Letters: The Lakers, LeBron James and another long offseason ahead

cartoon by Jim Thompson
Sports cartoonist Jim Thompson depicts the current situation between LeBron James and the Lakers.
(Jim Thompson / Los Angeles Times)

So, are the Lakers LeBron’s equivalent of Michael’s Wizards?

Jack Von Bulow

Temple City



Fresno has frozen over: Bill Plaschke says the Clippers’ administration is the more stable one.

The Lakers would be fine if their fans had been patient and realistic. Oh, right, they don’t know how. 

Joe Sterbinsky

North Hills



I’m confused. Which Buss is unfit to run the Lakers?

Loren Coleman

West Hollywood


I think there is a way for LeBron James to get another ring. He has to hope that Gronk retires and James takes over as the Patriots’ new tight end.

Richard Katz

Los Angeles



So why does LeBron James need to cut back on his minutes the rest of the season? With the Lakers most likely missing the playoffs, he will have plenty of time to rest during the offseason. 

Chris Sorce

Fountain Valley


Bill Plaschke’s article on LeBron James’ achievement was below the pale. For 16 years this marvelous athlete has entertained basketball fans everywhere with class and dignity. His achievements put him right up there with the best of all time, and yet Plaschke feels it necessary to demean those achievements with an article that doesn’t rise to his own high standards.

Yes, James has been here only a short while, but that shouldn’t negate his contributions to the Lakers and the game.

Allan Kretchman


Woodland Hills


Be interesting if you could go back and print the letters after LeBron James was signed by the Lakers and compare them to the comments that readers are saying today.

Richard Whorton

Studio City


   Bill Plaschke is at it again, heaping most of the blame for the Lakers’ lousy season onto the shoulders of LeBron James. If I remember correctly, it was Bill who was screaming the loudest to sign him to a contract. But this is typical of Plaschke’s modus operandi. When thing are going great, he’s the first one to jump on the bandwagon and lead the parade. When things are going badly, he’s the first one to desert the sinking ship. Let’s face it, injuries are what truly derailed the team this year, and particularly the ones to LeBron and Lonzo Ball.

Charles Reilly

Manhattan Beach


I have been critical of Luke Walton all season. In so doing, I seemingly have given a pass to Magic, Rob and LeBron. I am here to admit I was wrong. Not entirely, but mostly.

Walton is responsible for in-game decisions and preparation, which, quite frankly, haven’t been very good.  But we can’t blame Walton for the roster. We can’t blame Walton for the terrible free throw shooting. We can’t blame him for the dysfunction surrounding the trade deadline. This falls at the feet of Magic and Rob and the players. Anyone with eyes knew this team was flawed.

Geno Apicella



I do not always agree with Bill Plaschke’s opinions, but after reading Tuesday’s columns by Bill Plaschke and Arash Markazi I think that Plaschke was correct in his assertions on the team’s management. I think that Markazi was way off the mark. He probably was away from the city or out of the country when Magic Johnson traded away Lou Williams and D’Angelo Russell, gave away Julius Randle and failed to draft a better player than Lonzo Ball such as Donovan Mitchell.

With my long years of experience as a business manager (40) and as a basketball executive (zero) but with 60 years of watching the NBA games, I would have never done those moves. A good business dogma: You never get rid of a good asset for a unknown future prospect. The sadness of the story is that the wrong guy, the team’s coach, is going to pay for these misdeeds.

I loved and cherish Magic Johnson as a player, but as a business decision maker he is not even questionable. Jeanie Buss lost a good opportunity to have a voice of reason join the team in Jerry West, but as the responsible skipper she needs to make the responsible decision to right up the sinking boat.

Javier Rojo

Long Beach


The quest to trade for another superstar to improve the Lakers did the exact opposite — it destroyed the team culture. Who created the dysfunction that ensued? Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka. In the aftermath of such a public trade negotiation, the players know the front office has no real investment in them. With the recent comments by Kuzma that no one is playing for each other, is it any surprise that people are now playing for themselves and their stats? Building one’s personal brand will be more helpful for their NBA career than being a Laker.

If anyone is to be fired, start with Magic. He was the person who ruined what could have been an amazing team of exceptional young talent.

David Armendariz

Garden Grove


At least Plaschke and Arash Markazi didn’t blame Walton and despite recent losses to some of the NBA’s worst, this ragtag Lakers team has shown a lot of positives throughout the season. The fact this same team beat the NBA’s best at various points throughout the season offers more than just a glimmer of hope.

You play the hand you’re dealt and this year the Lakers endured a lot of injuries coupled with two major suspensions just at the team was starting to get going. Then LeBron was gone for an extended period. Last night, the Lakers played the Clippers without Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma had to leave the game. I can’t blame Walton, Jeanie Buss or Magic Johnson for any of that.

I’m not sure Jeff Van Gundy and Tom Thibodeau together could have done any better.

Michael Solomon

Canoga Park


The Lakers need to keep their poise and continue to execute their plan, which is to fill up the cap space they have been saving for two more superstars. It may take a year or two, but when Magic is done, the Lakers will be competing for and winning championships again.

As Jim Hill says, “Keep the faith”.

William David Stone

Beverly Hills


With all these Lakers injuries, maybe Magic and Pelinka should have spent more time trying to re-sign Gary Vitti?

John Brunel

Tustin Ranch 


It’s time for the L.A. sports world to recognize that the Clippers are the best basketball team in Los Angeles and have been for the past six years. Los Angeles should embrace the Clippers and provide them with the support and admiration they have earned.

Harley Frankel

Santa Monica


With all the negativity around the Lakers, I have discovered one positive aspect: At least I’ll get to watch two of my favorite Lakers in the playoffs — Ivica Zubac and Lou Williams.   

David Waldowski

Laguna Woods

Tamper, tamper

The Angels’ front office is desperate for legitimacy and relevance when they resort to tattling on Bryce Harper for his comments regarding Mike Trout. Rather than cry foul to MLB, the front office should work to get Trout extended immediately...or start working on their resumes and the long list of excuses for why they thought it was a good idea to continuously build a mediocre team around one of the greatest players in the game..

Dana Corrough

Newport Beach


Would someone please explain to Bryce Harper that he doesn’t play in the NBA and two fundamental elements of baseball will seriously hinder his recruitment to Philly of Mike Trout. 

First, there’s no salary cap in baseball so Trout can demand any amount of money he wants, and any team can pay it. Whereas in basketball, there is a cap to what the star players can earn so they can gravitate to any team and each other without losing any money, at their whim. 

Second, it’s nice that he convinced himself that he gave Philadelphia a “club friendly deal” but since when is a 13 year, $26M annual salary “club friendly?” I guess only a guy who thought he was worth  $35-40M annually would think so.

Allan Kandel

Los Angeles

Fight on!

At the rate players are transferring from the USC football program, eight in the last four months, Lynn Swann and Clay Helton had better get ready to suit up.

Eddie Dawes

Hacienda Heights

Not grateful

The Dodgers are never on TV and it seems like Bill Walton is always on. Whatever they are paying play-by-play men who work with space cadet Bill, it ain’t enough.

Steve Briseno

Mission Viejo

Do the hustle

Dear MLB: Just want to make sure I understand the new protocol. Teams will now be required to submit their lineups in advance to help people betting on baseball with your approval. Great idea!

Sincerely, Pete Rose

Jeff Heister



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