Howdy everyone, and welcome to the Wednesday edition of the Los Angeles Times daily sports newsletter. My name is Houston Mitchell and I’m your host for the festivities. Subscribe to this newsletter by clicking here.
Let’s get to it.
The Anthony Davis trade debacle is at an end. I think. The Lakers have ended their attempt to trade for him after the latest, final, no more after this, we’re serious this time offer was rejected by New Orleans. Check out this offer:
Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and two first-round draft picks for Davis and Solomon Hill.
Are you kidding me? All that for two guys. Eight players? Six from the current team? For two guys? Yes, Davis is a great player, but no one is worth tearing apart your team like that for. Maybe Michael Jordan in his prime. Maybe.
The Pelicans apparently wanted six-to-eight draft picks instead of two.
And now you have to wonder how this trade talk is impacting the play of the players whose names keep getting mentioned. During Tuesday’s game against Atlanta, the fans chanted “LeBron’s gonna trade you” when Ingram was at the free-throw line. They then taunted Javale McGee with “not worth trading.”
That has to get to a person, at least a little. And the Lakers were blown out by the Pacers, 136-94.
Is this the start of an epic Lakers collapse after management sent a message to most of the team that they basically have little faith in them? You can’t tell from one game, but it’s something to keep an eye on. Yes, I know Ball wasn’t playing Tuesday, but I’m pretty sure that he would not have made up for a 42-point loss.
Times columnist Dylan Hernandez says Lakers fans shouldn’t freak out that the trade hit a roadblock.
Meanwhile, some guy named Kobe Bryant on the Lakers trying to acquire Davis: "It depends on what you're trying to accomplish and what your long-term objectives are," Bryant said. "Now, by signing LeBron, you're already making an indication that you wanna win now. Right. So, I think it'd be a smart thing to do for the Lakers to look at that. But at the same time, you know, you gotta play a little bit of poker."
The Lakers did make one trade late Tuesday, sending rookie Svi Mykhailiuk and a second-round draft pick to the Detroit Pistons for Reggie Bullock, a 6-7 guard/forward averaging 12 points and shooting 38.4% from three-point range.
It was a strange day for Clippers leading scorer Tobias Harris. First, he made the winning shot in a 117-115 victory over the Charlotte Hornets. Then, he was traded.
The Clippers sent Harris to Philadelphia as part of a larger trade with the 76ers.
The Clippers also sent center Boban Marjanovic and forward Mike Scott along with Harris to Philadelphia in exchange for Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, Landry Shamet, two first-round picks and two second-round picks.
The Rams had a team meeting in Thousand Oaks to start the process of preparing for next season and getting over what happened Sunday.
Quarterback Jared Goff is trying to use the Super Bowl loss as a learning experience and motivation for next season. But losing still hurts.
“As time goes on, I’m sure it’ll get easier,” Goff said. “But, it definitely stings. It’s hard and you can’t really ever get over it, maybe. It’ll be tough, but it’ll be definitely something that will motivate us and something that we will use.
“It was a lot of missed opportunities and a game where I wish I would’ve played better. I wish I would’ve done my part better and I can promise next time, if we get that opportunity, I will. It’s just part of learning and part of growing and getting older and experience.”
Meanwhile, the mystery of the disappearing Todd Gurley continued as he left without speaking to reporters.
A woman struck by a foul ball at Dodger Stadium last August died four days later as the result of bleeding in her brain, according to a Los Angeles County coroner’s report.
Linda Goldbloom, 79, died on the morning of Aug. 29 as a result of “acute intracranial hemorrhage” due to “history of blunt force trauma,” the report said. The incident occurred Aug. 25 at approximately 8:40 p.m., during a game against the San Diego Padres.
Goldbloom was struck while seated in the loge level of the stadium, just to the first base side of home plate in an area not protected by netting.
There will be more on this in an upcoming Dodgers newsletter.
Albert Pujols may not be the same player he was when he was with St. Louis, but he is the same humanitarian. As Bill Shaikin writes,
“Albert Pujols and his wife, Deidre, launched a campaign against human trafficking two years ago. The couple picked up the cost of two concerts at Angel Stadium and a third at Nationals Park in Washington, using the events to foster awareness about what is often called modern-day slavery.
“Major League Baseball and its players’ association joined the fight Tuesday. MLB and the MLBPA announced a $500,000 donation to charities focused on combating human trafficking.
“Strike Out Slavery, the organization founded by Albert and Deidre Pujols, will be one of the recipients. The Angels first baseman and his wife will serve on a council to help select the other recipients.
“We thought very highly of the work they were doing,” said Melanie LeGrande, MLB vice president of social responsibility, “and we thought this was a topic we could have more of an impact on.”
Ilya Kovalchuk clearly relished scoring a goal in his return to the Prudential Center, where he was booed loudly every time he touched the puck, as the Kings defeated the New Jersey Devils, 5-1.
“I can’t believe guys boo Kovy, just because he’s the nicest guy in the world,” goalie Jack Campbell said. “To see the game he had, takes a lot of mental toughness, [and it] just shows his character. We all love him, so happy that he was able to score and most importantly, we won the game, so I know he’s most happy about that.”
Brendan Gallagher had two goals and an assist, and the Montreal Canadiens beat the slumping Ducks 4-1.
The latest edition of our soccer newsletter hit inboxes Tuesday morning, and featured Kevin Baxter writing about a range of topics:
--Why you shouldn’t get too carried away about the early success of the U.S. men’s team.
--The new fitness and conditioning program has Galaxy players understanding why the man in charge of the workouts is called “The Butcher.”
--A look at how more money is flowing into the MLS coffers as they lure more players to the league.
--Did you know the MLS Cup was held in the same stadium as the Super Bowl? And drew more people.
The soccer newsletter is delivered free by email every Tuesday. To sign up, click here.
Our Boxing/MMA newsletter also came out on Tuesday, and in it you could read Lance Pugmire discussing:
--An exclusive interview with Anderson Silva, who discusses how he changed his outlook after his career hit some roadblocks.
--How and why Jose Ramirez, who left Freddie Roach and is facing a pupil of Roach’s soon, still has a lot of respect for the man.
--New WBC light-heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk’s return to the ring and how he feels in the wake of his victory over Adonis Stevenson, who fell into a coma after the fight.
The boxing/MMA newsletter is delivered free by email every Tuesday. To sign up, click here.
National Signing Day
Best sports movies
As we continue our runup to the Oscars by having Times readers pick the best sports movie of all time, we move on to baseball. You have chosen the best football and basketball movies, and we have received over 30,000 ballots, so make sure your vote counts by clicking here or emailing me here. This time, we will have you pick your top seven baseball movies of all time.
This date in sports history
1970: The NBA expands to 18 teams, adding Buffalo, Cleveland, Houston and Portland.
2005: The New England Patriots defeat the Philadelphia Eagles, 24-21, to win Super Bowl XXXIX.
Notable births on this date
1895: Baseball Hall of Famer Babe Ruth
1949: Tennis star Manuel Orantes