The NBA calendar marks two events Thursday that carry a different degree of importance, but none the less are tied together.
First, the trade deadline is at noon, Pacific Time. The chances seem to dwindle, if you’re reading tea leaves and #Wojbombs, that the Lakers and Pelicans reach some kind of understanding that sends Anthony Davis to Los Angeles in exchange for a somewhat depleted Lakers’ roster. (As an aside: How would L.A. deal with two relatively high-profile Anthony Davises in its midst? The former USC big man on campus from the ‘70s, meet the future Lakers’ big man of the ‘20s).
A few hours after that happens, Team LeBron and Team Giannis will determine the rosters for the Feb. 17 NBA All Star Game with a draft that this year will finally air on TV (TNT, 4 p.m.). It’s not clear if this exercise will have already taken place and we just get to see the results, or if there’s actually the drama of how one players gets picked (or snubbed) over another like a supersized playground draft. LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo, the leading vote-getters from fans for the West and East teams, can pick 10 starters in the first round (from Stephen Curry, Joel Embiid, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Paul George, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard and Kemba Walker), 14 reserves in the second round (from Davis, plus LaMarcus Aldridge, Bradley Beal, , Blake Griffin, Nikola Jokic, Damian Lillard, Kyle Lowry, Khris Middleton, Victor Oladipo, Ben Simmons, Klay Thompson, Karl-Anthony Towns, Nikola Vucevic and Russell Westbrook) and then either Dirk Nowitzki or Dwayne Wade in the third round (they are the two special additions). Former Laker (and current Net) D’Angelo Russell has been added to the pool to replace the injured Oladipo.
The somewhat intriguing aspect of this, of course, is if James gets to draft Davis, who is in the mix of additional players. Get your mock drafts ready, or prepare to mock how this thing comes out in real time.
As the Grammy trip continues:
This week for the Lakers:
At Indiana, Tuesday at 4 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet
At Boston, Thursday at 5 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet, TNT
At Philadelphia, Sunday at 12:30 p.m., Channel 7
This week for the Clippers:
At Charlotte, Tuesday at 4 p.m., Prime Ticket
At Indiana, Thursday at 4 p.m. Prime Ticket
At Boston, Saturday at 5 p.m., Prime Ticket
The storylines going into the NHRA 59th Winternationals at Pomona (Thursday through Sunday, with finals coverage on FS1 starting at 2 p.m.) start with Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence back at the track where he capped off his 2018 season. He won all six countdown races to the title a year ago, the first in NHRA history, for 11 wins on the season. His main competitors: Doug Kalitta (who won last year’s Winternational), Tony Schumacher, Antron Brown, Leah Pritchett and Brittany Force. In the Funny Car, J.R. Todd clinched his title at Pomona last season, the last of his six wins. Sixteen-time champion John Force returns with Robert Hight, Ron Capps and Shawn Langdon in full force. More info: www.NHRA.com.
At the midway point in the Pac-12 conference play, what do we know, what do we think we know, and what is still left to be decided?
Or, are we simply confused?
Neither UCLA (12-10, 5-4) nor USC (13-9, 6-3) will have a chance to topple conference leader Washington (18-4, 9-0) until the conference tournament in Las Vegas in March after missed opportunities in Seattle. The Huskies have won 11 in a row and are 12-0 at home. So there’s that …
The Trojans and Bruins play host to Utah (11-10, 5-4) and Colorado (12-9, 3-6), and will face them twice in the last nine games, finishing up in the Rockies.
Here’s how the back end sets up:
* Colorado at UCLA, at Pauley Pavilion, 6 p.m., Pac-12 Network
* Utah at USC, at Galen Denter, 8 p.m., Pac-12 Network
* Utah at UCLA, at Pauley Pavilion, 2 p.m., Channel 11
* Colorado at USC, at Galen Center, 7 p.m., ESPN2/ESPNU
Also in Southern California:
* Loyola Marymount (16-7, 4-5): vs. San Diego, at Gersten Pavilion, Thursday at 7 p.m.; at Portland, Saturday at 7 p.m.
* Pepperdine (11-12, 4-5) : vs. Santa Clara at Firestone Fieldhouse, Thursday at 7 p.m.; vs. San Diego at Firestone Fieldhouse, Saturday at 1 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet
* Long Beach State (8-15, 2-5): vs. Hawaii at Walter Pyramid, Thursday at 7 p.m., ESPN3; at Cal Poly, Saturday at 7 p.m.
