Page 6 April 9, 2015 TORRANCE TRIBUNE No Hope in Sight By Adam Serrao What has become of the Los Angeles Lakers? It seems that not long ago, we were watching as Kobe threw alley-oops to Shaq and the purple and gold were bringing home trophy after trophy back to L.A. Those were yesteryears Lakers. Our Lakers today, “It seems that not long ago, we were watching as Kobe threw alley-oops to Shaq and the purple and gold were bringing home trophy after trophy back to L.A. Those were yesteryears Lakers.” however, are quite the opposite. In what is now the worst season in franchise history, team president and boss Jeanie Buss is working with no Kobe Bryant, almost no promising prospects in the organization, and a team that seemingly gets worse and worse as the years pass on by; a team that clearly just doesn’t know when to do the right thing. It may be a long, long time before we see the Los Angeles Lakers back on top of the Western Conference once again. When Dr. Jerry Buss came to his unfortunate passing from this world, a tiny piece of the Lakers went with him. Scratch that, a humungous piece of the Lakers went with him. Ever since his exit from this world, the Lakers have been a mockery at the hands of Jeanie Buss and her older brother, Jim. While Jeanie is the acting president and oversees business operations, Jim controls basketball operations. Some job he’s done of that over the past five years, huh? No matter who’s really at fault for the failure of the Lakers of late, it is clear that a Jim and a Jeanie are no Jerry. Dr. Jerry Buss was widely respected inside and out of basketball forums. Players wanted to come from far and wide to dawn a Lakers jersey and play for a man that was truly esteemed within the association. Now, Jim and Jeanie can’t even beg a free agent to come - let alone stay in Los Angeles - i.e. Dwight Howard. 10 NBA Championships. 16 NBA Finals appearances. They all pretty much mean nothing when your team is one of the worst in the league and is suffering through its worst season ever in the history of the franchise. The Lakers have now missed the playoffs in two consecutive seasons for the first time since the Busses took over ownership of the team. They are no long broadcast on national television, ratings are down, ticket prices have been slashed in hopes of attracting a crowd, and what has become an immensely criticized organization is even now without the face of their franchise as Kobe Bryant once again attempts to recover his 36-year-old (but much older in NBA years) body from injury to cling to what will certainly be the final year of his much prolonged pro-basketball career. So, how do the Lakers fix it? You don’t need a crystal ball or a magic “Jeanie” to figure out that answer. It’s right in front of you for everyone to see. That’s right, Jeanie Buss herself, as the shot caller in the organization, is the answer. When her father died, Dr. Buss gave Jeanie final say in all matters regarding the Lakers. She has the power. The power to make decisions, the power to veto decisions and the power to make moves for the organization. Her first order of operation should be to immediately get rid of Jim Buss. Yes, he is her brother, and you always have to be concerned about the bloodline, but Jim has steadily proven over his time at the head of the Lakers that he has absolutely no idea what he is doing. Just as his father was well-liked inside and out of the association, Jim is quite the opposite. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, in stark contrast to Jim Buss, seems to know exactly what he’s doing and exactly how to bring this team back from out of the doldrums that it is currently in. It was Mitch, after all, who traded up and found diamond in the rough Jordan Clarkson. Clarkson, taken in the second round of last year’s NBA draft, has thus far proven to be better than any other point guard that was chosen before him. In fact, the 6’5” point guard out of Missouri just recently became the first Los Angeles Lakers rookie to record a triple-double since one Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Johnson went on to record seven triple-doubles during the 1979-80 season. While Clarkson may certainly not be Magic, he, together with the hope that rookie Julius Randle will be effective once he returns from injury next season, is the only hope that Lakers fans have to cling to. While Clarkson is a bright spot, indeed, his impressive play of late has brought his team upon more wins than they need to be accountable for at this stage of an already lost season. The top-5 draft pick looms in the balance for the Lakers, who could certainly use more