The Sports Report: Here’s why LeBron James won’t retire

LeBron James
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

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

From Dylan Hernández: While LeBron James was sidelined because of a torn tendon in his right foot, some of the medical experts he consulted doubted whether he would play again this season.

“It was a significant injury,” Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka recalled Tuesday at the team’s practice facility in El Segundo.

James returned to play in each of the Lakers’ last eight regular-season games. He powered his team to the Western Conference finals. There, the Lakers were swept by the Denver Nuggets, but James scored 40 points and played all but 4.3 seconds in the elimination game.


Coach Darvin Ham didn’t offer details about the extra work the 38-year-old James had to do to remain on the court or the discomfort through which he played but acknowledged, “It was a challenge.”

The fire inside of James, reduced to a flicker in recent seasons by his failing body and uneven Lakers rosters, suddenly was visible again over these last couple of months.

“You could see the passion,” Ham said.

And you think James actually might retire?

The impulse that inspired his comeback — that inspired him to become one of the two best players in NBA history — doesn’t permanently disappear because of a sweep in the conference finals.

Continue reading here

Lakers plan to keep young core together, hopefully with LeBron James

Elliott: LeBron James’ retirement hint could be ploy for Lakers control


‘Incredibly grateful’: Lakers GM Rob Pelinka heaps praise on coach Darvin Ham

GM says LeBron James has earned a right to decide if he has more to give Lakers

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Results, schedule
All times Pacific
Conference finals

Western Conference


No. 1 Denver vs. No. 7 Lakers
Game 1: at Denver 132, Lakers 126
Game 2: at Denver 108, Lakers 103
Game 3: Denver 119, at Lakers 108
Game 4: Denver 113, at Lakers 111

Eastern Conference

No. 2 Boston vs. No. 8 Miami
Game 1: Miami 123, at Boston 116
Game 2: Miami 111, at Boston 105
Game 3: at Miami 128, Boston 102
Game 4: Boston 116, at Miami 99
Thursday at Boston, 5:30 p.m., TNT
*Saturday at Miami, 5:30 p.m., TNT
*Monday at Boston, 5:30 p.m., TNT

*-if necessary


Results, schedule
All times Pacific
Conference finals

Western Conference

Vegas (P1) vs. Dallas Stars (C2)
Game 1: at Vegas 4, Dallas 3 (OT)
Game 2: at Vegas 3, Dallas 2 (OT)
Game 3: Vegas 4, at Dallas 0
Thursday at Dallas, 5 p.m., ESPN
*Saturday at Vegas, 5 p.m., ABC
*Monday at Dallas, 5 p.m., ESPN
*Wed., May 31 at Vegas, 6 p.m., ESPN

Eastern Conference

Carolina (M1) vs. Florida (WC2)
Game 1: Florida 4, at Carolina 3 (4 OT)
Game 2: Florida 2, at Carolina 1 (OT)
Game 3: at Florida 1, Carolina 0
Today at Florida, 5 p.m., TNT
*Friday at Carolina, 5 p.m., TNT
*Sunday at Florida, 5 p.m., TNT
*Tuesday, May 30 at Carolina, 5 p.m., TNT

*-if necessary


From Jack Harris: In his major league debut Tuesday night, Bobby Miller’s triple-digit fastball came as advertised.

Over the five strong innings against the Atlanta Braves, though, it was the rest of his arsenal that shined brighter than anticipated.


In the Dodgers’ 8-1 win at Trust Park, Miller put the full evolution of his game on display, giving up just one run on four hits and a walk while striking out five.

The club’s top pitching prospect began the evening pumping 100 mph heaters over the plate, flashing the pitch that made him a first-round draft pick and top-20 prospect in the sport.

But then, he started incorporating the rest of his wicked five-pitch mix, throwing the Braves’ talented lineup — which had been hunting his fastball early on — off balance with a steady stream of sliders and curveballs, sinkers and changeups.

