Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw headed to 5th straight All-Star Game

first_imgLOS ANGELES >> Clayton Kershaw is going to the All-Star Game in Cincinnati despite a .500 record in the first half for the Los Angeles Dodgers.The current National League MVP and Cy Young Award winner wasn’t elected by his peers and he finished third in the fan vote, but that doesn’t bother him.Kershaw says he has no pride in how he gets into the game and no one will remember that he made it only because Washington’s Max Scherzer started for the Nationals on Sunday and decided not to be active for Tuesday’s game.The left-hander is 6-6 but has a 2.85 ERA. He is an All-Star for the fifth straight year. Kershaw says his family is looking forward to the trip, with his wife Ellen already selecting outfits for 5-month-old daughter Cali.Kershaw joins teammates Zack Greinke, Adrian Gonzalez, Yasmani Grandal and rookie Joc Pederson on the NL All-Star roster. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Heisler: This is the Lakers succession struggle Jerry Buss hoped to avoid

first_imgNo, really. The Lakers just bottomed out … again.It was yet another bad week for Jeanie Buss’ Friends & Family, masquerading as an NBA front office … who are all still in hiding since Magic Johnson left April 9 … and, at the rate they’re going, might never be seen again.I’ve covered these guys since 1990, marveling at the level they functioned while being totally wacky.What happened was simple. Jerry Buss, who knew how to do this, passed away in 2013. Unfortunately, Jeanie saw the faithful Kupchak, who had no choice but to work with the owner’s son, as too close to Jim and fired him along with her brother in 2017.Jeanie then hired Magic, who proved unsuited for the job, which is where we came in.As to what horrors await, er, where the Lakers go from here …The coaching search then led to twice-fired retread Frank Vogel, which could only come as a great relief to Laker fans worried that they would never have another coach.The Lakers still have LeBron and some promising young players, but only a coup this summer would make it likely for any coach to go beyond 45-50 wins and an early exit in the playoffs … with no more moves if they sign a free agent, until James comes off their cap in 2021 or 2022.Now to see what Jeanie, Rob, Linda, Kurt, Joey, Jesse, Tim, Magic, Phil, Kobe, et al. do next. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Magic, the Lakers icon and Jeanie’s hand-picked savior, was in typically upbeat charge, even if he made obvious mistakes such as not bringing in shooters as word began to get out he didn’t think he needed to do small stuff, like come to the office or scout.It would have been OK if Magic had GM Rob Pelinka fill in the vacuum, but they had a communication problem … as in Magic doesn’t seem to have mentioned it to Rob.Worse, they had a trust problem. Johnson finally told Jeanie he wanted to fire Rob for undermining him by joking that Magic was never around.Apparently, Magic didn’t think that was so funny.Johnson then quit, which was even worse than not going to the office.Magic had always guarded access to him. Now he was as inaccessible to his star player as he was to the rest of the world.LeBron hasn’t commented but marveled on his HBO show about how Magic fled without saying a word to him a year after presenting grand plans for what they would do together.“I came here to be a part of the Lakers organization, having a conversation with Magic and really kind of breaking it down and saying how we was gonna make this Showtime,” James said. “It was just weird for him to just be like ‘I’m out of here.’ …“No one had no idea. We (Lakers players) was like, ‘Damn. Right now?’ It was literally 70 minutes on the clock (before their game) … And you kind of decided to do that right here? Right now?”Jeanie, defying league-wide expectations that she should bring in a top executive, carried on with Pelinka.Not that she seemed confident, furnishing Rob with a cabinet … apparently stocked with everyone in her inner circle who knew if a basketball was blown up or stuffed.So many people are now involved in coaching interviews, Lakers fans are like Sovietologists in the old days, trying to figure out who’s in charge by sorting out the line of bureaucrats atop Lenin’s tomb.Who’s running the Lakers?Take your pick:– Jeanie.– Linda Rambis, Jeanie’s best friend and a Lakers marketing official, now said to assert influence in meetings.– Kurt Rambis, former Lakers coach and player and, presumably, the person Linda turns to for advice.– Jesse Buss, Jeanie’s step-brother who has actual experience, running the Lakers scouting department with good reviews.– Joey Buss, another step-brother with a fancy title (Vice President, Research & Development), which actually just means he runs the G-League’s South Bay Lakers.– Tim Harris, Lakers President of Business Operations.– Magic. No, really. Jeanie last week shared a post, showing her at dinner with Johnson with the label “Breaking News.” He’s still in the loop, signing off on coaching candidate Ty Lue, even if the loop includes Pelinka, whom he tried to fire.– Phil Jackson, former Lakers coach and Jeanie’s boyfriend, who also endorsed Lue.– Kobe Bryant. I’m just guessing, but I’d be surprised if Jeanie didn’t reach out to him before deciding to keep Pelinka, having hired Rob on Kobe’s recommendation.With so many involved but none empowered above the others, no one is actually in charge … as the Lakers just demonstrated.The first order of business was to hire a coach to replace Luke Walton … whom Magic, of course, also intended to fire. Offered a chance to stay, Luke took the Kings job, instead.Not that there would be any bold moves. Magic had already tried that, reportedly reaching out to the Clippers’ Doc Rivers and, perhaps, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo.A monthlong search came down to Lue and 76ers assistant Monty Williams … but didn’t even leave the team with a choice when Williams took the lowly Phoenix Suns job.Lue, competent if not an equation-changer, with the advantage of having LeBron on his side, began talks with the Lakers … which dragged on and on, until Lue withdrew.The two sides must have hit a major philosophical hurdle, right?Wrong.Lue wanted five years, which is what the Lakers gave Walton, who was then only a Warriors assistant.The Lakers offered three years (the Suns gave Williams five), which Lue took as an insult.“Ty Lue really, really wanted to be the Lakers coach,” ESPN’s clued-in Adrian Wojnarowski said.“That was his dream job. He never imagined telling them no.”Or maybe it wasn’t so surprising with Jeanie worried about looking like James was in charge … reportedly insisting the Lakers must always be a “Buss-run” organization.Jeanie, well-liked and highly regarded as a marketing official, is now demonstrably out of her depth with final say over the basketball operations, looking as concerned about safeguarding her family’s stewardship of the team, which she takes as her birthright from her father.As if that’s a problem. The organization is chock full of Busses, who got their job the old-fashioned way – from Dad.Nevertheless, the succession has been everything Jerry Buss hoped to avoid by giving his children important jobs … starting with the feud between Jeanie and her brother, Jim, anointed as head of basketball operations … although he had no interest in the day-to-day, either.Fortunately, GM Mitch Kupchak did all that stuff, rebuilding the team after the trade of Shaquille O’Neal to the incarnation that made three straight NBA Finals and won titles in 2009 and 2010.Related Articles Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThat just left the wacky part, but even for the Lakers, the pace has picked up.It was only a year ago they signed LeBron James, seemingly starting a comeback after five grisly seasons out of the playoffs.Instead, they missed the playoffs again … kicking off an even grislier series of events.How did the Lakers go from signing LeBron to where they are now?Horrific step by horrific step.center_img Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs last_img read more