CITY NEWS SERVICE/STAFF REPORT Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Subscribe Non-Profits News Pasadena Nonprofits Awarded More Than $300,000 in County Grants to Support Arts, Culture By BRIAN DAY Published on Tuesday, September 1, 2020 | 3:26 pm Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Name (required) Mail (required) (not be published) Website STAFF REPORT First Heatwave Expected Next Week Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Pulse PollVirtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyCitizen Service CenterPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Business News HerbeautyInstall These Measures To Keep Your Household Safe From Covid19HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty7 Most Startling Movie Moments We Didn’t Realize Were InsensitiveHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyThis Trend Looks Kind Of Cool!HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyShort On Time? 10-Minute Workouts Are Just What You NeedHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyDo You Feel Like Hollywood Celebrities All Look A Bit Similar?HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty6 Lies You Should Stop Telling Yourself Right NowHerbeautyHerbeauty EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Community News Top of the News Credit: Los Angeles County ArtsSixteen Pasadena nonprofits have been awarded a total of $300,100 in grant funds from the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, officials announced this month.The money is Pasadena’s portion of $4.8 million in grant funds first announced by the agency on Aug. 12.The funds heading to Pasadena come by way of the county’s Organizational Grant Program and Community Impact Arts Grants.“Both grants support several cultural services that are essential to the community,” the Department of Arts and Culture said in a written statement. The program “expands the reach of those who have been historically and systematically marginalized.”The local recipients of the Organizational Grant Program funds include:• A Noise Within: $39,000 – Theater• Kidspace Children’s Museum: $37,300 – Arts Education – Visual Arts• Armory Center for the Arts: $39,100 Arts Education – Visual Arts• Fulcrum Arts: $33,100 – Arts Service• The [email protected] Court: $25,200 – Theater• Fund for Music: $33,300 – Music-Instrumental• Parson’s Nose Productions, Inc.: $14,200 – Theater• TA’YER: $4,700 – Theater• Latino Arts Network of California: $4,700 – Literary Arts• Oakwood Brass-Outreach Project: $2,800 – Arts Education-Music• Friends Outside in Los Angeles County: $13,880 – Community Building/ Service, Social Justice, Youth and Family, Health/Wellness Services Workforce Development, Formerly Incarcerated• Remainders Creative Reuse: $4,200 – Arts Education-Visual Arts• Pasadena Master Chorale Association: $12,200 – Music-Choral/OperaThe local recipients of Organizational Grant Program funds are:• Peace Over Violence: $ 12,620 -Mental Health, Social Justice, Youth, and Family, Health/ Wellness, Workforce Development• Southern California Public Radio (SCPR, KPCC): $11,720 – Community Building/Service• YWCA Pasadena-Foothill Valley: $ 12,080 – Community Building/Service, Social Justice, Youth Afterschool, Youth and Family, ImmigrantsThe funding is meant to help the local nonprofits, particularly during this unprecedented time, which has hit arts organizations hard.“This year, we anticipate that Los Angeles County grantee organizations will use these funds in new ways as they adjust their operations and programming in light of the pandemic,” said Department of Arts and Culture Director Kristin Sakoda.“We know these grants provide a critical source of public support for nonprofit organizations that, in turn, enhance the wellbeing and vitality of the region through the arts,” he said. “We continue to be inspired by the resiliency of our grantees in the face of the events of the past few months in remaining steadfast to their missions and in delivering high-quality arts and culture content to the residents of the county.” Community News Make a comment STAFF REPORT Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy More Cool Stuff 43 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena
Ex-Crystal Palace owner Jordan: Ashley serious about selling Newcastleby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan is convinced Mike Ashley is serious about selling Newcastle United.On the takeover, he says Ashley could do a deal quickly and even if it goes beyond January he think he will sell up.Jordan told talkSPORT: “He’s looking to sell. Absolutely he’s looking to sell.“Unequivocally this time without a shadow of doubt from my vantage point without actually having spoken to Mike for a significant passage of time, reading the signs, knowing how deals get done, last year with Staveley came to the table I pretty much said: ‘This deal will not get done, it will not get done.’“This time there’s a different feel to it, there’s a different metric to it and look from it. Ashley is going to sell this football club. Now it’s not going to hold them back in January from spending money because if he has to spend money he will add it to the ticket. If he doesn’t have to write a cheque for it someone else is paying for it and so be it.”With Mike I absolutely believe he should sell. I believe he will sell this time, I don’t believe it’s a PR spin.“If I was him I wouldn’t want to be there anymore. It’s so toxic and debilitating for everyone at the football club – he’s never going to recover from the impression that he’s not there for the football club when they need him.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
