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Stephen A Smith not buying Charles Barkley's retirement: 'I just think he's p—ed off'

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Stephen A Smith not buying Charles Barkley's retirement: 'I just think he's p—ed off'

Charles Barkley calling it quits? Not so fast.

One of his fellow media moguls isn’t quite buying it – in fact, Stephen A. Smith said it’s just a quick reaction to the TNT and NBA television coverage dilemma.

“I’m not in any way calling Charles Barkley a liar. I think that Charles Barkley is very sincere. I just don’t think it’s gonna happen. I don’t think Charles Barkley is leaving,” Smith said on his podcast earlier this week.

Stephen A. Smith thinks Charles Barkley isn’t retiring like he says he is. (Getty Images)

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TNT is on the verge of losing out on the NBA after nearly four decades of coverage, and Barkley’s criticism of TNT’s big wigs has been loud.

“That is the Charles Barkley you’re hearing right now. A Charles Barkley that loves the people he works with. That loves a lot of the bosses he worked for. That loves some of the colleagues he worked with on the air and behind the scenes. It’s a family over there to him. And he can’t imagine wanting to be somewhere else, working with or for somebody else while those people are looking for a job…” Smith continued.

“I’m not saying he’s lying. I’m saying, don’t believe he’s gone for good. Don’t believe it. I don’t believe it for one second,” he quipped. “His voice is too powerful. It’s too influential, it’s too enjoyable. And he loves the game of basketball too much. He ain’t 80! He’s still got a lot of life left in him. So I don’t think for one second this is gonna be the end. I just think he’s p—-d off at the way colleagues at TNT are being thrown out to pasture.”

Charles Barkley smiles at The Match

Charles Barkley during Capital One’s The Match IX at The Park West Palm on Feb. 26, 2024, in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images for The Match)

EX-NFL STAR SAYS HE HASN’T SEEN CAITLIN CLARK’S TREATMENT SINCE LEBRON JAMES

Barkley, 61, made the revelation on NBA TV following Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday night. He said that regardless of whether TNT is able to continue broadcasting games beyond next season, he intends to “pass on the baton.” 

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“There’s been a lot of noise around our network the last few months. And I just want to say, I’ve talked to all the other networks, but I ain’t going nowhere other than TNT. But I have made the decision myself, no matter what happens, next year is going to be my last year on television,” Barkley said.

“And I just want to say thank you to my NBA family, you guys have been great to me,” he continued.  “My heart is full with joy and gratitude, but I’m going to pass the baton at the end of next year. I hope the NBA stays with TNT, but for me personally, I wanted you guys to hear it from me personally, because I’m not doing anymore interviews.”

Charles Barkley in Arizona

Charles Barkley insisted he can talk to whomever he wants. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA Today Sports)

The current deals with ABC-ESPN and Turner Sports expire after next season, and the NBA has been talking with NBC, ESPN and Amazon, among other networks and platforms, about what will come next.

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Xander Schauffele or Scottie Scheffler for PGA Tour Player of the Year?

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Xander Schauffele or Scottie Scheffler for PGA Tour Player of the Year?

We must begin this article with a pair of admissions: We remain eternally envious of our co-workers and media center brethren spending their July gallivanting around Scottish links courses, and try as we might, we have not mustered any enthusiasm for the 3M Open. We appreciate your understanding and instead have opted to write down and publish a conversation that began Sunday during the end of the Open Championship.

Hugh Kellenberger: Let’s start here: The men’s golf player of the year race has gone from a coronation of Scottie Scheffler to a two-man race between Scheffler and Xander Schauffele. The latter made it a conversation with his stirring win at the Open Championship, in one season vaulting from “best player to never win a major” to “a guy who can win half of the majors in a given year.” But I’m curious, Gabby, is performance in the majors the only data point that matters in this race, at least to you?

