery guys.
Magic is now claiming the Lakers’ rebuild will take three to five years. What a coincidence. This is about the same time the Deng and Mozgov contracts expire.
Problems: City-hopping every other day during road trips. Sometimes not knowing the day of the week. Struggling to remember room numbers at four-star hotels. Erratic NBA schedule.
Solution: Average league player salary, $5 million. Deal with it.
Mark J. Featherstone
Color them blue
I just don’t understand the glowing articles about the Dodgers’ prospects for 2017. Top bullpen in either league? A 99-win season? On the level of the Cubs? Best team in all of baseball? This is a flawed team in so many areas, including an unsettled starting pitching staff, incomplete bullpen, question marks in left and right field and a problem at first base no one seems to want to deal with. Their top RBI guy, Adrian Gonzalez, is on the downside of his careerm with declining home runs, RBIs and batting average, numbers too low for a middle-of-the-lineup player with no great sluggers to support him.
Yes, praise the Dodgers for spending a lot of money this off-season, but in reality they had to just to try to be as good as they were last year. The Cubs were young and will be better this year, as will the Nationals, and the Giants seemingly fixed their one gaping hole by acquiring Mark Melancon as their closer. Even matching last year’s limited success will not be easy for this team.
A title in October? As constituted now, no way.
The Dodgers “Obeyed the Urge to Splurge,” [Feb. 15] spending $192 million on “top” free agents Rich Hill, Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen? The news is akin to celebrating record price purchases of real estate in West Covina, Pomona, and Norwalk. Sturdy pickups perhaps, but hardly the making of free agent and championship dreams.
Charter, formerly Time Warner Cable, going by the alias now of Spectrum, may have overplayed its hand. The biggest bargaining chip is gone, having retired last season after 67 years. Now, all they have is the team on the field, with whatever group of irritating announcers they replace Vin Scully with. No other cable service will ever pay what they are asking, especially without Vin.
While we are on the subject, whatever happened to the Pac-12 Networks?
No fields of dreams
The Rams left the Coliseum in 1979.That’s 38 years ago.What is their fan base?
The die-hard fans that are welcoming the Rams back are mostly into their retirement years on lower fixed incomes. The average price of a PSL at $8,000 will keep most at home.
The millennials are mostly into the Dodgers and the Angels, where tickets are reasonably priced and available for single games. The well-heeled crowd is already paying big bucks for the Lakers, the Clippers, and USC football.
The NFL shamelessly used L.A. as a stalking horse for decades to get better stadium deals elsewhere. The possibility of half-filled Inglewood stadiums is our sweet revenge.
So the Chargers, one of the worst NFL franchises since 1994 when spoiled son Dean Spanos took over as owner for his incredibly competent dad Alex, raise their average ticket price 225% from last year’s $85 to this year’s unbelievable league-high $192. With 30,000 seats in the embarrassingly small StubHub Center, and the Chargers playing a home schedule this year of Oakland, Denver, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Washington, Miami, Buffalo and Cleveland, my guess is 75-90% of the fans in attendance for most games will exuberantly be rooting for the visiting team, and for the Cleveland and Buffalo games, those will likely be the worst-ttended games in NFL history.
Congratulations Dean, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL brain trust (?) for this West Coast version of Cleveland’s “Mistake by the Lake.” Hold on, L.A., for those Groupon discounts!
La Canada Flintridge
Regarding the Chargers’ “Fight for L.A.” campaign: Are Dean Spanos and company really that out of touch? The “crowd” pictured at the kickoff ceremony was mostly disguised as empty seats. Season-ticket sales are obviously very low or the Chargers would be reporting them. Raiders fans, by far the most populous football fans in the county, are upset at having a divisional rival staking a claim to the city. And if Spanos thinks that fans don’t know the real reason he moved the team ($), then he surely will when the only people attending Chargers games are those rooting for the opposition.
The UCLA basketball team doesn’t necessarily need to play Ben Howlandish defense. A Jim Harricky defense will do. That was enough to win a national championship in 1995.
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