( Jewish Post & News columnist Bill Marantz confused Winnipeg Jets goalie (left) with APTN anchor Michael Hutchinson (right))Jaydon FlettAPTN National NewsMembers of both the Jewish and Aboriginal community are angered over an “ignorant” and “hateful” newspaper column which repeatedly uses the term “Indian.”The opinion piece – written by former provincial court judge Bill Marantz in the Jewish Post & News – was inspired by an online Twitter debate about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.Marantz believed he was “sparring” with the Winnipeg Jets’ back-up goalie Michael Hutchinson, when in fact he was tweeting with APTN National News anchor Michael Hutchinson.Marantz says the incendiary tweet that started it all was when he paraphrased the late “former CBC token Indian” Johnny Yesno saying, “The only fully-employed aboriginals are the chiefs who are busy flying to conferences.”It was then retweeted by APTN National News anchor Hutchinson. The Twitter notification prompted Marantz to do a quick Google search where the NHL goalie is first to show up in results.The former judge believed he was really tweeting with a member of the Winnipeg Jets.“It’s embarrassing to admit that a 25-year-old jock, who stops pucks for a living, knows more about the legal status of aboriginal people than a former (part-time) provincial court judge,” wrote Marantz. “Mike Hutchinson is not only as sharp as a hunting knife, he sounds like he’s actually read the Indian Act.”The article, which has since been removed from the Jewish Post & News’ website, goes on to criticize the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report, calling it the “half-truth and recrimination report.”According to Marantz, the TRC wasted six years “splitting hairs” and “encouraging victims to wallow in victimhood” instead of “encouraging youth.” He wrote that everyone already knows enough about Indian residential schools.“Any Canadian (Indian code for paleface) who is unaware of the abuses of the Residential School System, at this stage of the game, just hasn’t been paying attention for the past 50 years,” wrote Marantz.The article goes on to criticize First Nation leaders in general, particularly chiefs. Marantz accuses chiefs of “endless hand-wringing, chest thumping and name calling” while referring to a number of social issues, such as high suicide rates on reserves and Aboriginal sex trade workers in the city.“The so-called leaders of the Aboriginal community are too busy feathering their own headdresses to worry about trivialities like chronic unemployment, poverty, illness, alcoholism and crime,” he wrote.Grand Chief Derek Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs released a statement calling the article “racially derogatory.”Nepinak said the column betrayed the writer’s own privileged biases.“The writer’s attitude not only demonstrates the privilege and entitlement he is taking for granted, it also demonstrates a very disrespectful approach to the current dialogue around truth and reconciliation and a rejection of historical truths about the treatment of Indigenous peoples in the nation state,” stated Nepinak.In the statement, Nepinak said he was concerned over whether Marantz dealt with cases involving Aboriginal people while acting as a provincial court judge.Nepinak said the article, “Clearly calls into question his ability to set aside racially motivated stereotypes and attitudes in decision-making that would have impacted the lives of people significantly.”Brokenhead Ojibway Nation Chief Jim Bear called the column by Marantz a “brutal” portrayal of First Nations people.“Brokenhead Ojibway Nation does not in any way, shape or form condone this brutal portrayal made by Mr. Marantz against our First Nation community,” said Bear. “The state of ours and many First Nations is a collective crisis, not just an isolated First Nation crisis.”Bear said Marantz’ comparison of the residential school system to the Holocaust “minimizes and dishonours” the residential school experience.Bear said he wants an apology, from both Marantz and the newspaper.He told APTN National News that he doesn’t want a personal apology, but a public apology to the Aboriginal community as a whole.When APTN contacted Marantz for an on-camera interview, he refused, saying he’d prefer to have a live televised conversation with Bear “to discuss this matter freely and openly”.He also said he’d like to have Hutchinson present for the discussion. Marantz has since publicly apologized for confusing Hutchinson with the Winnipeg Jets’ goalie.Marantz has yet to apologize for any of the views he expressed in the article as of this article’s [email protected]
