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Nick Swardson — The Do Over

Posted by on May 25, 2016 in Podcast, Q & A | 2 comments

You’ve seen him on stage doing standup and in all sorts of Happy Madison productions.

Now, hear him on our show!

He’s Nick Swardson, who stars in the new Adam Sandler movie “The Do Over,” premiering May 27th on Netflix. We talk Minnesota sports — he’s a native — and their general reluctance to heckle, how he broke into comedy, and how a comedian develops his material and stage presence. Fun stuff.

Here’s the trailer for the movie. Warning, it contains coarse language.

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The Lakers get the 2nd pick … now what?

Posted by on May 19, 2016 in Kamenetzky Brothers Land O'Lakers Podcast, Lakers Analysis, Lakers Audio, Mitch Kupchak, Opinion, Podcast | 0 comments

2nd pick, baby!

The Lakers won the silver medal in the (Rigged??? Rigged!!!) NBA Draft Lottery, so they’ll keep their pick in this June’s festivities. If the Sixers select Ben Simmons, the Lakers will select Brandon Ingram. If the Sixers take Ingram, Simmons will join his buddy D’Angelo Russell in L.A.

Debate who’s the better fit or who has the higher ceiling, but the bottom line is either could be a major piece for the Lakers as they continue rebuilding.

Assuming, of course, the Lakers plan to keep either kid around. Might they be looking to package “SimGram” as part of a deal to land an established star like DeMarcus Cousins, Paul George, Jimmy Butler, etc.? How much would the Lakers need to give up to make that happen? Would that actually make sense?

We chop it all up, plus talk about Steven Adams’ “quick little monkeys” comment, Chris Bosh’s basketball future, referees missing fouls during the playoffs, a statue for Mitch Kupchak statue, and more secret audio from the ill-fated LaMarcus Aldridge meeting.

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Jay Roach, director of HBO’s “All The Way”

Posted by on May 19, 2016 in Podcast | 0 comments

On May 21st — that’s Saturday for those keeping score at home — HBO will premiere “All The Way,” which tells the story of Lyndon Johnson (Bryan Cranston) starting just after the assassination of John F. Kennedy and ending after the presidential election of 1964. Based on the stageplay by Robert Schenkken (also starring Cranston) the film dives into Johnson’s personality, his insecurities and ambitions, as well as the complicated politics involved in passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and LBJ’s uncomfortable alliance with Martin Luther King Jr. (Anthony Mackie).

It’s two hours well spent, to say the least, and particularly interesting given our current political season. We spoke with director Jay Roach (Trumbo, Austin Powers, Meet the Parents, Game Change) about the film. It was a great conversation, filled with insight into the challenges of historical drama, working with a high end cast (which also includes Frank Langella, Melissa Leo, and Bradley Whitford, among others) and much more.

Bryan Cranston in All The Way

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“On the Origins of Sports” with Gary Belsky

Posted by on May 17, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

So how exactly did our favorite sports come to be?

That’s the subject of a great new book — order it on Amazon, here — from Gary Belsky and Neil Fine, the former Editor-in-Chief and Editor-at-Large at ESPN The Magazine (and, it should be noted, our former bosses). All the quirky origin stories, original rules, and a lot more. Belsky joined us in studio for a great conversation about why we play the games we do, and where they come from. Everything from baseball to basketball to stock car racing, even kickball and ultimate (which has a fantastic connection to a Hollywood giant).

It’s a lot of fun, particularly for those with an appreciation of history to go with a love of sports.

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Podcast: Byron Scott Out, Luke Walton In…

Posted by on May 3, 2016 in Lakers Analysis, Lakers Audio, Opinion, Podcast |

 

The king is dead, long live the king.

Barely a week ago, the Lakers let Byron Scott go. Technically, they chose not to pick up his option, as opposed to firing him. Technically. But before we could get around to talking about it, BAM! The Lakers went out and landed Luke Walton, the beloved former Laker and hottest name remaining on the coaching market this offseason. So … good move? We discuss.

