Cavaliers guard Anthony Parker celebrates with point guard Ramon Sessions… (Jason Miller / US Presswire )
After watching the apathetic Lakers sleepwalk through this week's losses, it was clear to me Phil Jackson is overpaid. You could have put the "Weekend at Bernie's" corpse in his chair and gotten as much out of the team as the so-called "Zen Master" did.
Does anyone in the Lakers' front office have Jerry Sloan's phone number?
Andrew Bynum complains about lack of playing time and touches. Perhaps if Bynum didn't delay his surgery by a month to go to the World Cup he wouldn't be complaining.
Marina del Rey
Yesterday, I saw a statement on a T-shirt that could serve as the new Lakers motto: "Hard work beats talent when talent isn't working hard."
A loss to Cleveland? The season is over. Trade everybody, now.
After losing to the worst team in the NBA, and a team they beat by 55 a few weeks ago, it is the Lakers who should be paying Time Warner $3 billion for 20 years and not the other way around.
At least the Clippers were able to push the Cavaliers to overtime before losing.
Steven R. Glass
Maybe if all the players on the Lakers wore Lamar's new perfume, it would help their game. The opposing players certainly wouldn't guard them as closely.
Bill Plaschke, I love your writing. You are the sane voice of the Times when it comes to the Lakers (although given your competition is Simers, that is not saying much). But I found laughable your statement on Wednesday that "the Lakers [are] a professional team as closely tied to a community as any team outside of Green Bay, Wis."
I have been a Lakers fan since I was born, having mobbed the Forum floor the night of their first NBA Championship vs. the Knicks in 1972. I also happen to be a Packers fan, although this was an acquired taste after Georgia abandoned L.A. I have made the pilgrimage to Lambeau, and become part of the Packer nation. Please do not embarrass yourself — or us — by suggesting there is any similarity between the community-owned Packers and the star-struck Lakers, who have not had any interest in the common L.A. resident for 20 years. Interest in Angelinas, yes, but not Angelenos.
I laughed at the Time Warner spokeswoman's claim that the Lakers are "must-see, very popular and important." In my house, the "must-see" is food on the table, the "very popular" are required medications and the "important" is heat when it's cold and air-conditioning when it's hot. I stopped attending professional sports when prices got too expensive and I'll stop watching when my provider spikes the prices.
NCAA football and basketball: You're next.
I have been a loyal Kings' season-seat holder for 36 years. The other day I received a Fed Ex parcel from Kings GM Dean Lombardi. In it was a King's T-shirt with an attached handwritten note that read: "Hang in there, I know 1973 is a long time but we will get there."
Two hours later I received an email from the Kings telling me they are raising my 2011-12 season seats from $2,100 to $2,500, a whopping 20% increase.
I just found the price tag on that T-shirt. It says $400.
I agree that the UCLA Bruins' failure to capture their old magic is related to the slow progress of the $100-million renovation of the basketball building where they are required to play. Comparing this cost to the actual size of a basketball court, the expenditure of $21,276.60 per square foot should aid them in recruiting the type of players they need to win a national championship again.
Kevin H. Park
I wish Bill Dwyre and his ilk would just stop getting on Ben Howland's case.
If John Wooden was the greatest Bruin coach ever, and there will never be another like him — then stop with the comparisons!
Ben Howland's three consecutive Final Fours was no fluke. And, for recruiting, how many of his former players are in the NBA? College basketball's ridiculous program-destroying "one and done" rule is not Howland's fault.
His current scrappy team took Kansas to the wire, handed top-10 BYU one of its two losses, and sits just below No. 1 Arizona in the Pac-10.
So, let's just lighten up on Coach Ben.
As a Trojan, I found Bill Dwyre's UCLA basketball article enjoyable. Mr. Dwyre continues to do a fine job covering sports (like horse racing and boxing) that were once glorious but now have fallen off the map.
And at USC …
Lately, watching my beloved Trojans attack zone defenses takes me back to the challenged USC offense during the Hackett years.
Wonder if Jio Fontan is the next Petros Papadakis?
Jack Von Bulow