“For him to arrive and pitch like he did on a stage like this, [against] a team like this, the way he showed was really encouraging for all of us,” manager Dave Roberts said. “I think this is just a start.”

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From Sarah Valenzuela: Before leaving for the ballpark, Angels outfielder Mickey Moniak, who is from Encinitas but lives in Orange County now, grabs coffee and maybe a bagel, spends some time with his girlfriend and watches the waves at the beach.


Having that downtime to himself before coming to work is a routine he incorporated about a year and half ago, instead of waking up and heading right for a ballpark.

“You know, do something during the day that is outside of baseball to kind of make things a little more normal,” Moniak said before the Angels beat the Boston Red Sox 4-0 on Tuesday.

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From Jeff Miller: The Chargers have added $1.75 million in incentives to the contract of Austin Ekeler, according to a source not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

The development represents a truce in the running back’s dissatisfaction with the team over his current deal.

Ekeler is entering the final season of a four-year, $24.5-million contract that includes a 2023 base salary of $6.25 million. The deal ranks 13th in average annual value among NFL running backs.


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From Gary Klein: The Rams roster, once a veritable Who’s Who of NFL stars, is now a “Who’s That?” compilation.

After an offseason of releases, trades and thanks-for-the-memories goodbyes to key players from the Super Bowl championship team of two seasons ago and last season’s disaster, the Rams are attempting to begin anew.

The roster includes nearly 40 first-year players.

The youth is not lost on quarterback Matthew Stafford, who at 35 is preparing for his 15th NFL season.

“I’ve got 6-year-old daughters, and I think to myself, ‘Some of these guys were 6 when I started playing in the NFL,’ ” Stafford said, chuckling, after an organized-team-activity workout Tuesday. “So, it’s kind of hard to sit there and think about that.”

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New NFL rule for kickoff safety puts ball on 25-yard line after fair catch


From Kevin Baxter: In rivalry games, records are supposed to be meaningless. The competition isn’t supposed to matter either. It’s just two teams, going to toe to toe, for pride and bragging rights.

But all that is all based on the assumption both teams show up. That wasn’t necessarily the case Tuesday when LAFC and the Galaxy renewed their neighborhood grudge match in the U.S. Open Cup’s round of 16.

The Galaxy, off to the worst start in their history, started a first-team lineup, knowing the Open Cup probably represents their best chance at a trophy this year.

LAFC, the reigning MLS and Supporters’ Shield winners, rested its regulars and went with a team of back-ups and reserves. And with the two-leg CONCACAF Champions League final starting next week, it didn’t even bother dressing its two designated players, Carlos Vela and Denis Bouanga, who have combined for 14 of the team’s 23 goals in MLS play.

Not surprisingly, the A team beat the B one, with goals by Tyler Boyd and Riqui Puig early in the second half carrying the Galaxy to a 2-0 win at a half-empty BMO Stadium.


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From Ben Bolch: UCLA’s basketball roster is starting to develop a distinctly European flavor.

A verbal commitment from Jan Vide, a Slovenian guard known for his natural scoring instincts, is the latest sign of the Bruins’ overseas shift in their recruiting efforts. Should he sign with the Bruins, Vide would become the fourth player on the team next season with ties to Europe, joining guards Ilane Fibleuil (France) and Lazar Stefanovic (Serbia) in addition to center Adem Bona (Turkey), should Bona opt for another college season over the NBA draft.


1905 — Harry Payne Whitney’s Tanya becomes the second filly to win the Belmont Stakes. Ruthless was the first filly to win the Belmont, in 1867. Whitney would also win the Kentucky Derby with a filly, Regret, in 1915.

1926 — Finnish runner Paavo Nurmi sets world 3000m record (8:25.4) in Berlin, Germany.

1935 — In the first major league night game, the Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 before 25,000 fans in Cincinnati.

