Letters to Sports: Questions abound regarding the Clippers, USC and coverage

Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard gets into a defensive stance as the Raptors bring the ball up court.
Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers have won two games in a row but many Times readers do not see them as NBA title contenders.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

Paul George is a superb basketball player and a seemingly wonderful guy, but like LeBron James, he is a horrible general manager.

All the Clippers needed to add at the trade deadline was a solid backup center, which they accomplished by acquiring Mason Plumlee. However, they didn’t need the other three guys they got, and Coach Lue seems to have no idea how to get chemistry with these additional players on the squad.

Harley Frankel
Santa Monica



Everyone was falling all over themselves to praise the Clippers’ moves at the trade deadline, but the results have been dismal. Plumlee, and to a lesser extent, Gordon have been solid, but Hyland seldom plays and Westbrook has been an unmitigated disaster, an offensive and defensive liability. If Steve Ballmer has any sense, he will cut ties with Lawrence Frank and hopefully Westbrook as well.

Jim Hresko
Rancho Cucamonga


Watching a giddy Steve Ballmer with a pang of jealousy as he oversees the new Clippers arena taking shape, I can’t help thinking he is the luckiest man in the world since Ringo Starr.


Kevin Park
Westlake Village

With consecutive wins during this week, the Clippers believe they’ve found the momentum that had been missing during their five-game losing streak.

March 10, 2023


Watching the Philadelphia 76ers and the success they are having makes me wonder if the Clippers weren’t a little too eager to get rid of Doc Rivers. He’s got the Philadelphia team super motivated. Congratulations, Doc!

Patrick Kelley
Los Angeles



Kawhi are the Clippers such a middling team? Kawhi did they trade so much for Paul George (see Shai Gilgeous-Alexander)?

Kawhi is playing on back-to-back nights so impossible?

Kawhi did they trade a top-flight shooter when their system covets shooters (see Luke Kennard)?

Kawhi doesn’t this team have a leader?

Kawhi aren’t the Clippers going to make an impact in the playoffs?

The answers must be there, somewhere!

Ken Vermillion
Santa Barbara

Kawhi Leonard has reclaimed his place as one of the best players in the NBA. But is his great play just a bandage for the Clippers’ larger problems?

March 6, 2023


March badness

Joe Lunardi doesn’t even try to hide his disdain for Pac-12 basketball teams. When UCLA was on the outside looking in at a No. 1 seed he could be heard on TV saying that conference tournaments have very little effect on seeding in the national tournament, effectively barring UCLA from a way in. But flash forward, after a couple of projected No. 1 seeds lost and UCLA moved up, he is suddenly saying to The Times that UCLA must win its conference tournament to keep its No. 1 seed. Lunardi has the hypocrisy of a seasoned politician.

Alan Abajian
Alta Loma


Given their lackluster performance against Arizona State, even if the Trojans make the NCAA tournament they will probably be a “one and done” just like they were in the Pac-12 tournament. Trojan fans deserve better from this talented yet underachieving team.

Ken Blake



Bruins basketball fans rejoice! After easily dispensing of the Arizona schools last week, and handily taking care of business in the Pac-12 tournament, it looks like we’re on our way to bigger and better things. Our No. 2 national ranking is no fluke. And our No. 1 seeding will be well-earned, too. Bring on the Madness!

Marty Zweben
Palos Verdes Estates

A 10-game winning streak and the Pac-12 regular season title aren’t enough to guarantee UCLA a No. 1 seeding in the NCAA tournament? Nope. Here’s why.

March 7, 2023


Crowning moment?

Well, it looks like Lincoln Riley and The Times have decided the Trojans will go undefeated and win the Pac-12 championship. Ah, what the heck, let’s play the games.


Ralph S. Brax

Quarterback Caleb Williams laid out his goals for the 2023 season during spring practice, which included winning the Heisman again and taking USC further.

March 8, 2023


Pause that thought

I’d be opposed to any rule changes to hasten the pace of play if Vin Scully still had the calls, because whenever he invited us to “pull up a chair” it was with our implicit understanding there’d be no pitch clock and the games might slow to a slog (or so we hoped), enabling him to pepper his play-by-play calls with indelible anecdotes we recalled long past the final out. After all, never once did we hear Vinny proclaim: “It’s less time for Dodger baseball!”

Steve Ross



I’m not thrilled by the new MLB pitch clock. How am I going to go grab a beer while the visiting team is batting, and be back in time before the Dodgers are up?

Joe Kevany
Mount Washington

To a baseball purist, the idea of timing pitchers and batters was anathema at first. Then I went to spring training.

March 7, 2023


Shameless plug?

So LeBron James tells the world his 18-year-old son is better than a lot of the NBA players he is watching on TV. That would certainly seem to put a target on the kid’s back, but LeBron got some badly needed press while out with an injury.

Bert Bergen
La Cañada


Gasol the great

I own two Pau Gasol jerseys and applaud the Big Spaniard having his uniform number retired. However, for Bill Plaschke to state “he [Gasol] was Kobe Bryant’s greatest teammate” is hyperbole at its finest.

Ken Feldman


The Pau Gasol jersey retirement ceremony was one of the most heart-wrenching yet finest ceremonies I have ever witnessed. Gasol brought such incredible joy to all Lakers fans during his career, it was only right that we were able to return that joy to him.

Geno Apicella


A choked-up Pau Gasol has his No. 16 Lakers jersey retired to the rafters next to Kobe Bryant’s No. 24 during a ceremony Tuesday night.

March 7, 2023


Coverage complaints

Not surprisingly, in the March 5 edition, I had to rummage through four pages of other sports news to find the USC-ASU results on D5. Just another example of USC basketball receiving obscure coverage.

David Marshall
Santa Monica


Last week there was a tourney involving all Pac-12 beach volleyball teams. Zero overage from The Times! USC beat UCLA by one game after all the matches were played. If USC was playing football, basketball or in a track meet then they would have gotten a mention in The Times. UCLA was ranked No. 1 in national polls with USC ranked fourth. Come on, these gals work just as hard as any football or basketball player for their craft. Let’s celebrate their achievements. USC is the reigning NCAA beach volleyball champion.


Susan Hamilton
Westlake Village


One would think that on the day after International Women’s Day, the “remaining founders of the LPGA “ who were inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame would rate being named. Especially when Pádraig Harrington, and the late Tom Weiskopf are included. To bum a cigarette slogan from Virginia Slims, “You’ve come a long way ... ,” but there’s a long way to go.

Bart Boydston
Los Angeles


Bold beginning

The Annual Achievement in Alliteration Award goes to the headline, “Bailey’s breakout barrage bouys Bruins in comeback.”


Brian Gotta
San Diego


Worthy of a reprint

Do Kings fans a favor and make a high-quality, full-color reprint of the stunning illustration celebrating the career of Jonathan Quick available for purchase or even a full-page reprint in the paper. Just great work. And also the piece by Helene Elliott was so thoughtful, so well done.

Richard Derk
Thousand Oaks

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