The Morning Column: September 29, 2021
LeBron James is many things but he is not a doctor. After initially being skeptical of the vaccine, he talked to doctors and announced he was vaccinated. Is that not enough of an endorsement?
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1. 🏀 LeBron James on COVID-19 vaccine: “I decided to do it.”
LeBron James is many things. He is not, however, a doctor. After initially being skeptical of the COVID-19 vaccine, he talked to doctors and announced to the world on Tuesday he was vaccinated.
“I can speak about myself,” James said about being vaccinated. “I think everyone has their own choice to do what they feel is right for themselves and their families. I know that I was very skeptical about it all but after doing my research and things of that nature, I felt like it was best suited for not only me but for my family and my friends and that’s why I decided to do it.”
James could have refused to answer the question or worse, refused the vaccine, but he got vaccinated and said he did so for his friends and family. By the time the Lakers take the court on Oct. 19 for their first regular season game of the season against the Golden State Warriors, every player on the team James is the captain of will be fully vaccinated as well.
“I think at the end of the day, you’re always trying to figure out ways that you can always be available and protect one another and put yourself in the best possible chance where you are available to your teammates, available to what we need to do on the floor,” James said. “The ultimate goal is to, obviously, win a championship, and it starts with being, obviously, health is the No. 1 thing. Just holding each other accountable. We’re excited to know that we’ve given ourselves another opportunity to be available to each other, and that’s what it came down to.”
James stopped short of openly advocating for everyone to get vaccinated, which led to some criticism after James has championed other causes and been outspoken on other issues. But why are we forcing James to do something he’s not comfortable doing and telling him to give advice on an issue he doesn’t believe he’s qualified to speak on? While the Lakers may be fully vaccinated by opening night – multiple players are between their first and second doses – it’s clear some are get the shot strictly for professional reasons and would rather not address it publicly.
“I’m not going to talk about the vaccine,” Dwight Howard said. “I have a lot of opinions on it but not on camera. I’m going to keep that private.”
Is it not enough for James to sit in front of the world and say that he has been vaccinated and did so because it’s in the best interest of his friends and family? I don’t know anyone who is basing their decision to get vaccinated or not on James’ endorsement but for those that are, James said he has been vaccinated. He is leading with his actions and his words even if it’s not enough action or words for some people.
“I know what I did for me and my family,” James said. “I know what some of my friends did for their families. But as far as speaking for everybody and their individualities and things they want to do, I don’t feel like that’s not my job.”
2. ⚾️ Jaime Jarrin to retire after 2022 season
Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Jaime Jarrín announced Tuesday that the 2022 season will be the final one of his hall of fame career. Jarrin, who will retire after 64 seasons with the Dodgers, said he will only call home games next season.
“It has been a great ride,” said Jarrin, who will turn 86 in December. “I just wanted to thank the Dodgers for giving me the opportunity to do what I love the most, do baseball… I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to reach the homes of those Latino people and give them baseball. When I am doing a baseball game. I believe that I am not only doing a baseball game but I am giving them some type of entertainment for the people that work all day long. They come home very tired and what a better thing for me to give them some entertainment in the form of baseball. So that's really something that pleases me a lot.”
Jarrin had planned to retire after this season but the Dodgers convinced Jarrin to comeback for one more year so they could properly honor him with a farewell season. On Tuesday, Jarrin was congratulated by several colleagues before and members of the Dodgers organization.
“It’s impossible to put into words what Jaime has meant to the Dodger organization,” Dodgers President and CEO Stan Kasten said in a statement. “Jaime was integral in introducing the Dodgers to Los Angeles and in giving a voice to the franchise’s Latino stars.”
3. 🎶 Song of the Day 🎶
4. 📸 Photo of the Day
5. 💵 Odds and Ends Powered by Bovada
Here are some odds on Bovada if you’re thinking about placing a wager today.
6. 📆 Sept. 29, 1992: Magic Johnson returns to the NBA (briefly)
On this day 29 years ago, Magic Johnson returned to the NBA and the Lakers after retiring nearly one year earlier after testing positive for HIV. Following his initial retirement, Johnson started in the 1992 NBA All-Star Game, led the West to a 153-113 blowout win over the East and won MVP after recording 25 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds. He then helped lead the United States “Dream Team” to a gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics. With the country becoming more educated on HIV and AIDS and Johnson just turning 33, he decided to return. His comeback was short-lived. He retired again on Nov. 3, 1992, just before the start of the 1992-93 season, after playing in five preseason games when several players, including his “Dream Team” teammate Karl Malone, pushed back against the idea of playing against an HIV-positive player.
7. 🎂 Happy Birthday Ken Norton Jr.
Happy birthday to Ken Norton Jr. The former UCLA linebacker and USC coach is turning 55 years old today. Norton was a standout at Westchester High School and at UCLA before being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys and winning back-to-back Super Bowl as their starting middle linebacker. His most memorable moment was a goal line tackle in Super Bowl XXVII against the Buffalo Bills at the Rose Bowl. He went on to win a third consecutive Super Bowl with the San Francisco 49ers. He was an assistant coach under Pete Carroll at USC from 2004 to 2009 before following Carroll to the Seattle Seahawks in 2010. He is now the defensive coordinator of the Seahawks.
8. 🎟 Ticket Time Powered by StubHub
Here are the “get in” prices for tickets if you’re thinking about going to a game today:
9. On The Air
⚾️ 5 p.m. – Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers – Bally Sports West
⚽️ 6:30 p.m. – LA Galaxy at Real Salt Lake – Spectrum SportsNet
⚾️ 7 p.m. – San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers – SportsNet LA
⚽️ 7:30 p.m. – Portland Timbers at LAFC – Bally Sports SoCal
10. 📻 The Arash Markazi Show
On Tuesday’s show we talked about the opening of Clippers training camp in San Diego and heard from Steve Ballmer, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Reggie Jackson.
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That’s it for today. Talk to you tomorrow!