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Podcast!!! Byron, Jim, Jeanie, and Mitch get ranked, Durant and Westbrook’s future, NFL and domestic violence, and “Final Four” badasses

Posted by on Mar 31, 2015 in Kamenetzky Brothers Land O'Lakers Podcast, Lakers Analysis, Lakers Audio, Opinion, Podcast | 0 comments

We’re back!

It’s a busy hour-plus, starting with a less-than-stellar evaluation of the Lakers’ front office, including hoops execs, ownership, and head coach. Do the Lakers deserve the scorn of ESPN’s Forecast rankings? From there, it’s a look around the league, a check on two of the NFL’s more notorious names, big TV news, and AAK!

Among the talking points…

  • LeBron James isn’t just one of the NBA’s great leaders… he’s among the best in the world, according to Fortune.
  • Durant and Westbrook. One out for the year, one putting up MVP numbers. What does this mean for OKC, and maybe the Lakers?
  • After seventeen years and zero requests, NBC is bringing back the sitcom “Coach.” You’re asking “Why?” So are we.
  • Our “Person of Interest” is dubiously shared this show by Greg Hardy and Ray McDonald, two NFL players mired in domestic violence
  • AAK! Final four themed.  “Final Four” cinematic badasses. “Final Four” actors. (And even with all my honorable mentions, AK managed to forget Bill Murray on that list, for which he’ll never forgive himself.)  “Final Four” condiments. “Final Four” non-family member ‘Simpsons’ characters.
  • Recommended listening includes three Marc Maron podcasts, and a Sam Simon/Barack Obama interview. And here’s a link to our ESPN podcast with actor Danny Trejo (“Machete,” “Desperado,” “Heat”), in which we cover his incredible career, prison boxing, general badassery, and so much more.
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What the Lakers can learn from the Knicks (seriously)

Posted by on Mar 13, 2015 in Lakers Analysis, Opinion | 1 comment

There’s a narrative that states the Lakers “can’t afford” to rebuild as another, less glamorous team might. They’re the Lakers, after all. Fans wouldn’t tolerate it. Season ticket holders would abandon ship. The stars would stop showing. Sponsors would revolt. Media partners would freak out. Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria

L.A., a city famous for its entertainment options, would move on to other things.

It’s compelling stuff, playing well into the championship image the team and fans are so rightly proud of.

It’s also completely untrue.

Sure, if the Lakers suffered through another couple seasons like this one, it would be embarrassing. Fans would be angry. Stars wouldn’t line the courtside seats. The rest of the NBA would point its collective finger towards El Segundo and laugh. But do you know what would really happen? Absolutely nothing of long term consequence. And all the evidence you need for visits Staples tonight. The New York Knicks have been an acrid, smoldering tire fire for most of the new millennium. And yet going back to 2001, they’ve never had a year where the Garden was filled to less than 96 percent capacity. Forbes values them at $2.5 billion, which is far less than they’d sell for on the open market.

The Knicks are, and will remain, a money printing machine, despite a tradition and track record that doesn’t approach what the Lakers have.

Last week, I was talking to a season ticket holder I’ve grown to know over the years. Big money, ungodly expensive seats. He’s had them for years, and he’s not giving them up, even knowing the Lakers could suck for a couple more years. Nor does he know anyone who will, because they’ll get snatched up in a heartbeat and can never be had back. In a world where live broadcast rights have never been more valuable, media partners aren’t going anywhere, either. If other sponsors ducked out for a couple years, they’d be back (perhaps paying higher rates) as soon as the team is good again. People who stop watching now, entertainment glitterati and salt of the earth alike, come right back when there’s something to see. That’s how this works.

The moral of the story? Don’t confuse a hit to the collective purple and gold ego with actual damage. That kind of thinking is what gets teams to do stupid things. The best way for the Lakers to make themselves relevant again (assuming you buy the supposition that they’re not, which I don’t) is to build something sustainable, by which the team can contend — legitimately contend — on a year-to-year basis. When that happens, or even appears to be really, all the heat returns.

If it takes an extra year or so to get the rebuild right, so be it. Panicky moves designed to win summer TV broadcasts and brochures for season ticket holders don’t do much good when the games actually start. There have been signs the Lakers understand this better now than they did before. Mitch Kupchak speaks openly about not mortgaging the future to try and send Kobe out a winner, for example. They’ve used language, at least periodically, talking about how it could take a couple years to get this thing back on track. But if the Lakers can’t shake the star-(bleep)er mentality as the primary means of roster construction, they’ll run into real problems.