(Spoiler alert, we’re not booing, we’re saying “Luuuuuuuuuuuke.”)

All that, plus all of your NBA headlines, including Carmelo Anthony making it abundantly clear he doesn’t want to Kurt Rambis coaching him next year, the Clippers again facing questions, and the Space Jam reboot lands its director. (Which is really just an excuse for AK to talk about The Fast and the Furious franchise.)

Plus, another peek at the Secret LaMarcus Aldridge Audio Recordings, a statue for Byron Scott, and a big week in Magic Johnson tweets!

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Luke Walton is a win for the Lakers

Posted by on Apr 30, 2016 in Lakers Analysis, Luke Walton, Opinion | 6 comments

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Luke Walton is the type of coach I wish the Lakers had at least considered before hiring Byron Scott. Young, smart, talented, curious, up-and-coming. A coach with upside who could gain experience and grow with a rebuilding franchise.

Obviously that’s not the direction they went.

We don’t know yet exactly what allowed L.A.’s front office to look past a long held belief that coach of the Lakers isn’t a “starter job.” Some combination surely of Walton’s background in purple and gold, his extremely successful dress rehearsal as the interim coach of the Warriors, the buzz around him — for the first time in a while, the Lakers can say they got the guy everyone wanted — and his basketball intelligence. Clearly they believe Walton will do well in meetings with prospective free agents. And his familiarity to Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak clearly expedited the process.

But whether Walton represents a great leap forward in the open-mindedness of Lakers management or just a perfectly packaged Trojan Horse unwittingly unleashing into El Segundo basketball modernity (and an understanding of current circumstances) doesn’t really matter. Walton can simultaneously be a soothing reminder of past success and a fresh jolt forward. Even if the Lakers only hired him because he Knows What It Means To Wear The Purple And Gold, or because they believe he’ll be popular with the fan base, or that snagging him blunts the argument the franchise can’t recruit anyone wanted by anyone else — otherwise known as “all the wrong reasons” — Walton is still a very strong hire. He still fits where the Lakers are right now.

That it reportedly only required one interview will make some fans squeamish, but again, management knew Walton going in, and knew as well he’d be a prime candidate for other coaching vacancies this offseason. If you want a guy, don’t let him talk to the competition. You never know what can happen.

(If a lack of due diligence still bothers you, try applying three of the 17 interviews they did with Byron to Luke, and you’ll feel better.)

I don’t know if Walton will be a great NBA head coach. Nobody does. But he’s as good a bet as you’ll find among the guys without a long track record. High end basketball minds, from Steve Kerr to Phil Jackson, believe in his talent. Kobe Bryant pegged him as a coach a long time ago. The good news is Walton doesn’t really need to be great right away. For the next couple of seasons, he can develop his skills on a roster unlikely to be playing for major stakes (save the future of Jim Buss, I suppose, but that’s more a Jim/Jeanie problem). Meanwhile, he still provides a sense of optimism and a fresh start. Of the possibility the Lakers could build a new culture, led by someone who could, if all goes well, be around for a long time.

I’m obviously projecting, because there’s a lot of distance between Friday’s news and such a rosy outcome. The roster is still very thin, potential notwithstanding. The front office is still a massive question mark, though hiring a coach that however talented needs development speaks well of Buss and Kupchak. (At exit interviews, Kupchak said despite uncertainty created by the Jim Buss Timeline, which by definition clouds his future as well, he wouldn’t recommend short term fixes potentially compromising the team’s long term health. Bringing in Walton backs that up. So credit to both of them.) That Walton is popular enough with the fan base to blunt early growing pains can’t hurt, buying him and his players a little time.

There are still plenty of other questions to answer, including how Walton will approach things philosophically, how advanced he is with X’s and O’s, who he’ll surround himself with on the bench, and if/how this impacts all the Phil-to-L.A. chatter (a longer discussion for another day, but just as a reminder … it’s a bad idea). It could be a while before even the most basic of those are answered, since we won’t see much of him until the Warriors are done.

But regardless, the Lakers did a good thing on Friday, and are significantly better off now than they were at the end of the year.

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