Letters to Sports: The Lakers' blame game has begun

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 25, 2024: Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) splits defenders Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) and Los Angeles Lakers forward Rui Hachimura (28) to make a pass under the basket in the fourth quarter of Denver's Game 3 win in the first round of the NBA playoffs at Arena on April 25, 2024 in Los Angeles, CA.(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

What did LeBron James do when he missed the shot that could’ve kept your team's hopes alive? He blamed the Game 2 loss on the officials. He failed to mention the 20-point lead his team had in the third quarter. Columnist Bill Plaschke is right. The Lakers folded, wilted and disappeared.

Patrick Kelley

Los Angeles


Nikola Jokic is allowed to bump Anthony Davis off his spot and use his forearm to do it. That’s an offensive foul. He is allowed to go over the back and hook players' arms for rebounds. Those are fouls. Getting hit in the head is not a foul anymore after a replay review. You just changed the momentum of the game. The Lakers might as well be playing the Celtics in a Game 7 with Mendy Rudolph as a referee. Like Chick Hearn used to say, ”If there is a foul and Mel Counts is in the building, it’s on him."

Ed Villanueva

Chino Hills


The Lakers losing the first two games to the Denver Nuggets was devastating. But when you analyze the game, and look at how the Lakers failed to come away with a win, it was because they made the same mistake in both games. In Game 1, Lakers' third quarter, five minutes played, no points. In Game 2, Lakers fourth quarter, five minutes played, no points. Nuggets up 2-0. Lakers' chances, maybe win one.

Donald Peppars



I am not one to make excuses for the Lakers, but it was obvious that the thin air and altitude in Denver played a major role in their two losses there. In both games they were worn out by the fourth quarter after great starts. Regardless, Coach Darvin Ham has done an excellent job with this team. Installing AD on the low post and making LeBron the "point forward" has helped them to post their best years as Lakers. As a fan since the Jerry West days, I plan on sticking by the team through the "thick and thin of it."

Mike Anderson

Sherman Oaks


Game 2 of the Lakers vs. Denver series provides an excellent example of sports mentality. Great players (Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Tom Brady) and teams (Showtime Lakers) do not succumb to, or wilt under, pressure. They somehow maintain momentum throughout the game until its end. Good but not great players and teams are more prone to succumb to pressure by losing their focus and momentum.

Maybe it is just human nature for players and teams to shift from winning mentality to merely trying to defend a lead, thereby causing momentum to shift. The whole game is like a mystery novel that presents twists and turns, preventing the reader from knowing who done it until the final chapter. So, don't be too hard on the Lakers for the loss in Game 2. They're only human.

Richard Raffalow

Valley Glen


It's time for the Lakers to fire coach Darvin Ham. Enough is enough. Ham is not a head coach. I don't know why he was ever hired but it's time to right a wrong. I too can stand with my hands in my pockets and watch blindly as the team blows lead after lead. I too cannot design an offense or a defense or a rotation. His last day needs to be Saturday.

Geno Apicella


V for vindication

Reggie Bush gets his Heisman Trophy back despite breaking the rules during his college career. I guess it’s just a matter of time before Pete Rose and the 1919 Black Sox are also vindicated!

Jack Wolf



I'm not sure how Bill Plaschke could write an entire column about the tarnish that remains in the wake of the Heisman Trust returning its namesake trophy to Reggie Bush without once mentioning the name of Bush's micromanaging coach who feigned complete ignorance of any infractions and then jumped ship in the middle of the night, leaving the player, the team and the university to suffer the consequences. Pete Carroll deserves just as much blame as Bush, if not more, for the debacle that decimated USC football for a decade.

Rhys Thomas

Valley Glen


The Draconian sanctions meted out to USC, which led to stripping Reggie Bush of his richly deserved Heisman Trophy, was the NCAA protecting their precious SEC after USC shut out Auburn 23-0 in 2003 and destroyed Arkansas 70-17 in 2005. The Heisman Trust belatedly, but properly, reinstated Bush and the corrupt NCAA should follow suit by restoring all of USC’s vacated victories.

Mark S. Roth

Playa Vista


Even as a lifelong UCLA fan, I admire greatness when I see it. I applaud the Heisman Trust for its decision to give the trophy back to Reggie Bush. I also admire the stance that Johnny Manziel took stating that he won’t attend the Heisman ceremony until Reggie got his trophy back.

I hope this inspires all the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame players to take the same stance in regards to Pete Rose. He more than deserves to be in the Hall of Fame as a player. The plaque can mention the gambling problem. He is a big part of history and the baseball Hall of Fame is doing a great disservice by not righting this wrong too.

Steve Shaevel

Woodland Hills


Technically, Reggie Bush is now a two-time recipient of the Heisman Trophy.

Steve Ross


Pac-12 picks

Well the Pac-12 Conference went down flinging with three of their quarterbacks going in the first dozen picks of the NFL draft. Maybe we can give both bonus points to Jayden Daniels, who once started at Arizona State. Anyway, Caleb Williams, Michael Penix and Bo Nix, thanks for the memories.

Fred Wallin

Westlake Village


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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.