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first_img continue reading » In her 2017 book, The Origin of Others, Toni Morrison asks, “Why should we want to know a stranger when it is easier to estrange another? Why should we want to close the distance when we can close the gate?”The United States is getting increasingly—even radically—diverse, both racially and ethnically. According to the US Census, by 2055, less than 40 years from now, it people of color will be 52% of the population. Unfortunately, with these major demographic shifts across our country, we are increasingly seeing each other as stranger rather than guest.For CUNA Mutual Group and credit unions across the country to best serve the current and future needs of our customer base, we must begin to understand and reflect the changing demographics of our nation. We must view diversity as an asset to be built and embraced, as opposed to a threat to our existence. In fact, McKinsey & Company’s 2015 Diversity Matters report states that companies in the top quartile of racial and ethnic diversity and gender diversity have higher financial returns compared to national industry medians. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

first_imgNotably, he talked about Ivica Zubac, the third-year center, who was traded with Michael Beasley to the Clippers in exchange for Muscala. Zubac has overlap as a player with JaVale McGee and Tyson Chandler, while Muscala’s shooting and ability to stretch defenses gave the Lakers more versatility.In the end, the Lakers decided Muscala could help the team make the playoffs this season more than Zubac could. That didn’t make the call simple.“There’s not a lot of sleep the week before the trade deadline just kind of thinking through all the scenarios and thinking through how things will fit and thinking through the lives of people that you’ll impact,” he said. “So I would definitely say it’s easier to be on the other side where a decision is made and you just have to respond.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersHe added: “And then much like Brady did, we let one of the all-time greats – LeBron – take the helm for this team and make some noise.”That’s the Lakers’ organizational attitude after the trade deadline: They made some tweaks, and now it’s time to let the team charge back into the playoffs. After dealing for wing Reggie Bullock and forward Mike Muscala, two players with shooting pedigrees who can space the floor, Pelinka said the expectation is to be among the top eight teams in the Western Conference for the first time since 2013.As Pelinka spoke to reporters via conference call Friday afternoon, the Lakers stood one loss behind the Clippers and the Sacramento Kings in the standings, with the Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs in striking distance as well.With their trades, the Lakers also created an open roster spot that can be used to pull a player off the buyout market. Though Pelinka declined to discuss names, the Lakers are believed to be looking at players such as Carmelo Anthony and Markeiff Morris, both recently waived by their respective teams. Any addition will be made with the hopes of bolstering postseason ambitions.“I think we – really, Jeanie (Buss), Magic (Johnson), Luke (Walton) and I – are all aligned: We really want to make a push to try to make the playoffs this year,” Pelinka said. “It’s been a five-year absence for our fans, and we think that’s an important step to return to contending for a championship and contending forms.” Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Injuries have cost the team dearly on that front: Notably, James has missed 18 games, during which the team has gone 6-12. Pelinka said the Lakers’ front office desired more shooting as a reaction to losing some of their playmakers for long stretches, including Rajon Rondo and Lonzo Ball, and seeing the offense struggle.The Lakers took plenty of criticism for not signing 3-point specialists this summer: For years, the game plan around James’ teams has been to surround him with capable shooters and allow him to make plays on a spaced floor. Pelinka said the organization’s view is they’re still trying to build a fast-paced team of long, athletic playmakers, but in light of injuries to their most dynamic players, they had to adapt.“I think when the engine drivers have had lapses of injury, the game can’t go as fast,” he said. “You have to adjust to that. When the game’s not going as fast, spacing becomes important.”Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.Spacing is something James himself cited Thursday night as he publicly approved of the moves, saying that it would free up areas in the paint for him, Rondo, Ingram and other drivers to get to the lane and either score or kick out.James said his degree of confidence in the Lakers, as they look now, is on the rise.“When we’re healthy, my level is high,” he said. “We’re a team that’s built on depth. When we’re healthy, we’re very good.”And yet the biggest talking point of the previous two weeks was whether the Lakers would trade much of their depth for a shot at a superstar. New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis has been the subject of many trade rumors since late January, when he acknowledged he wanted to be dealt. Lakers trade offers were reported left and right, creating a cloud of distraction around the team.After the deadline passed, the Lakers acknowledged it had affected them, particularly during a 42-point loss to the Indiana Pacers. Even James, who put up a stoic front during the stretch, said the trade rumors have “messed with their minds a little bit.” Pelinka acknowledged Johnson would attend Sunday’s game in Philadelphia but declined to say whether it was to allow aggrieved players to clear the air.Asked about the tension created by the environment when trade talks flooded their locker room, Pelinka drew an elongated analogy about an engaged couple on a trolley, attempting to stay together as a flood of other commuters boarded.