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Letters to Sports: Don’t blame Frank Vogel for all the Lakers’ woes

Lakers coach Frank Vogel watches during a win over the Indiana Pacers on Nov. 24.
(Darron Cummings / Associated Press)

Poor Frank Vogel, a highly competent and intelligent coach who has through no fault of his own been exiled to the island of misfit toys. It has long been accepted that a recipe for winning NBA teams includes solid defense, making a high percentage of free throws and minimizing turnovers. Lakers management has cobbled together a group of players whose only commonality is that they are largely deficient in these aspects of the game. There are reasons the Rondo, Ellington, Bazemore, Jordan, Howard and Anthony have all played in more cities than Bruce Springsteen. Is there anyone in the league that Rondo can guard?

Playing good defense is a combination of wisdom born of experience and competitive desire. If you were to ask most of the Lakers what it takes to play good defense, I am sure they would say, I don’t know and I don’t care.

Scott Grieve
Carpinteria

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I read that the Lakers are interested in Ben Simmons. Really? They want another high-energy guy who can’t shoot? In that case, they’d be better off with Richard Simmons. At least he’d be sweatin’ with the oldies.

Paul Feinsinger
Agoura Hills

Riled over Riley hype

Judging by the extent of coverage in The Times regarding the new USC coach: his eating habits, his dog, his parents, which leg goes first when he puts his pants on in the morning, the Trojans should be preseason favorites to take the national championship next season. I haven’t seen this much hype since, well, last season with the Dodgers.

Phillip Gold
Westlake Village

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On the contrary, Mr. Kates, regarding your letter last week: USC football players are talented. It was the inept coaching staff resulting in the 4-8 season. Trojan fans will soon be smiley with coach Riley.

David Marshall
Santa Monica

Staley got it wrong

There is a huge difference between being aggressive and being foolish. Brandon Staley was foolish and it cost him and his team dearly. After a 75-yard kick off return, you need points. A touchdown is great, but get any points you can, especially on fourth-and-five. His decision cost his team the game. If that wasn’t bad enough, if you can go up by seven at the end of the half, you take it. But again, he chose wrong. Instead of being in first place, with a playoff spot virtually guaranteed, the Chargers will have to fight for a playoff spot and most likely blew home field for the playoffs should they make it.

Mike Lorraine
Simi Valley

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Hey Staley, what part of F-I-E-L-D G-O-A-L doesn’t your analytics mind understand?

Arrogance gets you as far as Urban Meyer.

Victor Waki
Anaheim

Failing up

Yes the college landscape for recruiting is changing, but I can’t stop believing that UCLA’s Chip Kelly has been a lazy recruiter from the start of his tenure, wasting the moribund USC Clay Helton years when UCLA could have taken over as Football U in L.A. What’s wrong with transfer portal players and high school graduates?

Coaching-wise, Kelly is by far the biggest disappointment in Bruins sports history and now will get an extension. UCLA administrators are as complicit as Kelly in maintaining a mediocre program, compounding mistake after mistake with him.

Allan Kandel
Los Angeles

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Ben Bolch let us in on Chip Kelly’s recruitment strategy: “Hey you, Mr. Big-shot, five-star ... who cares. When you’re tired of that big time college that worked so hard to recruit you, come on over to UCLA, where experience matters.”

Mario Valvo
Ventura

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The business of college football boils down to this. Multimillionaire coaches trying to convince hopeful future millionaires to come play for them now, for free. Lincoln Riley, check. In less than two full seasons as a coach, Deion Sanders just signed the No. 1 recruit in the nation. Chip Kelly, zero. The reason UCLA needed to get a quarterback in the transfer portal so desperately is that Kelly is a bust as a recruiter. After four full years, the pipeline is still empty. How UCLA can’t figure this out is amazing.

Jeff Heister
Chatsworth

Kiffin would know

Lane Kiffin is upset the players transfer where “they’re going to get paid the most.”

Are you kidding?

Lane, who else behaves this way? Let me think? Let me think? Should we ask Tennessee?

This coming from the least loyal coach in college football is rich.

George Sagadencky
Encino

Give Bryce Young some respect

Was it just sour grapes because Bryce Young, from Mater Dei High, won the 2021 Heisman Trophy but chose to attend Alabama rather than USC?

Whatever the reason, it is a travesty that The Times would devote the front page of the sports section (and two additional full pages) to covering the rise of Riley from Muleshoe, Texas, to USC while relegating Young’s achievement to a single column on page 6, without even a photo.

Is this how you honor a hometown star? I don’t think so.

Denise Flanagan
Riverside

Do better

You know women are not a minority, right? You know we are not a special interest group, right?

Females represent over 40% of all pro athletes and yet The Times sportswriters only write about men’s sports. Oh, sure, a woman here or there if she’s a female kicker on a men’s football team or cheerleader cousins, we see your hard work, ladies! Female athletes are not unicorns, they are hard-working, driven, competitive, talented women and we want to read and follow their achievements.

Can’t you write one story a day about female athletes? One story a week? Why I am writing more about female athletes in Letters to the Editor than you have all week?

Liz Cangelosi
Agoura Hills

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The Los Angeles Times welcomes expressions of all views. Letters should be brief and become the property of The Times. They may be edited and republished in any format. Each must include a valid mailing address and telephone number. Pseudonyms will not be used.

Email: sports@latimes.com


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