Which is a shame, because assuming you believe the organization is still committed to winning — there is zero evidence to the contrary — the reality is they have all the time they need to do it right.

Just look at New York.

 

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PODCAST! Kobe’s done (what’s next?), Ghostbusters reboot, Super Bowl and the mature J.R. Smith

Posted by on Jan 29, 2015 in Byron Scott, free agency, Jeanie Buss, Jeremy Lin, Jerry Buss, Jim Buss, Kamenetzky Brothers Land O'Lakers Podcast, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, Opinion, Podcast |

Kobe Bryant is on the shelf for the rest of the year and his availability and effectiveness for next season are in question… again.  After steadfastly projecting what I refer to as “faux competitiveness,” the Lakers front office is staring down another season without a postseason and and a summer of critical importance… again. And these crossroads feature a coach who’s yet to reveal himself as right choice moving forward… again.

The show can be heard by clicking on the module and a list of talking points can be found below. Among the talking points:

  • Kobe Bryant underwent successful surgery for a torn rotator cuff, meaning he’s done for the season. This being his third consecutive season ending injury, it’s fair to wonder whether he’ll call it an early retirement. But if Kobe does return, what can be realistically expected from the superstar guard next season? And either way, how should the Lakers move forward as an organization?
  • We take a look at the latest headlines. With Brandon Jennings and Kemba Walker injured, is Jeremy Lin suddenly a more valuable trade commodity? J.R. Smith is partying less in Cleveland than in New York. The Warriors reveals Chinese New Years jerseys that are either very classy, totally insulting, or both. The lineups for the All-Star Game’s three-point shooting and dunk contest are pretty damn awesome.
  • We react to the casting news for the all-female Ghostbusters reboot.
  • If Lance Armstrong could do it all over again, he’d do it exactly the same. And by “it,” he means “take PED.” What should we make of this rather candid admission?
  • It’s time for a Super Bowl-themed AAK!!! Who is the ideal halftime performer? Would we rather watch the game at the 50 yard line in person or on a 60-inch screen at a party? Do the K Bros root “Bud” or “Bud Light” in the Bud Bowl?

Click above to play, or just download the show here. Hope you enjoy it. To subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, click here. You can also find us on TuneIn.com by heading here.

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The Lakers and Little Jerry Seinfeld

Posted by on Jan 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | 3 comments

From my column on Sheridan Hoops, following Kobe’s injury. Fair to say, it’s time for the front office to embrace reality.

“There’s a moment in the classic 1997 episode of Seinfeld, “The Little Jerry,” when Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer are crammed into the back of Marcelino’s store, about to send Kramer’s rooster (which he named “Little Jerry Seinfeld”) into a cockfight.

Elaine, meanwhile, has been dating a man she thinks is bald by choice before learning he’s actually losing his hair. He asks her to marry him, before the follicular end comes.

“Well, it’ll be a couple of years before he’s completely bald,” Elaine says, considering the offer. “Those’ll be good times.”

“Marriage is a big step, Elaine. Your life’ll totally change,” Jerry replies.

Elaine pauses. “Jerry, it’s three-thirty in the morning. I’m at a cockfight. What am I clinging to?”

I mention this because for the Lakers, we’ve reached the end. It’s three-thirty in the morning, and they’re at a cockfight.

It’s time to stop clinging.”

Read the rest here.

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PODCAST! The new Kobe, CLE-OKC-NYK Trade, aging action heroes, Stuart Scott and more

Posted by on Jan 7, 2015 in Byron Scott, ESPN, free agency, Jeanie Buss, Jeremy Lin, Jim Buss, Jordan Hill, Kamenetzky Brothers Land O'Lakers Podcast, Kobe Bryant, Nick Young, Podcast | 3 comments

2015 is in full swing and while the Lakers don’t seem any closer to adding a sixth ring to Kobe’s finger (or even making the playoffs to create such an opportunity), the last several games have been nothing if not compelling. Is a legit sea change underway for The Mamba’s final days?

