Kobe vs. West? Wooden vs. Shaq? Vote in third round of ‘Biggest L.A. Sports Icon’ tournament


Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the tournament.

The first two rounds of voting in the basketball regional “Biggest Icon in L.A. Sports History” are over, and the response was overwhelming. Today, voting in the third round begins and the matchups are intriguing.

Some rules.

1. There are four regionals, with 32 people in each regional, seeded from No. 1 to No. 32. The winner of each regional will face off in the Final Four. Those two winners will meet in the championship round.

2. With each matchup, there will be a link for you to click on to vote. You can also send your picks by email by clicking here. Or you can vote on Twitter by clicking here.

3. When voting, ask yourself “When I think L.A. sports, whom do I think of first?” and vote for that person.


4. A brief sentence or two accompanies each entrant below. It is not meant to be an all-encompassing list of their accomplishments, just a brief reminder of why they are on this list.

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So without further ado, let’s get to the third round of the basketball regional. Voting ends at midnight Sunday. Remember, you can vote by email by clicking here, on Twitter by clicking here, or you can click on the link after each matchup.

Biggest L.A. Sports Icon tournament, third round (basketball regional)

No. 1 Magic Johnson vs. No. 9 Chick Hearn

Magic Johnson: Led the Lakers to five NBA titles and was the floor general behind the “Showtime” era. Now part-owner of the Dodgers and noted businessman.

How he got here
Routed No. 32 Paul Westphal in the first round, 98.6%-1.4%
Defeated No. 16 Cheryl Miller in the second round, 96.7%-3.3%.

Chick Hearn: It would take pages to list all the basketball phrases Chick invented. Suffice to say he was the voice of the Lakers for everyone who grew up in L.A. and has his own statue outside Staples Center.

How he got here
Defeated No. 24 Blake Griffin in the first round, 87.2%-12.8%
Upset No. 8 Jerry Buss in the second, 73%-27%

Vote via Polldaddy

No. 2 John Wooden vs. No. 7 Shaquille O’Neal


John Wooden: The legendary UCLA men’s basketball coach guided the team to 10 national titles, including seven in a row. Renowned for his “Pyramid of Success.”

How he got here
Defeated No. 31 Chris Paul in the first round, 92.5%-7.5%
Defeated No. 15 Pat Riley in the second round, 90.5%-9.5%

Shaquille O’Neal: Teamed with Kobe Bryant to lead the Lakers to three consecutive NBA titles before a dispute led to O’Neal being traded. Was named Finals MVP three times with L.A.

How he got here
Defeated No. 26 Jamaal Wilkes in the first round, 89.5%-11.5%
Defeated No. 10 Lisa Leslie in the second round, 83.5%-16.5%

Vote via Polldaddy

No. 3 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. No. 6 Elgin Baylor

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Played at UCLA from 1966 to 1969 and was twice named player of the year (1967, 1969). Led Bruins to three consecutive NCAA titles. Became a Laker in 1975 and was the central force for five NBA title teams.

How he got here
Defeated No. 30 Reggie Miller in the first round, 98.6%-1.4%
Defeated No. 14 Phil Jackson in the second round, 93.6%-6.4%

Elgin Baylor: An 11-time All-Star and one of the greatest Lakers ever, also served for years as an executive of the Clippers.


How he got here:
Defeated No. 27 Ralph Lawler in the first round, 86.4%-13.6%.
Defeated No. 11 James Worthy in the second round, 50.6%-49.4%

Vote via Polldaddy

No. 4 Kobe Bryant vs. No. 5 Jerry West

Kobe Bryant: All he did with the Lakers is lead them to five titles, make 18 All-Star teams, win a league MVP award and be named to the all-defensive team 12 times.

How he got here
Defeated No. 29 Harold Miner in the first round, 98.5%-1.5%
Defeated No. 13 Wilt Chamberlain in the second round, 86.7%-13.3%

Jerry West: He’s the NBA logo, one of the greatest players in Lakers history and he built the teams that made the Lakers the most popular team in L.A.

How he got here
Defeated No. 28 Ann Meyers in the first round, 96.9%-3.1%
Defeated No. 12 Bill Walton in the second round, 91.6%-8.4%

Vote via Polldaddy

Don’t forget to vote


You can vote one of three ways: Click on each individual Polldaddy link above, click here to vote via email (with all your picks in one email) or vote here via Twitter.


Game-day employees who have been out of work amid the coronavirus outbreak received some relief from the Angels this week.

The team provided more than $1 million in financial assistance to workers who would have staffed games at Angel Stadium this season — not only those contracted by the Angels but also the concession, janitorial and security staffers employed by third parties. The one-time payments were based upon factors such as hours worked, job duties and pay rate.

“We hope this will provide some measure of assistance to these important members of our team until the season begins,” Angels spokesperson Marie Garvey said in a statement Sunday.


1851: Golfer Young Tom Morris (d. 1875)

1938: Sprinter Betty Cuthbert (d. 2017)

1945: Football quarterback/coach Steve Spurrier

1958: Hockey player Viacheslav Fetisov

1961: Baseball player/manager Don Mattingly

1964: Football player John Carney

1971: Basketball player Allan Houston

1973: Former Clipper Lamond Murray

1973: Former Dodger Todd Hollandsworth


1908: Baseball pioneer Henry Chadwick, 85

1992: Diver Marjorie Gestring, 69

2014: Boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, 76


Cooking with Dodgers announcer Joe Davis: Tomahawk steak. Watch it here.

Until next time...

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.