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Letters to Sports: Lakers need to clean house after playoff exit?

May 11th, 2024

Let me get this straight. The Lakers, coached by Darvin Ham, are eliminated in the first round by the defending NBA champs and Ham is a bum. The Clippers, led by Tyronn Lue, are ousted in the first round by a mediocre Mavericks team and Lue is a coaching genius. Sounds to me like LeBron, the GFOAT (Greatest Finger Pointer of All Time) is looking for an enabler, not a coach. How many more coaches and teammates does James have to throw under the bus until the cowardly lion, Rob Pelinka, says enough is enough?

Mark S. Roth

Playa Vista

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I’ve been around for 58-plus years and have never seen an organization disrespect the wrong people every year and stupidly make the same mistakes over and over (except for the one I work for).

The coach coaches and does not play, yet when you have a player, regardless of who it is, undermining the coach it’s very hard to get everyone on the same page. To go through coaches like toilet paper is a bleeping embarrassment!

Clean house Lakers and sell soon. I’m so sorry Dr. Buss that your dream has turned into this nightmare.

Kelly Mark Ritchie

Calabasas

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You filled your letters column last week with clueless expressions and a laughable minuscule “Sports Report” poll blaming LeBron James for the Lakers’ first-round exit.

In fact, James is the biggest reason the Lakers were competitive, and had they been competently coached, they could have beaten the Nuggets and would now be advancing through the playoffs.

Ham’s panicked lineup experimentation and foolish substitutions were hurdles that the players were unable to overcome despite their laudable efforts. The Lakers were right to fire Ham.

As to the fans who want James gone, please root for another team and leave the Lakers to those of us who understand the game!

Ray McKown

Torrance

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Why even waste time and print space covering the Lakers’ coaching search? There is no search. LeBron will pick the next coach. Just like he will decide who the Lakers sign in free agency or trade for, who they will draft (undoubtedly his son), and probably how much beer will cost at the arena next season. He calls the shots because team management is too afraid to not let him for fear that he might be offended and “take his talents elsewhere.”

Bob Fanelli

Whittier

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So Darvin Ham has lost his job. From reading websites like the L.A. Times, ESPN and the Athletic, it would appear the players no longer believed in Ham. At that point it’s not about right or wrong, fair or unfair. Once a coach loses the locker room, they’re done. It’s over. You can’t put toothpaste back in the tube. Ham isn’t a bad coach, but he was no longer the right coach.

Michael Forrest

Porter Ranch

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If, as Bill Plaschke says, the Lakers should consider hiring Becky Hammon as their next coach, it will take an enlightened owner like Jeanie Buss to take such a bold step as hiring the first female head coach in the NBA. With history as our guide, the decision will still come down to what general manager LeBron James wants.

Ron Yukelson

San Luis Obispo

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The Lakers need to follow the Chargers’ playbook when hiring a coach: a coach with enough cachet to command attention.

Andrew Rubin

Los Angeles

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Hey, did you hear about the new theme song that Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka released? “Who you gonna call — Coach Busters?”

Gary Engstrom

Seal Beach

Clippers are lost

Broderick Turner’s article about the Clippers’ season ending in disappointment “yet again” says it all. I was a passionate Clippers fan when Donald Sterling was the owner and the team was a perennial underdog. Not much was expected but the games were fun to watch. Now the team is lost. Paying huge money to aging stars who struggle to play together. One day they are good, the next day they are not. Tough to watch, particularly when compared to the quick and coordinated teams in the West.

Andrew Simons

Santa Barbara

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The Clippers have talented players and a passionate owner who wants very much to win a title. They have a coach who is considered one of the best in the NBA. Yet, once again, they failed to advance in the playoffs because they can’t count on their star players. Kawhi Leonard succumbed to injury again, leaving him unavailable when they needed him most. The team has a long-term deal with him but can’t hold their breath for him to be free of injury. He’s just a very expensive frustration. Paul George is not “Playoff P,” giving a weak offensive output in games that really count and a blasé attitude. Russell Westbrook seemed to disappear in the last series.

Stop thinking this crew will lead us to the promised land. It’s a mirage.

T.R. Jahns

Hemet

Give Ohtani a raise

Stat geeks can debate advanced metrics such as on-base-plus-slugging percentage, launch angle and exit velocity, but all I know is, at $700 million, Shohei Ohtani is exceedingly underpaid.

Steve Ross

Carmel

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The Los Angeles Times welcomes expressions of all views. Letters should be brief and become the property of The Times. They may be edited and republished in any format. Each must include a valid mailing address and telephone number. Pseudonyms will not be used.

Email: sports@latimes.com

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