Articles written by Mitch Chortkoff


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  • Chortkoff on Kobe

    Mitch Chortkoff, Observer Editor|Feb 13, 2020

    Observer Editor Mitch Chortkoff covered the Lakers for over 6 decades. He was called "Dean of the Laker Writers" by many of his colleagues. Mitch passed away in July of 2018, but he had written a lot about Kobe Bryant. He we are rerunning his column from the December 3, 2017 edition of the Culver City Observer as Kobe was about to retire. "Remember kid. There's heroes and there's legends. Heroes get remembered, but legends never die." Art Lefleur as Babe Ruth in the movie "The Sandlot" It was...

  • Mitch Chortkoff

    Mitch Chortkoff|Jul 12, 2018

    Is recuperating His Column will resume when he returns...

  • Kevin Love's Panic Attacks Are Real

    Mitch Chortkoff, Sports Editor|Mar 8, 2018

    After covering the NBA for almost 50 years I learned something today that had never crossed my mind. It is possible for these superior athletes to suffer like anyone else. Yes, they can experience panic attacks while playing a game that is admired by millions of fans. Kevin Love, the former UCLA star, has told us he has suffered panic attacks and tells anyone who has done that should take it seriously. He says he’s now paying attention to his mental health. Love isn’t playing right now bec...

  • Where Will LeBron Play Next Season?

    Mitch Chortkoff, Sports Editor|Mar 1, 2018

    A lot of interesting basketball will be played in the NBA this season. We don’t know who the champion will be. If you like the sport you have months of entertainment coming up. But another subject has become very important. With LeBron James breaking records a lot of attention has begun to go his way with fans wondering where he’s going to play next season. You see, LeBron crushed some long-standing records last weekend and he’s reached that super duper place of all-time great. Lebron belongs to...

  • Despite Controversy It Was A Pretty Good Game

    Mitch Chortkoff, Sports Editor|Feb 22, 2018

    There was a lot of doubt about this all-star game played Sunday night at Staples Center. I was among the journalists who weren’t thrilled with the drastic change of choosing teams, letting LeBron James and Steff Curry make picks and ignoring the tradition of East playing West. But I must admit the teams played an interesting game that resulted in LeBron’s team winning 148-145. I’m happy to report that there was more defense than we normally see in an all-star game. OK let’s not carried away bu...

  • Where Are The Lakers And Clippers Going?

    Mitch Chortkoff, Sports Editor|Feb 15, 2018

    Magic Johnson isn’t the kind of guy who’ll watch opportunities come around and sit idly. We all know from his playing days that competitive spirit is one of his greatest qualities. Now that he’s in charge of making the Lakers’ roster better he had a chance this week to do something bold and create $70 million in salary cap space within NBA limits, in an attempt to sign two elite free agents, even one this year and the other next year. If you’re a Laker fan you’re applauding. You’re happ...

  • Kershaw To Start Eighth Dodger Opener

    Mitch Chortkoff, Sports Editor|Feb 15, 2018

    Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has announced that Clayton Kershaw will be the team's opening day pitcher on March 29 when the Dodgers open their season against the Giants at Dodger Stadium. Kershaw, who is turning 30, is tied with Don Sutton and Don Drysdale with seven opening day starts....

  • The Lakers Next Season: Perhaps Better: Perhaps Worse

    Mitch Chortkoff, Sports Editor|Feb 15, 2018

    Magic Johnson isn’t the kind of guy who’ll watch opportunities come around and sit idly. We all know from his playing days that competitive spirit is one of his greatest qualities. Now that he’s in charge of making the Lakers’ roster better he had a chance this week to do something bold and create $70 million in salary cap space within NBA limits, in an attempt to sign two elite free agents, even one this year and the other next year. If you’re a Laker fan you’re applauding. You’re happ...

  • Clippers' Bold Move May Really Work

    Mitch Chortkoff, Sports Editor|Feb 2, 2018

    I expected the fan reaction after the Clippers traded Blake Griffin the other day. The people weren’t happy. They didn’t want to lose a popular player and big-time scorer. But after being around the NBA for nearly 50 years I’ve learned a lot about surprising trades. Factoring in everything I often realize that management had a good plan. This could really work. And let me tell you why. Griffin has missed 99 games in the last four years with injuries, as players get older and injuries occur...

  • Where Will DeMarcus Cousins Play?

