How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years LOS ANGELES — With all the electricity of a playoff game, the NBA’s Western and Eastern Conference leaders – and their respective leading men – clashed Friday night at Staples Center in what might have been a preview of the NBA Finals.The case of LeBron James vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo tilted in favor of the home team this time, with James rallying his squad from a nine-point, first-half deficit to a playoff-clinching 113-103 victory at the Milwaukee Bucks’ expense.Afterward, the Bucks superstar stood facing a media scrum, his lip bloodied, his squad having lost for just the 10th time all season and his mind made up: His knee, which buckled badly in the second half was “good,” he insisted.The 25-year-old reigning league MVP scored 32 points in the loss, two fewer than he’d scored in the teams’ last meeting, a 111-104 Milwaukee victory in December. “He’s been good.”James, of course, has won three championships in his 17 NBA seasons, and harbors hopes of earning a fourth this season. Antetekounmpo would like this season to earn his first championship – and to thwart James’ desire to do it again.Related Articles Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions That bubbling push-and-pull made for compelling theater Friday, even for someone as close to the action as Vogel.“I enjoy it, all of us coaches, we’re still fans of the game, you know,” Vogel said. “We like to see the best go against the best, and these types of matchups that I’m fortunate to be a part of, get a front-row seat and hopefully can help our superstars beat their superstars.”Vogel got his wish: His 35-year-old forward/point guard scored 37 points, got to the free-throw line 15 times (making 12 foul shots), grabbed eight rebounds, and recorded seven assists and three steals to lead the Lakers (48-13) past Antetekounmpo’s squad, which was bothered by the Lakers’ length and unable to recover from a 31-17 disparity in free throws.Even in defeat, Antetekounmpo applauded James’ performance.“It’s always good playing against one of the best players in the league, like you can feel whenever you bring the ball down, whenever you go against him, you can feel greatness,” said Antetekounmpo, who remained in the game Friday despite his scary fall. “He’s gonna come at you and you gotta be ready to go, gotta be ready to fight against him. … At the end of the day, he’s gonna get his shots up, he’s gonna get his teammates involved. He’s LeBron James, what can you say?”Lakers forward LeBron James celebrates a 3-point basket during Friday’s 113-103 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at Staples Center. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze/SCNG) Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersOn Friday the 6-foot-11 power forward/point guard/small forward/shooting guard went 10 for 21 from the field and 11 for 14 from the free-throw line, grabbed 11 rebounds and added six assists and a steal – but the Bucks were outscored by 11 points when he was on the floor.On the other end, James – who was serenaded with “M-V-P” chants by a partisan crowd – asserted himself as if he wanted to spark, or perhaps settle, a debate.James entered Friday’s affair averaging 25.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 10.7 assists per game and having led the Lakers back to the precipice of a playoff berth for the first time since 2013.Antetekounmpo showed up for work Friday averaging 29.6 points and 13.8 rebounds per game, his 3-point shooting having improved to 30.9 percent from 25.6 last season – helped a bit by his career-high five 3-pointers against the Lakers last time.“He’s lights out, in all ways,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said pregame of the seventh-year star. “He keeps working on his 3-point shot and his ability to hurt you that way. He … puts a lot of pressure on your defense, (he’s) difficult to guard, great defensively one-on-one, great defensively in weak-side situations.
A foghorn blew three times, the engine rumbled and slowly the ship left the shore. With a lump in my throat, I watched my parents grow smaller and smaller and retreat into a distant mist. Tears welled up in my eyes. I didn’t know then, but 10 years would go by before I would see them again. The ship, General Langfitt, was far from a luxury liner. It was designed to transport as many troops as possible overseas during war. The ship had three levels of sleeping quarters filled with bunk beds. I slept in a lower bunk bed, three stories below deck next to a loud engine. When a bell rang it summoned us passengers to the dining area – a mess hall, really. Eating was done in turns since seating was limited. The mess hall had long wooden tables and benches anchored to the floor. Burly men, who wore soiled aprons, slapped the unappetizing food on metal plates. By then, General Langfitt had reached the treacherous English Channel. I was still waiting my turn, feeling queasy, when the ship suddenly pitched on its side. Seeing people walking on a 45-degree angle was too much for my stomach to take. I pushed my way through to the toilet, reaching it just in time. I had developed the worst case of seasickness. I made my way up on deck. General Langfitt wasn’t nearly the cruiser I had seen in movies. No passengers were lounging in elegant deck chairs. About 50 rickety seats were available for 2,000 passengers, and they were all occupied. Most of the time it was unsafe on deck. Heavy storms in the Atlantic tossed our ship about like a toy. Monstrous waves surged over the vessel. Black clouds exploded into heavy rain. All hatches had to be shut and bolted. We were at the mercy of the wild body of water. I was lying in my bunk bed alone and unattended, hoping to die. One night, unable to sleep and hungry, I spotted a couple of oranges alongside my bed. I thought I was hallucinating. But no, soon more followed. Big, juicy, colorful oranges. I didn’t care from where they came or to whom they belonged. I only knew nourishment was at hand. I just had to reach out. Trying to get one, I promptly fell out of bed. The oranges rolled away as the boat rocked. Unsteady on my feet, I followed them. The chase was on. I went up and down, wobbling, stumbling and crawling on hands and knees in pursuit of the elusive fruits. The oranges came to rest on one side of the big hall. Gleefully I thought I had them finally within reach. Suddenly, the floor rose perpendicular, and I was thrust down violently. The oranges, as if mocking me, merrily rolled into the men’s sleeping quarters and disappeared. I gave up. After 14 tormenting days, we reached New York. It was a glorious vision when the Statue of Liberty appeared out of the fog. I realized then why that monument meant so much to so many. Not only is it a symbol of freedom, but it also represents deliverance from turbulent sea voyages. Mina Wildfeuer is a 44-year Gardena resident and a stay-at-home mom.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsWith my right arm raised, I swore yes or no to whatever applied. Meeting all requirements, I was declared eligible to be admitted to the United States in due time. At the time I lived in Hamburg, Germany, where I had earned a teaching credential. I worked as a substitute teacher for the time being. Meanwhile, President Eisenhower signed a bill into law granting special visas to displaced persons. I qualified for that status, being a refugee. That reduced my waiting to two years. When I finally received notice, I had to be ready in two weeks. I started to have second thoughts, realizing the enormousness of the step I was about to take. I was going to a strange country 7,000 miles away all by myself. I had to say goodbye to my parents, sisters and friends, not knowing when or if I would see them again. But I was still determined to go. The day of my departure arrived. Accompanied by my parents, I went to Bremerhaven, the port where I was to board a ship. Hordes of people, young and old, speaking a variety of languages, pushed their way up the gangplank. Few were left behind on the dock. Among them were my parents, who tearfully bade me farewell. Fifty years ago, I set foot in America – New York to be exact – for the first time. When I applied for immigration to the United States, I was told it might take about five years. I wasn’t deterred. Providing a required sponsor, I proceeded to fill out the necessary papers. Next, I endured endless physical tests and X-rays to be found in good health. My intentions about coming to the United States were also questioned: Was I willing to work and not be a burden to society? Was I free of any criminal tendencies? Was I a communist? Did I intend to overthrow the government?