The Morning Column: September 30, 2021
The news of Assane Drame's passing hit the Clippers hard. Some fans only met him once but remember his smile and generosity. He was living his dream and wanted to share his experience with everyone.
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1. Clippers employee killed in traffic accident
Assane Drame was living his dream. He was 26 years old and working for an NBA team.
He had moved to Los Angeles two years ago after graduating from Rowan University in New Jersey to work with the Clippers’ digital content group. His video vignettes and infectious personality quickly made him a beloved figure within the organization.
Here’s a vignette he made recapping the first Clippers game with fans at Staples Center last season.
Drame had just worked Clippers media day ahead of this week’s training camp and was driving home for the team’s downtown offices when he was involved in a traffic accident that took his life late Monday night. His sister, Fatou Drame, announced his passing Wednesday after friends and family searched for his whereabouts for two days.
Tributes to Drame came pouring in from friends, family and Clippers fans on social media. Many talked about his positive energy, recalled conversations with him about his love for pro wrestling and his generosity. Some fans wrote about meeting Drame just once when he gave them tickets to a Clippers game and how they never forgot that moment or his smile. He was living his dream and wanted to share his experience with as many people as possible.
His sudden passing hit many in the NBA hard, even those that are not currently on the Clippers, as Clippers guard Terance Mann, former Lakers guard Alex Caruso and former Clippers guard Jamal Crawford paid tribute to Drame.
For those that never had the pleasure of getting to know or talking to Drame, here is his on-air reel from his time with the Rowan Television Network at Rowan University where he finished his newscasts by saying, “As always, stay golden.”
2. Dodgers complete dramatic comeback
Los Angeles sports fans are notorious for arriving late and leaving early. I get it. I never saw the start or the end of a Dodgers game when I was younger. My dad would hopelessly search for the best parking spot as I listened to the first inning on the radio and ran for the exits as I sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch. I’ve always said one of the best parts of Kirk Gibson’s dramatic walk-off home run in the 1988 World Series is the brake lights that can be seen in the distance as the poor driver listens to the historic moment they just missed.
I couldn’t help but think of the younger me being at Dodger Stadium last night as the Dodgers trailed the Padres, 9-5, during the seventh inning stretch. Most of the fans in attendance left and missed the Dodgers’ dramatic comeback win, 11-9, after five home runs and four during a five-run eighth inning. As great as the win was, the Dodgers remain two games back of the San Francisco Giants for the NL West lead and the best record in baseball with four games left in the season.
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. 30, 1984: Mike Witt pitches a perfect game
On this day 37 years ago, Angels pitcher Mike threw a perfect game against the Texas Rangers. It was just the 11th perfect game in MLB history. The historic performance actually took place on the last day of the season in front of less than 9,000 fans as both the Angels and Rangers had been eliminated from the postseason race.
7. Happy Birthday Eric Piatkowski
Happy birthday to Eric Piatkowski. “The Polish Rifle” is turning 52 years old today. Piatkowski spent the first nine years of his NBA career with the Los Angeles Clippers before retiring with the Phoenix Suns in 2008. “Pike” was one of the most beloved Clippers and actually tried to put a group together to buy the Clippers in 2014 when former owner Donald Sterling was banned for life by the NBA but no one was competing with Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion offer.
8. Ticket Time Powered by StubHub
Here are the “get in” prices for tickets if you’re thinking about going to a game today:
San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers - $81
9. On The Air
11 a.m. – Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers – Bally Sports West
7 p.m. – San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies – SportsNet LA
10. The Arash Markazi Show
On Wednesday’s show we talked about Lakers media day, the Lakers being 100% vaccinated and the opening of training camp and heard from LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook and Frank Vogel.
Listen to The Arash Markazi Show on The Mightier 1090 Monday-Friday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., following The Rich Eisen Show. The Mightier 1090 has the second strongest radio signal in North America and can be heard from “Baja to the Canadian Rockies.” You can also listen to the show on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Stitcher.
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That’s it for today. Talk to you tomorrow!