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The Sports Report: LeBron James clarifies his Daryl Morey comments

Lakers Warriors Basketball
LeBron James
(Associated Press)

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

LAKERS

LeBron James believes Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey was misinformed on what the reaction would be to the since-deleted tweet he sent in support of protesters in Hong Kong.

“I’m just talking about the tweet itself,” James said. “You never know the ramifications that can happen. And we all seen what that did. Not only did for our league, but for all of us in America, for people in China as well. And sometimes you have to think through things that you say that may cause harm not only for yourself but for the majority of the people. I think that’s just a fine example.”

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Shortly after making his statement, James took to Twitter to offer a clarification.

His tweets read: “Let me clear up the confusion. I do not believe there was any consideration for the consequences and ramifications of the tweet. I’m not discussing the substance. Others can talk about that. My team and this league just went through a difficult week. I think people need to understand what a tweet or statement can do to others. And I believe nobody stopped and considered what would happen. Could have waited a week to send it.”

The week did not go as planned for the NBA. Chinese media, which is controlled by the government, expressed anger about Morey’s tweet, and plans for the Lakers and Brooklyn Nets were altered. Team functions were canceled. Players’ individual sponsor-related events were canceled. There was some doubt the teams’ games would even be played.

Morey’s tweet Oct. 6 said, “Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”

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James said he and his teammates did not believe they were well versed enough on the protests in Hong Kong to comment on the situation. He added that they still feel that way.

Pro-democracy protesters have been demonstrating against the Chinese government in semi-autonomous Hong Kong since June.

Meanwhile, in on-court news, an MRI exam on Anthony Davis’ sprained right thumb revealed no serious damage.

Davis was injured during the first half of the Lakers’ exhibition game against the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday in Shenzhen, China, while trying to block a shot. He had it wrapped in black tape and returned to the court.

Read more Lakers

Lakers in China: How the team and NBA navigated the crisis amid tumultuous week

DODGERS

Andrew Friedman, the president of baseball operations, confirmed that he and manager Dave Roberts will remain with the organization.

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Friedman said he and the club will complete a contract extension “in the next couple of days.” His five-year, $35-million deal is set to expire at the end of the month.

“At this point, it’s just finalizing it,” Friedman said in a news conference at Dodger Stadium.

As for Roberts, Friedman said he never considered dismissing the manager after his decision-making during the Dodgers’ stunning Game 5 loss to the Washington Nationals in a National League Division Series ignited significant backlash.

“Frankly, I was surprised by the question,” Friedman said. “This was a team that won 106 games. ... Obviously, it was as painful a loss as I can remember, the whole thing is focusing on how we get to winning those 11 games in October and in our mind Dave is absolutely a part of that and is an additive part of doing that.”

Although Roberts will return, Friedman said Rick Honeycutt will transition into a “special assistant role” after being the team’s pitching coach for 14 seasons. Friedman said he expects that bullpen coach Mark Prior will replace Honeycutt, but the specifics “haven’t been worked out yet.”

Honeycutt, 65, underwent spinal fusion surgery in February. He reported to spring training only a few weeks later but dealt with constant pain throughout the season.

NLCS schedule

All times Pacific. All games on TBS

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Game 1: Washington 2, at St. Louis 0

Game 2: Washington 3, at St. Louis 1

Game 3: at Washington 8, St. Louis 1 (Read game story here)

Game 4: Today, St. Louis at Washington, 5 p.m.

Game 5*: Wednesday, St. Louis at Washington, 1 p.m.

Game 6*: Friday, Washington at St. Louis, 5 p.m.

Game 7*: Saturday, Washington at St. Louis, 5 p.m.

ALCS schedule

All times Pacific. All games on FS1

Game 1: New York 7, at Houston 0

Game 2: at Houston 3, New York 2 (11)

Game 3: Today, Houston at New York, 1 p.m

Game 4: Wednesday, Houston at New York, 5 p.m.

