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Slam Dunk

February 6, 2003
Re "Gathering at the River: Maybe the Time Is Right," letters, Feb. 1: A series of river lakes in Los Angeles. What a great idea. I can think of many good reasons, not the least of which is that we'll finally know why we have the L.A. Lakers! Ehrhardt Lang Lompoc
April 12, 2014 | Esmeralda Bermudez
They came as they were - in sandals, without makeup, their hair a bit askew. A little girl with her plastic doll. A mother of one with her pregnant belly. A cowboy with wild horses galloping on his shirt. It was picture day on the Eastside not long ago, and people - grandmothers, couples, children and teenagers - lined up to pose. The shoots were spontaneous, set up on the street without notice, as part of a 40th-anniversary project organized by Self Help Graphics & Art, Boyle Height's historic community art center.
February 15, 2009 | K.C. Johnson
When you break out Superman's cape, finding the proper encore can prove difficult. Nevertheless, Dwight Howard promised theatrics in his defense of his Superhero-flavored 2008 slam-dunk championship Saturday night during All-Star weekend. And, being the sultan of slam that he is, Howard knows what won't fly. "Angel wings?" Howard said in mock anger at one suggestion. "I'm not a Victoria's Secret model."
April 3, 2014 | By Joel Rubin and Kate Mather
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck announced Thursday he is interested in a second term as the city's top cop. In comments to reporters at a monthly media briefing, Beck said he would be "more than proud" to continue as the head of the agency should city officials make the offer. Speaking from a terrace on the top floor of the Police Department's downtown headquarters, Beck said he had conveyed his wishes to Mayor Eric Garcetti and members of the Police Commission, which oversees the LAPD.
March 13, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez
March Madness kicks off Tuesday, and productivity will plummet as nearly a third of workers will spend as much as three hours per day watching the college basketball tournament, a survey released Wednesday found.  In its annual poll, the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. estimates that the almost monthlong tournament will cost American companies $134 million in "lost wages" as an estimated 3 million workers spend between one...
April 6, 2003 | Lauren Sandler
Back in 1995, fresh from his runaway success directing "Hoop Dreams," documentary filmmaker Steve James decided to focus his camera on a more personal project. As a college student, James had been a Big Brother to a troubled kid named Stevie in rural Illinois. Ten years had passed since James had been in touch with Stevie, and he wanted to reconnect and make a film about what had happened to his former mentee, now a convicted criminal in his mid-20s living with his step-grandmother. During the course of filming, Stevie had his most egregious run-in with the law yet -- he was accused of molesting his 8-year old cousin.
August 24, 2010 | By Scott Collins, Los Angeles Times
In the fall of 1993, Michael Jordan — often regarded as the greatest player ever to shoot a basketball — shocked the sports world by announcing he was retiring from the NBA. Then he stunned fans again by deciding to pursue his long-held dream of playing pro baseball. Within months, the then-31-year-old high-flying guard known as "His Airness" was bobbling easy flies and swatting at bad pitches as a struggling right fielder for the minor-league Birmingham Barons. This surreal fillip in sports history, which ended up bisecting Jordan's phenomenal NBA career, forms the basis of "Jordan Rides the Bus," director Ron Shelton's documentary that premieres Tuesday on ESPN.
February 15, 2014 | By Ben Bolch
NEW ORLEANS - It was hard to tell what shocked fans more, the NBA's new dunk contest rules or a performance by Vanilla Ice. Maybe contest organizers should think twice, twice baby. Washington's John Wall was declared the winner in fan voting Saturday night at the Smoothie King Center … even though he didn't get a chance to compete against fellow champions Paul George and Terrence Ross. The trio swept head-to-head competitions against counterparts from the Western Conference as part of a “battle round” that left fans and other NBA players fighting mad on social media.
December 13, 2013 | By Dan Loumena
Preston Truman, the former Utah Jazz ball boy who sold a pair of Michael Jordan-autographed Nike Air Jordan shoes from the 'flu game' for a record price, is ready for the spotlight to shine on someone else. Since news of the sale , which was conducted in online bidding by Grey Flannel Auctions, went public Thursday, Truman has been inundated with interview requests. "It's been quite a couple few days," said Truman, now 35 and a sales manager for Verizon retailer Go Wireless, Friday afternoon in the wake of the $104,765 winning bid. "I'm ready for my 15 minutes of fame to be up. " Truman, who grew up a Chicago Bulls fan in St. George, Utah, after Jordan's exploits in the NBA All-Star slam dunk contests, was fortunate to get the autographed shoes after Jordan scored 38 points in a 90-88 victory over the Jazz in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals.
November 12, 2013 | By Joe Flint
NBC should listen to Angela Lansbury. The actress is not thrilled that the network is planning to make a new version of "Murder, She Wrote," the long-running CBS drama that she starred in about a mystery writer who becomes a real-life detective of sorts. "I think it's a mistake to call it 'Murder, She Wrote,'" Lansbury told the Associated Press when asked about NBC's plans. PHOTOS: Celebrities by The Times Of course, the only reason NBC is remaking the show is that it thinks the name "Murder, She Wrote" still has some value.
September 12, 2013 | By Robert J. Lopez
The assignment seemed perfect for me. I was a Mexican American college student in Washington and was asked to get cosponsors for a bill that would create a month-long observance honoring the achievements of Latinos - National Hispanic Heritage Month. I had already spent five months as an intern for Democrat Jaime B. Fuster, Puerto Rico's delegate to Congress. Through connections, I lined up a second internship with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. It was May 1988 and an exciting time to be in Washington.
September 9, 2013 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO -- With just a week left in session, the Legislature has added a new thorny issue to its to-do list: regulating the state's medical marijuana industry. Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) is reviving a proposal that would establish uniform rules and oversight over California's medical marijuana dispensaries. The rules would be enforced by a new division in the state's Alcoholic Beverage Control department. His proposal failed to pass the Assembly in May, but Ammiano thinks the time is right for a second attempt.
August 23, 2013 | By Cathleen Decker
Onto the Scranton, Pa., stage the vice president came on Friday, in vintage form. He pumped his fist. He pointed at friends arrayed there, in his hometown. He bellowed a favorite insult:  “Malarkey!” He smiled the broad Irish smile, undimmed. The only reference to the terror of the week - camping out with his adult son at a cancer center in Texas - came when he told the crowd that “things are good at home in Delaware.” “My son Beau's fine; sends his love.…He's doing well,” Biden said, leaving unstated whether he was offering a medical diagnosis or an attitudinal one. It was another example of what Biden would no doubt gladly do without, but which has formed him: the merging of personal strife and his political life, and the tenacity required to get through it all. His first wife and their daughter were killed in a car accident shortly after his first election in 1972, as they were out Christmas shopping.
July 16, 2013 | Robin Abcarian
When the jury first began deliberations in the George Zimmerman murder trial last week, half of the six-woman panel thought he was guilty. Of those leaning toward conviction, two thought he had committed manslaughter and one thought he was guilty of second-degree murder. I find that tidbit - revealed by the only juror who has spoken publicly about the case so far  - immensely comforting. Even if their minds were eventually changed by the arguments of their peers, three jurors on the all-woman, mostly white panel believed that Zimmerman had committed a crime.
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