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The Sports Report: Russell Westbrook says all the right things at his Lakers news conference

Russell Westbrook holds up his Lakers jersey while flanked by Rob Pelinka. left, and Frank Vogel, right.
Russell Westbrook holds up his Lakers jersey while flanked by Rob Pelinka. left, and Frank Vogel.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

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

Broderick Turner on the Lakers: They already have two alpha males in LeBron James and Anthony Davis and now the Lakers have added another in the uber-talented Russell Westbrook.

How the three of them make it fit will determine the fate of the Lakers as they chase the franchise’s 18th NBA championship.

Westbrook, who was acquired from the Washington Wizards for Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell and the No. 22 pick in the first round of the NBA draft, seems determined to make the marriage work.

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“I’ve been blessed to able to go on my 14th season and each year I try to find ways, like I mentioned, to be able to uplift and make my teammates better around me,” Westbrook said Tuesday at his Lakers introductory news conference at Staples Center. “And AD and Bron are friends of mine first, and me being a teammate, my job is to come in and uplift it and they’ll do the same with me, vice versa.

“And as the season prolongs, we will figure it out. There will be ups and there will be downs. That’s normal, that’s OK, but we’re gonna figure out how to play the best way that we want to play to be able to win a championship.”

Westbrook will be the starting point guard for the Lakers, and he has been at his best with the basketball in his hands.

James is at his best with the basketball in his hands, a leading role he has dominated during his career and in the last three seasons with the Lakers.

Westbrook led the league in assists last season, averaging 11.7 per game. He also averaged a triple-double, adding 22.2 points and 11.5 rebounds to go with the assists. And, he has averaged a triple-double in four of his last five seasons.

“As you know, Bron is one of the best players to play this game and his ability to be able to kind of do everything on the floor allows me to be able to just figure it out,” Westbrook said. “I’m coming to a championship-caliber team and my job is to make sure that I’m able to make his game easier for him and I’ll find ways to do that throughout the game. As it pertains to ball-handling and all that, it really doesn’t matter. There’s may different ways you can impact the game without having the ball in your hands and I’ve been able to do that for many years and we’ll figure it out.”

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Kyle Kuzma shares special Kobe Bryant memories in farewell letter to L.A.

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DODGERS

Mike DiGiovanna on the Dodgers: Newly acquired speedster Trea Turner was in the leadoff spot. Max Muncy hit second, and Mookie Betts hit third. Corey Seager, who missed 10 weeks because of a right hand fracture, batted cleanup. Justin Turner, Will Smith, Chris Taylor and Cody Bellinger hit fifth through eighth, respectively.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts should have saved the lineup card from Saturday night’s game against the Angels, because it might be a while before gets all of his superstars on the field at the same time again.

Betts was scratched from Tuesday night’s 5-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies because of a sore right hip, and Roberts said another stint on the 10-day injury list for the right fielder is “very probable.”

Betts was sidelined by the same injury for the final two weeks of July. He hit .381 (eight for 21) with three homers and four RBIs in five games since being activated on Aug. 1.

“He came in achy, sore … basically he can’t play,” Roberts said. “I’m frustrated for Mookie because he wants to be out there, and he can’t physically do it. We had one day together on Saturday, when we had everyone [in the lineup] how we envisioned.”

ANGELS

Luca Evans on the Angels: With no Mike Trout, Jared Walsh or Anthony Rendon in a usually formidable Angels lineup, manager Joe Maddon has been experimenting over the last couple of weeks to find the right combination behind Shohei Ohtani.

In the first game of a Tuesday doubleheader against the Toronto Blue Jays, he found it in first baseman Phil Gosselin, who played the hero in driving the Angels to a 6-3 win in seven innings at Angel Stadium.

In the top of the sixth inning, with the Angels leading 4-3 and outfielder Juan Lagares on third, Toronto — serving as the home team in the game — issued an intentional walk to Ohtani with two outs. After Ohtani swiped second, Gosselin, hitting third, promptly hit a two-run single to push the Angels’ lead to three.