Gabby Herzig: This is a tricky one because I am definitely in the camp that majors define a career, but do they — and should they — define a single season? It’s hard to argue against the fact Scheffler has been dominant all year long, even though Schauffele was the best during two very important weeks. Scheffler’s six wins (compared with Schauffele’s two) include the Players, the Masters and four PGA Tour signature events, one coming just a week after his runaway victory at Augusta — and we still have the playoffs to evaluate. There are more than a few data points to take into account here, with strokes gained statistics, consistency and wins outside of majors being just the tip of the iceberg. Should Schauffele’s two-major season overshadow all of that?

Hugh: Deciding that it does means no other event matters more than the four major championships, and though that is true in the broad scope of a career, there is a level of nuance to it on a year-to-year level. Is Schauffele winning at Valhalla in 2024 automatically more impressive than Scheffler’s win at TPC Sawgrass, just because we’ve decided one is a major and the other is not? No, I don’t think so. They are roughly equal in almost every other way, including field quality. So if you say that of the five biggest events of the year, each won two, that narrows the gap in this POY conversation. And that’s before we get to this: Both will be at the Olympics and the Tour Championship. Are we going to end up having to crown someone based on what they do at Paris’ Le Golf National next week?

Gabby: That’s why things could get dicey — I wouldn’t say any of the remaining events in the 2024 season are necessarily going to sway the debate much, unless Scheffler or Schauffele goes out and wins two or even three more times. So why not just turn to the numbers? Scheffler is still leading the PGA Tour in strokes gained total by a significant margin — a stat purely based on week-to-week performance, compared with the field. No biases on which tournament means more. Just data. Scheffler holds a 2.760 strokes gained on average, compared with Schauffele’s 2.201. Then the list drops off to Rory McIlroy at 1.896. Schauffele is catching up to Scheffler, but he said it himself after winning the PGA: “All of us are climbing this massive mountain. At the top of the mountain is Scottie Scheffler. I won this today, but I’m still not close to Scottie in the big scheme of things.” Player of the Year is decided by a PGA Tour member vote. If there’s anyone who understands how difficult it is to perform to that high of a standard on a week-to-week basis, it’s Scheffler and Schauffele’s peers.

Hugh: Right, and it’s that group that picked Patrick Cantlay in 2021 despite his not winning a major, and Scheffler a year ago even though he didn’t win a major. What does that mean? I think it’s a Scheffler three-peat, though I’m here for the argument that Schauffele deserves his flowers. Gabby, I’ll let you make your pick and then ask you this: Who will be Keegan Bradley’s next vice captain pick after selecting Webb Simpson on Tuesday?


Keegan Bradley will captain the U.S. Ryder Cup team in 2025. (Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images)

Gabby: I’m with you, Hugh. I think they’ll go with Scheffler. This is the award for Player of the Year, not the Player of the Majors. But Schauffele deserves all the praise for what he accomplished at Valhalla and Royal Troon. He’s gotten over the major-winning hump and quickly joined a growing list of top active players with two majors (Scheffler, Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa, Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson). Perhaps his ability to knock off the first two so quickly will make him the best candidate to first get to three?

On to my Ryder Cup vice captain prediction. Tuesday, we saw Bradley select three-time U.S. team member Simpson as his first appointee. The pick aligns perfectly with what Bradley shared about his intentions when he was first announced as captain: He wants to surround his team with younger voices who are out there, week to week, interacting and building relationships with his potential members. I don’t think we’re going to see the next vice captain’s pick for a little while because I have a feeling it will be Rickie Fowler. While reporting on the selection process for Bradley, I was told Fowler’s name was part of the conversation about who could be the next captain. If Fowler doesn’t totally turn around his game somehow (he’s ranked 43rd in the U.S. Ryder Cup team standings), it’ll be a no-brainer decision for Bradley to bring him on board. He’s played in five Ryder Cups but he’s only 35 years old, and all the guys — and the fans — love him. Besides Tiger Woods, who is a complete question mark at this point, who would be better?

Hugh: Rickie Fowler, vice captain in charge of the vibes with a secondary emphasis on hydration. I can get behind it.

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(Photos: Patrick Smith, Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images) 

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French sprinter Sounkamba Sylla says she's prohibited from Paris Olympics' opening ceremonies over hijab

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French sprinter Sounkamba Sylla says she's prohibited from Paris Olympics' opening ceremonies over hijab

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A French sprinter said she will be prohibited from participating in the Paris Olympics’ opening ceremonies Friday night because she wears a hijab.

