The Sports Report: Lakers jettison Russell Westbrook, acquire D’Angelo Russell and two others

D'Angelo Russell with Minnesota earlier this month.
D’Angelo Russell with Minnesota earlier this month.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

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

From Dan Woike: The Lakers dramatically changed their roster Wednesday, trading Russell Westbrook to Utah in a three-team deal that will bring back former Laker D’Angelo Russell from the Minnesota Timberwolves and also net guard Malik Beasley and forward Jarred Vanderbilt from the Jazz.

The Lakers also will send a protected 2027 first-round draft pick to the Jazz and a 2024 second-round pick to Minnesota, according to people familiar with the deal not authorized to speak publicly.

The Lakers are excited to get young players in Russell, Beasley and Vanderbilt and address the shooting issues that have plagued them all season, sources said.


The trade ends Westbrook’s tenure with the Lakers, a homecoming in Los Angeles that was fraught with injuries to his costars and inconsistent production from the former NBA most valuable player.

Russell, whom the Lakers drafted No. 2 overall in 2015, is averaging 17.9 points and 6.2 assists for Minnesota this season. He’s 26 and an unrestricted free agent this summer after his $31.4-million contract expires.

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As offensive lineman Atonio Mafi transitions from UCLA to the NFL, he is sharing his journey with Times staff writer Ben Bolch through a weekly diary leading up to the draft April 27. This week, Mafi discusses being reunited with his college teammates at the Shrine Bowl.

There are some things you know you’re going to have to do to make the NFL as an offensive lineman.

Show you can handle an all-out blitz. Hold your block in passing downs. Master the concepts of a complex offense.

Then there’s the unexpected. Last week, I broke into song while meeting with executives from one NFL team.

Yep, it’s true. I unleashed my best a cappella version of The Temptations’ “My Girl.”

I have to say, I think I killed it.

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From Jeff Miller: The ankle sprain was so severe that the pain covered a distance that could be measured in both miles and years.


The images of Patrick Mahomes traveled all the way from Kansas City, arriving on Jack Youngblood’s television down in Florida as a reminder of a similar scene more than four decades old.

“He was wound up on the sidelines,” Youngblood said. “Did you see him? He was going, ‘No, no, hell no!’ He’s like I was and still am — as hard-headed as a 7-year-old.”

Mahomes’ animated response to being pulled from the Chiefs’ divisional round victory over Jacksonville last month punctuated how determined he was to push through his injury.

And he did return, missing only one series against the Jaguars and then playing every offensive snap in Kansas City’s AFC championship game win over Cincinnati, Mahomes limping badly at times but ultimately marching on.

A high-ankle sprain couldn’t stop him any more than a broken tibia could thwart Youngblood during the 1979 playoffs, the former Rams defensive end playing 2½ games — including Super Bowl XIV — on a fractured leg.

“People to this day ask me about it,” Youngblood said. “I’ll see someone in the airport and it’s, ‘How the hell did you keep playing?’ These are people I don’t even know. I laugh and say, ‘I have no idea. I haven’t figured that one out yet.’ ”


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From Kevin Baxter: Angel City will open its second NWSL season at home with NJ/NY Gotham FC on Sunday, March 26, at newly christened BMO Stadium. The league schedule, released Wednesday, includes 28 games, 22 regular-season matches and six in the Challenge Cup, which will be played concurrently with the regular season this year.

Angel City will play half of those matches at home, hosting each of the league’s other 11 teams and playing conference rivals San Diego, Portland and the OL Reign in home Challenge Cup games. In addition to the April 23 regular-season home game with in-state rival San Diego, Angel City will host the Wave in Challenge Cup play on June 28.


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Angel City 2023 Schedule

(all times Pacific)

March 26: vs. Gotham FC, 6 p.m.

April 2: at Orlando Pride, 2:30 p.m.; 15: vs. Louisville, 7 p.m.; 19: vs. OL Reign*, 7 p.m.: 23: vs. San Diego Wave, 5 p.m.; 29: at Portland Thorns, 7:30 p.m.

