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Kudos to Turner and Magic

By T.J. Simers

I just loved a story in the LA Times newspaper’s sports section Tuesday morning.

It wasn’t on the first page of sports because there was no story there, just some artist showing off with fake art.

Nothing on the second page, and a Dodgers’ farm system story on page 3. I believe it’s the third-straight day of minor league Dodgers’ baseball and one day was too much.

Who cares who the Dodgers might throw into a trade they are not going to make for Ohtani.

It wasn’t on page 4 because that was all soccer with Kevin Baxter writing from Auckland, New Zealand about a pink-haired Angel City player who dyed her hair black to play for Japan in the World Cup. He wrote a second story about what I don’t know after reading it, but it was soccer.

That leaves only page 5 in the 5-page sports section, and there it was, a story I wanted to read: “Johnson stresses weight of new ownership role.”

I might have used “Magic,” in the headline instead of Johnson, but there I go being picky again.

I like/love reading about Los Angeles icons. Not all that crazy about Magic, the puffed-up team owner, but kudos to the Times’ Broderick Turner (a.k.a. Brad) for tracking Magic down on his yacht in Europe for an update.

Turner is the voice of authority when it comes to the NBA for the Times. He did a Q&A with Magic, and while Turner had to do a certain amount of sucking up because otherwise he would lose Magic’s cell access, he asked about Magic’s ownership in the NFL, MLB, NBA, MLS and WNBA.

I’m a horse owner, 1% in Kiddy Up, and I’m not sure beyond the fact it’s just one horse and loose change, that is much different than owning a piece of the Commanders, Lakers, Dodgers, Sparks and the LAFC.

But again, whatever my questions and doubts for Magic and his input in ownership, they are irrelevant. What matters here is Brad Turner giving newspaper readers something to read.

Why the Times buried it inside shows more of a disregard for its readers than Magic.

I used to interview Lasorda, Scully and Wooden every chance I had because they were LA icons. They might say something really interesting and maybe not, but it was Lasorda, Scully and Wooden.

This is Magic. A breath of fresh (hot) air after all the soccer, minor league baseball and boxing we have been force fed in the Times. Finally, a name we know and always want to know more about.

I was once involved in a newspaper survey, asking readers what they wanted to read. Shocking, I know.

Columns graded high, but the highest marks went to any story featuring a well-known sports figure. If it was a story about Fouts or Mickelson or Kobe, the readers couldn’t wait to gobble it up although there was no guarantee of anything new.

People want to know and read more about the people who have brought them so many thrills in their lives.

The Times has been more focused on the obscure lately, but then comes along Brad Turner with his phone call to Magic and Times’ readers are winners.

It should have been the page 1 story rather than buried inside. But congratulations to Turner for not letting that deter him from doing such a great job.

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