Sounkamba Sylla, 26, expressed her frustration on her social media last weekend.

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“You are selected for the Olympics, organized in your country, but you can’t participate in the opening ceremony because you wear a headscarf,” she wrote on Instagram, according to The Associated Press.

Sounkamba Sylla of France attends the 4x400m relay during the 26th European Athletics Championships Rome 2024 at Stadio Olimpico June 11, 2024, in Rome, Italy. (Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)

Sylla is a member of France’s 400-meter women’s and mixed team relays. However, France enforces secular laws, and French Olympic Committee President David Lappartient said French Olympians are ordered to follow secular principles that apply to public sector workers, which includes a ban on hijabs.

“It’s perhaps sometimes not understandable in other countries in the world, but it’s part of our DNA here in France,” Lappartient said.

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PARIS OLYMPICS MEN’S SOCCER PLAY BEGINS WITH CHAOTIC MOROCCO WIN AS FANS STORM AND TRASH FIELD

Sounkamba Sylla hands the baton

Sounkamba Sylla of France hands the baton to teammate Alexe Deau in the 4x400m relay at the 26th European Athletics Championships Rome 2024 at Stadio Olimpico June 11, 2024, in Rome, Italy. (Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)

He added that talks were underway to come to a solution to allow Sylla to participate in the ceremonies in a way her “beliefs are respected.”

“I have no doubt that a solution can be found,” he said. “We hope that everyone can take part in the opening ceremony.”

Sylla routinely wears a hijab while competing.

Sounkamba Sylla in Budapest

France’s Sounkamba Sylla, Camille Séri, Louise Maraval and Amandine Brossier pose for a photo after the women’s 4x400m relay heats during the World Athletics Championships at the National Athletics Centre in Budapest Aug. 26, 2023. (Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images)

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She ran with a black headscarf in several events, including the 2022 and 2023 world championships and the World Relays in May 2024.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Patt Morrison: As the world arrives in Paris for the Olympics, Paris food goes local. How can L.A. compete?

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Patt Morrison: As the world arrives in Paris for the Olympics, Paris food goes local. How can L.A. compete?

How do you say “locavore” en francais?

When Olympic athletes and members of the press sit down to dine on the bounty of France next month, some of what’s on their plates will have been grown and gardened and harvested — from underground garages to road medians to rooftops — in Paris.

Not every course of every meal, not by a long shot. Perhaps a microgreens or endive salad, with shitake mushrooms? Serving up 13 million Olympics meals and snacks, all exclusively Parisian-made, is beyond the reach of even this city’s cuisine miracle workers. And this bit of food bandwidth won’t be getting athlete-style scores or Michelin stars, but it will be enough to show the yield and reach of Paris’ ambitious “Capital Agricole” projects.

Edible Paris is one section you’ll find on the city’s long, ambitious enviro menu — a larger regreening of the City of Light into the City of Lighter Environmental Impact. Paris has begun banishing cars and car pollution from the city’s heart, plans to add almost 250 acres of green space and another 75 acres dedicated to urban agriculture — beehives, hops, fruit trees, vegetables, cultivated largely on public property.

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When I was in Paris a while back, I made my way into the august French Renaissance-style city hall, the Hotel de Ville, and up to the office of Audrey Pulvar, the deputy mayor in charge of sustainable food and agriculture and the systems to make them possible.

I knew I’d come to the right place when I looked out the window beyond her desk and saw — a window box. Those weren’t flowers she was growing there; they were beets and tomatoes.

The ParisCulteurs project envisions a cultivated world city that cultivates more than flowers and fashion. Like any modern city, Paris’ early inhabitants raised their own food; the Romans, who called the place Lutetia, coaxed grapes and figs from the Gallic soil.

At Versailles, some 20 miles outside Paris, Queen Marie Antoinette had the Hameau, her little model farm with its working dairy. On the walls of the Paris suburb of Montreuil there once grew peaches of legendary richness, and a very few are still cultivated with the tenderness afforded to babies.