Game 5: Thursday, Houston at New York, 5 p.m.

Game 6*: Saturday, New York at Houston

Game 7*: Sunday, New York at Houston

*-if necessary

DUCKS

David Pastrnak scored a career-high four goals for his fifth career hat trick Monday, leading the Boston Bruins to a 4-2 victory over the Ducks.

Rickard Rakell and Adam Henrique scored for the Ducks, who have lost two of three after winning its first three games this season.

KINGS

Coach Todd McLellan was asked whether it’s still fair to judge Jonathan Quick — who has lost all three of his starts this season with a 6.43 goals-against average and .793 save percentage — against the lofty expectations his stellar career has created.

“He’s still that good, in my opinion,” McLellan said after the Kings’ 5-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday, in which Quick stopped 31 of 36 shots.

During his 13 NHL seasons, the two-time Jennings Trophy recipient (awarded to the goalie of the team that has the fewest goals scored against it) has a 2.38 GAA, .913 save percentage, and reputation as one of the league’s stingiest shot-stoppers.

“When you’re the goaltender, when you’re the pitcher, when you’re the quarterback, all eyes are on you,” McLellan said. “It’s as simple as that. He’s the last line of defense for our mistakes, and we made our share of them.”

Quick’s statistical decline came seemingly out of nowhere. The last two times he’s stayed healthy throughout a season, he led the Kings to the playoffs. Before last year — a career-worst season that saw him go on injury reserved with a lower-body injury after the first game, struggle to find a rhythm after returning, and post a 3.38 GAA and .888 save percentage — he had never had a GAA worse than 2.54 or save percentage below .902.

His early-season numbers this year have created more questions.

Few bounces have gone Quick’s way. Two of the 19 goals deflected off a teammate and into the net. Six others, including three on Sunday, came with the Kings on the penalty kill. The defensive corps in front of him is missing veterans Derek Forbort and Paul LaDue.

“[Goalie is] a defenseless position, really, when they’re looking at some of these shooters in the league,” McLellan said. “We’ve got to be better around them.”

RAMS

Offensive lineman Joe Noteboom will have season-ending knee surgery, safety John Johnson will have an MRI exam for a shoulder injury that could possibly require surgery, and cornerback Aqib Talib is headed to injured reserve, Rams coach Sean McVay said Monday.

Noteboom and Johnson were injured Sunday during the Rams’ 20-7 defeat by the San Francisco 49ers, a loss that extended the Rams’ losing streak to three and dropped their record to 3-3 overall and 0-2 in the NFC West.

Talib did not play against the 49ers because of rib fractures suffered during the Rams’ loss to the Seattle Seahawks the week before.

“I don’t think it’s deflating,” McVay said of the losses and the injuries. “It’s just something that we have to navigate through.”

CHARGERS

Coach Anthony Lynn indicated Monday that left tackle Russell Okung is undergoing testing and said the team should know more about his status when the players resume practice Wednesday.

After missing the required first six weeks of the regular season, Okung is now eligible to return from the non-football illness list.

Okung has been out since he suffered a pulmonary embolism June 1. His treatment has included blood thinners, which make playing football impossible. The Chargers remain unsure if Okung will be able to return this season.

TODAY’S LOCAL MAJOR SPORTS SCHEDULE

All times Pacific

Carolina at Kings, 7:30 p.m., FSW

BORN ON THIS DATE

1858: Boxer John L. Sullivan (d. 1918)

1935: NHL player Willie O’Ree

1945: Baseball player Jim Palmer

1950: Tennis player Roscoe Tanner

1963: Volleyball player Angela Rock

1966: Soccer player Jorge Campos

DIED ON THIS DATE

1963: Golfer Horton Smith, 55

2005: NBA player Jason Collier, 28

2018: Portland Trail Blazers/Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen, 65

AND FINALLY

Andrew Friedman gives his postseason news conference. Watch it here.

That concludes the newsletter for today. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, please email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com. If you want to subscribe, click here.


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