So, no joke, like five minutes after we finished taping last week’s show, all hell broke loose, in the form of legal drama surrounding the Buss family. But hey, it was Friday afternoon, so re-recording felt like a stretch.
But we’re back today, and there’s actually a little more to talk about now than last week, anyway. We unpack it all. How it happened and what it means. Plus, a critical discussion of where the Moody Blues fit in the birthing of what would eventually become Prog Rock.
The NBA is officially underway! The Lakers, while enjoying all camp has to offer — canoeing, archery, arts and crafts, orienteering, and trying to make out with the counselors at the girls camp across the lake — are also very clearly enjoying the first days of the Luke Walton era. Like, a lot. Which isn’t to say they didn’t enjoy last season’s circus in the same way… except it kinda is.
Hopefully it lasts a while, but for the time being the players who were here last season, particularly the young ‘uns, and particularly D’Angelo Russell, have clearly taken a shine to the new regime.
We break down all the big stories from the early days of training camp, including (but not limited to)…
Evidence a genuine culture has the chance to take root this year.
How feeling empowered by his coaching staff could help Russell on the floor.
Why Kobe needed to retire for Walton’s approach to work.
The Jim Buss Timeline: Mitch Kupchak says he’s really not aware of it. Land O’Lakers Factcheckers rate that a full four Paul Pierce Wheelchairs on the lie scale. Still, while it seems reasonable to believe the Lakers won’t make the Western Conference Finals (don’t shoot the messenger), what happens to Jim Buss if the Lakers show legitimate improvement, over the course of the year? Any shot he stays? And if Jim goes, does Mitch go, too?
The Lakers’ roster has taken shape, and the youngsters are in Vegas for some Summer League action. Before too long, the season will be upon us and for the first time since the “super-team” debacle, we could be treated to 82 games’ worth of genuine intrigue and stakes, even with the playoffs an unlikely destination. It would be a nice change of pace.
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: With Brandon Bass, Roy Hibbert, and Lou Williams now officially in the fold, the roster is more or less complete, save an unexpected turn of events. We share our thoughts on this year’s squad.
HEADLINES: With the free agency dust now settled, we examine the winners and losers of the offseason.
OUR ALMOST TOP STORY: Led by the trio of D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, and Jordan Clarkson, this year’s summer league squad may be the most anticipated in Lakers history. Safe to say, they haven’t played up to the hype. In particular, Russell and Randle have periodically struggled. How concerned should fans be over this showing?
AAK!!! Keeping with the POI theme, we address a series of summer movie-themed questions. What is our favorite “ceviche and Corona” summer movie? What’s our all-time favorite summer movie-going experience? Will ‘Ant-Man’ continue Marvel’s string of box office smashes? Plus, our thoughts on ‘Boyhood,’ which actually was a summer movie (and in its own right, a huge hit) last year.
RECOMMENDED READING: ‘The Best Team Money Can Buy,“Molly Knight’s deep dive into the Dodgers’ tumultuous 2014 season. The book is getting fantastic reviews, and Molly is a great writer and our friend, so we’re urging everyone to pick up a copy.
It’s been a while, but we’re back! The Lakers’ season is mercifully over and a (thus far) very fun playoffs are NBA underway. For the time being, ain’t much to talk about in Laker Land, but that won’t stop us from talking. The show can be heard by clicking on the module and a list of talking points can be found below. Among the highlights:
Our top story: Rajon Rondo’s disastrous stint in Dallas has now culminated in a “back injury” that’s all but officially ended his time as a Maverick. This fiasco comes on the heels of a steady decline in health, production and reputation. But in the eyes of some Lakers fans, that just makes the point guard a cost-effective free agent and inevitable redemption story ripe for the plucking. We explain why this is a terrible idea.
We take a stroll through the biggest NBA headlines. Does the Clippers’ Game 2 collapse reflect a doomed playoff run, even if they manage to take out the Spurs? Pat Rileythrows shade at LeBron. Scott Brooks is out in OKC.
Our Person of Interest: Tim Tebow is back, baby! What’s in store for the polarizing quarterback should he stick with the Eagles, and why does such a seemingly nice guy divide people so much in the first place?
AAK!!! What movie are we most looking forward to seeing the sequel? Can Gregg Popovich’s compliment to BK possibly be topped? What is each K Bros’ go-to lunch of choice?
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.
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?
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.“)
“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.)
Andy and Brian Kamenetzky are writers and radio hosts in Los Angeles, and have covered local and national sports for over a decade with the Los Angeles Times and ESPN. This is their ninth season covering the Lakers and the NBA.