Yet for centuries, the best of France’s goods and goodies have floated upriver or flowed downhill for the care and feeding of Paris.

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Pulvar’s projects are like the tines of a fork, several in number but working toward the same aims of nutrition and environmental responsibility. Paris already serves 30 million “collective catering” meals a year, she told me — to students, kids in daycare, city workers, the elderly and needy.

The AgriParis program that will be feeding athletes and journalists throughout the Games intends eventually to make all of that food organic and sustainable, and half of it produced within about 150 carbon-considerate miles of Paris. That sounds like a vast territory, but now it’s almost three times that.

Another tine on the French fork is the urban agriculture project to educate Parisian schoolchildren and their families about food — where it comes from and what it takes to bring it to their plates. (This reminded me of the time 10 years ago when I hung out with Jamie Oliver as he was trying to get the LAUSD on board with his good-food program. He found that some high schoolers could not identify basic food origins — honey comes from bears? Guacamole from green apples?)

The city of Paris owns a lot of land and a lot of buildings, and Pulvar’s projects welcome green-minded small businesses wanting to rent those spaces and grow and market their goods in civic spaces like roadway medians, abandoned parking lots and the rooftops of city-owned buildings and apartment complexes.

Paris still has empty acreage like the “petite ceinture,” or small belt, an abandoned 19th century railroad track that encircles Paris, and it’s being transformed into agricultural gardens. On old walls of a Paris that grew beyond them, beer brewers rent the vertical stretches for growing hops. A school rooftop is being dedicated for an aromatic garden of herbs, berries, vegetables and a solar dryer for teas. And an urban farm created atop the city’s Charonne reservoir grows and sells microgreens to locals, and teaches the green-minded how to grow them, too.

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The Railway Farm, also on the small belt, is a community project that, with the blessings of the city, developed an award-winning enclave of homeless and student housing, agriculture and composting workshops, and crops of herbs, berries and vegetables — and the restaurant to serve them.

City of light, city of the 2024 Olympics, city of locally grown food.

(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Parisians’ default verb may sometimes seem to be “grogner,” to grumble, but Pulvar thinks most ordinary Parisians are fine with the projects, especially the nonprofit initiatives.

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“After COVID,” she told me, “many people realized they wanted their lives to be different. Often, they are people in business school who now have business degrees and who wanted to change their lives. A lot of women [do], especially, and it’s oftentimes led by neighborhood initiatives, groups who conceive of a project and decide to work on improving the lives of the people in their neighborhoods.”

At first, French farmers were skeptical, though. “They felt like they were being told they were not needed in the countryside anymore. That was not the case at all,” Pulvar said. “Everyone knows that we cannot feed Paris with city agriculture [alone]. We will always need the farmers outside of Paris.”

Now, what can L.A. — host of the next Summer Olympics in 2028 — possibly do to compete?

Confession: We can’t compete, not in the urban agriculture category. If our past performance as host of the 1984 Olympics is how we’d qualify, I don’t think we’d even make the team.

Not too much was made of what athletes were eating in 1984. The L.A. Olympic Organizing Committee put forth a “food vision” manifesto, promising a Southern California bounty of “fruit and vegetables in a variety and quantity like very few places in the world.”

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There were a few stories about restaurants hoping for a tourist customer surge, and an Olympic Restaurant Ethics Committee was formed by a few restaurants to pledge good service and no price gouging.

The Times surveyed renowned chefs and found that beyond some red-white-and-blue-frosted desserts, and foodstuff arranged to suggest the Olympic rings — fruit, antipasti, onion rings — most weren’t bothering. Ken Frank, of the then-new-ish La Toque, said, “Just because I’m serving a five-course menu during the Olympics doesn’t mean I will call it a ‘pentathlon.’” (Since then, Frank’s restaurants have earned him a restaurateur’s gold medals: more than a dozen Michelin stars.)

