At the outset of game 1 of the NBA Finals, announcer Mark Jackson stated he thought JR Smith could be a wild card. How right he was.
The NBA and its officials proved to be pathetic in Game 1 of the Finals. I have never seen a blocking/charging call overturned in 40 years of watching the NBA, and now they decide to do it with 40 seconds remaining, Cleveland leading by two, and after the officials had called it a charge? The officials essentially handed Golden State the game and the series.
That LeBron James is this era’s greatest NBA player is indisputable. But after JR Smith’s bonehead play that probably cost his team a Game 1 win, James’ declaration, “I don’t give up on any of my players. That’s not my MO” is laughable.
He of the “I’m taking my talents to South Beach” pronouncement, leaving his then-Cavaliers teammates in the lurch to only once again do the same by abandoning his Miami cohorts to return to Cleveland.
LeBron does what’s good for LeBron and only what’s good for LeBron. And while this doesn’t set him apart from most other professional athletes, giving up on his teammates is exactly his MO and he’ll likely do it again this offseason.
Hey, refs! Your job is to uphold the integrity of the game. I counted at least 10 times LeBron should have been called for offensive fouls by making space with his pantented shove-off with his left arm. Make those calls and he scores 12 points because he would have fouled out in the first half.
On Sunday we witnessed King James leading his team into battle against the odds to emerge victorious, his performance befitting of an MVP. On Monday we watched a different James have a hard time making any threes, one of his signature weapons. James Harden may also be an MVP but came up short in the biggest game of his career. Until he proves otherwise, he remains a Small Game James.
Q. What’s the difference between Chris Paul making it to the NBA Finals and Santa Claus making it to your living room on Christmas Eve to deliver presents?
A. Santa Claus is at least possible.
What could have been
Bill Plaschke’s commentary on Mike Scioscia and the Dodgers [“Catch and Released,” May 27] could serve, for many a fan, as the “Saga of How the Dodgers Broke My Heart and I Became an Angels Fan.”
I was firmly convinced that Mike Scioscia was manager material shortly after the Dodgers won the 1988 NL pennant. How so? An article in Sports Illustrated in which he analyzed batter-by-batter Orel Hershiser’s clinching win against the Mets. This on top of having watched him play for a decade. Had the Dodgers’ new brass read that piece he might be the team’s skipper today.
Congratulations to Mike Scioscia on his 1,600th win, putting him in 20th place on the all-time manager win list. Good thing he joined the Angels, who have had one World Series appearance (winning Game 7) and three League Championship series appearances during his time in Anaheim. The Dodgers have had one World Series appearance (losing in Game 7) and five LCS appearances during that time. I doubt Scioscia would have lasted as Dodgers manager with that record, considered by Dodger fans as subpar.
Dylan Hernandez makes some good points about the current makeup of NFL teams and the owners’ unilateral treatment of the players. Unfortunately, he is missing a couple of major related issues with regard to the game: the make-up of the NFL fan base and why the owners are in business. They are in business to make money by selling tickets and getting a share of lucrative merchandise and television ad revenues. The only thing what would be ‘bad for business” is not the players not showing up. It’s the fans not showing up.
The fan base doesn’t replicate the player demographic — especially those fans occupying the revenue-generating luxury suites. The owners may have strategically decided that alienating their fan base would be worse than alienating the players. The players are expendable but that fans are not. And no union challenge will change that.
Can the L.A. Times provide us with the list of players’ salaries that Dylan (Delusional) Hernandez has access to? This was funniest thing The Times has printed this spring: “Some NFL players might be millionaires...” ! Doesn’t he mean to say, “a few NFL players are not millionaires”?
I can’t really get behind the plight of those poor, pitiful, millionaires, but I feel for those guys who have come down with ALS or any of those other horrible traumas resulting from all the collisions inherent in the game.
Jerry Soifer did an excellent job naming so many great and deserving California high school athletes in his May 30 article, “Event has quite a track record.”
However, to pass up Earl McCullough of Long Beach Poly who set national records in the high and low hurdles, was undefeated in his senior year, went on to USC and ran the opening leg of the world record-setting 440 relay, and set a world record in the high hurdles, is a huge miss. Earl also was the NFL rookie of the year in 1968.
Thanks for letting us relive what was arguably the greatest series in L.A. sports history [“For Gretzky, his greatest game is frozen in time,” May 29]. Reading Wayne Gretzky’s recount of the story and seeing the names of those players really brought back the feeling of that season. But the real bonus was the quotes from the great Jim Murray! Reminded me of of how good a paper can be.
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