The Morning Column: December 3, 2021
The Lakers are 12-11 this season while the Clippers are 11-11. Los Angeles’ two NBA teams are a combined 23-22 so ESPN pulled their game off national TV.
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1. Tonight’s marquee match-up between the Lakers and Clippers at Staples Center lost much of its luster a while ago.
The Lakers are 12-11 this season while the Clippers are 11-11. Los Angeles’ two NBA teams are a combined 23-22 and look destined to be involved in the NBA Play-In Tournament.
To make matters worse, LeBron James was sidelined indefinitely after testing positive for COVID-19 in Sacramento on Tuesday. With James out, Kawhi Leonard already out and the Lakers and Clippers both hovering around .500 this season, ESPN made the rare call of pulling the Lakers-Clippers game off national television and replacing it with the Warriors-Suns match-up.
A few hours later, James was surprisingly cleared to play tonight after returning eight negative tests. ESPN will still air the re-match between the 19-3 Warriors and 19-3 Suns, which makes sense, but the Lakers will be back on ESPN soon and are still slated to play 42 nationally televised games. The league announced the Lakers at Minnesota game on Dec. 17 will now be televised by ESPN. That game will follow the Lakers-Mavericks game on Dec. 15, which will also be televised by ESPN.
2. The Oakland Athletics have made an offer on the 35-acre site on the Las Vegas Strip where the Tropicana currently sits, according to CNBC. A's president Dave Kaval has made at least six trips to Las Vegas looking at over 20 potential sites for a new $1 billion stadium.
Here’s an artist's rendering of what a retractable roof baseball stadium would look like on the Las Vegas Strip near the Tropicana site the A's have targeted. Nothing official has been released by the A's. Bally's Corp. bought the Tropicana for $308 million in April.
(Can you spot the fan below wearing the Nance Bea Hefley Dodgers No. 88 jersey?)
Las Vegas is also currently favored to add an expansion MLS team next year. Could Las Vegas support a team in the NFL, NHL, WNBA, MLB and MLS? Over 70% of people who took this poll think so.
3. Since Lincoln Riley was named USC's head coach on Monday, he has already flipped two of the biggest recruits in Southern California this week and is expected to add a third soon.
-5-star 2022 RB Raleek Brown (Mater Dei) decommits from Oklahoma and commits to USC.
- 5-star 2023 QB Malachi Nelson (Los Alamitos) decommits from Oklahoma and commits to USC.
- 5-star 2023 WR Makai Lemon (Los Alamitos) decommits from Oklahoma and is expected to commit to USC.
4. The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder, 152-79. Yes, that’s a real NBA score. The 73-point margin of victory is a new NBA record, topping the previous record of 68 points set on Dec. 17, 1991 when the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Miami Heat. At one point in the game, Memphis, playing without Ja Morant, took a 78-point lead.
Oklahoma City seemed destined to be one of the worst teams in NBA history coming into this season but for some reason has the Lakers’ numbers. The Thunder started the season 2-6. Their two wins were against the Lakers as they came back from 19 points and 26 points down in both victories. No NBA team over the past 25 years has ever blown more than two 19-point leads in a single season and the Lakers did it twice in the first nine games.
5. Remember that viral tweet laying out Lincoln Riley’s USC contract that major outlets cited as if it were true?
It wasn’t tweeted out by a verified sports reporter covering the story but by an Oklahoma Sooners fan and Oklahoma City-based energy investor who actually admitted in the above tweet that it was “not confirmed.” But, hey, it’s Twitter, so who cares about a minor detail like accuracy?
Most of the details of his tweet have been debunked and he now would like you to focus on what he actually does for a living. This tweet has just one retweet so far.
6. Remember when people said legalized sports wagering would hurt Las Vegas sportsbooks? Well, a record $1.1 billion was bet in October with Nevada sportsbooks. According to ESPN, “it’s the first time the state's sports betting market has handled over $1 billion in wagers in one month."
7. Here are some odds if you’re thinking about placing a wager today brought to you by Circa Sports.
8. Here’s the local pro sports schedule today brought to you by Yaamava’.
7:00 p.m. Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers – Bally Sports SoCal, Spectrum SportsNet
7:00 p.m. Calgary Flames at Anaheim Ducks – Bally Sports West
9. Here are the “get in” prices for tickets locally on TickPick if you’re thinking about going to a pro sports game today.
Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers – $90
Calgary Flames at Anaheim Ducks - $25
10. On Thursday’s The Arash Markazi Show, we talked about the Clippers losing three straight and six of eight games to fall to .500 on the season after a home loss to the 9-14 Sacramento Kings.
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That’s it for today. Talk to you on Friday.