Mumbai: Jet Airways, facing its worst existential crisis in its over 25-year-old history, Friday extended suspension of its international operations till next Monday due to severe liquidity issues. Incidentally, the stake sale bid invited by the SBI- led consortium of bankers, which manages the day-to-operations of the airline, also closes by the end of the day Friday, after being extended by two days. Airline founder Naresh Goyal, the UAE carrier Etihad Airways, Air Canada and the country’s national investment fund among others are reported to have submitted bids, according to media reports. On Thursday, the airline had announced temporary grounding of its international operations for day-Jet was the largest international airline from the country till the financial crisis–when it had also suspended operations to the entire Eastern and Northeastern markets as Jet was forced to ground 10 more aircraft following default of lease rentals. This has left Jet with no large aircraft while it had just 14 planes for domestic operations as of late Thursday. “Jet has decided to extend suspension of its international operations till Monday, due to severe cash crunch,” airline sources told PTI Friday. Jet was the largest domestic carrier operating in the international sector with a hub in Amsterdam, where a cargo agent had taken possession of an aircraft this on Tuesday demanding bill payment. This led to the cancellation of the Amsterdam-Mumbai flight that day. Thursday Jet flights to London, Amsterdam and Paris from Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru scheduled were cancelled for operational reasons,” Je had said, adding it had also cancelled the Bengaluru-Amsterdam-Bengaluru flight Friday. On the domestic front, all Jet operations to and from the Eastern and Northeastern states were suspended till further notice. Following this, there would no Jet flights to and from Kolkata, Patna, Guwahati and other airports in the region, travel industry source had told PTI. Jet had also said its Mumbai-Kolkata, Kolkata-Guwahati and Dehradun-Guwahati-Kolkata flights stood cancelled till further notice due to “operational reasons.” As of Thursday, the airline had just 14 planes–way down from 123 planes in operations till a few months back. Of the 14 aircraft that it operated till Thursday evening, eight were wide-body B777s (seven) and an A330– generally used for long-haul international operations. The remaining six planes were, three B737s, which are largely used for flying on domestic routes besides on short- haul international destinations and the rest three are regional ATRs. With just 14 aircraft left for operations, aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola had told PTI that the ministry was awaiting a report from the DGCA to decide whether Jet can continue to fly on international routes. The government rules stipulate an airline must have at least 20 planes for operating international operations.
Gurugram: Thirty-four people had filed the affidavits for the Gurugram Lok Sabha seat which was finally reduced to 24. The profile of the candidates is as varied and diverse as the largest Lok Sabha constituency that has a total of 21 lakh voters. Among the 24 candidates if there is a businessman who with the total assets of over 100 crores is not only the richest candidate from Gurugram but even Haryana, there is also a street vendor.Four-time MP from the area Rao Inderjit Singh derives his income from his investments in various commercial ventures and infrastructure companies. His Congress rival Captain Ajay Yadav also has the same source of income. Based on the affidavit, his family has an automobile showroom in Rajasthan. With assets worth 102 crores, Virender Rana of Indian National Lok Dal is an entrepreneur who runs his own firm in the city. Other candidates who have their own business interests are Raees Ahamed from the Bahujan Samaj Party and Hans Kumar, an independent who runs his own real estate firm. Mehmood Khan of Jan Nayak Janta party is a social entrepreneur. The youngest candidate from Gurugram is Pawan Kumar who is 30-year-old. He is contesting from Shiv Sena and is a school professor. Other people from service backgrounds involve Ramesh Chander who was in Haryana police and Jai Kawar Tyagi who is an ex-Army man. There are also candidates in the form of Abdul Latif and Kushehshwar Bhagat who have filed their candidatures independents so that they can lead more voice of the common man. While Abdul Latif is an automobile mechanic, Bhagat is a street vendor who has his stall in South Delhi’s Chattarpur area. Out of the 24 candidates who have participated in the democratic exercise, most of them are businessmen followed by social workers and retired servicemen. Interestingly, most of the candidates find their roots from Nuh area. With 20 per cent Meos, Nuh not only has the highest number of electorates but also is the most backward region in the country. Most of the independents are contesting in the elections for the first time.
