Hi, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Before we get to LeBron’s rant, let’s take a look back at some of the best, favorite, and most popular stories my Times sports colleagues did in 2022.
From ‘Banana Ball’ to Minnesota ‘Nobody’: Times Sports’ Favorite Stories of 2022
The 22 most-read Los Angeles Times sports columns of 2022
The 50 most-read Los Angeles Times sports stories of 2022
Go beyond the marker
Get the latest from LA teams in the daily Sports Report newsletter.
From time to time, you may receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.
By Dan Woike: LeBron James sat alone at the end of the Lakers’ bench during a timeout Wednesday night in Miami, the retired jerseys of his former championship teammates Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade hanging above him.
Two days away from turning 38, James has a lot on his mind.
“I have multiple thoughts. I think about the day-to-day of how we improve throughout the season. But how we improve from game to game,” he said. “I think how much longer I will play the game. I don’t think I want to end my career playing at this level from a team point of view. I will still be able to compete for championships because I know what I can still bring to any ball club with the right pieces.”
While James’ thirst for individual greatness has never been so well-disguised – “Chosen 1” – it’s come in the context of competition, his teams always there whenever he’s been on the court.
But on Wednesday, after he scored 27 more meaningless points for a team that is now seven games under .500 after a 112-98 loss to the Heat, James reflected on the someday end of the his career and the circumstances he does not want to be. a part of.
“I am a winner and I want to win. And I want to win and give myself a chance to win and still compete for championships,” James said straight up. “That’s always been my passion, that’s always been my goal since I came into the league as a 18 year old from Akron, Ohio. And I know it takes steps to get there, but once you get there and you know how to get there, playing basketball at this level just to play basketball is not in my DNA. It’s not in my DNA anymore. So we’ll see what happens and see how fresh my mind stays over the next two years.”
Continue reading here
Do you like this newsletter? Consider subscribing to the Los Angeles Times
Your support helps us deliver the news that matters most. Become a subscriber.
From Ben Bolch: Playing every game in the Chip Kelly era means Stephan Blaylock can tell you a few things about perseverance.
The veteran safety is coming off three losing seasons. Various rotation templates between teammates. Trash talking fans cut more than anything an opponent says. A bowl game was canceled just hours before kickoff, prompting a flood of tears.
Unlike many others who pitched amid frustration and disappointment, Blaylock held on, a UCLA fixture as stable as the bear statue in Bruin Plaza, as reliable as a pick-eight to boost the spirit
“One thing I wanted to do going into this program was change the culture,” Blaylock said, “and with change you have to go through tough times.”
On Friday, he will pull on his jersey for the last time as part of what could be a celebratory send-off.
It will be a school-record 56th game for Blaylock and offensive lineman Atonio Mafi when the No. 18 Bruins (9-3) face Pittsburgh (8-4) in the Sun Bowl, a bye for two qualified players only to give an oral talk. story of the last five seasons.
It can also be the start of something special.
Although UCLA fell short of its goal this season, extending its Rose Bowl drought to nearly a quarter-century, Blaylock said he believes the Bruins have put themselves on the cusp of glory. A win over the Panthers would give UCLA a school-record 10th win, while providing a possible prelude to greater success in 2023.
“That would just motivate them to believe that, OK, we can’t go below that, the only thing we can do is get over 10 wins, over 10,” Blaylock said of his successors, “what if you can get 10.” -Also, I mean you’re in a great spot for the Pac-12 championships and a lot of bigger games than that.”
Continue reading here
From Jeff Miller: Without Sean McVay, Brandon Staley may never have had the opportunity to do what he will do Sunday: practice against Sean McVay.
Staley was hired by the Chargers in January 2021 after helping the Rams’ defense finish No. 1 in the NFL.
After just one impressive season on McVay’s staff, Staley was handed his first head coaching job.
“It was an incredible year for both of us,” Staley said Wednesday. “I know we have achieved a lot together. I certainly wouldn’t be here without him. There’s a lifelong friend there.”
The two friends will meet as head coaches for the first time in the regular season Sunday at SoFi Stadium.
Continue reading here
From Gary Klein: Rams coach Sean McVay isn’t surprised. Neither cornerback Troy Hill nor safety Jordan Fuller.
When Brandon Staley coordinated the Rams’ defense in 2020, the unit ranked statistically as the best in the NFL. Now in his second season as head coach, Staley has the Chargers headed for the playoffs.
“The first time I met him, you could tell he was a great football mind,” Hill said Wednesday. “He was dedicated to the ball.
“He always said, ‘I never get tired of talking about football.’ You could tell he cared a lot, and it was his passion.”
The Rams will face Staley for the first time in a regular season game Sunday at SoFi Stadium.
