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LAist Staff Interview: Manny Uche

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It is no secret that whomever stepped up to the plate after the departure of LAist's great sports mind, Phillip Wallace, had huge shoes to fill. We've gone through several false starts with a few different people attempting to tackle (writer's note - do you love how we're running with the football metaphors on Championship Sunday?) the daunting challenge of covering the endless number of sports teams and sports stories of the Southland.

Then Manny showed up and promptly ruffled feathers. The LAist inbox was filled with questions wondering "who is this guy and what in the heck does he know about sports?".

We'll let him tell you in his own words.

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Age and Occupation:
I have been aging in Dog Years since the whole Kobe, Shaq fiasco so I’m coming up on 60. QA Investigator for a genetics lab and sports writer for LAist.

Home Town:
Northampton, England

Current LA Neighborhood:
Beautiful West Los Angeles.

How long have you lived in Los Angeles and where?
I have been here since I was 7 years old and I think I have been in every corner of LA. Arleta, Pasadena, Palms, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Miracle Mile, Glendale, Burbank, Leimert Park. Really, my family was seriously nomadic.

How'd you end up writing for LAist?
Through YOU man (editor-at-large's note - yeah, me) !!! I heard that LAist was looking for a sports guy. I love sports so just half jokingly volunteered not really thinking that I would get a shot. When I got a chance to submit an entry, I jumped at it.

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So, let's talk about sports. What sports stories are on your mind right now?
Besides the NFL playoffs, there are a lot of local sports topics right now: the second remake of the Dodgers, the continued growth of the Angels, Year Two of the Kobe Era, the Clippers making a run at the playoffs, the end of the USC dynasty and UCLA football finally winning a bowl game.

Not that we have a pro football team or anything, but who is going to win the Super Bowl this year?
After the stunning upsets that took place, I think that the best team left is the Carolina Panthers. The have the D and Steven Smith is on another level. He just makes plays. They have been playing playoff football for the past 4 or 5 games and they have been there before. They know what it takes.

Kobe or Shaq?
I have been going back and forth on this since it went down. If I were the GM (of if Jerry West was still in town) BOTH would still be here. I absolutely believe that. But if I have a gun to my head and I have to trade one, I trade Shaq and get A LOT more back than what the Lakers did.