— Coach Tony Granato (@TonyGranato) February 28, 2017
What’s worth getting out now before the weekend arrives:
== The Kings have called it a “major announcement” planned for Thursday at 3 p.m. at Staples Center, hours before the team takes on Toronto, concerning the future of Bob Miller as their Hockey Hall of Fame broadcaster.
Prime Ticket will air it live, and it will stream on the team’s website.
Here is how the Southern California News Group framed the story today.
Yet, the Los Angeles Times has posted a story that Miller “is expected to announce his retirement.”
The story is based on … the ability to connect dots? Even if there were “sources” or “confirmation” from someone inside the Kings’ organization …. you want to take whatever this moment is away from Miller in the name of getting ‘news’ first?
If it becomes true that Miller plans to announce some sort of retirement plans, we’d rather hear it first from his point of view. This is his life and his story.
And there are more dignified ways of dealing with this sort of announcement rather than trying to get it out there before “everyone else,” including the primary subject.
Consider how, during Tuesday night’s Kings game in Calgary, the press conference was mentioned several times.
“So many questions surrounding Bob and his health, and Bob says, ‘I want to answer those questions’,” longtime partner Jim Fox said during the promo in the third period.
Ralph Strangis, who has been filling for Miller this month, added: “We’re all friends and fans of Bob. I’ve known Bob for a very long time, 25 years. It’s my honor as well as for all the other guys who have had a chance this season to step in and give him a little breather. We are honored to do it. We love Bob. Bob, see you on Thursday.”
Miller, 78, isn’t going away so quickly. The Kings have 13 games left at home, leading into the last one Saturday at 3 p.m. on April 8 against Chicago. The team finishes the regular season the next day at Anaheim.
Miller, who had a four-way heart bypass operation 13 months ago, said last Feb. 13 he would wait until he receives a health update from his doctors before deciding how to proceed through the rest of this season as he recovers from a mild stroke at the NHL All-Star Game. Listen to him on with Fred Roggin and Rodney Peete during their KLAC-AM (570) show on Monday afternoon. Miller is careful not to lead anyone into thinking he’s about to walk away.
If it happens, we will be prepared.
== Coming up on its first year of operation, TheUndefeated.com continues to monitor and bring to light socially bolstered sports stories that we find important and maybe not so much so.
We expect to see improvements as the D.C.-based organization officially added, most notably before the end of Black History Month, retired New York Times writer Bill Rhoden as a columnist, editor-at-large and the creator of a Rhoden Fellows internship program to train aspiring African-American journalists at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
“Bill’s pioneering career has been phenomenal, his body of work unmatched. We are grateful to have him leading a new initiative at The Undefeated to develop the next generation of Bill Rhoden,” said The Undefeated editor-in-chief Kevin Merida. “Thankfully for us, and for our readers, Bill will continue to write – his strong, brilliant voice is still needed.”
Rhoden took a buyout at the Times last July after 26 years.
“I look forward to passing the torch I received from Sam Lacy and many others to a vibrant, new generation.”
Lacy, the pioneer black sports writer and part of the Baseball Hall of Fame, was a mentor to Rhoden when he worked at The Baltimore Afro-American newspaper right out of Morgan State University in Baltimore.
Last week, The Undefeated added former Buffalo News executive sports editor Lisa Wilson to its staff as a senior editor.
== UCLA’s contest against Washington from Pauley Pavilion on Wednesday at 8 p.m. goes to FS1 with Tim Brando, Jim Jackson and Steve Lavin (as well as Kevin Burkhardt on site as the host). Saturday’s 7:15 p.m. home game against Washington State lands on ESPN2 with Steve Quis, Sean Farnham and Jill Montgomery
== The Pac-12 Network has J.B. Long and Don MacLean calling USC’s games against Washington State (Wednesday, 7 p.m.) and against Washington (Saturday, 3:30 p.m.)
