For once, Bill Plaschke went light on the hyperbole and created an accurate image of who LeBron James has become. Simply put, “rebuild without him” is not only the right answer, it is the only answer.
Too bad James isn’t likely to be gone before he breaks Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring record. That date won’t give Lakers fans much to cheer about.
“See ya” will.
The Lakers should just trade LeBron James. It is a sports team, and he is crying about everything. For a guy who doesn’t play defense and stands around and doesn’t move, he doesn’t have room to talk about everyone else and their lack of play. He whines on every foul on the court. All he wants to do is take the ball up the court to get more personal stats.
LeBron is concerned about losing. Yet it is his turnovers, no defense and poor shot selection that are hurting the team. He wanted Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook on the team. Davis is a part-time player, and Westbrook is an expensive mediocre player. Jeanie Buss gave Rob Pelinka a contract extension recently, which indicates she doesn’t hold him totally responsible for the current roster and the team’s problems.
I have my own business and I don’t want any employee who doesn’t want to work for me. They do not put forth maximum effort, are defeated and negatively influence the morale as well as others’ performances. It is time to call LeBron’s bluff and let him go elsewhere. The organization needs to understand that they own the team and call the shots. Not LeBron.
OK, I’ll say it. Signing LeBron was the worst decision in Lakers history. Don’t get me wrong, I love to watch him play and really appreciate how dominant he can be. But we’ve mortgaged our present and future on trying to assemble a team around him. The plan is not working and puts us further and further from championship contention as every year passes.
LeBron James said, “I don’t want to finish my career playing at this level from a team aspect.” Such amazing leadership skills! And one more thing: Your career IS finished.
Andrew M. Weiss
Playa del Rey
What a stark contrast of character displayed on the front page of Thursday’s Sports section. On one side a moving tribute to Roberto Clemente, a great ballplayer and greater humanitarian who always thought of others before himself. One column over, a whining LeBron James, speaking to reporters about himself and his own greatness.
We are approaching the 10th anniversary of the death of Jerry Buss. We are also approaching the 10th anniversary of the slow and steady demise of a once-great sports franchise.
In one way, it’s quite a tribute to Mr. Buss that the Lakers have been able to retain the hearts and dollars of their large and loyal fan base after so many years of failure. If not for the attractive Lakers brand, the team would have been the laughingstock of the league much sooner. The franchise has almost sunk to the level of the Donald Sterling Clippers days.
This season, I have finally given up on the Lakers. Fortunately, we have another local NBA team that has a Jerry Buss-type owner. Like Jerry Buss, Steve Ballmer doesn’t pretend to be a basketball genius. He just loves the sport and his team and he hires the best people to figure out how to win.
We’re actually having conversations about bringing back Trevor Bauer? It has been heartbreaking to hear Dodgers fans taking his suspension for domestic violence with a grain of salt because he is a good pitcher. There are dozens of good pitchers in MLB that don’t assault women. But shame on the Dodgers for signing him in the first place when they knew about his bad character and questionable behavior.
It’s bad enough they couldn’t nail down a deal with Justin Turner, winner of the Roberto Clemente Award last season. But people want to bring back Trevor Bauer? In the long shot the Dodgers bring him back, they’ll have a lot of explaining to do to the Dodgers fans who have been victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse.
As a youngster, people were perceived to be innocent until proven guilty. Nowadays, it seems as if you are guilty until proven innocent. As far as I can tell, in the court of law, Trevor Bauer is innocent. In the court of public opinion, Bauer is perceived as guilty, and with that the Dodgers will end up releasing Trevor Bauer. My how our world has changed.
It may now be time to canvass the players on the team about Trevor Bauer. No one likes what they have heard about his behavior. No one wants to say that winning is all that matters. But are public relations all that matter on the other side of the question? Remembering that Bauer was not charged or prosecuted, and we are in America, we must ask: Do we completely remove a person’s ability to apply their skills of livelihood upon an allegation?
Scott W. Hamre
If history has taught us anything, there is only one team who would sign Trevor Bauer.
SoFi Stadium trouble
The elephant in the room that no one outwardly discusses involving SoFi Stadium is that it has become a drunken, brawling free-for-all among the fans, especially during Rams games.
I know one of the female staff, who was picked up off the ground and then body slammed by a drunken fan who was trying to enter one of the clubs without a proper pass. He got inside and was eventually kicked out. And that’s not a one-time occurrence.
Multiple fights and brawls every game are the norm – five or more per game.
Not a good sign for the future of SoFi.
Thanks to Eric Sondheimer for naming Dijon Stanley the high school football player of the year.
By highlighting Stanley and other great players from City Section schools, hopefully kids and parents will see that you can play in their neighborhood schools with friends and still win accolades and get scholarships. They don’t have to drive two hours across town to a new district just for the chance of maybe advancing. With the transfer portal wide open, all a kid needs to do is get on a college team. If you have what it takes, the big schools will find you.
Well done, Ekeler
Jeff Miller’s feature on the incredible accomplishments and drive of the inimitable Austin Ekeler was a great gift to readers on Christmas Day. A true leader and a humble athlete of uncommon ability, Ekeler stands as a remarkable role model, a beacon of positivity and an example of what determination can reap.
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This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.