The show can be heard by clicking on the module, and a list of talking points can be found below. Among the high points:

  • OUR TOP STORY: What a difference three games off, sensibly reduced PT, and a change of deployment can make. After being driven nearly to the verge of collapse, Kobe Bryant is now playing fewer minutes, is functioning as the team’s primary facilitator, and is succeeding brilliantly in the new role. Will this change stick and if so, what are the potentially positive implications for the Lakers moving forward? What would have happened had he continued down the road traveled at the start of the season? (Here’s a  link to the piece I wrote a few years ago expressing concern Kobe could end his career like, as Chris Rock put it, “the old guy at the club.)
  • AROUND THE LEAGUE: We take a look at two recent big headlines. The second round of returns on All-Star voting reflects fans largely paying attention to the season… and that Chinese hoops fans enjoy voting, period. Bucks center Larry Sanders reportedly has lost interest in playing basketball, which is either great or horrible news for Milwaukee, depending on how you look at it.
  • “ALMOST TOP” STORY: Monday saw a huge three-way deal between the Cavaliers, Thunder and Knicks. Cleveland receives J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert. OKC receives Dion Waiters. The Knicks receive a bunch of dudes subsequently cut for cap space, cap space and more cap space. How did each squad fare? And how does this blockbuster impact the Lakers?
  • NON-SPORTS STORY: There are reports of another “Rambo” movie in the works for Sylvester Stallone. At the risk of sounding like ageists, Sly seems a bit long in the tooth at 68 to be killing folks in the jungle. Then again, Liam Neeson and Denzel Washington have successfully aged into sexagenarian ass-kickers. Is there a difference? (Also, this is a link to the “Denzel Washington Is The Greatest Actor Of All Time Period” podcast referenced during the show. Very funny and entertaining.)
  • PERSON OF INTEREST: We take a look at the life and legacy of ESPN anchor and personality Stuart Scott, who died Sunday after a long battle with cancer.
  • RECOMMENDED VIEWING: With award seasons in full swing, we each recommend a movie in the mix for Oscar nominations.
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PODCAST!!! Kobe Bryant’s minutes, Taylor Swift’s belly button, Bill Cosby and social media, Thanksgiving

Posted by on Nov 26, 2014 in Byron Scott, Chris Kaman, free agency, Jeanie Buss, Jerry Buss, Jim Buss, Justine Sacco, Kamenetzky Brothers Land O'Lakers Podcast, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, Mitch Kupchak, Opinion | 2 comments

Fourteen games into the season, the Lakers are 3-11, with Kobe Bryant clearly gassed and the injury bug continuing to bite. (Poor Xavier Henry.) And as a gander at the schedule reminds, it’s gonna get a lot tougher before it gets even theoretically better.

Um… Happy Thanksgiving? (Unless you’re rooting for the Lakers to keep their lottery pick, in which case, Happy Thanksgiving!)

The show can be heard by clicking on the module, and below is a list of talking points. Among the highlights.

  • Fourteen games into the season, it’s grown clear Kobe Bryant is beyond exhausted upon averaging nearly 36 minutes per game at age 36 on the heels of two significant injuries. Byron Scott’s solution? Keep those minutes as is, but limit Kobe’s practice time. On several counts, this is a terrible approach that also perhaps speaks to the coach’s troubling mentality.
  • Once again, Kobe’s Kontract has become a topic of discussion. We explain why Bryant simultaneously has a point and misses the point while defending his salary.
  • We take a look at some big stories around the NBA. Nike tries to pull a fast one on Allen Iverson. Hornets Forward Jeff Taylor opts not to appeal his 24-game suspension for a domestic abuse incident. Chris Kaman doesn’t believe in Big Foot. (Seriously. He said this.) Can the Clippers and/or Cavaliers right the ship after a sluggish start?
  • In our new “Not Sports Story” segment, we break down Taylor Swift’s mysterious refusal to show her belly button. What’s up with that?
  • We continue with new segments, this one called “Person of Interest.” We take a look at the new-but-old allegations of Bill Cosby and sexual assault, and the way social media now completely dictates what collectively grabs our attention as a society.
  • It’s time for AAK!!! The theme? Thanksgiving! Will the Lakers finish with more wins than guests at the Kamenetzky dinner table on Thursday? Do the K Bros partake in Black Friday?  Which of us is the bigger eater and the bigger drinker during the holiday? How much do Kobe Bryant’s teammates get to eat while celebrating with The Mamba?
  • Finally, a new segment called “Mitch Kupchak explains something.”

Click above to play, or just download the show here. Hope you enjoy it. To subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, click here. You can also find us on TuneIn.com by heading here.

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