February 18, 1989
Scott Ostler, the great logician, says that NBA All-Star selection should be based on merit (defined as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's "10,000" skyhooks and five NBA championships). I surrender to no one in my appreciation of Kareem, but I submit that the sole criterion for selection to this season's All-Star team should be this season's performance. Career performance and achievement as the prime considerations? Come on, in that case, Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson and Wilt Chamberlain should have suited up and gone out to Houston to play Sunday.
April 25, 1987
I think it's about time that Magic Johnson is recognized for his total ability in all facets of the game of basketball. He is the leader, playmaker, innovator, the spark that lights the fire. You'll remember that the Lakers were dying when he joined them. In Magic's first game as a Laker, Kareem threw in a last-second winning basket. Magic dashed over to him and, in all of his college-boy exuberance, threw his arms around his neck. There was first a look of surprise and then a big smile on Kareem's face.
January 13, 1987 |
He is only 27 years old, but he's no kid. His pro career started back in the previous decade, remember. His knees creak and throb, his ice bags need ice bags, the other players keep getting younger and bigger and faster, and his contemporaries are talking retirement. So what does Earvin (Magic) Johnson do? He moves his game up another rung on basketball's ladder of evolution. Who even knew there were more rungs up there?
April 2, 2013 |
Shaquille O'Neal has always prodded Dwight Howard , if not overtly criticized him. Why? The Big Aristotle provided a Big Reveal before returning to Los Angeles to have his Lakers jersey retired Tuesday at halftime against Dallas. "I love Dwight and I see his potential. Hopefully when I say these things he gets mad," O'Neal said in an interview. "Just think about it. At the dunk contest, he dunked on that thing when it was 15 feet. Remember that? OK, so why can't you back people down [in the post]
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 6, 2013 |
Bathed in the neon glow of the Palm Tree L.A. lounge, Jay Park downs a shot of soju and keeps his eyes on the flat-screen. Steve Nash is pushing the ball up court while Kobe Bryant lurks at the three-point line. Dwight Howard bumps for position near the hoop. The Lakers may still be on the bubble for a playoff spot and that other L.A. squad is suddenly the sexy team in town, but here in the punchy loud Koreatown bar, it's all about purple and gold. For years, the Lakers claimed a steady fan base in the sprawling Korean American community, but this season the intensity has been amplified - with games now broadcast in Korean, a first in the NBA. Time Warner Cable, which invested nearly $3 billion for regional TV rights to Lakers games for the next two decades, hired four Korean Americans as play-by-play announcers and color commentators, adding a fifth person just days ago. For Park and others, it has brought a new intimacy to the action.
January 18, 1989 |
Ask Mr. Negative, to whom every cloud has a silver lining, no doubt due to atmospheric pollution or radioactive fallout. Or maybe because his eyes are going bad from staring at this damn word-processor screen . . . When Gaylord Perry missed being voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, winding up 34 votes shy of the 336 needed for enshrinement, were you disappointed? Heartbroken. I thought he should have missed by 336 votes.