Howdy everyone, my name is Houston Mitchell, proprietor of this here newsletter. Let’s get right to the news.
I know I said I wouldn’t lead with the Lakers again this season unless there was big news. Well, there’s big news: LeBron James won’t play again this season. Bill Plaschke takes a look. Here’s an excerpt:
“It was supposed to end in the playoffs. It was supposed to end with a heroic effort to drag an overmatched team back toward NBA greatness, the finish of a stirring run representing the beginning of new hope.
“Instead, LeBron James’ first season with the Lakers ended in a statement.
“After consulting with our team doctors and medical staff, we have decided to hold LeBron out of games for the remainder of the season,’’ read the missive issued Saturday by basketball bosses Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka. “This decision will allow his groin to fully heal, and is best for the future success of both LeBron and the Lakers.’’
“So that’s that. It’s over. It’s done. The great debacle has mercifully been put to sleep, and the uncomfortable evaluation can finally be made.
“LeBron James’ first season as a Laker has been a complete bust.
“The decision to shut him down, while completely understandable, serves as the perfect punctuation mark on a massive disappointment. James could be physically at risk if he finished out the final six games of the schedule, and it would be meaningless even if he did, and doesn’t that tell you everything?
“It’s official now, the final curtain falling on what might be the most disillusioning individual season in Los Angeles sports history. Think about where this journey started. Think about where, nearly a year later, it has stalled. The drop in elevation has been staggering.”
The Dodgers didn’t have to worry too much about their bullpen blowing a lead on Saturday, as Cody Bellinger had two homers and six RBIs and Justin Turner have five RBIs in an 18-5 win over Arizona.
How out of control was the game? It was so bad, that Dave Roberts asked catcher Russell Martin to pitch the last inning. He retired the side in order, which makes him one of their most effective relievers.
“It would’ve been really, really tough to blow that lead,” Martin said after the game.
Also, Clayton Kershaw will make a minor league rehab start on Thursday. Unfortunately, it won’t be in Rancho Cucamonga.
A look at the Elite 8 results for the men’s tournament:
Saturday’s Elite Eight results
No. 3 Texas Tech 75, No. 1 Gonzaga 69 (read game story here)
No. 1 Virginia 80, No. 3 Purdue 75, OT (read game story here)
Today’s Elite Eight TV schedule
All Times Pacific
No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 5 Auburn, 11:15 a.m., CBS
No. 1 Duke vs. No. 2 Michigan St. 2 p.m., CBS
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Odds and Ends
Becoming the antithesis of ‘Lob City’ might be a good thing for current Clippers squad…. Clippers have plenty to celebrate after Montrezl Harrell avoids injury in latest win…. Teen’s path to the Galaxy paved with tragedy, triumph…. Carlos Vela gets first career MLS hat trick in LAFC victory over San Jose…. Vela has redefined himself with dominating performances in MLS…. Naming rights deal ignores the fact that the Coliseum is supposed to be a memorial…. Ryan Garcia stays unbeaten with convincing victory over Jose Lopez…. Santa Anita, and Victor Espinoza, get back to normal…. Austin Wagner gives Kings a boost in 3-2 overtime victory over Chicago…. Nasa Hataoka could be ready to take off in Kia Classic, where she trails by one shot…. USC’s Kedon Slovis is right in the mix of the quarterback competition…. Galaxy are hopeful Zlatan Ibrahimovic can play Sunday against the Timbers
Today’s local major sports schedule (all times Pacific)
Lakers at New Orleans, 3 p.m., Spectrum Sportsnet, 710 ESPN
Memphis at Clippers, 7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Prime Ticket, AM 570
Arizona at Dodgers, 1 p.m., Sportsnet LA, AM 570
Angels at Oakland, 1 p.m., FSW, KLAA 830
Portland at Galaxy, 6 p.m., ESPN2
Born on this date
1928: NHL player Gordie Howe
1931: Golfer Miller Barber
1960: NFL player Mark Tuinei
1962: NFL player John Taylor
1968: NBA player J. R. Reid
1971: NHL player Pavel Bure
Died on this date
1931: Football player/coach Knute Rockne
1980: Track legend Jesse Owens