The Sports Report: $31 million awarded in Kobe Bryant photo sharing case

Vanessa Bryant
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

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

From Alene Tchekmedyian: A jury Wednesday ordered Los Angeles County to pay Vanessa Bryant, widow of Lakers star Kobe Bryant, and another man $31 million in damages for the graphic photos sheriff’s deputies and firefighters took of the 2020 helicopter crash scene that killed Bryant, his daughter, and seven others.

In reaching the verdict after only a few hours of deliberations, jurors made it clear they had been persuaded by attorneys for Bryant and Chris Chester, who argued that illicit photos of the crash victims’ bodies had violated their clients’ right to privacy and inflicted emotional distress. Chester lost his wife, Sarah, and daughter, Payton, in the crash.

“We’re not here because of an accident,” Bryant’s attorney Craig Lavoie told jurors during his closing arguments Tuesday, on what would have been Kobe Bryant’s 44th birthday. “We’re here because of intentional conduct. Intentional conduct by those who were charged with protecting the dignity of Sarah and Payton, and Kobe and Gianna.”

Jurors awarded Bryant $16 million and Chester $15 million for the distress they found the two had already suffered over the photos and would suffer going forward.


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From Dan Woike: The Lakers are set to acquire veteran guard (and frequent nemesis) Patrick Beverley from the Utah Jazz for Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson, sources with knowledge of the deal told the Times.

It’s the first big move for the team since signing LeBron James to a two-year extension last week.

Beverley, 34, played in 58 games last season with Minnesota after spending four years as an emotional leader for the Clippers. He averaged 9.2 points, 4.6 assists and 4.1 rebounds for the Timberwolves, though his three-point shooting dipped to 34.3% – the lowest of his 10-year NBA career.

Regarded as one of the NBA’s great irritants for his defensive intensity and attitude, Beverley joins a backcourt that currently also has former rival Russell Westbrook along with Kendrick Nunn, Lonnie Walker IV and Austin Reaves.


From Jack Harris: An hour before first pitch, one of the in-game hosts at Dodger Stadium described Wednesday night’s contests between the Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers as a “Game 7.”

In one sense, it was … sort of.

Entering Wednesday, the Dodgers and Brewers had split the first six games of their season series -- each taking two during a four-game set in Milwaukee last week, then trading victories in the first two games of this week’s rematch in Los Angeles.


It offered the Brewers the chance to join what this season has been an exclusive club.

Only two teams this year have played multiple series against the Dodgers, and won more games than they’ve lost.

Milwaukee could’ve become the third.

Instead, the Dodgers took the seventh and final regular-season meeting between the teams in blowout fashion, racing past the Brewers 12-6 in front of 47,216 at Chavez Ravine.


Dodgers release 2023 schedule: Here are 10 key dates


From Jeff Miller: In December, the decision probably would have been different, J.C. Jackson — with the help of an injection — probably opting to play through the discomfort.

But it’s only the third week of August, so Jackson chose to undergo a surgical procedure Tuesday on his right ankle to correct an issue that flared up 2½ weeks ago.

“He just felt like, if we can get this thing done,” Chargers coach Brandon Staley said, “that he’s going to be full speed and there’s no turning back.”

The Chargers expect Jackson to return to the field in two to four weeks, a window that has him potentially starting the season on time or sitting out the first two games.


From Gary Klein: He is not all the way back, but Jalen Ramsey is getting close.

The Rams’ star cornerback had offseason shoulder surgery. Early in training camp, he mainly worked with trainers and helped coach teammates before rejoining full-team drills in the latter part of the team’s stay at UC Irvine.

On Wednesday, Ramsey took another major step during a joint practice with the Cincinnati Bengals.

That was evident when he burst in front of Bengals receiver Tee Higgins and broke up a pass from quarterback Joe Burrow, barely missing on an interception and pick six.

“Not yet,” Ramsey said when asked if he was playing at full strength. “But I will be when the time is right.”


Rams and Chargers QB depth, Khalil Mack and those pesky Raiders: NFL reader Q&A


From Helene Elliott: The ownership situation was a mess. The team repeatedly missed the playoffs. When the possibility of a sale became widely known, fans rejoiced. Their nightmare was about to end.

And then owner Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Corp. sold the Dodgers to Frank McCourt, who siphoned off club funds to finance an over-the-top lifestyle for himself and his wife, Jamie, and pushed the Dodgers into bankruptcy in 2011. Fans saw through him quickly, staying away from Dodger Stadium in silent but eloquent protest until he sold the team to Guggenheim Baseball Management in 2012.

The moral here: Be careful what you wish for. You might not end up with what you thought you’d get.

That came to mind Tuesday, when Angels owner Arte Moreno said he had begun to “evaluate strategic alternatives” that include potentially selling his team. Understandably weary of not making the playoffs and the Angels’ failure to build around superstars Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, fans celebrated Moreno’s possible departure. Things have to get better. Don’t they?

