“LA-1,000 Stories in the Naked City”
Oh to be a sports fan or a sports reporter and live in Los Angeles, if you didn’t have the traffic gridlock and summer smog. There’s always something going on in Tinsel town, Hollywood, the City of Angels.
Lakers…Where would be without the farewell-funeral tour of Kobe Bryant, his final year there, before the Lakers head into the abyss. Or are they there already?. This morning they are (3-19) headed for an even worse season than the last two. Do you know since opening night 2013, the Lakers have a composite record of (51-155). Nice job by Jim Buss-VP of basketball operations. Byron Scott is coaching himself out of the NBA by letting Kobe Bryant hi-jack a very young team and tolerating shooting nights, jacking up 3’s all over the place, going (2-15), (3-19) or whatever.
Clippers…In the aftermath of the wretched ownership of Donald Sterling, he of San Diego Clipper fame, they’ve captured the fancy of the town, have a personality coach, some great talent, but they just haven’t captured a trophy. Still not sure LA embraces them as “the team in town”.
Dodgers…Rich people may have money, and can buy whatever they want, but it does not guarantee an appearance in a World Series, last seen in Chavez Ravine in 1988, a long time ago. But do they have soap operas. The new breed of brain trust management upstairs, who want to make out the lineups, and devise strategy and want a yes man as a manager. You’ve got the Cuban Missile, the explosive Yasiel Puig, the embarrassment of the Aroldis Chapman-Reds trade now on hold, an overpaid outfield, the brilliance of Clayton Kershaw and Adrian Gonzalez, and the realization you just lost one of your aces because you wouldn’t give him a record setting 34M a year contract. “Always lots going on at Dodgers Stadium” as Vin Scully would say.
Angels…Rich person # 2 has really screwed this up. Arte Moreno thinks he knows baseball, and makes deals with big dollar signs attached to them, witness the Josh Hamilton transaction. Now he’s on the hook for an amazing amount of money for a risk player he ran off, though still has to pay. Huge contracts to a suddenly old Jered Weaver the pitcher, enormous investment in an aging and hurt Albert Pujols. When in doubt, blame somebody else, so GM Jerry DiPoto takes the fall. We know what’s certain in Anaheim, Mike Scoscia is still manager, and Arte Moreno still thinks he knows baseball.
Trojans…Oh for the days of John Robinson and John McKay when all you worried about was which restaurant to go to and what to order in Beverley Hills after the games. The Pete Carroll stretch of time was fun.. Woe is AD-Pat Haden’s life right now. The stain of the aftermath of the Mike Garrett-Reggie Bush-NCAA war had just left, and now Steve Sarkisian is suing the school for 30M for termination of his disability, alcohol issues. Winning the PAC 12 was a yearly tradition. Winning it now would be a welcome relief.
Bruins…UCLA’s syndrome, ‘love me-love me knot’ with football coach Jim Mora. Coaches have short shelf life’s, and you wonder if the NFL phone call might pull him away from Westwood. Has done a good job, but end of season fade jobs bother people. However they are no longer the ‘Gutty little Bruins of the Terry Donahue-Bob Toledo era. Mora has them playing tough guy football. Basketball, Steve Alford, the next one attempting to return them to glory.
Kings…Hockey royalty resides here. Great leadership and great paychecks for lots of players, but not a panacea, thanks to the sewage that spilled into their hallways last year, the Slava Voynov wife beating issue, Jarrett Stoll and cocaine, and Mike Richards and painkillers. This year, a top minor league goalie gets suspended on a 12-count domestic abuse case. Good team on the ice, need to rid themselves of bad people off the ice.
Ducks…Classy organization, good guys, but struggling to find what they used to be. Rumors continue of leadership change coming on the coaching side, but talent loaded team, with very family oriented values from Henry Samueli in a great building..
NFL…The Rams belong there, and it seems the Chargers or Raiders should co-share the new stadium. Do believe, despite the long absence without football, thanks Al Davis-Georgia Frontiere, in new yard ‘build it and they will come’.
Galaxy….Not sure where they fit in in the landscape of the market. They had the flash of the arrival of David Beckham, and won some games, but he’s gone back to England to do whatever retired players, married to a Spice Girl, does in his post playing career. Not really on the LA sports fan’s radar with MLS.
Chivas USA….RIP…franchise here for a day, then gone. You can’t even fool Mexican soccer fan. This was not Chivas Guadalajara was it?
Oh to be in LA and have lots to talk and write about. Always something going on. Like the old TV-show, 1,000-stories in the Naked City.