Letters to Sports: Against all odds, Lakers put up a valiant effort
All odds against them, injuries, Westbrook, 2-10 start, first-year coach and yet they made it to the conference finals. There is much to be said about the Lakers, much to be admired. There is also a lesson, don't ever quit, play as a team, and good things can happen. Congratulations to the Lakers for an inspiring season.
I’m glad I was in Colorado visiting family when the Nuggets won their last two games. The Denver paper highlighted all the Nugget players and their contributions to the wins and eventual sweep. Yes, LeBron is a great player but he is all I read about in The Times in this series. I wanted to read about Austin Reaves and others who kept the Lakers close. Now all we read about LeBron’s possible retirement. Maybe you could print a little about the rest of the Laker players. After all, those are the ones who kept them in the hunt for a playoff berth while LeBron was nursing his sore foot!
I'm glad LeBron played all but four seconds Monday night. If he had sat out a few minutes he might have had the energy required to finish strong.
Somebody needs to tell Bill Plaschke that a sweep is a sweep and that there are no "consolation" trophies in basketball. Save the 'atta boys for another column, Bill.
Robert L Shirley
Not one of The Times sportswriters was brave enough to point out that LeBron ran out of gas in the second half. His future playing days will be the same, so Lakers fans, get ready for senior nights at Crypto.
Bill Plaschke’s sentiment that the Lakers still can hold their heads high generally rings true. I felt the same way when the Lakers were swept by Moses Malone, Dr. J and the 76ers in 1983.
At that time, the Lakers had unfinished business. Kareem then won titles with the Lakers in ‘85, ‘87 and ‘88 at ages 38, 40 and 41. As a student of basketball history, LeBron should be motivated to accomplish what Kareem accomplished — another title when virtually all of his contemporaries are long retired.
LeBron James has a measly 97 million reasons to continue to play with the Lakers.
What could have been: In the 2016 NBA draft the Lakers selected Brandon Ingram second and the Celtics selected Jaylen Brown third. In the 2017 draft the Lakers selected Lonzo Ball second and the Celtics selected Jayson Tatum third. Could LeBron have been paired with these two players and dominated for years?
Of the many reasons pointing to LeBron James retiring from the Lakers, I believe the example set by Jim Brown will be the deciding factor. James has stated that when he was growing up in northeast Ohio, Jim Brown was a god. Brown retired at the top of his game, never enduring declining skills and his probable poor play in later seasons. Brown's recent death could have reminded LeBron to preserve his own legacy.
The hard reality of sports is that sometimes their team is better than your team. The Lakers generally played hard and played well, but the Nuggets were clearly the better team. So, kudos to the Lakers, and good luck to the Nuggets. It will be so much less embarrassing to have been swept by the eventual champions.
Years ago on "The Bullwinkle Show", arch-villain Boris Badenov was asked where he went to college.
Boris: “I vent to SC”
Narrator: “Oh, Southern California?”
Boris: “No, Scoundrels and Crooks”
At the time, many of us SC alums took offense. In the fullness of time, we have had to admit that Boris was remarkably prescient.
Rancho Palos Verdes
It's scandal after scandal at USC. This time it's Mike Bohn. When brought into USC as AD, the president of USC said he had real integrity. So much for integrity. It truly can be said that you can't spell scandal without SC.
A nice day at the ballpark
We unfortunately read all too often of fights and negatives at Dodger Stadium, but my family’s recent experience is the polar opposite.
On a recent Wednesday afternoon we saw a thrilling come-from-behind Dodger victory in Chamber of Commerce weather. Every Dodger employee was knowledgeable, kind, friendly, and courteous. The bathrooms spotless. No traffic in or out of the parking lot. Sincere thank-yous as we left, can’t wait to go back.
How can this happen?
I have nothing but contempt for the several prominent golfers playing in the PGA Tournament who are members of the LIV golf tour. They are taking blood money for sure. I think about the Saudis and their blasphemy laws, repression of women, the torture in prisons ... I will never watch LIV golf, I will root against every player who plays for LIV and my special antipathy goes to money-grubbing Phil Mickelson, who is the engine behind LIV. And I notice the PGA is silent during the broadcasts. Shame on them too. I'm an 81-year-old woman who loves to watch golf on the weekends.
Where's the Angels coverage?
What exactly did the Angels do to receive such pathetic coverage in The Times? No spring-training coverage, no road-game coverage and, now, home-game coverage that looks a lot like a pre-written "profile" story (with no new information) that is only revised slightly to include the final score and scant details of the actual game.
The Angels sweep the Red Sox for the first time since 2015, outscoring them 13-4 in three games, with huge offensive contributions from their superstars, Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, to their best young prospects, Zach Neto and Mickey Moniak, and shutdown performances from their pitchers, including another save for Carlos Estévez. A tremendous series that The Times deemed unworthy of even one crummy front-page photo.
Keep up the good work, Eric
Every so often I read a letter praising, with good reason, Times' sports contributors such as Bill Plaschke, Bill Dwyre and Wally Skalij. This is to praise Eric Sondheimer. His longtime reporting on so many aspects of the high school sports scene has always been a treasure. He is not afraid to chronicle the fall of high school athletics from play-where-you-stay to play-for-your-career. He is equally adept at focusing on minor sports as well as heartwarming individual achievements. Well done, Eric.
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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.