No team in the NBA has lost more games over the past six seasons than the Lakers, but whatever infects basketball operations has graciously spared game operations, which are still the league's best.,The team plays in the most appealing market in the league; their local broadcast deal pays them in excess of $150 million per season; they employ LeBron James; and they have picked second overall in three of the past four drafts.,Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAYRather than assign blame to unfavorable news reports that embarrassed her franchise, Buss could have taken a page from Robert Sarver, the owner of a Suns team with the fifth-most losses over these six seasons.,At some point, the Lakers must recognize that running an NBA team is far more than an exercise in brand management and talent recruitment.,A front office is a managerial project like any other business -- NBA teams make widgets, only they're wins (or, more commonly for the Lakers, losses).

And at this stage in James' career, with three championships, eight consecutive NBA Finals appearances to his name and an equally burgeoning business and political profile off the court, James is a transcendent star.,Johnson said the Lakers didn't want to make the team like the Cleveland Cavaliers all over again for James.,James was just starting to find his footing with this new cast in Los Angeles.,Since his return from injury, the Lakers have a defensive rating of 109.6 when James is on the floor in four wins; the Lakers have a defensive rating of 113.1 when James is on the floor in the eight losses.,Most of the roster wasn't going to be back next year anyway, given the team's insistence on signing players to only one-year contracts to preserve salary-cap space for a second star this summer.

YOUNGSTOWN — Senior guard Melinda Trimmer scored in double figures for a seventh straight game in leading Youngstown State past Milwaukee, 64-58, in a Horizon League quarterfinal Wednesday night in front of 1,382 fans at the Beeghly Center.,LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James moved past Michael Jordan into fourth place on the NBA’s career scoring list Wednesday night.,James, who entered the NBA at 18 years old compared to 21 for Jordan, began the night averaging 27.1 points per game in 1,189 games over 16 seasons with Cleveland, Miami and the Lakers.,Just eight days ago, James moved into 10th place on the assists list, becoming the first player in league history to make the top 10 in points and assists.,James began the night averaging 27.0 points, 8.7 rebounds and 8.0 assists while hitting 51 percent of his shots and playing 35.7 minutes per game for the Lakers.

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Tampering or not, Bryce Harper didn't back away from his comments about recruiting Mike Trout to the Philadelphia Phillies.,Harper, who signed a 13-year, $330 million deal last week, caused a stir Tuesday when he told a local Philadelphia radio show he would campaign for the two-time American League MVP if the Los Angeles Angels outfielder became a free agent after the 2020 season.,"If you don’t think I’m not gonna call Mike Trout in 2020 to have him come to Philly, you’re crazy,” said Harper.,Bryce Harper signed a $330 million deal with the Phillies last week.,When approached by media members Wednesday, Trout didn't have much to say about Harper's comment. read more

What was the betting line on Mike North emerging from his sports-radio retirement for a regular Chicago broadcasting gig?,North left The Score in 2008 but continued in other media ventures across several platforms, including the scandalized internet radio outlet Webio and a morning news and talk show for CBS-2.,One of North’s ongoing activities has been handicapping sports.,“I started handicapping at age 14 and lost for 40 years but haven’t had a losing year in the last five,” North said in ESPN 1000’s announcement.,Phil Rosenthal: Controversial radio host Mike North says he's done with sports »

Webio founder sentenced to more than 16 years » read more

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, with all due respect to local football fans following the Rams' Super Bowl defeat, thinks his team has some similarities to the NFL champion New England Patriots.,"I think early on they were facing a ton of adversity," Pelinka said on a conference call with reporters Friday to discuss his team's NBA trade deadline deals.,The Clippers' deal opened a roster spot, and Pelinka said the team is evaluating "a handful" of players to fill it -- either now or closer to the March 1 deadline to add a player and have him be playoff eligible.,Continuing the Patriots' parallel, Pelinka compared Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman to the players the Lakers added, noting how New England found its rhythm after the slot receiver returned from a four-game suspension, much the same way he hopes the Lakers find their stride now.,Pelinka confirmed a Los Angeles Times report that detailed Johnson's plan to meet the team in Philadelphia -- Pelinka said Johnson is attending a reunion celebrating Michigan State's 1979 NCAA championship as he makes his way west to east.

Over the last few years fans of baseball literature have been given various perspectives of the shift in baseball analytics, from Brian Kenny’s book, Ahead of the Curve, to Keith Law’s, Smart Baseball.,Carleton, a veteran baseball writer whose work has appeared in Baseball Prospectus for over eight years, penned a new book called The Shift: The Next Evolution in Baseball Thinking.,Carleton offers insightful analysis into making better baseball decisions, but with the human element nature attached.,This is a book where I think if you dig deeper into the numbers you’ll find that baseball has a lot of places where very, very human things happen.,The thing about expected value is that it describes a lot of the decisions people have to make in baseball.

IN LATE OCTOBER, owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam summoned all Cleveland Browns employees to the auditorium at team headquarters for a familiar meeting.,TWO MONTHS LATER, Jimmy Haslam is in another familiar meeting -- in the locker room with Browns players after a loss, this time to the Ravens in the regular-season finale.,He made a fortune expanding the Haslam family business of Pilot Flying J truck stops and saw it come to a halt in an FBI raid in 2013, which left him looking for redemption as the owner of the famously hard-luck and comically inept Browns.,For the past six years, as Haslam's former life dissolved, he tightly gripped every aspect of the Cleveland organization, often creating as much chaos as he inherited, according to more than two dozen interviews with current and former Browns executives, coaches, lawyers, scouts and staffers, as well as league executives and other team owners and executives, most of whom requested confidentiality.,Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said the firing of coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley does not mean the team is giving up on this season.

IN LATE OCTOBER, owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam summoned all Cleveland Browns employees to the auditorium at team headquarters for a familiar meeting.,TWO MONTHS LATER, Jimmy Haslam is in another familiar meeting -- in the locker room with Browns players after a loss, this time to the Ravens in the regular-season finale.,He made a fortune expanding the Haslam family business of Pilot Flying J truck stops and saw it come to a halt in an FBI raid in 2013, which left him looking for redemption as the owner of the famously hard-luck and comically inept Browns.,For the past six years, as Haslam's former life dissolved, he tightly gripped every aspect of the Cleveland organization, often creating as much chaos as he inherited, according to more than two dozen interviews with current and former Browns executives, coaches, lawyers, scouts and staffers, as well as league executives and other team owners and executives, most of whom requested confidentiality.,Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said the firing of coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley does not mean the team is giving up on this season.

Construction of a huge condominium, hotel and retail complex in downtown Los Angeles has paused.,The Los Angeles Times reports that Beijing-based builder Oceanwide Holdings issued a statement Thursday saying the stall is due to recapitalization of the project and work is expected to resume in mid-February.,The Times reports that Chinese companies have been among the biggest commercial real estate investors in the Los Angeles area in the post-recession boom.,The general manager of the city Department of Building and Safety, Frank Bush, said his agency received a call on Friday from Lendlease, the general contractor on the project, saying it was canceling an inspection that had been scheduled for that day.,"They said they were stopping work on the project at this time, and had no further explanation," Bush said, adding that the shutdown has nothing to do with any inspections or permitting issues involving his agency.