Category: Clippers

YallKiltIt: Notes on L.A. Sports

Despite the spate of trouble recently, Tiger Woods celebrated (we assume) being named the AP’s Athlete of the Decade. 64 tournament wins (12 majors) will do that for a man. Lance Armstrong, Roger Federer, Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Tom Brady round out the Top Six.

UCLA Hoops is back. . .kind of: Rips New Mexico 100-68. Sylmar High grad Tyler Honeycutt has a breakout game with 14 points in his first extended minutes.

Bill Shaikin comes through again with a promise of “bombshells” in the May 24th trial date between the McCourts. Hopefully the Dodgers can acquire a player or two prior to that date. . .Jamie’s lawyer Dennis Wasser may have crossed a line or two by accusing Frank of having RAIDS: “recently acquired income deficiency syndrome.”

Kobe – broken finger and all – leads the Lakers to another win, this time vs. the Bulls, by scoring 42 points.  Pau has only 7 shots, though, and is getting more discouraged by the DAY as he becomes a smaller part of the Lakers offense.

L.A. Kings are on TOP of the Western Conference – 2nd overall in the NHL – after another win yesterday, this time against the Oilers. With Quick in goal, they’re phenomenal.

UCLA football netted more All-Americans (3: Kai Forbath, Brian Price, Rahim Moore) than USC did (2: Taylor Mays, Jeff Byers). . .another sign that the momentum in the crosstown rivalry really is changing?


Days to Blaze through this Amazing Maze of Malaise

My Heisman Ballot

Now of course Gerhart has little-to-no-chance of victory, especially being out here on the West Coast. . .I won’t even get into the East Coast Bias. Same applies to Masoli, who wasn’t invited to the ceremony; all it took was one (albeit, horrible) game to start the season (Lagerrette Blount, anybody?) to remove him from having a shot at the trophy. . .and McCoy should have weighed in at #2 or #3 but to me, that clock-management at the end of the Nebraska game was unfathomable and unbecoming of a Heisman candidate.

I will say, the voting is going to be exciting this year with the wide-open field of candidates, so don’t be surprised if Suh (or even Tebow?!) wins the trophy just due to being named on so many ballots. Will be very interesting, much like this guy:

“you guys really think I want to coach here?”

and you really gotta read the comments by this guy, who bytheway has a legitimate argument for being the ‘most slept on’ Heisman candidate in eons. with College Football, looks like UCLA’s season could keep getting better.
is the battle cry, as a Navy victory secures the Bruins a berth in the Eagle Bank Bowl, and yet another leg up on Pete Carroll’s rapidly declining Trojan Dynasty.

Congratulations to local hero Malcolm Smith of Oaks Christian in Westlake Village for winning the Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award. The touching part of the story is that Joe Mauer actually walked into his classroom to present the award, causing Smith to shed a tear.

Lastly, a belated shout to the L.A. Kings – one point out of first place after another rousing victory last night, this one in an eight-round shootout. My man Jason Sapir has been talking since last year about the Kings’ resurgence as an organization and it looks like Wayne Simmonds, Anze Kopitar, Jonathan Quick, Dustin Brown, et al, are really moving the team forward faster than initially anticipated.

That’s it fiends – have a great weekend.

YallKiltIt: Ralph Lawler, Racist? Clipper Announcer Suspended for Iranian Comments

Kudos to Diane Pucin for excellent reporting on the decision by Fox to suspend Clippers Announcers Ralph Lawler and Michael Smith for Friday’s game vs. the Timberwolves.

In the Clippers 106-91 loss to the Grizzlies , the two seasoned announcers had this exchange:

Smith: “Look who’s in.”

Lawler: “Hamed Haddadi. Where’s he from?”

Smith: “He’s the first Iranian to play in the NBA.” (Smith pronounced Iranian as “Eye-ranian,” a pronunciation that offended the viewer who complained.)

Lawler: “There aren’t any Iranian players in the NBA,” repeating Smith’s mispronunciation.

Smith: “He’s the only one.”

Lawler: “He’s from Iran?”

Smith: “I guess so.”

Lawler: “That Iran?”

Smith: “Yes.”

Lawler: “The real Iran?”

Smith: “Yes.”

Lawler: “Wow. Haddadi that’s H-A-D-D-A-D-I.”

Smith: “You’re sure it’s not Borat’s older brother?”

Smith: “If they ever make a movie about Haddadi, I’m going to get Sacha Baron Cohen to play the part.”

Lawler: “Here’s Haddadi. Nice little back-door pass. I guess those Iranians can pass the ball.”