Jerusalem: Facebook said Thursday it banned an Israeli company that ran an influence campaign aimed at disrupting elections in various countries and has canceled dozens of accounts engaged in spreading disinformation. Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, told reporters that the tech giant had purged 65 Israeli accounts, 161 pages, dozens of groups and four Instagram accounts. Many were linked to the Archimedes Group, a Tel Aviv-based political consulting and lobbying firm that boasts of its social media skills and ability to “change reality.” Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportGleicher said Facebook could not speculate about Archimedes’ motives, which “may be commercial or political.” But he said Facebook discovered “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” with accounts posing as certain political candidates, smearing opponents and presenting as local news organizations peddling supposedly leaked information. The activity appeared focused on Sub-Saharan African countries but was also scattered in parts of Southeast Asia and Latin America. The pages have racked up 2.8 million followers and hundreds of thousands of views. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsGleicher said Archimedes had spent some 800,000 on fake ads and that its deceptive activity dated back to 2012. He said Facebook has banned Archimedes. Facebook has come under pressure to more aggressively and transparently tackle misinformation aimed at sowing division and confusion around elections, since the revelation that Russia used Facebook to sway the 2016 U.S. presidential election. On its website, Archimedes presents itself as a consulting firm involved in campaigns for presidential elections. Little information is available beyond its slogan, which is “winning campaigns worldwide,” and a vague blurb about the group’s “mass social media management” software, which it said enabled the operation of an “unlimited” number of online accounts. The site, featuring a montage of stock photos from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, boasts of its “own unique field within the social media realm” and its efforts to “take every advantage available in order to change reality according to our client’s wishes.” A message seeking comment from the company was not immediately returned.
Bordeaux – British magazine The Economist stated Algeria is in “desperate need of change in an article posted on Friday.”According to the magazine, Algerians are eager for change from their leaders, but afraid to ask for it. Many of them complain about the “lamentable lack of development” in the country and the frustration is wide-spread since the population does not benefit from the money generated by oil exports. Indeed, the unemployment rate remains exceptionally high, affecting almost 40 percent of the population, according to the same source.The young generation is desperate to leave the country. The Economist estimates most of the country’s 1.5 million students will struggle to find a job. Corruption is also weighing on the population who sees the richest families get away with fraud while they struggle to make ends meet. According to the same source, Algerians realize their opinion is not taken into account. When President Abdelaziz Bouteflika went to France between April and July to get treatment after his stroke, the civil society thought he was done and would never come back to the political scene. He did, however, come back and tightened security, granting even more powers to the army.If the population does suffer from the situation, Algerians seem wary of demanding change too loudly, even after seeing the political awakening across the Arab world in the past three years.According to the magazine, Algerians are grateful to Mr. Bouteflika for restoring calm to Algeria after the black decade of the 1990s. It states the media have become pretty free and the political space has slightly widened. It must be remembered, however, that the opposition, because of the great number of parties, is too weak to force the changes the population yearns for.The Economist’s analysis of the situation is that Algerians remain patient and wait for the ageing leaders to retire. Eventually, a new generation will come to power, loosen up politics and the economy, and bring in a more genuine multiparty system.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed
Oregon was supposed to be doomed by Chris Boucher’s season-ending knee injury. South Carolina wasn’t supposed to go deep into the tournament, especially after the Gamecocks lost their first game in the SEC tournament, a quarterfinal matchup. So how’d these two programs end up in the Final Four? In the video above, FiveThirtyEight sports editor Chadwick Matlin walks us through their journeys and talks about just how improbable they’ve been.
