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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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Words of Wisdom from Erica Wilson

Posted by on Oct 10, 2014 in Kobe Bryant, Uncategorized | 3 comments

The first twelve years of Erica Wilson’s life were pretty uneventful. She developed a love for dancing, and went about her days like the rest of her peers. Then, upon experiencing extreme cramps in her legs after a gym class, Wilson was rushed to the hospital. An MRI revealed she had transverse myelitis, a rare neurological disorder that took away use of her legs. Soon afterward, Wilson was introduced to wheelchair basketball. Initially pessimistic about her acumen and enjoyment for the sport, she nonetheless gave it a whirl. Before long Wilson was hooked, then quickly shrunk some of the experience gap between her and other teammates through sweat and effort. By season’s end, she was a starter. And while her chair skills and overall prowess admittedly still need sharpening, Wilson describes herself as “probably a co-captain on the court,” because of a natural ability to communicate. As part of Alabama’s Lakeshore Lakers, she lent a hand towards winning the National Wheelchair Basketball Association’s Junior National Invitational Tournament.

Wilson attended Lakers practice on Thursday with Gatorade, who’ve featured her as part of “Win From Within: The series,” a group of shorts about athletes overcoming huge odds. (The emotional video can be seen here.) Hers is obviously a powerful story, and everybody on hand couldn’t help but be moved by her circumstances and resolve. (But lest anybody fear the morning got too schmaltzy, Wilson used some face time with Kobe Bryant to get a few pointers for improving her left hand, because… well… he’s Kobe Bryant and she isn’t stupid.)

In the “Win From Within” video, Wilson says she wouldn’t change a thing about her life, including her battle with transverse myelitis. The notion of choosing a life that doesn’t include walking is difficult to wrap your head around, and I asked why she felt this way.

“I walked for twelve years before I got T.M., so I know kind of the best of both worlds,” explained Wilson. “What it’s like to walk and what it’s like not to. Before I did wheelchair basketball, I did dance. My life was very average. I didn’t really have any big experiences like this right here, and I wasn’t very passionate towards anything. It was just kind of going to school, going to dance class, hanging out with friends. Nothing super special.

“But after I got transverse myelitis, and being pushed to playing wheelchair basketball, because this wasn’t initially what I had in mind. (laughs) I just kind of wanted to lay in bed all day. Just something about wheelchair basketball makes me not want to change anything, because I really do love this sport so much.

“If I had to choose between being able to walk or not being able to play wheelchair basketball, I’m probably gonna choose being able to play wheelchair basketball because it’s just more important to me than walking, because walking doesn’t make you who you are as a person. But the experiences I’ve learned through wheelchair basketball have made me who I am as a person.”

Pretty profound for a sixteen year old.

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PODCAST!!! Kobe’s minutes, the rotation, Dwight’s driving record, and President Mamba(?)

Posted by on Sep 19, 2014 in Byron Scott, Dwight Howard, Jim Buss, Jordan Hill, Kamenetzky Brothers Land O'Lakers Podcast, Kobe Bryant, Lakers Analysis, LeBron James, Opinion, Podcast, Steve Nash, Wesley Johnson | 3 comments

With every waking hour, we inch closer and closer to September 29th’s Media Day, and the official start to the Lakers’ new season. Granted, Brian has the day circled on his calender mostly because of the El Segundo facility’s high-end air conditioning system, but the ensuing basketball is a nice bonus, right?

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

  • We take a look at the latest headlines. The Atlanta Hawks have potential buyers. Why does Dwight Howard run so many red lights? Did LeBron James fix his depleted hairline?
  • We dig into some of the details of Mark Medina’s interview with Byron Scott for The Daily News. To begin, there is Scott’s desire to limit Kobe Bryant’s minutes this season. How realistic is this goal, considering Kobe’s legendary stubbornness when it comes to staying on the court? Moreover, could Byron actually convince the All-Star to sit out one end of a back-to-back? Is this even a necessary goal to begin with?
  • For the time being, Scott has penciled in a starting lineup of Steve Nash, Kobe, Wesley Johnson, Carlos Boozer and Jordan Hill? Thumbs up? Thumbs down? Thumbs “who cares?”
  • Byron has promised a training camp so tough, dudes are gonna be puking. Kinda boss or kinda stupid?
  • It’s time for AAK!!! Disney cartoons or Looney Tunes: Who ya got? What is Dan Aykroyd’s best performance? And would you prefer Kobe Bryant as a player only, player/coach, player/owner or player/POTUS?

 

 

 

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Podcast!!! Kobe v. Dwight, Swaggy’s P and T, Byron Scott, Steve Ballmer, and Robin Williams

Posted by on Aug 16, 2014 in Byron Scott, Carmelo Anthony, Donald Sterling, Dwight Howard, Greg Monroe, Jeanie Buss, Jerry Buss, Jim Buss, Kamenetzky Brothers Land O'Lakers Podcast, Kobe Bryant, Lakers Analysis, LeBron James, Opinion | 1 comment

A few weeks ago, it was silly season. Now, it’s slow season, but that doesn’t mean “no” season! (As in no-thing to talk about… I’ll show myself out.) As training camp creeps a little closer by the day, there is definitely some ground to cover.

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

  • A look at the latest headlines. DeMarcus Cousins had an injury scare practicing with Team USA. He should be fine, but does this add to the concerns about NBA players’ offseason commitments? Steph Curry says he’s a better offensive player than LeBron James. Believable? And speaking of LeBron, he and Carmelo Anthony are really, really skinny.
  • The Lakers have an official schedule, but given how the team isn’t realistically in contention, the specifics feel inherently less exciting. For example, are fans (much less the participants themselves) still geeked to see Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard finally square off more than one year after their separation? Generally speaking, the stakes aren’t pressing, and stakes are what make schedule intriguing.
  • Having said that, the Lakers play 28 nationally-televised games this season despite strong odds of missing the playoffs. Safe to say, Kobe remains one helluva draw.
  • What does it do for Byron Scott’s legacy with the Lakers if he ends up a rousing success as a coach?
  • How does the Lakers’ apparent non-pursuit of Eric Bledsoe and Greg Monroe feel with the players reportedly set to accept respective qualifying offers from Phoenix and Detroit?
  • We discuss Brian’s recent article for The Cauldron about Steve Ballmer taking over as owner of the Clippers, and how it changes the L.A. basketball landscape.
  • It’s time for AAK!!! What doubles tournament sport would the K Bros fare best at? Is it possible to barbeque a Hot Pocket? How long should one wait before dating again after the death of a treasured pet lizard?
  • We take a look at the life, legacy and career of Robin Williams.

 

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