Funny that T.J. Simers should wonder if Andrew Bynum will ever grow up and stop being the type of person who takes cheap shots at people while at work. Does Simers think he’s the only one allowed to make a career at that sort of thing?
Will someone please talk Bill Plaschke off the ledge after the Lakers blew the opener to the Bulls? First game — no Andrew Bynum, Kobe’s injured wrist causing a glaring eight uncharacteristic turnovers, new players, new coach, new system and these Lakers were right there! If Gasol and McRoberts learn how to make just half of their four missed free throws down the stretch the Lakers walk away with the victory.
And how about we at least wait for Bynum to play one game before we ship him out of town?
Turned on the Lakers’ game against Sacramento in the fourth quarter and watched a few minutes. Your headline is wrong: it isn’t the Lakers playing like jesters, it’s the refs, officiating like ghosts. The NBA has developed into a wrestling, shoving, holding affair, akin to Gorgeous George in the 1950s. There is very little room for athletic performance with all the bumping, holding and grabbing. Of course, this is probably what David Stern has mandated to get the crowd into it and hammer the pure athletes, such as Kobe. Don’t worry, it will get even uglier, and my TV will be tuned to college basketball.
Please settle a long-running family debate for us. For the past two years, over 75% of the pictures featuring the Lakers are of Pau Gasol (we’ve kept track). The women say it’s because (a) he’s hot, (b) he’s got more hair than anyone else, or (c) he’s hot. The men think (a) the photographer is his brother/uncle/mother (pick one), (b) he pays a commission to someone on your staff for every picture published, or (c) it’s another unexplainable directive by David Stern.
Or is there some other motivational strategy in play that we don’t know about?
As a Lakers season-seat holder for 25 years and a fan for nearly 25 more, I find all this talk of Los Angeles becoming a Clippers town the most laughable nonsense I can ever recall. The fact is, I have never actually met a Clippers fan. I have never seen anyone wear a Clippers shirt, jersey, hat, etc. ...
What exactly is a Clipper fan? Why would anyone be a Clippers fan? One lucky draft pick and a controversial trade doesn’t make the Clippers relevant. They haven’t won anything yet or, for that matter, ever. And in case you were watching the “next” NBA champions against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night, I would like to remind the so-called Clippers fans they lost by 25 points. Get used to this. Once a Clipper always a Clipper.
Was part of the Lakers’ Lamar Odom giveaway strategy to clear enough cap room to trade Metta World Peace for the 2010 Ron Artest?
San Luis Obispo
I heard that The Hoops Artist Formerly Known as Ron Artest will once again change his name — this time to reflect more accurately his psychological and emotional makeup. Next season he will be Metta World Chaos.
Last weekend a letter writer wrote that the NCAA is jealous of USC football. Are you kidding me? I guess the NCAA must be jealous of the following USC accomplishments:
1. Punished six times for significant football violations.
2. Most penalized football team in the Pac-10/Pac-12.
3. No BCS championship trophy in Heritage Hall.
4. Only two appearances in the BCS championship game since 1998 while Ohio State, Oklahoma and LSU have appeared three times.
5. No “official” win in the championship game.
6. Known throughout the football community as arrogant and “crybabies” of the Pac-10/Pac-12.
With this stellar history I can see why the NCAA is jealous.
So, Reid Rose [Letters, Dec. 24] says “Wake me when Matt Barkley has actually accomplished something.” Well, he beat favored Oregon in its own backyard. He beat favored Notre Dame in South Bend. He gave UCLA its worst beating in what, 80 years.
Wake up, pal, and smell reality.
In an effort to allow the seniors on the UCLA football team to concentrate on the Kraft Hunger Bowl and not worry about how to improve their program, let me offer a few suggestions and observations:
Don’t recruit players that use marijuana.
Quit stealing computers.
Don’t use handicapped parking passes.
Offer anger-management programs to those charged with battery.
Avoid assistant coaches who hang out with burglary suspects.
Stop the “Over the Wall” stunt.
Never wear all-white uniforms.
Chris Foster wrote a quite revealing article about what some UCLA football seniors consider reasons for the Bruins’ deterioration to mediocrity. They spoke of 80-yard practice fields, plastic pipes for goal posts, and less-than-perfect synthetic and natural turf. One of them would add a luxury lounge for players “to bond and to keep guys from getting into trouble.”
I have come to an entirely different conclusion regarding the reason for the Bruins’ humiliating demise. They’ve been recruiting a bunch of losers.
Today, UCLA plays in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. How very appropriate. Bruins football fans have been malnourished for years!
Sean M. Sullivan
As one of Bill Plaschke’s army of Dodgers fans who said “no” last year, I would caution Steven Cohen, Magic Johnson or anyone else who wants to own the Dodgers that no means no. No Frank McCourt! No owning the parking lot, no paying rent for the stadium. None of my money is going to Frank McCourt in any fashion, even if it means staying away another year. So, if you’re going to buy the Dodgers — you had better buy the whole thing: team, stadium, parking lots, land, the whole works. Then I’ll be ready to say, “Yes.”
Voice of reason?
Bill Dwyre completely missed the mark on Doug Gottlieb in the Tuesday sports section. The way Dwyre writes it, Gottlieb should be commended for his actions and for his “full disclosure.” As a freshman at Notre Dame, Gottlieb stole credit cards from three fellow students and racked up several fraudulent charges. What were the credit cards used for? School books? Lab fees? How about $950 in merchandise for sporting goods, jewelry, dinner and gas. He was caught when the victims notified police, not because he wanted to come clean and do the right thing.
Gottlieb did not commit the crime of the century, and his actions should be forgiven/forgotten. They will be when they are seen for what they were and not distorted and applauded as Dwyre did. The words “Doug Gottlieb” and exemplary journalism should never be written in the same sentence.
Don’t kick him
I couldn’t pass on responding to Kevin Baxter’s abrasive, critical, and oddly intense comments about David Beckham [Dec. 25]. Considering he offers praise in regards to Beckham’s contribution as a model citizen and for leaving MLS (and soccer in the U.S.) a better place, it seems bizarre to attack him for his past, present and future career.
Accepting a rich contract does not make someone a villain. Working language into a contract that allows your children to receive a higher education does not make someone spoiled. Attempting to make a national team does not make someone a traitor to his club team. And not making it because your coach is an idiot doesn’t make someone a failure, either.
And leading your team to an MLS title while having a “spectacular” 2011, hardly makes you washed up or easily replaceable — as you say. And are you really trying to evoke some sort of parallel or relationship between his contracts and national economic problems? Really? The only thing I learned from this article is that you have issues with misplaced anger.
Assistant football coaches from Santa Margarita High School were busted for pot, yet held onto their positions for months afterward. Parents of children who daily came into direct contact with the coaches were never notified. The head coach is told by school administrators and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange to keep quiet and not discuss the matter with anyone.
Gee, where have we heard this before?
Pick up pace
There was Drew Gordon, Bobo Morgan, Matt Carlino, Chase Stanback and Reeves Nelson. It cannot always be the player’s fault.
We need a new coach at UCLA. A Wooden-type coach. A fastbreak coach.
I don’t know what’s more depressing: reading Plaschke and Simers, or watching Howland basketball.
Like millions of other people I’m out of work and collecting unemployment. I had to cut back on a lot of things — one was cable TV.
We have 36 bowl games and only four are on regular TV. We can’t even watch the Rose Bowl thanks to ESPN and the almighty dollar.
So the Big Ten and Pac-12 have formed an alliance for interleague play. This is nothing but a cynical attempt to engineer more TV revenue from otherwise poorly viewed games. It makes even more ridiculous the claim that college football athletes are “amateurs.” They are nothing but slaves to the voracious greed of college sports administrators who use them mercilessly for profit. All the college sports history and tradition of these two conferences be damned!
So the Pac-12/Big Ten alliance will include “a football game at the Rose Bowl.” What an original idea!
May I suggest an original name? How about … “The Rose Bowl?”
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.
Mail: Sports Viewpoint
Los Angeles Times
202 W. 1st St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Fax: (213) 237-4322