There are blogs that are far more dedicated to the Dodgers, Lakers, Kings, etc. But those are run by fans who won’t put their beer bong full of estrogen to the side so they can level with you. I’m a fan of those teams, too, but I will level with you. Maybe even have some fun at our own expense. Maybe even bring out some concepts you haven’t considered.
For the uninitiated, covering sports is my wheelhouse. Perhaps for a #tbt, instead of ruining the Internet with my face, I’ll post some old press passes. Ooooh, hat boy sat on press row at Staples Center! Pinch me!
Anyway, here goes, in order of most newsworthy to least, with one caveat. I know nothing about the WNBA inner workings other than it was a bad idea. I don’t cover the Sparks.
Lakers: The purple and gold darlings of the city are heading toward the light, presumably at the end of the tunnel instead of falling into the abyss of a hellish afterlife. They managed to secure the No.2 overall pick for the upcoming NBA draft in June. The top two players from college are presumably can’t-miss, but at one point, so was Ryan Leaf for the San Diego Chargers.
Actually, I think the pick — and some fans really think that’s a problem — is a great problem to have. I go to bed at night dreaming of having that problem. Sorry, James, but Blake Lively isn’t interested in you. Would you like to hook up with Selena Gomez?
As a matter of fact, God, yes, I would.
The bigger conundrum facing the Lakers has nothing to do with the draft. We still don’t know what type of a coach Luke Walton will be. He’s still helping coach the Golden State Warriors. Will he utilize their offense? The triangle offense of his former coach, Phil Jackson?
For that matter, with the retirement of Kobe Bryant the glamour franchise of the NBA has $60 million in salary cap room. That gets you past a lot of velvet ropes and poppin’ bottles. But where does that money go?
They still don’t have a center. Detroit has the chance to match any offer the best center available, Andre Drummond, gets. Miami is flooding Hasan Whiteside’s place with all the bikini babes Pitbull can find to keep him. That leaves Al Horford of Atlanta and — I apologize for bringing him up — Dwight Howard.
So yeah, the No.2 pick is good news. Stop overanalyzing it.
Kings: The bullies on skates re-signed coach Darryl Sutter and his many nuanced dour expressions to a new contract. I understand it. I actually like the guy.
I’m just not sure it’s a good idea. Here’s why:
Coaches wear out their welcome in the locker room. You can only play certain roles so many times before the players reflexively tune you out. Don’t blame the players for it. We do that in the workplace, too.
Pat Riley of the Showtime-era Lakers knew he had to leave Los Angeles not because he forgot how to coach. Of course, he could coach. But in a playoff series against Houston in his final year, he was trying to motivate his players and they didn’t even look at him.
It was nothing personal and he knew it. They had simply heard it all before.
Sutter has been said to have a personality that wears people out. He’s been in Los Angeles for five years. Yes, the two Stanley Cups are an achievement.
I don’t see them achieving that again. I could be wrong.
Dodgers: The so-called smartest front office in the history of sports itself continues to genuflect at the altar of Our Lady of Blessed Mediocrity. They are 2 1/2 games behind the Giants in a weakened National League West, a division that was weakened by the Dodgers own doing, I might add.
They are currently in a stretch of 10 games against teams currently in last place in their respective divisions. LA started that run — when it should be killing teams — at 1-2.
Look, it’s not that analytics aren’t useful, but the problem I see with this alleged brain trust is that they are focused entirely on the process that they haven’t noticed the results on the field, which is a .500 team.
Analytics masterminds prefer to hire inexperienced managers, who are so happy to be pulling a paycheck they’ll alter their strategy to whatever the spreadsheet mandates. So new manager Dave Roberts sits at 21-20. He replaced Don Mattingly, who turned perennial doormat Miami into a slightly better 21-19.
The other thing about analytics? It’s predicated on value, doing more with less. The Dodgers have surely embraced less. They cut their payroll by more than $50 million.
So, smart guys, where’s the “more with” part?
Rams: Uh, they started selling season tickets, which is nice. Those tickets get you into a stadium in South Central, which is not nice.
God help you if ESPN insists on night games being scheduled there.
Also, some fans are submitting redesigned uniforms for the franchise to consider. Yo, playa. On behalf of my rolling eyeballs, stop. Just because you can print Tupac’s image on a T-shirt doesn’t give you artistic license to stencil Todd Gurley’s name in Old English font on the back of a jersey.
Clippers: No truth to the rumor that Blake Griffin and Chris Paul are splitting the medical bills.
Galaxy: The team hasn’t taken the pitch in a little more than a week. I hate that. I like watching the world’s game. What I can tell you is that forward Giovani Dos Santos has turned down a request to play for the Mexican national team for the upcoming Copa America tournament. I have no idea why. I have no jokes about it, but the dude is in his mid-20s and has the talent to make an international impact. Disrespecting coaches is no way to secure playing in the World Cup.