Angels starter Chris Rodriguez didn’t have his best stuff, lasting just four innings and giving up six hits and two walks, but walked away with just one run given up. Timely infield defense, particularly from shortstop Jose Iglesias and third baseman Jack Mayfield, helped Rodriguez out of multiple jams.

The Angels lost the second game, 4-0.

SOCCER

Lionel Messi signed a contract with Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday to end his career-long association with Barcelona and start a new era for PSG.

The French club said in a statement that the 34-year-old Argentina star signed a two-year deal with the option for a third season.

“I am excited to begin a new chapter of my career at Paris Saint-Germain,“ Messi said. “Everything about the club matches my football ambitions. I know how talented the squad and the coaching staff are here. I am determined to help build something special for the club and the fans, and I am looking forward to stepping out onto the pitch at the Parc des Princes.”

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1943 — Volo Song, driven by Ben White, wins the Hambletonian Stakes in the third heat.

1948 — Demon Hanover, driven by Harrison Hoyt, wins the Hambletonian Stakes in straight heats.

1974 — Lee Trevino beats Jack Nicklaus by one stroke to capture the PGA Championship.

1979 — Peter Haughton wins his second International Trot at Roosevelt Raceway by driving Doublemint to victory.

1984 — Britain’s Sebastian Coe sets an Olympic record in the 1,500 meter with a 3:32.53 winning time.

1985 — Hubert Green beats defending champion Lee Trevino by two strokes to take the PGA Championship.

1986 — Bob Tway’s bunker shot on the final hole gives him the PGA Championship over Greg Norman.

1991 — John Daly, the last alternate to make the field, wins the 73rd PGA Championship with a 1-under 71 to finish three strokes ahead of Bruce Lietzke.

1995 — Michael Johnson wins the 200 meters in 19.79 seconds in the World Track & Field Championships to become the first runner to capture the 200 and 400 meters in a major championship.

1996 — Mark Brooks makes a 5-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff with Kenny Perry to win the PGA Championship.

2002 — Karrie Webb’s latest comeback establishes a new standard of excellence on the LPGA Tour: the Super Slam — winning the four tournaments currently regarded as majors as well as the du Maurier, which lost its major status in 2000 after 21 years. Webb shoots a 6-under 66, rallying from three strokes behind to the first three-time winner in the Women’s British Open.

2012 — Usain Bolt is a perfect 3 for 3 at the London Olympics — three events, three victories — just like Beijing four years ago. Almost even with the last U.S. runner when he gets the baton for the anchor leg of the 4x100 meters, Bolt steadily pulls away down the stretch to cap his perfect Summer Games by leading Jamaica to victory in a world-record 36.84 seconds. Allyson Felix wins her third gold medal, giving the United States a 20-meter lead after the second leg of the 4x400-meter relay. DeeDee Trotter, Felix, Francena McCorory and Sanya Richards-Ross bring home the victory for the Americans’ fifth straight Olympic title in the event.

2012 — Candace Parker scores 21 points and the heavily favored U.S. women’s basketball team wins a fifth straight Olympic gold medal with an 86-50 victory over France.

2013 — Ashton Eaton of the United States wins the decathlon world championship title to add to his Olympic gold medal. He completes his collection with a season-leading total of 8,809 points in a 10-event competition.

2013 — Jason Dufner wins his first major title with a two-stroke victory over Jim Furyk at the PGA Championship.

2016 — Michael Phelps wins his fourth gold medal of the Rio Olympics and 22nd overall with a victory in the 200-meter individual medley. It was the 13th individual gold and 26 medals overall.

2016 — Simone Biles soars to the all-around title in women’s gymnastics at the Rio Olympics. Her total of 62.198 is well clear of silver medalist and “Final Five” teammate Aly Raisman and Russian bronze medalist Aliya Mustafina.

2017 — The NFL suspends Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott six games after a yearlong NFL investigation of his domestic violence case in Ohio.

And finally

John Daly wins the 1991 PGA Championship. 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 houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.


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