When Lamar Odom heaved the ball down-court to drain away what seconds remained between the 2010 Los Angeles Lakers and a championship, few realized that it marked the start of a new era. The period that followed was defined by who wasn’t in L.A. that June night: LeBron James. For each of the next eight seasons, a James-led team would make the NBA Finals — a streak of contesting the championship that won’t technically end until Thursday’s Game 1 between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors.As the confetti filled the Staples Center air, there was little sense of just how profoundly the game was about to change — some changes because of James himself, others just moving on a parallel track to the game’s biggest star. With the benefit of hindsight, then, let’s take a look at exactly how many huge developments have transpired across the league since the last time we had an NBA Finals without LeBron James.From ABC News: In many ways, it’s fitting that these 2019 finals would pit two of James’s longtime foils — the Raptors (who could never beat him in the playoffs) and the Warriors (whom he could seldom beat) — against each other. James’s shadow hangs over the series in absentia, if not simply for what his vacancy signals. He may return to the championship stage again sooner than later, particularly if the Warriors’ hegemony is threatened this summer. But for now, this series marks the end of an era — and the culmination of all the many changes that have remade basketball since the last time we weren’t debating James’s chances of adding another ring to his collection.Check out our latest NBA predictions. LeBron’s GOAT turnGoing into the summer of 2010, James’s future was as uncertain as it would ever be. He had just suffered the most high-profile failure of his career, inexplicably struggling as his Cleveland Cavaliers were bounced from the second round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics. He faced a looming free-agency “decision” — would he betray his hometown Cavs? — and persistent questions about whether he could lead a championship team. Statistically, James’s career was off to a stellar start, but by the NBA’s ring-obsessed standards, his path toward GOAT status was wobbling.Nearly a decade later, James is still not universally hailed as the greatest ever. (Michael Jordan’s shadow looms large.) But he is generally placed right in the conversation with MJ. He answered postseason critics with eight straight conference titles and three rings, including one that involved: a) one of the greatest NBA Finals comebacks ever; b) upsetting the winningest regular-season team in history; and c) ending Cleveland’s 52-year championship drought. At the same time, James has climbed up the all-time statistical mountain in countless categories, including passing Jordan on points in March. If James isn’t the GOAT, he has at least become the defining player of his generation — and in some ways, he even redefined the role of a superstar and the criteria we use to judge all-time greats.The rise of the WarriorsThe 2009-10 Golden State Warriors won only 26 games and got their coach, Don Nelson, fired. (The team would go through two more coaches before finding current boss Steve Kerr.) Few vestiges of Nelson’s 2006-07 “We Believe” Warriors — the franchise’s high-water mark for postseason success since the early 1990s — were still on the roster anyway. Newcomer Stephen Curry finished second in Rookie of the Year voting but gave scarcely any clues that he’d eventually become a transformational player. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green were still 20-year-old college kids. From these not-so-promising beginnings, the single greatest dynasty in basketball history1If not all of sports history, if you compare their run to those of greats from other leagues. would be formed.Every dynasty requires a series of unlikely breaks to fall its way, but it’s difficult to overstate just how surprising it was that Golden State would barge into an NBA championship club that included just eight franchises (the Celtics, Bulls, Pistons, Rockets, Lakers, Heat, 76ers and Spurs) hoarding the 31 titles up for grabs from 1980 through 2010. Before they added Kevin Durant in free agency, the Warriors were a testament to the power of drafting home-grown stars and locking them up on team-friendly contract extensions. After inking Durant, they became the scariest collection of talent ever assembled. And it would all come completely out of the blue, from the perspective of a neutral observer in the summer of 2010.The superteam craze gets crazierIn conjunction with James’s emergence as arguably the best player ever (see above), he also helped usher in an era of star players dictating the direction of the league on their own terms. The Age of the Superteam had already gotten underway with the 2008 Boston Celtics’ title-winning team-up between Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. But James pushed the trend even further when he joined forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to form a trio of prime-age superstars on the 2011 Miami Heat. Ever since, most of the game’s highest-profile moves have been designed to either counterbalance or mimic James’s original flight of fancy made good.The league’s power balance, of course, has almost always been