Continue reading here
Adam Henrique scored twice, John Gibson made 49 saves in his return from missing five games with a lower-body injury and the Ducks defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 in a shootout of penalties
Trevor Zegras had two assists to surpass 100 career points, Troy Terry also had two assists. Each scored for Anaheim in the shootout. Vegas’ Adin Hill was substituted in the first period after allowing two goals on five shots, and Logan Thompson made 22 saves in relief.
The Golden Knights lost both of their back-to-back games against the Kings and Ducks.
The arbitrator shortening Trevor Bauer’s suspension and making him eligible to play this season has polarized Dodger fans. Some want him released immediately, some want the Dodgers to play him. what do you think
Click here to vote in our poll and let us know. The results will be announced in Friday’s newsletter.
THIS DATE IN SPORTS
1926 – Merlyn Phillips of the Montreal Maroons scores five seconds into the game at Chicago for an NHL record for the fastest goal since the start of a game. The Black Hawks win the game in overtime, 5-4. It would combine three times.
1934: The first college basketball game is played at Madison Square Garden in New York. NYU beats Notre Dame 25-18 and Westminster defeats St. John’s 37-33.
1957 – Tobin Rote passes for four touchdowns and scores another to lead the Detroit Lions to a 59-14 victory over the Cleveland Browns in the NFL Championship Game.
1961 – Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors scores 60 points against the Los Angeles Lakers in Hershey, Pa., the future site of his 100-point game.
1963 – Chuck McKinley and Dennis Ralston lead the United States to a 3-2 win over Australia for the Davis Cup title.
1968 – The Baltimore Colts shut out the Browns 34-0 to win the NFL Championship at Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium.
1968 – The New York Jets beat the Oakland Raiders 27-23 in the AFL Championship Game.
1979 – Safety Vernon Perry sets an NFL playoff record with four interceptions to lead the Houston Oilers to a 17-14 victory over the San Diego Chargers.
1982 – Alabama’s Jeremiah Castille intercepts three passes to help beat Illinois 21-15 in the Liberty Bowl and send coach Paul “Bear” Bryant the winner. Bryant finishes his coaching career with a record of 323-85-17.
1984 – Wayne Gretzky of the Edmonton Oilers scores his 100th point in the 35th game of the season, a 6-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings.
2006 – Texas Tech catches Minnesota with a 31-point lead in the third quarter, then rallies for a stunning 44-41 overtime victory in the Insight Bowl, the biggest comeback in Division I bowl history i.a. The previous bowl comeback record was 30 points, set by Marshall against East Carolina in the 2001 GMAC Bowl.
2007 – The New England Patriots complete a perfect regular season, finishing with a remarkable 16-0 record after a thrilling 38-35 comeback victory over the New York Giants. New England is the first NFL team since the 1972 Dolphins to win every game on the schedule, and this one was just 14-0.
2011 – Baylor pulls off an incredible Alamo Bowl victory in the highest-scoring regular season bowl game in history, beating Washington 67-56 in the wildest shootout of this bowl season. Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III isn’t dazzling, but Terrance Ganaway is rushing for 200 yards and five touchdowns. The previous bowl record for a regulation game was 102 total points set in the 2001 GMAC Bowl between Marshall and East Carolina. That game went into double overtime and ended with a total of 125 points, which still stands as the overall bowl record.
2012: Second-ranked Connecticut plays with spoilers and streaks this time, beating No. 1 Stanford, a nationally-leading 82-game unbeaten home team, in a surprisingly easy 61-35 loss. It’s the Huskies who saw their NCAA record 90-game winning streak end at Maples Pavilion with a 71-59 loss two years ago, almost to the day on Dec. 30. Stanford loses at Maples Pavilion for the first time since March 2007. .
2013 – Peyton Manning is 25-for-28 for 266 yards and four touchdowns before sitting out the second half of Denver’s 34-14 win over Oakland. Finishes season with NFL records 5,477 yards and 55 touchdown passes.
2014 — Teenager Mikaela Shiffrin becomes the most successful American skier in the slalom in Kuehtai, Austria. The 19-year-old takes her 10th career slalom win, surpassing the records set in the 1980s by Tamara McKinney and, on the men’s side, Phil Mahre, who both claimed nine wins in the event most technically demanding of the ski races.
2016 – Olympic slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin uses a spectacular final run to win a night race for her third World Cup triumph in three days. Shiffrin was 0.33 seconds off the lead in the final split before accelerating to win the race by 0.64 ahead of Slovakia’s Veronika Velez Zuzulova. After winning two giant slaloms in the previous days, Shiffrin continued her dominance in the slalom with her 23rd career victory in the event.
2020 – Milwaukee Bucks break the NBA record for most three-pointers made by a team in a single game with 29 in a dominating 144-97 win over the Heat in Miami
Compiled by the Associated Press
The Milwaukee Bucks make 29 3-pointers, with 12 different players making at least one. Watch and listen here.
Until next time…
This concludes today’s newsletter. If you have comments, ideas for improvement, or things you’d like to see, please email me at email@example.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, click here.