“And I just think that’s an interesting sort of life metaphor, analogy,” he said. “I think when you go through anything as a team, if you go through adversity, you can choose how to respond: Does it draw you closer together or does it push you further apart?”Keeping the group together might just be the biggest challenge of Pelinka’s two-year tenure as GM, with Johnson as president. He acknowledged the profession he left, as a player agent (most notably for Kobe Bryant), was easier at the trade deadline.Related Articlescenter_img PHILADELPHIA — Amid the disappointment of Super Bowl defeat in Los Angeles, Rob Pelinka found a lesson.He saw the swirling doubt around the aging Tom Brady and the New England Patriots dynasty earlier in the NFL season, and how they overcame it to add another title to their already impressive franchise legacy.And though that might only cause Rams fans angst, the Lakers’ general manager was inspired.“I think when you’re outside of the playoff race, it’s easy for the folks on the outside to say, ‘Oh!’ and writing them off and they’re not going to be good enough,” he said. “But my hope is our story is a little bit, maybe, like that where we’re on the outside but we find a way to get in the playoffs with the skill sets we’ve added.” Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years last_img read more

first_imgThe Nationals host the Brewers in the National League wild-card game on Tuesday (8:08 p.m. ET, TBS), with the winner advancing to the NLDS against the Dodgers, the team with the best record in the NL. Three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer, who had a 2.92 ERA and 7.36 K/BB ratio this year, will start for the Nationals, who finished 93-69. The Brewers, who were 89-73, will counter with Brandon Woodruff, who had a 3.62 ERA and 4.77 K/BB ratio in 2019.  Nationals vs. Brewers predictionThe Brewers survived their three-week stretch without Christian Yelich thanks mostly to an incredible performance by the pitching staff. That group of pitchers will be tested by the Nationals, who scored more runs in the second half of the season than any other NL team.Anthony Rendon, particularly, was incredible after the break, posting a .336 average and 1.023 OPS. With Max Scherzer on the mound for the Nationals, the margin for error will be slim.Nationals 5, Brewers 3 Here’s everything you need to know about betting on Nationals vs. Brewers, including updated odds, trends and our prediction for the NL wild card game. MORE: Get the latest MLB playoff odds at Sportsbook ReviewBetting odds for Nationals vs. BrewersSpread: Nationals by 1 1/2Run total: 7 1/2Odds: Brewers +164, Nationals -171Nationals vs. Brewers all-time seriesThe Brewers took the season series with the Nationals, winning four of the six head-to-head contests. Milwaukee swept a three-game set at home in early May, and the Nationals took two of three in D.C. in mid-August. The Brewers hold the edge in the all-time head-to-head competition, too, with an 80-72 mark (not that all-time record will have any impact on one playoff game in 2019, of course. Just an FYI.)Three trends to know— 56 percent of spread bettors like the Nationals to cover at home, and 60 percent of the moneyline bettors like the Nationals, too.— As a road underdog of +150 to +200, the Brewers are 3-0 this year. — The Nationals are the much healthier team. Not only is Christian Yelich out, but Lorenzo Cain sprained his ankle in Colorado and is questionable, and Ryan Braun has been battling a calf injury. MORE: Odds to win the World Series for every team in 2019Three things to watchMax effortThe idea of having a three-time Cy Young winner in your corner for a winner-take-all one-game postseason scenario has long been a comfort for Nationals fans who realized catching the Braves in the NL East probably wasn’t going to happen. Scherzer has made 13 career postseason starts. He’s allowed two or fewer earned runs in seven of those starts, including two of his three in a Nationals’ uniform. In his only start against the Brewers in 2010, Scherzer struck out 10 in six innings, allowing six hits and two runs (one earned). Bullpen vs. BullpenLook, anything can happen in a one-game scenario, but Brewers fans have to feel better about their bullpen than Nationals fans. That group played a huge role in the team’s push to the second wild card berth. Even though he gave up a game-tying homer in his final appearance in Colorado, lefty closer Josh Hader had 37 saves this year, including a 1.42 ERA and 32 strikeouts in his past 19 innings. Lefty Drew Pomeranz has a 1.33 ERA in his past 20 1/3 relief innings, with 36 strikeouts against only 11 hits and four walks allowed.Brent Suter, another lefty, came back from injury issues and didn’t allow a single run in his final eight appearances, covering 16 innings. And right-handed starter Jordan Lyles figures to be available out of the bullpen, too; he had a 1.91 ERA in his final seven starts of the season. For the Nationals, Daniel Hudson has been great (0.00 ERA in nine September appearances) and closer Sean Doolittle had a 2.25 ERA in the last month of the season, but several bullpen regulars struggled in September: Fernando Rodney (5.91 ERA), Hunter Strickland (7.45), Javy Guerra (4.91) and Erick Fedde (6.43). Going streaking!Both of these teams are playing with a lot of confidence right now. The Nationals finished their season on an eight-game winning streak, scoring at least six runs in eight of those games and allowing three or fewer runs in six of the contests. The Brewers won 18 of 20 games during their push to the wild-card spot, including 13 of 15 after MVP candidate Christian Yelich went down with a broken kneecap. They lost out on the NL Central in the final series of the season, though, when they were swept by the Rockies. Stat that mattersThis is the fifth time the Nationals have made the postseason since the franchise moved from Montreal to Washington. D.C. As any baseball fan could probably tell you, the Nationals have yet to win a playoff series in those previous four Octobers, often squandering away opportunities in dramatic fashion, even though they’ve had home-field advantage for every single series. In three of those four LDS losses, they lost win-or-go-home Game 5s at Nationals Park. The NL wild card game, of course, is another win-or-go-home contest in D.C. last_img read more