about an ever-escalating arms race between Big Twos and Threes. The difference this decade has been about who gets to choose both how and where those combinations form. Encouraged by a salary structure that prioritizes nonmonetary benefits and empowered by what strange quirks of the system do arise, superstars (and their agents) have become every bit as powerful in team-building as general managers. You can’t fault them for it, either: Rings are how players are judged, and star recruiting is the most sensible path to a title in the NBA. This was bound to happen eventually — and the past decade has only solidified the trend.Pacing and spacingThe Warriors didn’t just break the mold of dynasty-building — they helped redefine how a championship team plays the game. Before Curry and Co., the conventional wisdom was that a team who lives by the 3-pointer would eventually die by it before the playoffs ended. During the 2015 playoffs, former Lakers coach Phil Jackson famously tweeted a critique of jump-shooting teams during the 2015 playoffs; Charles Barkley voiced the same sentiment around the same time. The Warriors’ title that summer felt like a retort, invalidating any preconceived notions about what kind of great team could successfully win a title.Although the rise of the 3-point shot was set in motion long before Golden State formed its dynasty, the Warriors became its symbolic standard-bearer — even after they shifted away from small-ball lineups a bit and were surpassed by many other teams in their actual use of the 3-pointer. Whether influenced by Golden State or not, the league’s obsession with speed, spacing and shooting has intensified greatly over the past decade. Pace factor is up 8 percent since 2010, and 3-pointers per game are up 78 percent. (Huge dinosaurs still roamed the paint back in 2010; today’s game looks very different.) Offenses are the most efficient they’ve ever been, and the range at which players can reliably make threes is expanding constantly. James’s own development even mirrored these changes: Once criticized for a lack of shooting touch, he improved to eventually become one of the game’s best deep 3-point bombers by the end of the decade.The evolution of tankingIn addition to the LeBron-influenced spate of superteams, one of the league’s other primary off-court concerns this decade has been how to prevent teams from tanking — deliberately building bad (and often dirt-cheap) rosters in order to get high picks in that summer’s draft. The tactic is nothing new, but back in 2010, it still hadn’t been fully explored to its cynical conclusion — that wouldn’t truly come until Sam Hinkie took over the Philadelphia 76ers in 2013.2Perhaps the SuperSonics/Thunder of the mid-to-late 2000s could also be seen as a precursor to Hinkie’s Sixers, but even those teams were not as brazen in their tanking efforts as Philadelphia would become.Hinkie’s “Process” — designed specifically to acquire a franchise-altering talent like James — left a controversial legacy. It helped Philly eventually acquire many building blocks for their current contending squad, even after missing on a number of their high picks. It also produced some of the worst basketball ever along the way, and the results underscored the complete lack of certainty inherent in hitching a franchise’s fortunes to a randomized lottery system. Neither of this year’s NBA Finalists were built by tanking — in fact, Toronto methodically built a solid team until a superstar (Kawhi Leonard) fell into its lap. And the league readjusted its lottery odds this year anyway, flattening out the rewards for poor records and further discouraging intentionally bad roster construction. Unlike the dreadful 2002-03 Cavaliers team that drafted James, the next LeBron might not even enter the league with a team that lost on purpose to get him.The end of ‘Lakers exceptionalism’?Perhaps the starkest contrast between 2010 and the present is in the state of James’s current club, the L.A. Lakers. With a core of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Odom and young center Andrew Bynum, coached by Jackson, Los Angeles had just won its second consecutive title — and they appeared poised to contend for even more over the next few seasons. But Jackson retired from coaching in 2011; Bryant and Gasol got older; Bynum couldn’t stay healthy; Odom was traded; and the front office struggled to upgrade the supporting cast.An attempted superteam of Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Bryant and Gasol failed miserably. It also represented the last time the Lakers made the playoffs. Ever since, the team has tried desperately to replenish its once-endless supply of Hall of Famers, whether through the draft or in signing James, the game’s biggest star. But at the same time, L.A. has been hamstrung by ineffectual management, a story that extended to this week’s ESPN report about dysfunction between Magic Johnson, former president of basketball operations; general manager Rob Pelinka; James’s agent, Rich Paul; and the rest of the team and its staff. The Lakers still figure to aim for another huge star acquisition this offseason, but the era of what SB Nation’s Tom Ziller calls “Lakers exceptionalism” — the idea that L.A. is entitled to always dominate the NBA — is over, difficult as that would have been to believe in 2010.