    Mitch Chortkoff, Sports Editor|Jan 25, 2018

    Let’s get something straight. This is me thinking. It’s not inside information from anyone associated with the Lakers. But I see that DeMarcus Cousins, the guy nicknamed Boogie, is having an outstanding season with the New Orleans Pelicans and will be eligible to become a free agent after the season. He’s 6-11 and very talented. He’s played his NBA career mostly for the Sacramento Kings and lately with a New Orleans team that also has Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday, all making more than $20 mil...

  • The Very Unlikely Story Of NBA's Lou Williams

    Mitch Chortkoff, Sports Editor|Jan 18, 2018

    I watch a lot of games. I see players come and go but now we have one here who deserves a lot of credit – deserves to be appreciated and not traded again and again. “ His name is Lou Williams and he plays for the Los Angeles Clippers. At least I think he does but I haven’t checked yet this morning. So it’s possible he’s been traded just like he has been more times than a player of his caliber should be. Williams’ story interests me a lot because he’s played well for the Lakers and once scored 44...

  • USC and UCLA Were Disappointing: What About Next Season?

    Mitch Chortkoff, Sports Editor|Jan 11, 2018

    Alabama is the national champion. USC loses Sam Darnold and Ronald Jones to the NFL next season. UCLA loses Josh Rosen. It’s our first look at the 2018 college football season and my initial thought is that we usually have at least one of our teams in the national chase. But right now Washington is being considered the Pac-10’s best team. Darnold has NFL talent but his interception early in the Trojans’ Cotton Bowl loss to Ohio State put the Trojans in a hole and they didn’t emerge from it. I ca...

  • A ROSE BOWL CLASSIC AFTER ALL

    Mitch Chortkoff, Sports Editor|Jan 11, 2018

    I apologize. In the weeks leading up to the Rose Bowl game I had difficulty accepting the fact that our local teams would be sent away. What about the tradition that the Pac-12 champion would play in the Rose Bowl game, usually against the Big Ten champion. That's been good enough for a long, long time. Why make a change? When I learned the game would be between Oklahoma and Georgia I got a little madder. Who cares? What about USC and Ohio State? The Cotton Bowl in Texas. You've got to be...

  • My 20-Year Memories Of Kobe Bryant

    Mitch Chortkoff, Sports Editor|Dec 21, 2017

    (EDITOR’S NOTE: This column by sports editor Mitch Chortkoff appeared two years ago in the Observer and is being run again due to recent requests from readers) It was 1996 and I was in Honolulu covering the Lakers’ training camp. It was an especially important one because General Manager Jerry West had made a spectacular move which resulted in the acquisition of rookie guard Kobe Bryant and center Shaquille O’Neal. In the first few days of the camp I found O’Neal to be outgoing, easy to intervi...

  • Get Ready: Ohtani, From Japan to The Angels To Hit And Pitch

    Mitch Chortkoff, Sports Editor|Dec 14, 2017

    Shohei Ohtani is a 23-year-old baseball star who’s been called The Babe Ruth of Japan. He wants to pitch, perhaps rest a day and then play in the outfield the rest of the week. However, the Angels are likely to make him a Designated Hitter at the outset. Playing the outfield will come later according to general manager Billy Eppler. Angel fans better get used to the plan because an international competition ended last week when Ohtani said no to five other finalists and chose the Angels. The D...

  • UCLA Will Be Better Off Without Ball Controversy

    Mitch Chortkoff, Sports Editor|Dec 7, 2017

    Some experts who follow high school and college basketball closer than I often share their opinions so I can write with intelligence. Lately they’ve shared the news that the NBA doesn’t consider middle Ball brother LeAngelo a first round draft prospect. That’s important news since father Lavar has pulled LeAngelo out of UCLA, blaming them for not handling the case properly when LeAngelo and two teammates were caught stealing at three stores when the Bruin basketball team recently played in Ch...

  • Lakers, Clippers Face Toughest Stretch

    Mitch Chortkoff, Sports Editor|Nov 30, 2017

    Last season the Lakers got off to a surprising start, going 10-10 and some loyal fans dared to believe the team’s recent playoff drought might be over. Then reality set in as the Lakers went on their first long trip of the season and slipped out of playoff contention. It seems to be happening again. The Lakers are going on a long trip after playing games against powerhouse Golden State and Houston this week at Staples Center. And lets’ not forget their Monday loss to the struggling Cli...