== The Pac-12 Nets and ESPN have coverage of the Pac-12 tournament from Las Vegas beginning Wednesday, March 8 and concluding Saturday, March 11 at 8 p.m.
== In the West Coast Conference tournament, Pepperdine faces Pacific on Friday at 6 p.m. and Loyola Marymount meets up with BYU on Saturday at 1 p.m. on Spectrum SportsNet. Barry Thompkins, Casey Jacobson and Kelli Tennant are on the broadcast team for LMU-BYU.
== Paul Sunderland, Mike Thibault and Elise Woodward have the Pac-12 women’s tournament championship from Seattle, Sunday at 6 p.m. on ESPN2. Sunderland and Thibault also have the West Coast Conference women’s final, Tuesday at 1 p.m., on ESPNU
== More live events of note from the Pac-12 Network:
= Ted Robinson and Eric Byrnes call the UCLA-USC baseball game from Dodger Stadium on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
= The Pac-12 women’s basketball tournament at the Key Arena in Seattle launches Thursday with USC-Cal in the 11:30 a.m. game (Anne Marie Anderson, Tammy Blackburn, Jill Savage, Kate Scott). If the Trojans advance, it would face No. 1 seed Oregon State on Friday at 11:30 a.m. (Anderson, Blackburn, Savage, Scott).
UCLA has a first-round by and starts play Friday at 2 p.m. against the winner of Thursday’s Arizona State-Utah game (Krista Blunk, Mary Murphy, Savage and Scott).
Blunk and Murphy call the two semifinals at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
= Rich Burk and Amy Van Dyken have the Pac-12 men’s swimming and division championships Saturday at 6:30 p.m. (Pac-12 LA)
= Jim Watson and Amanda Borden have UCLA women’s gymnastics home meet against Cal on Sunday at 1 p.m.
== Prime Ticket has Kevin Barnett, Brad Holland and Courtney Sweet on the call for Saturday’s CIF Southern Section Open Division boys basketball final between Bishop Montgomery and Mater Dei from the Honda Center in Anaheim at 7 p.m.
All other boys and girls CIF-SS finals are available on the PrepZone streaming service and Fox Sports Go, including:
= Division 1A: Harvard Westlake-Pasadena at Azusa Pacific, Friday at 9 p.m.
= Division 3AA: Brentwood-Burbank at Azusa Pacific, Friday at 7 p.m.
= Division 4AA: West Torrance-Blair at Azusa Pacific, Saturday at 6 p.m.
= Division 1A: Bishop Montgomery-Huntington Beach at Azusa Pacific, Friday at 5 p.m.
= Division 3AA: Glendora-Thousand Oaks at Azusa Pacific, Saturday 9:30 a.m.
= Division 1AA: Canyon-Valencia at Honda Center, Saturday at 1 p.m.
= Open Division: Long Beach Poly-Harvard Westlake at Honda Center, Saturday at 8 p.m.
== Mark Jones, Hubie Brown and Lisa Salters have the Clippers at Chicago, Saturday at 5:30 p.m., Channel 7
== After winning the Academy Award for best documentary (someone, please check the envelope), ESPN2 has been replaying “O.J. Simpson: Made in America” in five two-hour chunks this week. It will also be shown in its entirety starting at 10 p.m. Friday and running until 6 a.m. Saturday. Set the DVR apparently.
== Phil Mickelson will be the first guest to start the seventh season of David Feherty’s “Feherty” interview show, launching Monday at 6 p.m. on Golf Channel and continuing with a second part of their discussion on March 13. Here’s a preview clip.
== The Southern California News Group’s Ryan Kartje was recognized in The Associated Press best featuring writing category for 2016 this week for the piece he did on how fans reacted to the retirement of Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, posted on Sept. 23.
== Would you be up for a Vin Scully biopic? Only if he plays himself.
== And this was included on the back of the Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez card in the Topps Heritage 2017 set: