The Sports Report: Dustin Brown of the Kings will retire at end of postseason

Dustin Brown holds up the Stanley Cup in 2012.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

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

From Helene Elliott: Dustin Brown, whose fearless physicality and commanding leadership as the Kings’ captain became cornerstones of their Stanley Cup championships in 2012 and 2014, will retire at the end of the playoffs, the club announced on Thursday. He’s scheduled to provide background on his decision at a news conference on Friday at the team’s El Segundo practice facility.

Brown, 37, is in the final year of his contract. He indicated in an interview last week with The Times that he hadn’t decided if he would play another season, given his reduced role and dwindling effectiveness on the ice.

“To be honest, I’m not really sure yet. It’s still one of those questions that I want to take some time away from it,” he said last week. “I don’t think those are decisions you want to make during the ups and downs and just the day to day. There’s good days and bad days. Just want to take my time with it.”

The time was right on Thursday. Brown, still a mentor and leader in the locker room but relegated mostly to playing right wing on the third line, has nine goals and 28 points in 63 games this season. He was expected to play in the Kings’ regular-season finale Thursday night at Vancouver, which would be his 1,296th NHL game — all with the Kings — and extending his own team record. The Kings clinched a playoff spot on Tuesday, their first postseason appearance since 2018.


In addition to ranking first in franchise history in regular-season games played, Brown ranks sixth in goals (325), eighth in assists (387) and seventh in points (712). The native of Ithaca, N.Y., ranks sixth all-time in NHL games played by American-born players and 35th in points among American-born players. He was chosen 13th by the Kings in the 2003 entry draft, which was notable for the many stars it produced. Another member of that class, Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, played his final NHL game last Sunday.

At his peak, Brown was a physical force. He set the tone for their run to the Cup in 2012 with a thunderous hit on Vancouver forward Henrik Sedin in Game 3 of the first-round playoff series between the eighth-seeded Kings and top-ranked Canucks, paving the way for their five-game win in that series and their romp through the next three rounds. Brown and teammate Anze Kopitar, longtime linemates, shared the playoff scoring lead with 20 points each in 20 games.

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From Sam Farmer: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell figured this draft would be a return to normalcy in terms of major sporting events.

In a sense it was – precious few masks in sight on a balmy Nevada evening – but there was very little that was normal about the first draft in Sin City.

Five defensive players in a row to start the night?

A record six receivers in the first 20 picks?

Only one quarterback taken by a league so dominated by passing?

And NFL teams wrapping their arms around Georgia’s defense the way the commissioner bear hugs draftees on stage?

A memorable night, indeed.

Here are 32 observations.


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From Mike DiGiovanna: Home runs are down and balls that are barreled up off the bat aren’t traveling as far, the combination of less lively baseballs and the humidors now being used in every stadium to store them suppressing offense across the league.


Joe Maddon, the old-school Angels manager who implores his team to “play like it’s 1985,” is here for it.

“I know the hitters aren’t going to agree with me, but I like a real game of baseball, not the video-game version,” Maddon said after the Angels completed a four-game sweep of the Cleveland Guardians with a 4-1 victory before 18,826 in Angel Stadium on Thursday.

“If you want to get more people interested in our game, play baseball. Do it all. Play all the components, all facets of the game, and I think that’s we’re doing right now. I didn’t know in spring training that the ball was going to react the way it is, but I hope it stays that way.”

The Angels can actually bang with the best of them. They ranked first in the American League in runs (95) and slugging percentage (.437) and second in home runs (25) entering Thursday.


Shohei Ohtani has more help this season with the Angels and a renewed outlook

David Fletcher says he’s ready to return to lineup; Angels aren’t as sure



From Ben Bolch: Long before he became a rebound-snatching, shot-blocking force at UCLA, Myles Johnson faced questions about his priorities.

His size and skill with a basketball in his hands made him naturally gifted, and those with a heavy bent toward athletics figured he had found his calling.

But Johnson had other interests. He enjoyed cooking. He spoke some Japanese. And there was always that unquenchable first love.

Johnson displayed a natural aptitude for science, technology and math that would lead him to major in engineering, first at Rutgers as an undergraduate and later at UCLA as a graduate student in electrical and computer engineering.

Along the way, Johnson became a part-time starter on the Bruins’ basketball team, the 6-foot-10 center emerging as UCLA’s best rebounder and interior defender last season on a team that reached the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament.

