Lakers executive Jim Buss is not ready to press the panic button despite… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)
We were all told a number of potential negatives regarding the new and improved Lakers.
How Dwight Howard was recovering from back surgery and had difficulty making free throws.
How Steve Nash was older and had difficulty guarding anyone younger than himself.
How Mike D'Antoni never reached the Finals and simply did not teach or care about defense.
How in spite of the glowing headlines, the Lakers are an old team.
And how Jimmy Buss, now in full control, blew the Phil Jackson rehire and really doesn't know what he is doing.
Unfortunately, all we were told has turned out to be true.
Jim B. Parsons
Definition of karma for Jim Buss: Seeing your future brother-in-law Phil at every family function.
Now that Kobe Bryant is opening up emotionally on Twitter, I have a feeling it won't be long until we see the following tweets:
"I'm sorry I ran Shaq out of town."
"I'm sorry I ran Phil out of town … twice."
"I'm sorry I'm running Dwight out of town."
"I'm not sorry I ran Smush Parker out of town."
Gary H. Miller
I gag listening to Kobe Bryant's attempts at being introspective and humble after a career of being haughty, arrogant and distant.
I guess he has one thing right. It's hard to strut when your feet are mired in mud.
It's looking more likely than ever the only Laker to get a ring this year is Jeanie Buss.
Magic Johnson is the sole player from the Lakers' past who cannot help kicking the team when they are down. With him being so busy not showing up at his Dodger Stadium office every day, I have to wonder where he finds the time.
Soon, the sports editors at The Times will have to ask themselves not the daily question "When will the Lakers stop losing and get out of their funk?" but, rather, are the Lakers still relevant enough to be put daily on the front page of the sports section?
Not everyone is unhappy with the Lakers' performance this season. Jack in the Box must be saving a fortune!
Maybe the Fighting Irish can take some lessons on how to put up a fight by watching Alabama's quarterback and center get into their own fight. Notre Dame certainly needs the lesson. But being a USC fan, I certainly enjoyed the blowout.
Marina del Rey
I am eager to see who Bill Plaschke picks to win the Super Bowl so I can rush to my bookie and bet the other team.
Apparently he didn't watch any Notre Dame games this year or he would have noticed the close results — some would say lucky wins — against the powerhouses of Purdue, Pitt and BYU.
Guess he's been hanging around Bill Dwyre too much.
Coach on the couch
After months of vitriol spewed by T.J. Simers over virtually every other local team, I settled in to see what lambasting he'd have for Lane Kiffin and the USC football team. Imagine my surprise to see a warm and fuzzy T.J. gush over Kiffin's white couch, sleepovers and dad duties. The only things missing were rainbows, kittens and unicorns.
The Hall story
This week the baseball Hall of Fame officially became irrelevant. Mike Piazza, arguably the best-hitting catcher in the history of the game, was denied entry into this hallowed hall.
I totally understand the backlash on Bonds, Clemens, Sosa and McGwire. I do not agree with the "suspicion" that Piazza and Biggio may have used drugs. I have a "suspicion" the baseball writers drink a little too much, eat way to much free food at the ballpark and could not compose their columns without spell check. Should this keep them out of the Sportswriters Hall of Fame? Oh, that's right there isn't one and nobody cares about that either.
Anyone who thinks Bonds and Clemens don't belong in the Hall doesn't understand baseball or is an idiot. Maybe both.
The travesty and shame of Baseball's Hall of Fame rests squarely on the shoulders of two men: Bud Selig and Donald Fehr. Not only did they look the other way as PEDs became common, but they tacitly encouraged and used players such as Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa to literally save baseball when baseball needed saving from its disastrous strike and World Series cancellation. If anyone is to blame for baseball's "steroid era," it's Selig and Fehr. Those are the two who should never be elected to Cooperstown.
There's no point whining about the Hall of Fame vote. Voters vote, and the results are final. If the legendary Ted Williams can win the Triple Crown twice, and not be voted the MVP in either year, then anything is possible.
The real travesty about the Hall of Fame voting is that one writer actually believes Aaron Sele deserves to be there.
Glenn M. Langdon