  • Chip Kelly To Decide Between UCLA And Florida

    Mitch Chortkoff, Sports Editor|Nov 23, 2017

    The Chip Kelly drama has reached a new chapter. Last weekend UCLA fired head football coach Jim Mora and news spread that they want Kelly, the former Oregon coach, to replace him. That information was publicized in the latest edition of the Culver City Observer. Kelly, who has been fired by two NFL teams, the Philadelphia Eagles nd San Francisco 49ers, was about to sign with Florida. But once news spread of UCLA’s interest Kelly met with Florida but didn’t commit. Then on Tuesday of this wee...

  • It's Unanimous: Dodgers' Bellinger Is Rookie Of The Year

    Mitch Chortkoff, Sports Editor|Nov 16, 2017

    The Dodgers had 17 National League Rookies Of The Year in their history but the 18th one just did it so its real fresh in our minds. Cody Bellinger was a unanimous winner just like Yankees’ outfielder Aaron Judge who won the American League award. Bellinger started the season in the minor leagues and the Dodgers thought his swing needed refinement but he performed so well he won the praise of rivals and the news media the rest of the way. Bellinger hit 39 home runs, breaking Mike Piazza’s Dod...

  • Clippers Are Slumping: Should Their Fans Worry?

    Mitch Chortkoff, Sports Editor|Nov 9, 2017

    For the last five years the Clippers have won at least 50 games and made the playoffs. Now Chris Paul has left them and after winning their first four games they’ve lost four of five. Ordinarily I’d start this column by saying don’t worry. They still have Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan and they’ve added Patrick Beverly. But some major changes are being made throughout the NBA these days and I think Clipper fans should be concerned. The Clippers’ 120-107 loss at San Antonio Tuesday night ala...

  • Dodgers Were Good, Astros Were Better

    Mitch Chortkoff, Sports Editor|Nov 2, 2017

    Since most of us live here there was a lot of support for the Dodgers to win their first World Series since 1988. But it didn't work out that way when the Houston Astros became World Series champions for the first time in their 56-year history. Their 5-1 victory over the Dodgers Wednesday night left no doubt they were well prepared and quite anxious to prevail for themselves and the people of Houston who were so badly battered in this year's terrible flood. For now let's put aside our...

  • Dodgers Lose Craziest Game: Now What Happens?

    Mitch Chortkoff, Sports Editor|Nov 2, 2017

    Eight home runs. Both teams having a lead in extra innings. The Dodgers lose as their streak of going 98-0 when they lead after innings ends. Yes, they’re calling Wednesday night’s action at Dodger Stadium the greatest Game Two in World Series history. I haven’t seen them all through the years but I think the label fits. The Dodgers won Game One in only a little over two hours. Many fans left the ballpark believing the Dodgers looked good enough to end their World Series drought that spans...

  • Dodgers' Justin Turner Now Is Linked With Kirk Gibson

    Mitch Chortkoff, Sports Editor|Oct 26, 2017

    By Mitch Chortkoff Sports Editor Without question Kirk Gibson’s home run in 1948 remains the most famous one since the Dodgers moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. The Dodgers won that season’s World Series and no LA Dodger team has won one since. But a three-run homer in the ninth inning by Justin Turner Sunday night, giving the Dodgers a 4-1 victory over the defending champion Cubs is being linked with Gibson. Listen to what Justin Turner, the Dodgers’ new hero, has to say about it. “I listene...

  • What Should We Expect From The Lakers?

    Mitch Chortkoff, Sports Editor|Oct 12, 2017

    I went to Staples Center Tuesday night. It was just an exhibition game but I wanted to see how much improvement the Lakers have made since Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka took over the difficult task of bringing back to life a once great franchise. I thought a game against Utah, which has rebuilt to become a playoff team, would tell me a lot. And it did. The game was close, the Lakers had leads in the fourth quarter but they lost 105-99. The team with more stars often takes over a close game and t...

  • World Series? The Powerhouse Dodgers Must Get Past Diamondbacks First

    Mitch Chortkoff, Sports Editor|Oct 5, 2017

    The Dodgers are ready, the fans are ready and here’s something that hasn’t been seriously considered by many in recent months. The Arizona Diamondbacks seem ready to give the Dodgers a hard time in the opening moments of the race to the World Series. The Diamondbacks score a lot of runs, present some of baseball’s best sluggers and match the Dodgers in starting pitching. In the National League wild card game Wednesday night the Diamondbacks retired the Colorado Rockies in the first inning then...

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