Smith: “Especially the post players.

Lawler: “I don’t know about their guards.”

Now Ralph Lawler has not missed a game in 25 years., wonderfully enthused and talented, Lawler has been overlooked in a City of Wonderful Broadcasters from Vin Scully to Bob Miller to Chick Hearn, etc. The Clippers pitiful performance as a franchise certainly has everything to do with that, but his case for inclusion into the legendary pantheon has surely taken a hit with this back-and-forth with the equally enthused but far less seasoned Michael Smith.

Were the comments overtly racist? My initial reaction was agnostic, figuring this was another corporate attempt at political correctness.

After discussions with my wife, (whose parents are native to Huanusco, Mexico) who likened the exchange to “white people that thing all Hispanic/Latin Americans are ‘Mexican,” I agree with her to an extent – I think apologies (even of the profuse variety) are required from both Lawler & Smith as well as the organization, but I think the punishment was a bit harsh and will now tarnish the legacy of a solid announcer.

And frankly, isn’t a lifetime of announcing Clippers games punishment enough?
Clippers fan

I used to write for things called newspapers,

Evan Lovett

The Day in (Los Angeles) Sports

Mike Bresnahan expounds upon Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and his dilemma to come forward with his Leukemia struggle
Kareem is intensely private, and a delicate matter such as this was handled sensitively. Here’s hoping Kareem can vanquish this foe.
Magic and Kobe Selected as top Guard duo in Los Angeles Lakers History, writes Broderick Turner
I wonder how Jerry West feels . . .

UCLA Hoops wins an exhibition, this time with a bit more ease than the preseason opener
Bruins defeat Humboldt State 74-57

Eric Gordon to miss six more games with a groin injury
and he’s my starting SG on the fantasy squad

Vin Scully will broadcast in 2010, then decide future
Vinny, stick around forever!

31st Annual Best in the West Prep Hoops Team announced
Bryce Jones and DeAndre Daniels from Woodland Hills Taft included

NBA, Los Angeles: A Gift and a Curse

Ahhh, to be a professional basketball fan living in Los Angeles – it’s a Gift and a Curse.

Opening Day, NBA – L.A. Times Stories:
Lakers: Not Just a Championship, but 73 Wins?
The Clipper Curse Lives On

Most Angelenos are Lakers fans (Vic the Brick, Lakerline Scott, some are Clippers fans (This guy, my beautiful wife, Irene), and all convene at the Staples Center from November to June.

Well, in the Clippers fans case, it’s more like late April. . .and I had such high expectations for the Clippers this year too:
Baron Davis = lost 20 pounds
Chris Kaman = lost the caveman hairdo
Marcus Camby = lost the ‘I’m on the second-tier L.A.’ stigma
DeAndre Jordan = lost the training wheels, ready to rock
Eric Gordon = lost the disrespect of somehow not being named All-Rookie despite 16ppg
Al Thornton = almost lost his starting job, but he’s back
but unfortunately, the Clippers LOST Blake Griffin.

I could get into the Clipper Curse, but it’s been discussed ad nauseum, including an excellent yet typically verbose and self-serving piece from Bill Simmons. While ‘curses’ may or may not actually exist, my personal history as a Clipper fan stems back to the days of my intense basketball card collection, spanning the days of the 1990 Hoops Danny Ferry Rookie Card where he was chilling in Italy, after spurning the Clips.

Furthermore, my Dad (heretofore referred to as ‘The Count’ actually went as far as to purchase season tickets for us during their ‘magical’ run in 1992-1993 with Ron Harper, Danny Manning, Mark Jackson – coached by the legendary vagabond Larry Brown – when they actually made the Playoffs (on the strength of their .500 record), so I have always remained tied to the franchise, with the fortunate ‘out’ of having an even stronger Laker foundation with Magic, Kareem, et al.

Fact is, this Blake Griffin injury debacle may or may not be long-term debilitating to Sterling’s guys; it could be a Greg Oden one year deal, or it could be a Ralph Sampson debacle. Either way, the Clippers need to do something DRASTIC to rid their franchise of the woebegone mentality. The curse wasn’t removed when they left San Diego, certainly didn’t lift when they abandoned the Sports Arena to formally become a JV squad, so in short – they need to change the entire identity of the franchise.

That isn’t going to happen, though – so in alliance with keeping the balance of life, allow the show to go on and the NBA season to commence. Should be a great season, as the Lakers win another title, and the Clippers continue down the cursed path.

Peace it, Lovett and Keep it Rocking,