You got the write-up on the Lakers all wrong! Walton benches young, arrogant, lazy Laker starters and second string comes in to erase the 17-point first quarter deficit. Oklahoma City would have blown them out if it wasn’t for those guys’ spark. I am not a Laker fan, but I loved the second string and their aggressive defense and team play. I could root for those Lakers!
Bill Plaschke got it right in his column, claiming the Lakers fiasco is the fault of Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka. The Laker roster without LeBron James in the lineup is worse than any lineup in recent years.
The current management let Lou Williams, D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle go to other teams. For the record, Lou, D'Angelo and Julius are averaging 19, 19 and 20 points per game this year. Lonzo Ball, who plays Russell's position, is shooting 42% from the free-throw line while D'Angelo is shooting 81% from the line.
The coach is not the problem. The problem is the personnel decisions, especially those that were let go and those that were retained by Magic and Rob.
Lonzo Ball tells ESPN that he wants to lead by example and to be vocal only when needed. Wow. Imagine Magic Johnson only being vocal “when needed” during his playing days. Even by modern standards, Steph Curry directs championship teams using his vocal cords. Even Riley Curry knows how to use her vocal cords more than Lonzo. Somewhat ironic when you consider Lonzo’s gene pool. I think Magic Johnson has an opportunity to lead by example when he uses his vocal cords to wish Lonzo well when he’s traded for a vocal player who can consistently hit their shot.
For once, Bill Plashke is right: The problem with the Lakers rests squarely on the shoulders of Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka. Especially Magic, because it's unclear what Pelinka does besides pretend to be Rob Lowe.
Magic whiffed on acquiring Trevor Ariza, in part due to his unfathomable protection of Lonzo Ball. LeBron came to the Lakers, but not because of Magic. He was coming anyway. In fact, he would come even if Jeff Fisher was the GM.
Magic Johnson should trade himself, Pelinka, Ball and KCP to the Clippers for Jerry West.
Like many Angelenos, I'm bummed that the Chargers did not prevail against the Patriots last Sunday. But at the same time there is a sense of relief that there won't be an all-L.A., Rams vs. Chargers, Super Bowl this year. We could have ended up with two riots.
After the first half, when the Chargers’ over-hyped pass rush failed to cause a wrinkle on Brady's forehead, I thought OK, they are bringing it the second half. What did they have to lose? When nothing changed in the second half, I was shocked. Until I read coach Anthony Lynn's and defensive coordinator Gus Bradley's explanation in The Times:
"Lynn will be in attack mode next season."
"We won't be complacent."
Whew, thanks coach. As a longtime suffering Charger fan, that makes me feel so much better this season.
I always wondered about Philip Rivers of the Chargers and why such a talented quarterback had never done better in the NFL. He can be brilliant at times. After watching him against the Patriots, I question his leadership ability. He is quick to chastise others for their mistake, and not able to encourage team members for their shortcomings.
While it may be true that raising one’s voice can motivate some, it's a kind voice of wisdom that motivates others.
Rams in the news
The last time the Rams represented Los Angeles in the Super Bowl, after the 1979 season, they had a young (25-year-old) quarterback, Vince Ferragamo, who had played college football at Cal (before transferring to Nebraska) and led the Rams to victory over the Dallas Cowboys in an NFC divisional round playoff game (21-19). This year, once again, the Rams have a young (24-year-old) quarterback, Jared Goff, who played college football at Cal and has just led the team to victory over the Dallas Cowboys in an NFC divisional round playoff game (30-22).
Stephen A. Silver
“Rams are going to the Super Bowl.” Thanks for jinxing the Rams, Plaschke!
Uh-oh. Bill “The Great Prognosticator” Plaschke has spoken: “The Rams will win.” Uh-oh.
An awesome performance from an awesome athlete! The Katelyn Ohashi video of a smiling, hair-bouncing, flying-through-the-air performance shows a true athlete enjoying her own routine. Bravo Katelyn for having 4 million people around the world smiling and gasping. Women are not accepting defeat from others in their field who accuse them of not having the correct body shape.
Mary Jo Durand
Kudos to The Times for bringing back Morning Briefing via the WayBack Machine! So far the columns by Houston Mitchell are like a Marty McFly DeLorean compared with The Day In Sports, which resembles my dad's station wagon. Here's to the L.A. Times staying back to the future!
Just wanted to drop a note to congratulate you on the Morning Briefing column. The new writer seems to have the wherewithal and gumption to carry this out and adds a smile to my face each morning (so far).
Initially, I was pleased to see Morning Briefing return to Page 2.
But the early returns are in, and this is a very pale imitation of the original.
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