March 15, 2003
I don't understand the big deal about UCLA knocking off top-ranked Arizona. Steve Lavin can boast of many upsets of No. 1 teams, but it's the teams he couldn't beat -- such as Cal State Northridge and Northern Arizona -- that proved his ultimate undoing. Jack Wolf Westwood Before anyone even begins to think, "Ah, maybe we ought to keep this guy," ponder this: Where has a UCLA team, with the talent and heart to defeat the No. 1 team in the country in its most pivotal and pressure-packed game, been hiding all year?
March 30, 2002
Last Saturday, a fan defended Steve Lavin and sarcastically wrote, "Maybe the coach should have put himself in the game and hit a couple of threes." Even if possible, this wouldn't be a good idea because the team hasn't been taught any plays to get him open. Albert Canedo Lake Arrowhead The future of UCLA basketball in Westwood looks bright, with a run to the Sweet 16 and several promising freshmen on the team. This all, of course, is contingent on Steve Lavin's taking the job at DePaul.
December 16, 2000
The ball of confusion that is UCLA basketball was finally clarified when Steve Lavin was quoted in The Times [Dec. 13]: "But because he [Rico Hines] wants to coach, he's similar to a Cameron Dollar, a Sean Farnham, some of the other kids we've had in the program over the years who kind of understand the game." So that's it. Once every few years the Bruins actually have a player who "who kind of understands the game." I hope whenever that situation arises, Lavin is at least taking notes.
May 10, 2003
Let me see if I've got this straight: Ben Howland turns the program completely around at Pitt. John Wooden mentions that Pitt is a program he admires. Howland, UCLA's first choice to replace the inept Steve Lavin, claims that UCLA is his "dream" job. Dan Guerrero hires Howland. A month later, Steve Henson writes an article questioning why there is no public outcry over UCLA's denial of Adidas' influence. Now that's what I call investigative reporting. Steve Kehela Studio City
February 15, 1997
I don't understand: The week after The Times runs Bill Plaschke's excellent column urging UCLA to make Steve Lavin the permanent coach, it responds to UCLA's action in doing so with two critical commentaries. Mike Downey wonders whether he's missing something, then evidences in his column that he has apparently missed observing the UCLA basketball team--practices and games--for the last two to three months. Chris Dufresne, damning with faint praise, suggests UCLA couldn't afford much, but got a good deal for what they could afford.
February 22, 2003
Who says that Steve Lavin can't coach? Just when we think that he only rolls the ball out and doesn't better the players after years of his tutelage, we learn that the fruits of his labors will pay off next year. Albeit his coaching is directed at Mr. Guerrero with his list of replacements, any one of the names that he mentioned in his weekly news conference should benefit the players who are fortunate to return. John Boyte Newhall T.J. Simers praises Lavin for his good humor and teaching prowess, while Bill Plaschke berates him for quitting and bailing out on his players!
January 13, 2001
To hear Steve Lavin call Rick Pitino an "opportunist" after Pitino voluntarily left the Celtics and $27 million in compensation because they were not performing further illustrates that Lavin is trying to move Fantasyland from Anaheim to Westwood. I think a better example of "trying to capitalize on a tremendous opportunity" would be sitting by quietly as your boss gets fired and then inheriting his job with no experience. Please face it, Lavin, the only one still buying your canned answers, lame excuses and rationalizations is you. But look on the bright side, maybe next year Pitino will keep you on as an assistant.
February 2, 2002
Is it just me, or is USC Coach Henry Bibby a dead ringer for Nosferatu? Come to think of it, they also share a similar demeanor. Tim Smight Thousand Oaks A letter writer last Saturday didn't understand why Bill Walton's son is at Arizona instead of UCLA. Let me help him on this. Say you have a son with possible future NBA talent. Do you want him tutored during college by Lute Olson or Steve Lavin? Michael Hannin Newbury Park