The Sports Report: Ryan Getzlaf announces his retirement
Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.
From Helene Elliott: From the time Ryan Getzlaf was 12 years old, through his standout junior hockey career and deep into his evolution into a first-line NHL center and Stanley Cup champion with the Ducks, he heard the same advice from nearly every coach: Shoot the puck more often. You’ve got a great wrist shot. Don’t always go with your instinct to pass.
Go beyond the scoreboard
Get the latest on L.A.'s teams in the daily Sports Report newsletter.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.
Bruce Boudreau was among those who tried to change Getzlaf’s thinking. “Believe me, as coaches, there’s times during the course of the year we could wring his neck because he doesn’t shoot it,” Boudreau said during the Ducks’ Western Conference final playoff series against Chicago in 2015.
Getzlaf would listen, maybe take a few more shots than usual, and revert to his playmaking mentality. “The only people that don’t tell me are my linemates,” he joked a few years ago.
His pass-first philosophy served him well during a Hall of Fame-worthy career that began in 2005 with the then-Mighty Ducks and will soon end with him owning the franchise records for games played, points and — of course — assists.
Surrounded by family, friends, and teammates past and present, the 36-year-old native of Regina, Canada, became emotional Tuesday while announcing he will retire after the Ducks’ home finale on April 24. Beset by injuries the last few seasons and fighting against the tide in a league ruled by young, speedy legs, he has produced three goals and 31 points in 49 games this season.
“I’ve always said I was going to let my body and mind dictate when I was going to retire,” he said during a news conference at Honda Center. “I remember talking to my buddies when I first came into the league. I thought that was going to be at about 26, so I’ve definitely overlasted what I thought I would.
“But that was kind of always the mindset. The grind of everyday preparation gets harder and harder as you get older. I’ve created an atmosphere around me of support, a loving family that I like to go home to, kids I’d like to grow up playing with, not watch them play. It was a thing for me to step away from the game before those kinds of things happen where I’m unable to do some of that stuff.”
Enjoying this newsletter? Consider subscribing to the Los Angeles Times
Your support helps us deliver the news that matters most. Become a subscriber.
From Dan Woike: It ended in Phoenix.
The Lakers’ attempt to win their 18th title ended far short of their goal, the team being eliminated from all postseason play following a 121-110 loss to the Suns and the San Antonio Spurs win in Denver on Tuesday night.
But maybe it really ended Friday in Los Angeles, when in a last gasp the Lakers played an injured LeBron James and a recovering Anthony Davis. Or maybe it ended the Sunday before that when the Lakers blew a 20-point lead on the same night James sprained his left ankle.
Or, maybe it was all over when James’ left knee couldn’t be counted on. Or maybe when Davis sprained his foot when he stepped on Rudy Gobert’s. Or when he injured his knee in Minnesota. Or when the team was run over by a COVID-19 outbreak in December or when they got into a shoving match. Or when they traded three players and a first-round pick for Russell Westbrook.
The actual moment when this Lakers’ season no longer became viable can and will be discussed. The admirable, albeit delusional, attempts to try and talk this team into a contender, though, no longer need to be had.
“Our backs are against the wall,” Frank Vogel said pregame. “It’s not over for us.”
Forty-eight minutes later, the wall won.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, issued an apology to LeBron James for comments the Hall of Famer made about him following a trophy unveiling for the league’s Social Justice Champion Award.
“All I have to say is this: I was there to give Carmelo Anthony the Social Justice Champion Award. I’ve been talking to the press since high school. That’s 60 years of making statements. And I haven’t always gotten it right. And Sunday was one of those nights,” he said on Sirius XM NBA radio Tuesday.
“It wasn’t my intention to criticize LeBron in any way. He’s done so much for the Black community as well as for the game of basketball. We may not always agree, but I want to whole-heartedly apologize to LeBron and make it clear to him that I have tremendous respect for him. If he can accept that, I’ll be very happy.”
Lakers’ misguided season a collection of pratfalls and airballs
From Andrew Greif: Robert Covington has only been a member of the Clippers for two months but knows enough to believe that at full strength the team is “going to be scary,” the forward said Tuesday.
The Clippers are almost there.
A week after All-Star wing Paul George returned from an elbow injury, guard Norman Powell practiced without limitations Tuesday, coach Tyronn Lue confirmed, Powell’s first such workout since he fractured a bone in his toe in mid-February, and his status was later upgraded to doubtful to play Wednesday against Phoenix. It’s a sign that Lue’s stated hope for Powell to ease into the rotation before the play-in tournament is indeed a possibility.
The Clippers weren’t planning to play a five-on-five scrimmage Tuesday, but Powell “will be able to do everything we’re doing today” in practice, Lue said.
Powell’s progress wasn’t even the most intriguing moment Tuesday. That was the sight of Kawhi Leonard shooting free throws, midrange shots and working his way around the three-point arc firing attempts before practice started during a portion of time when reporters were allowed to watch.
From Sam Farmer: The most improbable of sports comebacks is underway.
Tiger Woods, less than 14 months removed from a catastrophic car accident that threatened his ability to walk, confirmed Tuesday that he intends to play in the Masters this week in pursuit of his sixth green jacket.
“As of right now I feel like I am going to play,” he said. “I’m going to play nine more [practice] holes [Wednesday]. My recovery has been good.”
The news followed half a practice round by Woods on Monday, during which he drew a gallery of thousands that was at least five layers deep from tee to green.
“It’s been a tough, tough year and lot of stuff that I had to deal with that I don’t wish on anyone,” he said, “but here we are at Masters week.”
