Podcast: Play in new window
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?
Podcast: Play in new window
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.
Podcast: Play in new window
The Carlos Boozer era has officially begun for the Lakers. There’s a sentence I never expected to type.
The show can be heard by clicking on the module and a handy list of talking points is below. Among the high points:
- The Lakers “won” the Carlos Boozer auction and claimed the painted-haired Dukie off waivers. Seriously… WTF, Lakers? WTF? What does the Boozer grab say about the way in which the rebuilding Lakers see themselves? Do they completely lack self-awareness, or are they threading the needle between rebuilding and competing?
- With Boozer now in the fold, save an unexpected trade, the Lakers aren’t likely making any more significant moves. So how did they do? Did they read the market well, or let too many noteworthy players get past?
- Pau Gasol went to Chicago without the Lakers receiving any assets in return. At the risk of saying, “I told you so…”
- When will the Lakers finally hire a coach? What does it say about the organization’s confidence in presumed frontrunner Byron Scott that he’s been interviewed three times without getting hired, despite the fact that nobody else seems to be in the running?
- The Lakers offseason has received mixed reviews, but hey, they could be Daryl Morey!
- Thoughts LeBron James heading back to Cleveland.
- It’s time for #AAK!!! What songs are we most ashamed to admit liking? What discontinued Trader Joe’s item do we miss most? If the Lakers getting Kevin Love somehow meant the movie “Face/Off” never existed, would I choose the power forward or Castor Troy? What invention would we pitch on “Shark Tank?”
On the odd chance some fans hadn’t yet started seeing the Lakers’ world for what it currently is, Wednesday was a stark, unpleasant, steaming plate of reality. One symbol of last season’s failure returned to Staples to a strong chorus of boos (kudos to fans in the building, who kept up the enthusiasm for heckling Dwight Howard longer than I figured, given the score) and a very strong performance. The other symbol, Steve Nash, was not in the building. The Lakers said he had an upper respiratory infection, probably because like everyone else they need a little variety and are tired of writing “nerve root irritation” on the injury sheet.
Meanwhile, as Thursday’s trade deadline approaches, the Lakers were busy with the completely unglamorous business of (hopefully) stripping the house down to the studs, selling off the fixtures, all the copper wiring, and anything else the market might absorb. First to go: Steve Blake, sent to Golden State for MarShon Brooks, Kent Bazemore, and a cleaner payroll.
And, predictably given the players available, the Lakers proceeded to get shit-canned by the visitors. Howard’s Rockets are rising in the standings, while the Lakers lost for the eighth time in 10 games and continued their frontal assault on last place in the Western Conference. That their struggles are in big picture terms properly categorized under “NBA Circle of Life” doesn’t make it any easier for fans to watch. Wednesday was as painful an evening as the Lakers have had this year, which is saying something.
A few more postgame thoughts…
With one game remaining before 2013 ends, the Lakers are currently riding a five-game losing streak, the two most recent losses coming against the Jazz and Sixers, who both became nine-win teams as a result. The Lakers have also lost seven of their last ten games, perhaps a sign this once plucky squad is crashing down to Earth. And the Lakers are nothing if not a franchise with a demanding fan base, meaning such developments aren’t received like water on a duck’s back. Particularly when the Lakers are coached by Mike D’Antoni, who’s been exceptionally unpopular since the moment
he had the nerve not to be Phil Jackson he was hired. Thus, after Sunday’s loss to Philly, our Twitter timeline was flooded with cries to fire “Pringles” ASAP.
Such a reaction is completely predictable.
It would also be a terrible idea.
Whenever possible, teams look to avoid firing coaches midseason. It creates the appearance of instability, of a franchise spinning out of control. When that midseason firing comes directly on the heels of another midseason firing, and paired with the death of quite possibly the greatest owner in professional sports history, it’s an even worse look. This scenario should be avoided unless a high-end roster is being blatantly mismanaged or a bubbling sense of urgency leaves the front office with no outs.
For the time being, it’s exceptionally difficult to argue the Lakers have reached this point on either count.
To begin, what exactly has D’Antoni done to merit being fired right now? Really, truly, what? With all hands on deck, the Lakers are a fringe playoff team in a loaded Western Conference, and that’s being optimistic. Beyond Kobe Bryant and (on his best days) Pau Gasol, the roster at FULL STRENGTH is composed entirely of players best suited as players off the bench. Some might only play 10-15 minutes a night on a good team. Others might not even make a good team. On the Lakers, they’re being asked to start or make major contributions as reserves. Even more so now, since half the roster apparently shares the same disease as Samuel L. Jackson’s character in “Unbreakable.”
Podcast: Play in new window
With ten games officially in the books, what to make of the .500-ish Lakers and the way things have thus far shaken out, Joe Q. PurpleAndGoldFan asks. Well, lucky for Joe Q. PurpleAndGoldFan, we happened to have an afternoon free to answer that same pressing question. 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 run through the headlines! Yahoo! reports the Knicks are targeting Kevin Love in 2015. Coach K thinks flopping is… un-American??? drug addiction
outpatient drug treatment
bluetooth wireless speakers
lower back pain relief
best wireless speakers
partial knee replacement
Matt Barnes loses his mind against the Thunder and on Twitter. J.R. Smith defends his brother’s honor against Brandon Jennings.
- Steve Nash’s health has taken a turn for the (even) worse. Nerve damage related to last season’s problems has the point guard shelved for at least another week, and that is likely optimistic. What does the future hold for Canada’s favorite son?
- In the meantime, Pau Gasol’s health/age issues aren’t nearly as extreme as Nash’s, but foot, respiratory, and conditioning problems, plus his advancing years, have nonetheless conspired to create a slow start. Is it possible El Spaniard can regain the All-Star form Mike D’Antoni predicted in the preseason?
- Are the Lakers struggling to discover their “identity?”
- AAK!!! If powerful aliens were to demand one celebrity sacrifice a year in exchange for the Earth’s safety, who would we nominate as the first to go? Which was the most seismic event in Lakers history: The nixed CP3 deal, D’Antoni getting hired over Phil Jackson, or Dwight Howard’s departure? What is our favorite guilty pleasure song, and what music do people try to make us feel guilty for not liking?
- I share my theory about former NBA fringe big men Mamadou N’Diaye and Boniface N’Dong. It will blow your mind!
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.