help in the draft to build the team with young talent from the ground up. With every win that Clarkson leads the Lakers to, the organization’s hopes of holding on to See No Hope, page 8 Up and Adam By Adam Serrao As the high school baseball season continues to progress in its early and young stages, the real contenders and the MVP players on those contenders continue to emerge from the rest of the pack. The West High Warriors are early favorites in the Pioneer League after coming over from a Bay League that offered stiff competition each and every week. With one tournament title under their belts already, head coach Juan Cueva and the rest of his Warriors are looking to continue on their winning ways and gain some momentum heading into the start of league play next week. West was looking for yet another tournament championship to add on to their “West was looking for yet another tournament championship to add on to their mantelpiece when they entered into the O.C.” mantelpiece when they entered into the O.C. Lions tournament that began two weeks ago when the Warriors defeated Culver City in a 7-0 shutout. Unfortunately for Cueva and company, it was his team which was at the mercy of a shutout in the very next game as West threw up a goose-egg against Aliso Niguel in a 5-0 loss. The loss eliminated the Warriors from any tournament championship eligibility, but the results from the tournament weren’t all bad. Not only did the Warriors go on to win their next three games (including a 16-1 rout of La Canada), but a familiar name came through for West and dominated last week’s game against Downey. Trevor Mallet was the hero of the day for the Warriors at Rio Hondo College in Anaheim last Wednesday afternoon as, in the second inning, he broke open what was an otherwise tight game throughout. Mallet belted a solo home run over the fence to give his team the early advantage that pitchers Taylor Myers and Zach Findlay both did well to hold on to. Myers pitched five and two-thirds innings of shutout ball while only giving up three hits and no walks. Findlay came on in relief and finished the game with a scoreless outing that finished Downey off for good. Mallett is emerging as the West’s (10-4) go-to player once again this year. The Senior first baseman and catcher went 3-for-3 on the day, including his home run, and missed batting for the cycle by only a triple. With only two games left between Mallett, the Warriors and the beginning of league play, everyone donning a West High uniform will look to stay hot and keep a tight hold of a Pioneer League that is sure to be as competitive as ever this season. South High The South High Spartans haven’t been as successful in tournament play as the West High Warriors have, so, as a result they have played a few less games this season. Even so, the Spartans have been able to put together a nice five game winning streak this season ending with a victory over on the road against El Segundo last Tuesday night at Stevenson Field. Like Trevor Mallett for the Warriors, Drake Pingel has become the go-to guy for the Spartans. Pingel took the mound against El Segundo and delivered a dominant performance. The Senior starting pitcher for South allowed just two runs in a complete game for the Spartans, helping his team to a 6-2 victory. It wasn’t until the bottom of the fifth inning that Pingel and South ran into trouble. That’s when the pitcher gave up both of his runs, but was able to recoup and deliver a scoreless sixth and seventh inning for the complete game win. South was able to score early in the game as Dylan Plunkett gave his pitcher an early lead and aside from one minor bump in the road, it was all smooth sailing from there. The Spartans (7-4) have the opportunity to go into league play hot. With the Righetti Tournament beginning this week, South can get on a roll and stay hot as they start the league year off against Torrance High next week. Currently, South sits in third place in the Pioneer League standings just behind See Up and Adam, page 8 AMERICA’S FAVORITE COLUMNIST Diamond Doctor Brenda Newman answers life’s big questions. Her passion for her work and her customers continues to change lives daily. Brenda has been a Practicing Diamond Physician since 1984. The Jewelry Source 337 Main St. El Segundo. 310-322-7110 www.jewelrysourceUSA.com ©2007 Dear Brenda, Is it true that you sell band substances? Please explain to me! Good news, my friend! It’s TRUE! We sell wedding bands, anniversary bands, diamond bands, gold bands, platinum bands, titanium bands, silver bands – all completely legal!
To see the actual publication please follow the link above