Los Angeles Magazine’s deep dive into Olympic food turned up this: Despite the usual calorific dishes and never-expiring canned fruit cocktail, in 1984, some of the cuisine available round the clock to athletes at the nine Olympic Village cafeterias also stretched to “regional favorites: cheese enchiladas, gazpacho, and avocado soup” and dishes “still unfamiliar to most Americans in 1984: ceviche, tabbouleh, oriental vegetables and water chestnuts.” Also, radically, there were doggie bags.

Headline: Some outlets ran out of buns in promotion pay-out. McDonald's a bruised winner at Games

A clipping from The Times in August 1984 highlights the popularity and difficulty of an Olympics promotion put on by McDonald’s.

(Los Angeles Times archive / newspapers.com)

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The best Olympics food story had nothing to do with what the athletes ate. McDonald’s promoted a game-card giveaway to customers, and for every card that matched up to an American athlete winning a medal, something on its menu — Cokes, fries, burgers — would be free.

McDonald’s hadn’t counted on the no-show-Commie effect of the Soviet boycott of the Games, so more Americans won medals in the Russians’ absence. A few franchises ran out of Big Mac buns. A McD’s regional VP told The Times back then that it was “the most successful” company games promotion, “but it’s also the most costly.”

And in 1932, when L.A. first landed the Summer Olympics, the L.A. Times’ “home services bureau” director offered some spirit-of-the-Games recipes: chicken curry for India — pretty daring then, no doubt -—and a “flag of all nations” ham, which turned out to be a pretty standard ham that was just ornamented with darling little flags from all the competing countries.

August 1932 newspaper clipping: Gala Array Smacks of Olympics

What makes this ham recipe “Olympian” — from an August 1932 edition of the Los Angeles Times about Olympic-themed food — seems to be mostly the flags.

(Los Angeles Times archive / newspapers.com)

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We’ve long had a reputation as a cradle of health food culture. In the movie “Annie Hall,” Woody Allen aims his anti-L.A.-disdain at The Source, the pioneering health food restaurant on the Sunset Strip, by ordering “alfalfa sprouts and mashed yeast.” (The Source was operated by a kind of a culty guy who called himself Father Yod, but culty L.A. and culinary L.A. are ordinarily two different stories.)

Therefore, what we can’t match from Paris 2024, L.A. 2028 can contrast.

For every ounce of biotic-organic-supercleansing foodstuffs sold at Erewhon, we sell probably 10 pounds of the world’s most famous fast food. Most of the founding burger and taco empires were started up within maybe a hundred miles of L.A. City Hall. That’s what we should be peddling to the world’s greatest athletes: Welcome to L.A., and to all the basic food groups — salt, fat, sugar and guilty pleasure.

Go on! Have a burger! Have a doughnut! Taco trucks! Gas station sushi! Pho and poke bowls! Kosher burritos! Fatburgers and In-N-Out! Tommy’s hamburgers and Pink’s hot dogs! Fusion city, fusion food!

"Welcome" is spelled out on the field of the L.A. Coliseum during the 1984 Olympics opening ceremony.

Welcome to L.A.! Enjoy the fast food (and the 1984 Olympics opening ceremony at the Coliseum)!

(Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times)

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Perhaps only the Earl of Sandwich has done more for great fast food than Los Angeles.

We could give the athletes apps and maps to find some faves.

I envision social media accounts crammed with athletes’ selfies in front of Randy’s Doughnuts in Inglewood, an example of mimetic architecture — where the buildings look like the things they sell. (The Brown Derby was not mimetic because it didn’t sell derbies, but The Tamale in long-ago Montebello did sell tamales.)

And the ultimate pilgrimage: to the ground of the vanished Hinky Dink BBQ stand, the spot on old Route 66 at the border between Pasadena and Eagle Rock. About a hundred years ago, as the origin story goes, one of the boys in the Sternberger family may have scorched a burger and covered up the burn with a slab of cheese. Ladies and gentlemen, messieurs et mesdames, le cheeseburger.

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Oh, and “locavore” in French? It’s “locavore.”

Patt Morrisonat USC, in Los Angeles, CA, Sunday, April 24, 2022.

Explaining L.A. With Patt Morrison

Los Angeles is a complex place. In this weekly feature, Patt Morrison is explaining how it works, its history and its culture.

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