1936 — Tony Lazzeri of the New York Yankees drives in 11 runs with a triple and three home runs — two of them grand slams — in a 25-2 rout of the Philadelphia A’s.


1967 — The AFL grants a franchise to the Cincinnati Bengals.

1976 — Muhammad Ali TKOs Richard Dunn in five for heavyweight boxing title in Munich.

1980 — Bobby Nystrom’s overtime goal gives the New York Islanders a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 6 for their first Stanley Cup title.

1981 — The Indianapolis 500 ends in controversy when Mario Andretti, who finished second to Bobby Unser, is declared the winner because Unser broke a rule during a slowdown period near the end of the race. The decision is later reversed, giving Unser credit for the victory, but he is fined $40,000.

1986 — The Montreal Canadiens win their 23rd Stanley Cup, beating the Calgary Flames 4-3 in five games.

1987 — Indianapolis 500: 47 year-old, now part-time driver Al Unser Sr. wins his record-tying 4th Indy title in a huge upset.

1987 — LPGA Championship Women’s Golf, Jack Nicklaus GC: American Jane Geddes wins by 1 stroke ahead of runner-up American Betsy King.

1988 — The fourth game of the Stanley Cup finals between the Edmonton Oilers and Boston Bruins is postponed with the score tied 3-3 and 3:23 left in the second period when a power failure hits Boston Garden.


1989 — 33rd European Cup: Milan beats Steaua Bucuresti 4-0 at Barcelona.

1990 — The Edmonton Oilers win their fifth Stanley Cup in seven seasons by beating the Bruins 4-1 in Game 5. Goalie Bill Ranford, who limited Boston to eight goals in the series, wins the Conn Smythe Trophy for most valuable player in the playoffs.

1992 — Al Unser Jr. wins the closest finish at the Indianapolis 500, beating Scott Goodyear by 43-thousandths of a second, barely half a car length. Lyn St. James, the second woman to race at Indy, finishes 11th.

1995 — Oakland’s Dennis Eckersley becomes the sixth pitcher to record 300 saves, in a 5-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles.

1995 — 3rd UEFA Champions League Final: Ajax beats Milan 1-0 at Vienna.

1998 — Indianapolis 500: American ex-Formula One driver Eddie Cheever Jr finishes 3 seconds ahead of 1996 winner Buddy Lazier; first Indy fully sanctioned by the IRL.

2000 — 8th UEFA Champions League Final: Real Madrid beats Valencia 3-0 at Saint-Denis.

2001 — John Lieber of the Chicago Cubs tosses a 79-pitch, one-hit shutout in a 3-0 blanking of the Reds. It’s the first shutout of the Reds in an NL-record 208 games.

2009 — Brazil’s Helio Castroneves becomes the ninth driver to win the Indianapolis 500 three times. Castroneves pulls away over the final laps to beat Dan Wheldon of England and Danica Patrick, who eclipsed her fourth-place finish as a rookie in 2005 by crossing the strip of bricks in third.


2009 — Manchester United wins 1-0 at Hull City Stadium to win English Premier League title for 3rd consecutive season, for a second time; equals Liverpool’s record of 18 league titles.

2010 — Lukas Lacko of Slovakia beats American Michael Yani in a 71-game match that ties for the most in the French Open since tiebreakers were instituted in 1973. Lacko wins 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 12-10 in a first-round match that takes two days to complete.

2014 — UEFA Champions League Final, Lisbon: Real Madrid beats cross town rivals Atlético Madrid, 4-1 after extra time; scores locked at 1-1 in regulation; Los Blancos record 10th title.

2015 — Senior PGA Championship, French Lick Resort: Defending champion Colin Montgomerie of Scotland wins by 4 strokes from Mexican Esteban Toledo.

2017 — Manchester United defeated Ajax, 2-0, to win the 2017 UEFA League.

—Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally...

Al Unser Jr. wins the closest Indy 500 in history. Watch and listen here.


Until next time...

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