Culver City Observer -

Get Ready: Lakers And Clippers Are Underway


October 3, 2013

By Mitch Chortkoff

Sports Editor

I went to Media Day at the Lakers’ training facility Saturday and the Clippers’ facility Monday.

Get ready. Practice has begun and we’ll have NBA basketball until April followed by the playoffs that go into June.

The Lakers will play an exhibition game at Staples Center Sunday at 6 pm against the Denver Nuggets.

Annually this is the best time for me because nobody has lost a game yet and they all think they’re going to do well.

But we know some teams won’t do well.

Forecasters are united that the Lakers will struggle and it wouldn’t be shocking if they don’t qualify for the playoffs.

Jeannie Buss sent an optimistic letter to season ticket holders but many experts believe the Lakers are biding time until the 2014 season when they hope to sign well known free agents.

They’ve signed several small, fast players who’ll fit into Coach Mike D’Antoni’s up-tempo offense. But most of these players have been cut by other teams.

By contrast, the Clippers are aiming for a deep run in the playoffs. They’ve signed Coach Doc Rivers, who has an NBA championship on his resume. He won with the Boston Celtics. This season he has left the Celtics, who are in a rebuilding mode, and has high hopes for the Clippers.

“The Clippers have a chance to win a championship,” said forward Matt Barnes.

“We’ve made strides as an organization but we’ve never won a championship,” said Blake Griffin.

The Clippers’ player acquisitions are expected to play major roles.

For example, they’ve added former UCLA point guard Darren Collison to back up Chris Paul. This will give the Clippers entire games of being able to put pressure on opposing defenses.

At The Observer, we’re ready for the season and a lot more. We’re proud of our product, recently enhanced with several additions.

We’ll again have considerable coverage of the Lakers and Clippers. Pro basketball has been my specialty as I traveled with Laker teams for 22 years before settling in as editor here.

We brought in columnist Bosmat Eynav last season and she contributed her expertise along with discussing related topics, like why do some fans get upset because Dwight Howard smiles so often.

Steven Lieberman, an Observer veteran, rounds out our coverage with his accurate game stories. He’s also our expert on hockey.

We know that local coverage is the backbone of a community newspaper. And Fred Altieri, in his first year here, has distinguished himself with his reports on Culver City High sports.

Look for Lynne Bronstein’s detailed coverage of the Culver City Council and prepare to get information here that will help you sort out the seven candidates seeking a seat on the School Board in November.

I thank publisher Stephen Hadland for providing the newspaper space that allows us to properly inform you about happenings in the city and a variety of sports.

The recent staff additions include Sheila Fields, who has a vast background in advertising sales. She joins Mike Penning and Fred Arak, who may be calling on you soon.

Watch for her restaurant reviews too.

And 30-year Observer employee Helen Tanaka will set up your DBA from our Culver City office.

Well, that’s the newspaper. Another exciting development is a major upgrade of our website,

Take a look. It’s been modernized, complete with photographs and an archive of all past stories.

It was launched a week ago and we’ve already received a lot of compliments.


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