Ohio State offensive junior Claudia Kepler (24) controls the puck during a game against Bemidji State University on Nov. 6 at St. John Arena. OSU lost 2-1. Credit: Eileen McClory | Senior Lantern ReporterThe Ohio State women’s ice hockey team is preparing for a long road swing — it will not play in Columbus again until Dec. 11 — so it is preparing to take its game on the road.First, the Buckeyes travel this weekend to Grand Forks, North Dakota, for two games against University of North Dakota (6-2-2), winners of two of its last four contests.Despite outshooting Bemidji State in both losses of its series last weekend, the OSU offense could only generate two goals. The team took to the ice for its final practice on Thursday before leaving expecting to score more goals over the weekend.“Until they decide on a different way to decide hockey games, we need to score goals,” assistant coach Carson Duggan said. “I thought we had a really solid weekend and weren’t rewarded.”Goal scoringJunior forward Claudia Kepler, who leads the team in shots with 28, wants to see her forward unit score more goals.“Our line, (Kendall Curtis) is a very skilled player, and I’d say one of my strengths is shooting the puck,” Kepler said. “So we try to use our strengths as much as possible.”Curtis, the senior forward who scored the lone goal in the loss last Saturday, welcomed the pressure she, Kepler and sophomore Julianna Iafallo put on themselves in order for the team to be successful. But Kepler took it one step further, saying she wants to generate more scoring on her own.“There have been a lot of times I should have taken the puck to the net but instead I kind of held up and looked to make a pass,” Kepler said. The Buckeyes were off on Wednesday to coincide with classes being canceled for Veterans Day. With a road trip, the first in a month, the members of the team think the odd schedule is an opportunity to shake up their play.“I think these girls have been working really hard on the ice,” Duggan said. “The conditioning is obviously still there, but it’s nice to get a little break.”In Duggan’s opinion, the break was the opportunity to spark the offense without taking to the ice.“You want to keep the edge and the excitement in coming to the rink, so a day off like that was a mental break, which I think is just as important,” Duggan said.Kepler, who is second to Curtis in goals scored on the season, will look to simplify her game in order to generate more offense for the team.“Creating scoring chances, you’ve got to shoot to get chances,” Kepler said.Dinged-up defenseThe Buckeyes have eight defenders on their roster, but will head to North Dakota with only five ready to play on Friday night. Freshman Jincy Dunne and her sophomore sister, Jessica, have yet to play this season. Redshirt junior Bryanna Neuwald did not play last Saturday and is expected to be sidelined this weekend too. Shorthanded, coach Jenny Potter played senior forward Julia McKinnon on defense, where she is set to remain against North Dakota.“It’s obviously hard with five D-men and one forward back there,” junior defender Alexa Ranahan said. “She’s doing an amazing job, you can’t tell she’s new to it.”Ranahan believes despite the injuries, the defense has turned into a strength for the Buckeyes, who have allowed only eight goals in their last four contests.“It’s definitely helpful in our situation right now where we are struggling to score,” Ranahan said. “I think as long as we stay solid on (defense) and score a little we’ll be good.”Strong defense will be important for the Buckeyes on the road this weekend, which may have another low-scoring series in front of them. North Dakota has allowed only 21 goals this season, 23 fewer than the Buckeyes.Duggan, whose skaters have been focusing on scoring more goals, welcomes the opportunity to face another tough defensive squad only one week after dropping both games to the Beavers.“We’ve got to stick to our systems without getting frustrated,” Duggan said. “Otherwise you’ll start to grip your stick tighter, but once we get one, it’ll turn into two and three.”Ranahan, who last week was named a co-captain, said she expects the defense to continue to perform while the offense looks to get into form.“You can always expect good competition,” Ranahan said. “We know it’s always really tough against North Dakota. I know I love the nitty-gritty battles.”Opponent notesNorth Dakota will take to the ice against the Buckeyes off 13 days of rest. It last played Minnesota on Oct. 30, winning 4-3 to split its weekend series with the Golden Gophers.The Buckeyes lost both their contests to Minnesota by a combined score of 17-4 to start a home stand that would finish 2-4.Puck drops in Grand Forks at 3:07 p.m. on Saturday and 2:07 p.m. on Sunday.Correction 9/13: An earlier version of this story said the two games were to take place on Friday and Saturday, when in fact they are on Saturday and Sunday.