But the graduate transfer never strayed from his primary endeavor. He announced Thursday on social media that he would forgo a final season of eligibility to finish his degree and commence his career off the court.


“Pretty much, this is my retirement from basketball,” Johnson told The Times. “It was one of those coming-to-terms moments that I just had to sit there and say, ‘You know what, it may be a hard pill to swallow, but in the long run I feel like this is what’s best.’ I feel like I’m giving up one thing to open a door to another part of my life.”


From Ben Bolch: It might no longer be the thin blue line many UCLA fans feared.

The verbal commitment of Jaylan Jeffers, an offensive tackle from Oregon who tweeted Thursday about his intra-Pac-12 transfer, could fortify what was widely viewed as the Bruins’ primary weakness after losing Sean Rhyan and Alec Anderson to the NFL draft.

Jeffers is the second offensive tackle to transfer to UCLA in hopes of immediate playing time, joining Raiqwon O’Neal, an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection last season at Rutgers.

Unlike O’Neal, the 6-foot-5, 291-pound Jeffers, a redshirt freshman, has not played much in college, appearing in only one game with the Ducks. A onetime three-star prospect from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro High, Jeffers did not play in 2020 before making his college debut last season. He has four seasons of remaining eligibility and becomes the second Oregon player to transfer to UCLA, after cornerback Jaylin Davies.

Garrett DiGiorgio, Josh Carlin and converted defensive lineman Tyler Manoa have been manning offensive tackle for the Bruins this spring with mixed results. The depth chart figures to remain fluid upon the arrival of Jeffers and O’Neal before fall camp as the Bruins bid to produce another 1,000-yard rusher and protect quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson.



1901 — His Eminence, ridden by Jimmy Winkfield, wins the Kentucky Derby by 1 1/2 lengths over Sannazarro in the only Derby ever raced in April.

1961 — ABC’s “Wide World of Sports,” debuts.

1970 — Lakers guard Jerry West hits a 60-foot desperation shot at the buzzer to tie Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the New York Knicks. The Knicks outscore the Lakers 9-6 in the overtime for a 111-108 win.

1985 — Tony Tubbs captures the WBA heavyweight title with a unanimous 15-round decision over Greg Page in Buffalo, N.Y.

1986 — Roger Clemens set a major league record by striking out 20 batters as the Boston Red Sox defeated the Seattle Mariners 3-1.

1988 — The Baltimore Orioles end their 21-game losing streak by winning their first game of the season, 9-0 over the Chicago White Sox.

1990 — Pat Riley becomes the winningest coach in NBA playoff history as the Lakers beat the Houston Rockets 104-100. Riley’s 100th victory put him ahead of Red Auerbach.


1998 — For the first time in the 124-year history of the Kentucky Derby, a redraw is ordered during the post-position draw. Churchill Downs officials allowed ESPN to control the announcing of the draw. Commentator Chris Lincoln called the No. 15 pill twice while picking the draft order for post positions.

2000 — Lennox Lewis knocks down Michael Grant three times in the first round and knocks him out at 2:53 of the second at Madison Square Garden in New York to retain his WBC and IBF heavyweight titles. The combined weight of 497 pounds made it the heaviest title fight ever.

2003 — Indiana outscores Boston 5-0 in overtime for a 93-88 victory, cutting the Celtics’ first-round series lead to 3-2. It’s the first overtime shutout in NBA playoff history.

2007 — Phoenix guard Steve Nash has 23 assists, one shy of the NBA playoff record, to help Phoenix to a 113-100 victory over the Lakers.

2010 — The NCAA’s Board of Directors approve a 68-team format for the men’s basketball tournament beginning next season. It’s the first expansion since 2001 when the tourney went from 64 to 65 teams.

2013 — NBA veteran center Jason Collins becomes the first male pro athlete in the major four American sports leagues to come out as gay. Collins writes a first-person account posted on Sports Illustrated’s website. The 34-year-old free agent played for six NBA teams in 12 seasons.


2014 — Clippers owner Donald Sterling is banned for life by the NBA in response to racist comments he made in an audio recording. The Clippers’ owner is also fined $2.5 million, the maximum amount allowed under the NBA Constitution.

Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally

Jerry West makes a 60-foot buzzer beater in the playoffs. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

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