A Long Day in L.A of Championship Golf and NBA All-Stars

"Hogan's Alley"

I began in the morning heading to Riviera Country Club for the final round of the Northern Trust Open where someone would eventually etch their name alongside Ben Hogan’s as an L.A. champion. 3rd round leader Aaron Baddeley hadn’t won on tour since 2007 but he held off the almost 48 year old Hall of Famer Vijay Singh for his 3rd career title and as he told me afterward, it’s as special as any trophy on his mantlepiece…

Aaron Baddeley:

As for Vijay, he was pleased with his play but he can never get used to finishing 2nd…

Vijay Singh:

And finishing in 3rd was our local product Kevin Na who felt if only that damned putter was working today he might be holding that trophy…

Kevin Na:

So it turned into another great weekend as the rain held off long enough for a gorgeous Sunday at one of my favorite spots on the planet ‘The Riv’. And I wrapped it up by chatting with the tournament’s executive director Jerry West-who must be getting tired of seeing me in his face this week-and he was kind enough to end his little meeting with Mayor Villaraigosa of L.A.to come over and give me his thoughts on the week…

Jerry West:

I can only imagine that Jerry then found a way to catch some of the night’s action at Staples Center on TV, as the 60th NBA All-Star game (West being a former All-Star MVP himself) followed less than 2 hours after the conclusion of the NTO. And I hustled from Riviera to downtown L.A. (in a surprising 30 mins.) and was fortunate enough to only miss the first few minutes of the game. Actually as always, the game is inconsequential as it’s the ombience and celebreties that take over the night’s fun which ended with the West holding off a late East charge for a 148-143 victory. And who else but Kobe Bryant earned MVP honors with a game high double-double of 37 pts. and 14 rebounds. Not bad for the “little” 6 foot 6 inch guard who also not surprisingly took a game high of 26 shots and made 14 of them which kept the partial crowd happy.

From my press seat high atop Staples Center

And my work was far from over for the day as I then had to outwork the rest of the media types just to get some good postgame sound for you all, and here’s a compilation of most of it…

at Ted's Sports Bar in the hockey press box


NBA All-Star postgame interviews:

The happiest Black Mamba fan

I never did get the priviledge of speaking to the Clippers new sensation Blake Griffin missing his short interview time but we did cross paths as he was led to the locker room and Griff reached out to shake my hand and said he had a lot of fun this week. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to ask about the joke book that I gave him before the Clips’ long road trip began but there’s plenty of time for that when he gets back and I’ll fill you in on that running gag later! It’s now 1am so is it ok if I finally leave Staples Center? Even most of the cleanup crew is long gone….so until Tuesday night when the Lakers try to wake up against visiting Atlanta, good night.

Leaving the All-Star game and "Mr. Clutch"

About Ted Sobel

Award winning sportscaster/journalist covering major events around the world since 1973. Please check out my new book 'Touching Greatness' and deep audio vault---and follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@tedsobelsports).
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