Letters: Who will fill Phil Jackson’s shoes with Lakers?

Please, oh please, Bill Plaschke, convince the Lakers of your wisdom in hiring Jeff Van Gundy. It would be a blessing to those of us who are tired of hearing his sanctimonious, holier-than-thou comments delivered with disdain about the shortcomings of and mistakes made by players. It would also relieve us of hearing the same comment made three times over, as if we weren’t savvy enough to have grasped the message the first time it was pronounced from the pulpit.

I’d give a bundle to be present the first time he talked to Bryant in that tone of voice.

John Snyder

Newbury Park


What was Bill Plaschke munching on when he wrote about watching Jeff Van Gundy’s recent NBA playoff telecast comments and that Van Gundy had become “America’s NBA coach”?

America’s NBA coach? What an insult to all the great coaches in the league.

The most respected franchise in the NBA needs a respected leader, winner and up-tempo style coach, not another overhyped, ex-coach TV analyst.


Van Gundy should stick with TV: He obviously convinced Plaschke that he has what it takes, but he hasn’t convinced the 30 NBA owners and GMs.

Mario Palladini



I don’t know why we’re discussing potential head coaches for the Lakers given there likely won’t even be a season next season because NBA owners are a bunch of rich, stuck-up stupid people.

OK, Dr. Buss isn’t stuck up or stupid and Mark Cuban, who will have the market on conceit cornered once Donald Trump dies, is not stupid either. However, the rest of the owners along with those in the NFL are a bunch of idiots if they’re going to throw away a season.

That said, I thought Doc Rivers, who is no longer available, might finally bring some discipline to this undisciplined and unruly team. Doc’s hand might have been a bit too heavy for a team used to Phil Jackson. So where’s the happy medium?

If it wasn’t for Kurt Rambis, my money would have been on Rick Adelman. Rambis had the misfortune of being an assistant coach to Phil Jackson, and as long as Jackson continued to coach the Lakers, Rambis wasn’t going to get a shot at the head coaching job.

There’s no excuse now and I don’t think Minnesota would put up much of a fuss if Rambis were to ask for a release from his contract to return to Los Angeles.

Michael Solomon

Canoga Park


The Lakers reportedly are interested in bring in Rick Adelman as coach. Imagine that, a Lakers coach who overachieves rather than underachieves.

Tyler Drohan



What goes on in the mind of Bill Plaschke? He writes about a Pau Gasol look-alike? I mean (now, think Allen Iverson here) we’re talking about a Pau Gasol look-alike! Instead of giving us some useful insight into the Lakers’ collapse, he goes to Hollywood to interview a Gasol impersonator.

Wait a minute. I get it now. Plaschke was attempting satire. The story of the look-alike Gasol was Bill’s clever way of impugning the poor performance in the playoffs of the real Pau Gasol. Pure genius at work.

Rodney K. Boswell

Thousand Oaks


Pau Gasol is the Lakers’ problem? When Shaq was a Laker, Kobe and the team won championships. In 2004, the trade occurred. Shaq was gone and Lamar was in. At that time, and for the next four years, the Lakers were a marginal ..500 team. Nothing special at all save for Kobe’s scoring average. Enter Pau Gasol in 2008. Now, Kobe and the team are winning championships again. Is this so hard to understand? Go ahead and dump Pau, and keep the aging and unmotivated Kobe. Aside from more mediocre basketball, we’ll get to watch as he routinely throws hissy fits, threatens Lakers management and usurps the new coach. Yeah, it’s all Gasol’s fault.

Dan Jensen

San Clemente


I am assuming that all those very unhappy Lakers fans who are outraged that their team did not bring home a third straight championship will not jump back on the bandwagon if the Lakers win another title next year. Yeah, right.

Ralph S. Brax


The Big Fella

Kareem, don’t worry, you’ll get over the way the Lakers have treated you in five years or so. That’s about as long as it took my 10-year-old daughter to get over the way you treated her 25 years ago when she asked you for an autograph. Karma.

John Mark

Newport Beach


I personally do not need to see Kareem’s scowling face at the Staples Center. His number is in the rafters where it rightfully belongs.

Howard J. Kern

Pacific Palisades


I don’t blame Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for thinking he deserves a statue outside of Staples Center. I’m pretty sure all of the current players already have them. I know because I saw the statues on TV last week playing defense against Dallas.

Ben Browdy

Los Angeles


When it’s all said and done, perhaps Kareem can erect his own statue in Frank’s parking lot.

Howard Mationg


Singing the blues

Dear Dodgers,

I think it is time I started seeing other organizations. You simply are not the franchise I fell in love with so many years ago. I think that through some introspection, you will come to realize that you just don’t love me anymore.

I will admit that I have not been perfect. A few weeks ago I went out with another franchise. At first, I thought it was meaningless. It wasn’t the same — their pitchers didn’t even bat. But my son was overjoyed by his kid’s meal, the fireworks and the great giveaway. It felt so good to be loved again.

Do you remember what it was like when we first met? You looked so great in your straw hats. There was something magical in the way you gave me a two-bagger while serenading me with the dulcet tunes of Nancy Bea. I ate a pasta lunch with Tommy Lasorda, and it was one of the greatest days of my life. But those days are gone. When was the last time you even smiled at me and said, “Welcome to Dodger Stadium?”

I will always love you. I hope that this trial separation will help you to realize that somewhere deep inside you still love me too.

Jessica Kari

El Segundo


Bryan Stow was attacked AFTER the game. The Times’ stories about the Dodgers-Giants game on Wednesday just talked about security before and during the game. What about AFTER the game?

The Times should report about Dodger Stadium security after games. What good is the increased security if 80% of the security force leaves after the seventh inning? Wait, maybe Times reporters are scared to go into the parking lot after games?

David Saw

Diamond Bar


With the Frank McCourt financial situation, the idea that the Dodgers’ anemic offense can’t buy a run has never been more profound. Tip of the week: Anyone with insomnia should put on a Dodgers game … except for when Jonathan Broxton comes in. That will get your heart pumping.

Chris Gagliano

Redondo Beach


Frank McCourt says he would field the same team even if he didn’t have financial problems. Let’s see, that would be two stars in the final year of their contracts, an aging, injury-prone left side of the infield, a former Giants infielder who swings and misses so often I call him Mr. Breeze, a banjo-hitting first baseman and major league castoffs in left and behind the plate. Throw in a below-average bullpen to go with an above-average starting rotation and all I can say is: Really, Frank?

Mike Gamboa

Buena Park


If Frank McCourt, as quoted in last Sunday’s Times, truly believes that the Dodgers are a “very, very good team,” he must also be laboring under the delusion that he has been a “very, very good owner.”

Bud Chapman



The Dodgers’ recent display of offensive ineptitude, while frightening, is reminiscent. Though carried on to great victories by a superb pitching staff, Koufax, Drysdale, Osteen and Perranoski, the Dodgers of the 1960s also scored few runs. This prompted the legendary comedian Milton Berle to opine at the time that the Dodgers’ lineup reminded him of a box of Kleenex tissues: “They pop up one at a time.”

The tradition continues, albeit with a far less impressive group of hurlers.

Mike Dudnikov

Union, N.J.


So Donnie Baseball would rather talk politics than baseball. The guy who doesn’t understand the boundaries of the pitcher’s mound now wants to tell Israel to reset its boundaries. Donnie, stick to baseball. Better yet, finish up your one-year stint here, and keep your opinions to yourself.

Andy Covner


One and dumb

How long a basketball “student athlete” (once called an “athletic student”) must stay in college before turning pro has obvious competing issues for the NBA and NCAA, but I have further issues as a professor and sports fan.

Clearly, since pro sports have become big business, top athletes usually do not come to colleges to learn and to play sports (as did my former student, Pat Haden). Now the one-and-done rule forces players to sit out for a year (bad career choice) or to use college as a year of training camp.

Dropping the 19-year-old age limit and requiring college players to have at least three years before turning pro would help to put College back into the National Collegiate Athletic Assn., and we wouldn’t have to think of college as just a year of minor league ball.

David Eggenschwiler

Emeritus professor, USC


Kudos to T.J. Simers for his eloquent story about Harmon Killebrew. As probably the least-celebrated member of the 500-homer club, he dwelled in the relative obscurity of Minnesota, but made, as Simers stated, a much bigger impact after baseball. God bless Harmon KiIlebrew, a great player and a greater man. He will be missed.

David A. Goodman

West Los Angeles


Even F.P. Santangelo hit an occasional home run, and even though T.J. Simers most often strikes out, his Killebrew/Bynum effort was out of the park.

Larry Lasseter


No medals

Having covered six Olympics for The Times, Daily News and Chicago Sun-Times, I believe the most reasonable reaction to Dick Ebersol’s departure from NBC and its Olympics coverage is, “At last!”

Ebersol’s “genius” was to turn the Olympics from what it is — a nonstop, three-ring circus celebrated by athletes and fans from all over the world — into what it is not — a tightly scripted, ferociously edited, prime-time miniseries in which only U.S. athletes and the sports they compete in may apply. Ebersol’s real legacy is having destroyed the Olympic experience for a generation of Americans, who are perhaps the only television viewers in the world who do not see the Games as they are taking place.

The only better news we can hope for is that NBC is dropping out of the business of televising the Olympics altogether and future Games will be shown live on ESPN where they belong.

Ron Rapoport

Van Nuys


I was sorry to hear that your sports editor was ill earlier in the week. Otherwise, how does one explain the appearance of (a very fine) column by Bill Dwyre about — of all non-MMA, non-NASCAR, non-golf sports — tennis!

Yikes. It’s good to know that it still exists. I’m hoping to see another column inch or two as the years go by.

Ron Di Costanzo

Santa Monica


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