From J. Brady McCollough: Last week at UCLA football practice, I asked Chip Kelly about Lincoln Riley’s “next-level” use of the transfer portal — a reference that anyone who is remotely engaged in following college football would understand.
“I don’t know what you mean by next level,” Kelly responded. “We’ve taken portal kids since we’ve been here, whether it’s Zach [Charbonnet], Obi Eboh or Cam Johnson. There’s not a team in college football that doesn’t use the portal. So I think it’s the level that everybody is using right now.”
The funny thing about Kelly at this point in his career is that I actually wouldn’t be surprised if he was blissfully unaware that Riley had brought in 13 transfers during the four months he’s been the head coach at USC in an attempt to revamp a roster that had fallen well below the Trojans’ standard.
Kelly’s job changed dramatically Nov. 28. It seems he either doesn’t realize it or doesn’t care, and I’m not sure which reality is worse for UCLA.
From Ryan Kartje: Miller Moss just wanted a fair shot. That’s all he could ask for last December, when Lincoln Riley first took the reins at USC, and it still was his lone request come February, when the most coveted quarterback in college football joined the fold.
Two months later, there’s no question that Caleb Williams will open next season as USC’s starting quarterback. Any competition under center this spring will carry on with heavy air quotes attached.
But for Moss, once a coveted prospect in his own right, there’s no doubt in his mind that he’s gotten the fair shake he asked for.
“Absolutely,” Moss said. “Coach Riley has been great. He’s been honest and open with us about everything. Honestly, he really invests in his quarterbacks. That’s something that’s been refreshing, and I really appreciate it.”
That line of communication was opened soon after Riley arrived. He was honest with Moss about his quarterback plans. So while Jaxson Dart opted to enter the transfer portal in January, eventually settling at Mississippi, Moss, who twice changed high schools, chose to stay at USC.
From Bill Shaikin: Shohei Ohtani, the face of baseball? Of course.
Shohei Ohtani, the voice of baseball? Here we go.
After a season of unrivaled accomplishment of pitching and hitting, Major League Baseball is deploying the Angels star as its marquee pitchman. In a 30-second ad saluting the start of the new season, the league features such stars as Ohtani, Mookie Betts and Trea Turner of the Dodgers, Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees and Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals.
Only one player speaks in the ad: Ohtani, in English.
The league also produced versions of the ad for Spanish-speaking and Japanese-speaking audiences. According to the league, the Japanese version uses subtitles — so, even there, Ohtani would be heard speaking English.
THIS DATE IN SPORTS
1896 — The first modern Olympic Games begin in Athens, Greece. James B. Connelly wins the first event — the hop, step and jump.
1936 — Horton Smith edges Harry Cooper by one stroke to win the Masters.
1941 — Craig Wood beats Byron Nelson by three strokes to win the Masters.
1947 — Jimmy Demaret wins the Masters for the second time with two-stroke victory over Byron Nelson and Frank Stranahan.
1952 — Sam Snead wins his second Masters, beating Jack Burke Jr. by four shots.
1973 — Ron Blomberg of the New York Yankees becomes the first major league designated hitter, in an opening-day game against Boston.
1987 — Sugar Ray Leonard returns to the ring after a three-year layoff to upset Marvelous Marvin Hagler in a 12-round split decision for the middleweight title, becoming boxing’s 10th triple champion.
1992 — Duke becomes the first team in 19 years to repeat as NCAA champion with a 71-51 victory over Michigan’s Fab Five freshmen, the youngest team to vie for the title.
2004 — Led by Diana Taurasi, UConn beats Tennessee 70-61 for its third straight women’s title. This is the first time one school sweeps the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball crown in the same year.
2008 — Lorena Ochoa continues her dominance of women’s golf with a five-shot victory in the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
2008 — Keith Tkachuk scores his 500th goal and adds an assist to help the St. Louis Blues beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 in the season finale.
2009 — Tyler Hansbrough and Ty Lawson help send North Carolina to a national championship, ending Michigan State’s inspirational run with a 89-72 rout. The Tar Heels take a 55-34 at halftime, breaking a 42-year-old title-game record for biggest lead at the break and setting the mark for most points at the half.
2010 — New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur gets his 600th career win with his second straight shutout in a 3-0 win over Atlanta. The shutout is Brodeur’s league-leading ninth of the season and the 110th of his career.
2010 — Maya Moore scores 23 points to help Connecticut rally from a horrible first half to beat Stanford 53-47 for its second straight undefeated championship season and its seventh national title. UConn (39-0) won its 78th straight, extending its women’s NCAA record for consecutive victories.
2013 — Rick Adelman becomes the eighth coach in NBA history to win 1,000 games when the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Detroit Pistons 107-101.
2015 — Duke’s star freshmen — Tyus Jones, Grayson Allen, Jahlil Okafor — turn a nine-point deficit into an eight-point lead with 1:22 left to grit out a 68-63 victory over Wisconsin for the Blue Devils’ fifth national title.
2017 — Charley Hoffman finishes with the largest first-round lead at Augusta National in 62 years. Hoffman shoots a 7-under 65 in the wind for a four-shot edge over William McGirt. That’s the largest lead since the 1955 Masters, when Jack Burke Jr. opened with 67 and was four shots ahead of Julius Boros and Mike Souchak.
Sugar Ray Leonard defeats Marvin Hagler in 1987. Watch and listen 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 email@example.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.
Get our high school sports newsletter
Prep Rally is devoted to the SoCal high school sports experience, bringing you scores, stories and a behind-the-scenes look at what makes prep sports so popular.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.