Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the tournament.
Since April 3 in this Sports Report newsletter, we have been conducting a tournament, asking readers to decide the biggest icon in L.A. sports history. We started with 128 entrants and put them into four regionals: Baseball, basketball, football and wild-card. We then asked readers to vote on each matchup, with the winners advancing until we had two people left standing for the final round.
That final round is today: Magic Johnson vs. Vin Scully. You can read Bill Plaschke’s take on both men by clicking here.
Get the latest on L.A.'s teams in the daily Sports Report newsletter.
A reminder of the tournament 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.
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.
So without further ado, let’s get to the final round of voting. Voting ends at noon on May 25. 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: Final Round
No. 1 Magic Johnson vs. No. 2 Vin Scully
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%.
Defeated No. 9 Chick Hearn in the third round, 75%-25%.
Defeated No. 4 Kobe Bryant in the fourth round, 63%-37%
Defeated No. 2 John Wooden in the Elite Eight, 53.1%-46.9%
Defeated No. 1 (in wild-card regional) Jackie Robinson in Final Four, 68.4%-31.6%
Vin Scully: The voice of the Dodgers for multiple generations.
How he got here
Defeated No. 31 John Roseboro in the first round, 97.8%-2.2%
Defeated No. 18 Nolan Ryan in the second round, 92.9%-7.1%
Defeated No. 7 Orel Hershiser in the third round, 94.7%-5.3%
Defeated No. 3 Tommy Lasorda in the fourth round, 91.8%-8.2%
Defeated No. 1 Sandy Koufax in the Elite Eight, 74.5%-25.5%
Defeated No. 5 (in the football regional) The Fearsome Foursome, 93.3%-6.7%
Don’t forget to vote
Major League Baseball would like to start the season the first week of July. On the first business day after the league released a 67-page protocol for handling health and safety issues, the governors of California, New York and Texas all said teams would be welcome to play games in their states.
Games would not be open to fans, at least for the first part of the season.
Commissioner Rob Manfred has spoken recently with Newsom and other governors, assuring them the league could obtain the necessary coronavirus tests without depriving the local community of them. Manfred also has arranged to convert the Utah laboratory used for minor league drug tests into a facility designated to process coronavirus tests.
USC will welcome Ole Miss — and presumably, Kiffin — to the Coliseum to open the 2025 season, the school announced Monday. The Trojans will then head to Oxford, Miss., in September 2026 for the second half of a home-and-home agreement.
Kiffin was hired at Ole Miss in December after a successful three-season run at Florida Atlantic. He had spent the previous three seasons at Alabama, where he landed as an assistant following his unceremonious exit at USC.
The former coach’s ties to USC trace back to 2001, when he was hired as the Trojans’ tight ends coach under coach Pete Carroll. Kiffin remained on staff through the 2006 season, serving eventually as offensive coordinator, before taking a job as head coach of the Oakland Raiders.
BORN ON THIS DAY
1918: Swimmer Florence Chadwick (d. 1995)
1928: Basketball player Dolph Schayes (d. 2015)
1942: Basketball player Curly Neal (d. 2020)
1957: Basketball player Bill Laimbeer
1976: Basketball player Kevin Garnett
1981: MMA fighter Georges St-Pierre
1984: Football player Marcedes Lewis
DIED ON THIS DAY
1996: Baseball player/actor John Berardino, 79
Great Harlem Globetrotter moments from Curly Neal. Watch it here.