* Cal State Northridge (10-13, 4-3): At UC Santa Barbara, Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Games of national interest:
* Monday: Louisville at Virginia Tech, 4 p.m., ESPN; West Virginia at Texas Tech, 6 p.m., ESPN; Iowa State at Oklahoma, 6 p.m., ESPN2
* Tuesday: Boston College at Duke, 4 p.m., ESPN; Michigan State at Illinois, 4 p.m., ESPN2; South Carolina at Kentucky, 4 p.m., SEC Network; Michigan at Rutgers, 5 p.m., Big Ten Network; North Carolina State at North Carolina, 5 p.m., ACC Network; St. John’s at Marquette, 5 p.m., FS1; Missouri at Tennessee, 6 p.m., ESPN2; Kansas at Kansas State, 6 p.m., ESPN; San Diego State at New Mexico, 8 p.m., ESPN2.
* Wednesday: Maryland at Nebraska, 4 p.m., Big Ten Network; Creighton at Villanova, 5 p.m., CBSSN; Georgetown at Providence, 4:30 p.m., FS1; LSU at Mississippi State, 6 p.m., ESPN2; Cal at Oregon, 6:30 p.m., FS1; Nevada at Colorado State, 7 p.m., CBSSN
* Thursday: Houston at UCF, 4 p.m., CBSSN; San Francisco at Gonzaga, 6 p.m.; Iowa at Indiana, 6 p.m., ESPN; Washington at Arizona, 6 p.m., ESPN2; Stanford at Oregon State, 7 p.m., Pac 12 Network; Pacific at St. Mary’s, 8 p.m., ESPNU; BYU at Portland, 8 p.m., ESPN2
*Friday: Saint Louis at Saint Joseph’s, 4 p.m., ESPN2; Princeton at Yale, 4 p.m.
*Saturday: Wisconsin at Michigan, 9 a.m., Channel 11; Oklahoma State at Kansas, 9 a.m., ESPN; Virginia Tech at Clemson, 9 a.m., ESPN2; Kentucky at Mississippi State, 10 a.m., Channel 2; Minnesota at Michigan State, 11 a.m., ESPN; Auburn at LSU, 11 a.m., ESPN2; TCU at Iowa State, 11 a.m.; Villanova at Marquette, 11:30 a.m., Channel 11; Florida at Tennessee, 1 p.m.; ESPN; Louisville at Florida State, 1 p.m., ESPN2; Texas Tech at Oklahoma, 1 p.m.; Duke at Virginia, 3 p.m., ESPN; New Mexico at Nevada, 3 p.m., CBSSN; Washington State at Arizona, 4:30 p.m., Pac 12 Network; Nebraska at Purdue, 5:30 p.m., Big Ten Network; Saint Mary’s at Gonzaga, 7 p.m.; Washington at Arizona, 7 p.m.
* Sunday: Cincinnati at Houston, 1 p.m., ESPN; Georgia Tech at Notre Dame, 3 p.m., ESPNU; Stanford at Oregon, 5 p.m., ESPN2
The Kings and Ducks continue road trips to some of the most luminous spots in the entire NHL. Especially this time of year when weather will play a factor, even for indoor games.
The Kings this week:
* At N.Y. Rangers, Monday at 4 p.m., Fox Sports West
* At New Jersey, Tuesday at 4 p.m., FSW
* At Philadelphia, Thursday at 4 p.m., FSW
* At Boston, Saturday at 10 a.m., FSW
The Ducks this week:
* At Toronto, Monday at 4 p.m., Prime Ticket
* At Montreal, Tuesday at 4:30 p.m., Channel 13
* At Ottawa, Thursday at 4:30 p.m., Channel 13
* At Philadelphia, Saturday at 10 a.m., Prime Ticket
Quick quiz: Can you name the four continents represented in the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, which run Thursday through Sunday at the Honda Center in Anaheim?
The Americas count as one. Then there’s Asia, Africa and … of course, Oceania. That means we’ve got the best from the U.S., Canada, China and Japan. Oceania? That region takes Australia, Micronesia … Geography lesson done.
Based on the U.S. championships that ran last month in Detroit, Team America has Mariah Bell, Ting Cui and Bradie Tennell for the women’s side, and Jason Brown, Tomoki Hiwatashi and Vincent Zhou for the men.
More info: www.2019fourcontinents.com
A week before the PGA Tour comes to Riviera Country Club, it stops over at the Pebble Beach AT&T Pro Am (Thursday-Sunday, Golf Channel, Channel 2).