Lakers’ focus is on development, front office

first_imgHere, I don’t mean stories about Magic Johnson’s headline-spewing drive to stomp his way to the top or Jim Buss’ sad departure or the complete crumbling of the sibling-run front office once envisioned by a beloved and dying Jerry Buss.I’ve already written a few of those columns, with more no doubt coming soon enough. That’s one Lakers topic in which I know readers, loyal or otherwise, have interest.No, I’m talking about the Lakers, the actual players, this collection of enticing and maddening young guns, trade-deadline trinkets and, for reasons I still don’t quite understand, Timofey Mozgov.For years, which is to say forever before the 2013-14 season, writing columns on the Lakers was, to use a familiar term, a slam dunk. It was impossible to tell enough tales or express enough opinions about an iconic, always contending, perpetually relevant franchise.The Lakers were, by every possible definition of the word, storied. Bryant wasn’t just a clutch performer for the team; he also was a go-to topic in crunch time for every writer around the team.And when Shaquille O’Neal and Phil Jackson were here, too? Well, I could have sprouted two more hands and still not written everything there was to write on the Lakers at the time.But now…After the loss Tuesday, coach Luke Walton talked about playing 19-year-old rookie Brandon Ingram late in a game the Lakers could have and probably should have won.“We need to get him (that experience) now,” Walton explained, “so that when he trains in this offseason he kinda knows what to expect going forward in his career.”That’s where the Lakers are now and rightfully so, making decisions not about today or this season or even any season.They’re making decisions about the coming offseason, this summer when Ingram and all their other young players absolutely must continue to develop.Here’s also where the Lakers are presently: Before the game Tuesday, Walton discussed the importance of keeping DeMarcus Cousins off the free-throw line.Then, on the Kings’ first possession, 18 seconds into the opening quarter, Tarik Black fouled to put DeMarcus Cousins on the free-throw line.By the time the game was over, Cousins had shot 19 free throws, four more than all the Lakers combined. Walton later called the opening sequence “a teaching point.”These Lakers are, as the cliche smartly goes, a work in progress. But every team every season, including those Lakers during their title-winning seasons, constantly evolves.The difference between then and now, of course, is that then the Lakers were advancing deep in the playoffs and now they’re just sinking deeper in the standings.Knowing where the season is going makes for much more interesting storytelling when the season actually is going somewhere. With the Lakers still adrift, it’s sort of like critiquing a painting that’s not even half done.I know this team remains popular, statistics showing that the Lakers are by far the most liked NBA franchise on Facebook.Despite plenty of empty seats Tuesday, they officially continue to play before 99.2 percent capacity at home, while only the Warriors, Cavaliers and Thunder have been better as road attractions.On Wednesday, Forbes magazine reported that the Lakers are the second-most valuable franchise in the league behind the Knicks.But still, I wonder. Do you want to read columns on a team heading toward another 50-plus defeats?Or is it better to focus on the front-office drama as the players continue developing, well aware their 2016-17 fate was captured best against the Kings when, in one game-swinging second-half surge, they were dunked on by the legendary Kosta Koufos? LOS ANGELES >> This column is about the Lakers, the basketball team.But it’s also about you, the loyal reader.This week, I ended a drought that, genuinely months ago, reached a career-high total.I attended a Lakers game on Tuesday at Staples Center against Sacramento. Surprise; they lost. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThe last Lakers game I went to was Kobe Bryant’s last Lakers game as well. Roy Hibbert was one of the other starters that night for coach Byron Scott. It was 10 months ago.Normally, I would have covered the team’s home opener in late October. But my colleague, Mark Whicker, went instead.I thought about going a few other times, particularly after the Lakers beat Atlanta early and then Golden State and, 20 games into the season, were a stunning 10-10.But then they lost eight in a row and 12 of 13 and I started thinking about you, wondering if anyone out there really cared to read opinions about a team on its way to a fourth consecutive terrible record.As the Lakers and the rest of the NBA now break for the All-Star Game, I’m still wondering. So, you tell me, do you want to read columns about this current version of Lakers?center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Amel Tuka as one of the best European athletes in July

first_imgThe best B&H athlete, Amel Tuka, is in the competition for the best athlete of Europe for the month of July.After a remarkable scores on races in Velenje and Madrid, Amel performed on Diamond League meeting in Monte Carlo where he set the world’s best score of the season and finished the race with time 1:42:51.Thanks to these results, the website, listed Tuka as one of the best athletes for the month of July.Except Amel Tuka, the other nominees are: Anna Chicherova (high jump), Christina Schwanitz (shot put), Dafhne Schippers (race on 100 and 200 meters), Sifan Hassan (race on 1500 meters), Zuzana Hejnova (400m hurdles), David Storl (shot put) Jimmy Vicaut (race on 100 meters), Mo Farah (race on 1500 and 3000 meters) and Renaud Lavillenie (pole vault).Visitors of Facebook page European Athletics will decide who will be the winner. Voting closes tomorrow at 6 p.m. (Source: read more