Moreno has spent a lot of money but spent too much of it badly, overvaluing big-name players who were on the downside of their careers. An era that began with high hopes and lower beer prices and brought them five American League West titles from 2004 to 2009 ended in a meltdown fueled by bad personnel decisions. There was growing dread that Ohtani, the two-way unicorn, will walk away as a free agent after next season. Without him, the Angels wouldn’t be worth watching.


Angels fall to Rays on throwing error in 11 innings

Angels release 2023 schedule: Here are 10 key dates


From Kevin Baxter: Margueritte Aozasa was introduced to the UCLA-USC rivalry long before she coached her first competitive soccer game for the Bruins.

“I got my first taste of it last spring when we played the Trojans in a spring scrimmage,” said Aozasa, who had spent the previous seven seasons as an assistant at Stanford. “I had never experienced something like that. The whole thing was electric.”

Jane Alukonis was in front of the USC bench that day and for her the rivalry wasn’t new, but the viewpoint was. Alukonis was a UCLA assistant for four seasons before becoming head coach at USC in January.

“It is weird and unique, knowing what it feels like being on the Bruins’ side of that, where SC was not a team you wanted to face ever,” she said.

Women’s soccer came to both campuses in 1993 but never before have USC and sixth-ranked UCLA both welcomed new head coaches in the same season, with Aozasa replacing Amanda Cromwell in Westwood and Alukonis taking over for Keidane McAlpine at USC.


With the deadline for MLS teams to freeze their rosters nine days away, LAFC and the Galaxy made major moves Wednesday, with LAFC transferring designated player Brian Rodríguez to Mexico’s Club América and the Galaxy adding Uruguayan international Martín Cáceres.


1804 — Alice Meynell becomes the first woman jockey as she rides in a four-mile race in York, England.

1888 — Henry Slocum becomes the first man to win the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association singles title besides Richard Sears.

1904 — Jim Jeffries knocks out Jack Munroe in the second round in San Francisco to retain the world heavyweight title.

1908 — The first $50,000 trotting race in the United States, the American Trotting Derby, is won by Allen Winter with Lon McDonald driving.

1922 — In one of the wildest games ever played, the Cubs beat the Phillies 26-23. The Cubs led 25-6 in the fourth inning, but held on as the game ended with the Phillies leaving the bases loaded.

1946 — Ben Hogan wins the PGA championship with a 6 and 4 win over Ed Oliver.

1950 — Sugar Ray Robinson knocks out Jose Basora at 52 seconds of the first round to retain world middleweight boxing title.

1973 — The NASL championship is won by the Philadelphia Atoms with a 2-0 victory over the Dallas Tornadoes.

1974 — The Los Angeles Aztecs edge the Miami Toros 4-3 to win the NASL Championship.

1984 — France’s Lutin D’Isigny wins the $250,000 International Trot by seven lengths, the largest margin of victory in this race. Jean-Paul Andre drives Lutin D’Isigny to a world record trot for the 1¼-mile in 2:30, smashing the record of 2:31.2 shared by Speedy Scot and Noble Victory.

1991 — Carl Lewis reclaims his title of world’s fastest human by setting a world record of 9.86 seconds in the 100-meter final in the world championships in Tokyo. Lewis clips four-hundredths of a second off the previous mark of 9.90 set by Leroy Burrell in the U.S. Championships two months earlier.

1996 — Tiger Woods wins an unprecedented third U.S. Amateur Championship, beating Steve Scott on the 38th hole after coming back from 5-down with 16 to play and 2-down with three to go.

2006 — Japan’s Yusaku Miyazato becomes the first golfer to make two holes-in-one in the same round of a PGA Tour tournament when he aces a pair of par 3s at the Reno-Tahoe Open.

2011 — The New York Yankees become the first team in major league history to hit three grand slams in a game, with Robinson Cano, Russell Martin and Curtis Granderson connecting in a 22-9 romp over the Oakland Athletics.

2012 — Alpha and longshot Golden Ticket finish in a historic dead heat in the $1 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. Golden Ticket leads the field of 11 3-year-olds in the stretch, but 2-1 favorite Alpha closes strongly and the two hit the finish line in tandem. It’s the first dead heat in the 143 runnings of the Travers, and a rare finish for any Grade 1 race. Alpha pays $4.10 and 33-1 shot Golden Ticket returns $26.80 to win.

2013 — Teen star Lydia Ko runs away with the Canadian Women’s Open with a five-stroke victory over Karine Icher. The 16-year-old New Zealand amateur successfully defends her title, closing with a 6-under 64 for her fourth win in 14 professional events.

2020 — Chicago White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito throws a no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-0 at Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago.

Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally

Lucas Giolito pitches a no-hitter. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

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