May 3: at OL Reign*, 7 p.m.; 7: vs. Kansas City, 5 p.m.; 13: vs. Washington, 7 p.m.; 20: at North Carolina, 4 p.m.; 27: at OL Reign, 12:30 p.m.; 31: at Portland*, 7:30 p.m.

June 4: vs. Chicago, 5 p.m.; 10: at Washington, 4 p.m.; 17: at San Diego, 1 p.m.; 25: vs. Houston, 5 p.m.; 28: vs. San Diego*, 7 p.m.

July 2: at Gotham FC, 2:30 p.m.; 9: vs. North Carolina, 5 p.m.; 29: vs. Portland*, 7 p.m.

Aug. 5: at San Diego*, 7 p.m.; 19: at Racing Louisville, 4:30 p.m.; 27: vs. OL Reign, 5 p.m.

Sept. 1: at Kansas City, 5 p.m.; 17: at Chicago, 3 p.m.; 21: vs. Orlando, 7 p.m.

Oct. 8: at Houston, 4 p.m.; 15: vs. Portland. 2 p.m.

*Challenge Cup match


1912 — The U.S. Tennis Assn. amends the rules for the men’s singles championship play. The defending champion is required to play through the tournament instead of waiting for the tournament to produce a challenger.

1940 — Joe Louis beats Arturo Godoy with a split decision to defend his world heavyweight title at Madison Square Garden.

1966 — The NHL doubles in size — from six to 12 teams — when the Owners-Governors award franchises to Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and St. Louis.

1986 — Detroit’s Isiah Thomas scores 30 points and hands out 10 assists to lead the East to a 139-132 win in the All-Star Game in Dallas.


1988 — Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins scores a record six points — three goals and three assists — to lead the Wales Conference to a 6-5 victory over the Campbell Conference in the NHL All-Star game.

1991 — Terry Norris knocks down Sugar Ray Leonard twice and beats him up over 12 rounds in Leonard’s Madison Square Garden debut and final fight. Norris wins a unanimous decision.

1992 — Magic Johnson, playing for the first time since announcing his retirement on Nov. 7, scores a game-high 25 points and hands out nine assists to lead the West to a 153-113 win over the East in the NBA All-Star Game at the Orlando Arena.

1997 — Glen Rice breaks two scoring records in an MVP performance and Michael Jordan has the first triple-double in NBA All-Star game history. The East rallies to beat the West 132-120. Rice, who finishes with 26 points, sets records with 20 in the third quarter and 24 in the second half.

2009 — Lindsey Vonn wins the downhill for her second gold at the World Championships in Val D’isere, France. Vonn becomes the second American woman to win two golds at a worlds. Andrea Mead Lawrence won the slalom and giant slalom at the 1952 Oslo Olympics, which doubled as the worlds.

2013 — Cameron Biedscheid scores on a layup with 1:19 left in the fifth overtime, and Eric Atkins and Pat Connaugton add free throws in the final 19 seconds as No. 25 Notre Dame overcomes an eight-point deficit in regulation to beat No. 11 Louisville 104-101. The Cardinals led 56-48 with 51 seconds left in regulation. It’s the sixth time in the last eight meetings that a game between the Fighting Irish and the Cardinals goes into overtime.


2014 — Missouri All-American defensive end Michael Sam comes out to the nation. In interviews with ESPN, The New York Times and Outsports, Sam says he came out to all his teammates and coaches at Missouri in August.

2015 — San Antonio rallies from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit and gets an 18-foot baseline jumper from Marco Belinelli with 2.1 seconds left to give coach Greg Popovich 1,000 wins with a 95-93 victory at Indiana.

2018 — XXIII Olympic Winter Games open in PyeongChang, South Korea

Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally

Magic Johnson comes out of retirement to win the All-Star game MVP award. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

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