Sunday Blog: Trust should should be a 2-way street between the council and public

first_img Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (5) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +6 Vote up Vote down Jim · 264 weeks ago AND know the main culprit, the school board…… they go on for hours and then come out and say nothing happened and then adjourn the meeting. Report Reply 0 replies · active 264 weeks ago +3 Vote up Vote down bob · 264 weeks ago School boards are notorious.. in any city Report Reply 0 replies · active 264 weeks ago +6 Vote up Vote down Guest · 264 weeks ago The city council doesn’t even have trust among themselves. Report Reply 0 replies · active 264 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down Amber · 264 weeks ago Well said, James! Very well written! Report Reply 0 replies · active 264 weeks ago +4 Vote up Vote down Wellington · 264 weeks ago Why is it that some articles you aren’t able to comment on? They have to be approved by an admin anyway, so why not allow our feedback on every article?? Report Reply 0 replies · active 264 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Commentary by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — The word “transparency” has been used around city council meetings, and the city itself, a lot recently. I have been impressed over the last several months with the transparency that is happening at Wellington City Hall. Documents of all kinds are readily available, and there have not been all that many executive sessions of late.James JordanThat surge in transparency took a pretty big hit last week when the city met with the hospital board and doctors for two hours behind closed doors.Had they taken a 10-20 minute executive session for some legal matter, and then held an open discussion, I doubt anyone would have even noticed. There are legitimate reasons to have an executive session, and sometimes it is the right thing to do. But executive sessions are not ever required.The city is dealing with some big issues, and the hospital is one of the main ones. There are issues that need worked out and discussions that need to be had. However, doing them in secret is not the way to get public support, or the way to develop trust between the city and citizens who foot the bill through their tax dollars.The executive session was clearly a violation of the Kansas Open Meetings Act in my understanding of the law.The executive session was called for attorney-client privilege. The law clearly states that under this reason, it may include only the council and its attorneys. It specifically says a third party may not be present because that destroys attorney-client privilege.After the meeting, employee issues were also cited as a reason, and that too is a legitimate reason. However, the law clearly states the city may not meet in executive session to talk about employees other than its own.I suppose it could be argued that since the hospital is owned by the city, it did not meet with a third party, but that would really be a stretch. Even if you could argue that as the letter of the law, it certainly violates the spirit of the law.I will admit it is easier to hold discussions in private, where you can say things you might not say in public.Council members have even bristled at the fact that media now attend their work sessions, which is where issues are actually discussed. The regular meetings are pretty much a formality. Votes on issues are rarely surprising if you have been paying attention to the work sessions.But while it may be easier to call a private meeting, it is not the best thing to do when you want public support and trust.Now while I do feel the meeting was illegal, I am not saying anything needs to be done. There’s no need to smack anyone’s wrist, which is about all Kansas would do anyway. I would just encourage the city council to consider its actions more carefully in the future.The council members did discuss their utility rate issues publicly, and that was a positive thing for transparency. You may not like paying higher utility bills, but at least you know why they are going up.It comes down to trust.We have entrusted the council by electing them. We need to be able to trust them to do the right thing, even when the right thing is something we might not agree with.The council also needs to trust us enough to be willing to talk about issues in open session.It isn’t always easy, but it is the way to build trust among the citizenry.Follow us on Twitter.last_img read more

Man City on brink of title after sinking Spurs

first_imgChristian Eriksen had reduced the deficit to 2-1 in the first half, but City will be crowned champions if United lose to bottom of the table West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.If United draw the race would also effectively be over as City would be 15 points clear with a maximum of 15 available to Jose Mourinho’s team, who have a vastly inferior goal difference.A United victory would keep City’s champagne on ice for a few more days at least.Fourth-placed Tottenham were powerless to halt City’s revival and a first defeat in 14 league matches shouldn’t ruin their bid to qualify for the Champions League.After sweeping through most of the season in regal fashion, City had crashed down to earth with a bump over the last 10 days.Their limp Champions League quarter-final exit against Liverpool came either side of their failure to clinch the title last weekend, when United came from two goals down to beat them.City’s hellish week had Guardiola warning his players that “anything can happen” as he recalled other great sporting collapses from seemingly invincible positions.But it quickly became clear that run of three successive defeats wasn’t weighing on City.Leroy Sane met Sterling’s cross with a searing volley that cannoned off a post with Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris rooted to the spot.Unusually sluggish, Tottenham weren’t testing City and, with a swagger back in their stride, Guardiola’s men took the lead in the 22nd minute.Most of their goals this season have come with a flourish, but for once City took a more direct approach.– City back on track –Vincent Kompany’s long pass caught Tottenham defender Davinson Sanchez flat-footed and Jesus made him pay as he raced clear to fire past Lloris.City’s problems were suddenly a thing of the past and they went further ahead three minutes later.When Sterling weaved his way towards the Tottenham area, Lloris raced off his line to make a crude lunge that sent the City winger flying.While it was a clear foul, the contact appeared to be made just outside the area, yet, to Tottenham’s fury, Jonathan Moss awarded a penalty that Gundogan slotted home with ease.In the week Premier League clubs voted not to introduce the Video Assistant Referee system next season, this was a moment when the controversial replay technology would have been useful.Tottenham defender Ben Davies somehow escaped a red card for a horrible studs-up foul on Kompany, but the leaders still had a soft centre to their defence.Harry Kane was lampooned in some quarters for making what was perceived as a slightly greedy, if successful, appeal to have Tottenham’s second goal at Stoke last weekend credited to him instead of Eriksen.Kane at least returned the favour as Eriksen scored in the 42nd minute.Running onto Kane’s defence-splitting pass, Eriksen’s shot hit City’s Aymeric Laporte and deflected back onto the Tottenham midfielder on its way past Ederson.City regained control after half-time and should have been out of sight as Jesus scuffed badly wide and Sterling fared no better with a woeful close-range miss.But they moved within touching distance of the title in the 72nd minute.Lloris palmed Jesus’s shot to Sterling and the winger drilled into the roof of the net to leave City fans singing “we’re going to win the league”.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling were on target as City moved to the cusp of the Premier League title© AFP Ben STANSALLLONDON, United Kingdom, Apr 14 – Manchester City are on the brink of winning the Premier League title after ending their troubled spell with a stylish 3-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.Pep Guardiola’s side extended their lead over second-placed Manchester United to 16 points thanks to goals from Gabriel Jesus, Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling at Wembley.last_img read more